Built in 1885 by Gilbet M Dillenbeck, a blacksmith from New York, the restaurant called Fork in the Road was once a hotel named the Dillenbeck House. The structure featured 40 rooms, a bell tower, an ice house, shops, offices, a reading room, a billiard room, a first class livery, horse stables, and a 2 acre park. Rooms were available to rent for $2. The hotel had an addition put on in 1893.
Gilbert owned and operated the hotel until November of 1912. Under the new owner, John Nowatske, the hotel undertook some renovations along with a new name; Park Hotel Theater. Part of the hotel was turned into an amusement hall and included a stage. The hotel was the first to show movies, by way of latern slides and a piano, in the Mukwonago area.
In 1920, John’s son Paul took over and operated the original hotel/theater until a fire consumed the building on January 1st of 1927. The fire started when confetti from the previous night’s new year’s eve party caught fire in the heat registers. Over the next two years, the hotel would be built by brick and reopened in 1929 as a larger show house.
The newly built hotel/restaurant/theater took on two names. Vista Theater and Vista Gardens for the hotel and restaurant portion of the building and operated as such for several years. In 1938, Vista Gardens was sold to Joe Anich and the theater was sold to another investor which eventually closes some time later. Vista Gardens, including the building, would eventually be sold to Mike Anich.
From 1984 to 1991, Vista Gardens, the bar and restaurant, would be owned and operated by Howard Anich and Roger Walsh. Eventually, Roger would come to own the entire building.
In 1991, Bob and Kitty Kokott purchased the restaurant and bar business and renamed it Inn the Olden Days. Bob an Kitty operated the bar/restaurant until September of 2002 when they sold it to Dennis Stevens. Dennis renamed the the bar/restaurant to what it is called today.
On March 22, 2010 around 10:41 pm, a grill line in a cooler unit caught fire in the kitchen. The fire was mostly limited to the kitchen but water damage was throughout many sections of the building. The restaurant/bar would eventually reopen again.
Five years later, on March 23rd at approximately 1:20 am, authorites were called to another fire that broke out in an upstairs apartment. Tragically, Julie McKenzie, 39, was found dead in the apartment bathroom after the fire was extinguished. Three other tenants escaped the building after attmempting to get Julie out of her apartment. They were treated for smoke inhalation.
In September of 2017, two local residents of the Mukwonago area, Paul and Therese Hennessy, purchased the Fork in the Road from Dennis Stevens and currently operate the bar/restaurant.
(sources: WTAQ.com March 23, 2015 (Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service); Journal sentinel jsonline.com; Wisn.com Mar 24, 2015; Myracinecounty.com March 30, 2015 by Tracy Ouellette; city-data.com 3/23/2010; A Chronicle of Mukwonago History / 2001 Historical Architectural Resources Survey)
- Lights flicker on and off in Dining Room and Bar Area. Also lights would dim by themselves.
- Cash register door opened on its own moments after the bartender punched in an order on the touch screen but walked away before completing the order. Register opened after bartender walked away. (captured on surveillance video)
- Employees would hear hanging glasses rattle on the glass rack and sometimes glasses would “fly” off the rack and crash on the floor.
- While sitting on patio after hours, a few employees heard a crash in the bar. They went inside and watched a security video to see what had happened. They noticed the water pitchers on the bar in one frame and then gone in the next frame. Security video at the time was not real time recording, and did not actually capture the pitchers moving or what might have caused them to fall off the bar.
- During Halloween of 2017, multiple people heard five footsteps on the 2nd Floor above the west end of the bar and then again a few seconds later on the southwest corner of the building above Back Dining Room.
- Around 3:00 pm, Owner was wrapping silverware in cloth napkins and placing in a bin. When an employee walked by, the bin slide off the chair onto the floor. Owner watched security video and could see the bin moved a little each time she put silverware into bin.
- The sink faucet would turn on by itself in the Women’s Bathroom. Employee also claimed to hear the faucet turn on and then off while occupying a stall with no one else in the bathroom.
- While closing up, oil fueled candles that are placed on all the tables were snuffed out. Employees came back a little later to find the candles in the Back Dining Room burning again.
- Reservation was called in for large group around Halloween time of 2018. The day of reservation no one showed up. They called number taken down for the reservation and the family denied ever making a reservation. Also the following day, a technical issue with the app on the Ipad occurred. The app still had the same reservation for the same family the following day.
- Salt and pepper shakers would be found “thrown” off tables. No employee had actually seen the physical movement of the shakers but they would be found on the floor a seemingly unnatural distance away from the table they originated from.
- Employee (Angel) felt she was touched by a male in the Front (NE corner) Dining Room.
- Employees would hear tables and chairs move in dining room areas.
- Employee was standing by china cabinet when silverware in napkin fell off shelf and onto floor next to her.
- Employee placed silverware in cloth napkins in the middle of a table near the entrance. She came back to find the silverware neatly place around the table rather than in piles in the middle as she had originally left them.
- Early in the morning, around 8:00 am, Madeline was in the Basement and heard her name called several time by a male voice. Madeline then went up to the 2nd Floor and asked the Kitchen Manager if he was calling for her and he denied doing so. This has happened to multiple employees.
- One employee (Angel) believes her name was being called out by a female in her twenties.
- Cooler door would be heard opening but has never been found open after hearing it open on its own. This happens frequently.
- Liquor door handle would be heard rattling and would also be heard creaking open. Also never seen open. Happens frequently.
- Meat slicer would turn on by itself.
- Employees claim to have a creepy feeling by meat slicer area.
- An employee reported hearing conversations while in the Basement during closed hours of the restaurant. Could not hear what was said.
- Cooking knife seen spinning on stainless steel table.
Brandon was the first to arrive at 3:54 pm. Claire, a manager of the restaurant, met PIM there to let them into the building. She arrived at 3:59 pm. Gravy arrived shortly after at 4:01 pm and loaded his equipment into the building. Gravy and Brandon immediately began their control recorders at 4:07 pm. While Gravy was interviewing Claire about activity she had experienced, Noah arrived at 4:09 pm and he and Brandon began bringing his equipment into the building. PIM set up base camp by the entrance between the Bar area and the Main Dining Room.
Every member of PIM is equipped with a Zoom H1 digital audio recorder, which is used as their control recorder, Extech RHT50 datalogger, and UV flashlight. Control recorders are not only used as another recording device but also to document the sound contamination that an investigator might create during an investigation. Control recorders are started and time stamped first before any other equipment is started and they are turned off last to ensure any anomalous noises can be cross checked. Control recorders are also placed in a Faraday cage, if possible. A Faraday cage operates because an external static electrical field causes the electric charges within the cage’s conducting material to be distributed such that they cancel the field’s effect in the cage’s interior. PIM’s main goal in using these is to block radio signals from interfering with their audio recorders thus causing false EVPs. The Extech RHT50 datalogger takes a temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure reading once a minute and is used to try and correlate environmental data with any personal experiences an investigator might encounter during an investigation.
While Noah was bringing in his equipment, he noticed the far west ceiling fan in the Back Dining Room slowly spinning. The other ceiling fan in the same room was not spinning. After a few minutes, the fan eventually stopped. Noah started to play with the switches on the wall to see if the one for that fan was still on. These fans were on dimmer switches and it was determined the switch to the fan was indeed turned off. The group decided to keep an eye on the fan throughout the night to see if it would begin to spin again.
The group continued to discuss claims of activity with Claire until she left at 4:23 pm. Claire would return again at 5:10 pm to drop off a key for the 2nd Floor. She left at 5:14 pm.
Shortly after Claire left the first time, the group happened to be in the Back Dining Room when the heat component on the far west wall below the fan turned on. Since the heating component wasn’t running when PIM first arrived, it wasn’t realized the heat was on just prior to their arrival and was the reason the fan blade was turning. As the heat would rise, the fan blades would spin. PIM decided the case of the spinning fan closed and continued to set up their equipment. Just prior to investigating, the heat component was turned off for the investigation.
While setting up equipment, Gravy and Brandon covered windows with a 3mil plastic to prevent exterior light from entering the building. They also covered exit lights, computer monitors and any other lights that could be easily seen once the lights were turned off.
During set up, at 4:48 pm, Gravy and Noah examined the faucet in the women’s bathroom to see how easily it could turn on under normal plumbing pressure. The faucet was not an ordinary faucet that would come up from underneath the sink but was coming out of the wall over the sink. The handle for the faucet was not physically attached to the water spigot either. In the off position, the handle was in a down position and was required to be lifted up in order to turn on the water. Noah noted that the faucet handle also required a fair amount of force in order to turn it on, meaning that it wasn’t loose, and under average plumbing pressure had little chance of turning on by itself.
To investigate the claim of hearing the faucet turning on then off while sitting in a stall, Gravy went into a stall and closed the door. Noah proceeded to slowly turn on the faucet to see how loud it had to be before Gravy could hear it. With the exhaust fan running in the bathroom at the same time, the faucet had to be nearly all the way on before Gravy could hear it. With the exhaust fan off, which also required half the lights of the bathroom to be off and a less likely scenario, the faucet only needed to be turned on at about a quarter of the way before Gravy could hear it.
At 6:34 pm Brandon took outside weather conditions using a Kestrel 3500 weather station. Brandon then took baseline EMF (electromagnetic field) readings and indoor temperature readings. These were taken with a single-axis EMF MEL-8704REM/SDD.
Several high definition camcorders and audio recorders were placed in select areas of the building. Alongside those recording devices, several environmental recording devices were placed as well.
A Sony HDR-CX160 full spectrum camera was placed in the south east corner of the Back Dining Room facing west.
A Sony HDR-CX160 full spectrum camera was placed in the south west corner of the Main Dining Room facing the east towards the front door. A Zoom H1 digital audio recorder was placed on a table in between both the Back and Main Dining Rooms.
A Sony HDR-CX160 full spectrum camera was placed in the south west corner of the Bar Area by the main entrance. The camera was directed west towards the back entrance covering the length of the bar.
Trigger objects are miscellaneous items that are strategically chosen in hopes to invoke a response. To learn more read our article on trigger objects
The camera also covered the entrance to the Front Dining Room. On the bar in front of the camera, a trigger object bank was placed. The trigger object bank included a cigar, a cigarette, 2 bullets, dice (snake eyes up), a deck of playing cards (Ace of diamonds up), a harmonica, a magnetic levitator and a rosary. All these items were placed on graph paper and photographed for a baseline position of each item.
Placed near the trigger object bank were a touch flashlight, a homemade EM pump, a geophone and an Extech RHT50 datalogger. The touch flashlight is activated by two contacts being touched, thus completing a circuit and turning the light on. The touch flashlight is used in lieu of a flashlight that has had the battery compartment or on/off switch manipulated to function in a way that is not intended and as a result, can create false positives.
Custom built by PIM, the geophone senses seismic vibrations and has adjustable sensitivity. It was placed on the bar should any of the trigger objects be moved allowing the geophone to sense the vibrations. The geophone was also a good indicator of vibrations the building would endure throughout the night from passing traffic, the investigators walking through the building and the vibrations from the many running coolers on the main level and the Basement.
A Zoom H1N digital audio recorder was placed on the Bar in the middle of the room.
A Sony HDR-SR7 was placed in the Women’s Bathroom and was directed towards the faucet that reportedly turns on by itself.
Two different knives, a cutting knife and a steak knife, were placed on a stainless steel table in the kitchen. A baseline photo was taken of the knives should they move on their own. The knives did not appear to move by the end of the investigation.
A Sony HDR-CX160 full spectrum camera was placed in the Basement storage area and faced towards the liquor pantry door (Figure A) and the walk in freezer door (Figure B) where claims of the doors opening on their own occur. A DM X-930 Dark Matter detector was placed in the Basement between the same doors. The Dark Matter Detector is a device that measures EMF, temperature, barometric pressure and has a high quality audio recorder. This device also datalogs these measurements for later review should something have occurred and would need to be referenced.
A Zoom H1 digital audio recorder was placed in the Upper Office (north)
At 5:45 pm, the group started in the Basement and went throughout the building to start and timestamp their equipment. They also turned off all lights and set the IR illumination for their cameras. Time stamps, from a designated atomic watch, are used as a point of reference and make cross referencing easier during evidence review.
The group finished timestamping their equipment at 6:40 pm. At 6:51 pm, the group locked up the building and left to get dinner two doors down. This allowed the equipment in the building to record and document baseline conditions without any human presence.
The group returned from dinner at 7:33 pm. Noah started and timestamped his control recorder. Gravy and Brandon kept their control recorders running to continue documenting while the group left for dinner. The group started off their investigation by reviewing the claims and attempted to discover a natural explanation for each one individually.
7:49 pm – 8:57 pm
With a two-way radio in hand, Brandon went upstairs to recreate the five steps heard by several people during Halloween of 2017. First, he started by walking normally. Neither Noah nor Gravy could hear his footsteps. It wasn’t until Brandon walked with a heavier step that his walking could be heard on the floor below. Unfortunately, based on where Brandon was walking, the footsteps could only be heard in the middle of the bar areas and Main Dining Room. The claim of the footsteps heard was at the far west end of both rooms. This would require that someone was walking on the roof of those rooms. The west side of the building appears to be an addition added on after the original building was built based on the difference in stone walls in the basement. There is no second floor above the west half of the bar or the Back Dining Room. It was noted the roof could be easily accessed from the exterior stairs that leads to the 2nd Floor offices and apartment. There are also several exhaust and mechanical devices on the roof. It is not entirely impossible, a human or animal could have been on the roof and had caused the noises.
PIM experimented to see how easily an employee could hear their name being called out. Since the Basement was loud with all the mechanicals, Gravy and Noah decided to stay on the 1st Floor. While Brandon, remaining on the 2nd Floor, would repeatedly say a word of his choice over and over leaving five seconds in between and increasing the volume of his voice with each time until Gravy or Noah could hear what he was saying. Brandon attempted this from several different rooms, changing words in each locale, and would max out his voice volume before Gravy or Noah could hear what was being said. It wasn’t until Gravy was in the Front Dining Room and Brandon was in the Upper Office (north) that he could make out a name being called out after only two times. It is safe to say, if an employee was in the Basement and another was on the 2nd Floor, neither of them would be able to hear the other calling out for them.
It is possible, with all the mechanical sounds in the Basement, an employee could mistakenly hear their name through the natural occurrence called audio pareidolia. Audio pareidolia occurs when the brain attempts to make sense from nonsense through hearing. In this case, there are several “white noise” like sounds in the Basement that could cause someone to hear words that never occurred. Hearing your own name is the most common claim of audio pareidolia because the brain is wired to search for this pattern of syllables. In this instance though, the employee heard their name being called out several times which makes it less likely to be audio pareidolia but shouldn’t be ruled out entirely.
Another possibility, was that someone was outside of the restaurant and calling the employee’s name. Since a person outside would be closer to someone in the Basement or the 1st Floor, this possibility cannot be discounted.
On the 1st Floor, Gravy would stand in the Front Dining Room and call out a name in a normal voice to determine if someone who was also on the 1st Floor could clearly hear the name called. In every scenario, the name called out was clearly heard, even when Noah attempted to drown out the noise with a simulated conversation.
Next, PIM attempted to explain why the salt and/or pepper shakers would seem to be shoved off the tables in the Dining Rooms. The claim being that salt and pepper shakers would be found on the floor far enough away from the table so as to appear they were thrown from the table. PIM didn’t want to be responsible for breaking any of the salt shakers by actually pushing them off the table to see where they might land so they discussed the possibilities. PIM went around and checked the stability of the tables. One of the tables that was pointed out during the walkthrough a few weeks earlier was uneven and would easily shift from side to side. It was noted the shakers, when stored on the tables were placed next to the wall when the table butted up next to a wall and in the middle of tables against support columns (as shown in Figure D) that were not against a wall. With that said, PIM believed in order for a shaker to fall off the table, they would have had to been placed closer to the edges of the table.
If the shakers were close enough to the edge, they could possibly slide off the edge of the table. Assuming the shaker doesn’t break upon impact on the floor, they could fall in such a way that they would end up a seemingly unnatural distance from the table from which they fell. Plus, with the help of the uneven floor, the shakers, being somewhat round, could roll away from the table as well. Again, because the shakers were made of glass, this could not be proven through experiment. In order for the shakers to fall off of a table and end up far away would require certain conditions. If the shakers moved from where they are normally positioned, it would require more force to move them off the edge of the table. As such, PIM found this particular claim difficult to debunk without having more specifics regarding a particular instance of finding the shakers on the floor and knowing definitively where the shakers started. Video cameras were placed in the Dining Rooms should the shakers move at any point during the investigation.
When Claire came back to drop off the key to the 2nd Floor, Gravy asked if the restaurant still had any of the oil candles that were used approximately ten years ago. Unfortunately, the restaurant no longer had any. Without knowing how the candles functioned PIM was not able to further investigate this claim.
Gravy examined the water pitchers that had fallen off the bar. Based on the type of water pitchers that were available and where and how they were being stored, a vibration could possibly cause the pitchers to fall over. When PIM arrived, there were three pitchers stored upside down on a rubber mat on the back lip of the bar. The rubber mat would act as shock absorber to most vibrations in the bar. When stored upside down (as shown in Figure E) the pitchers make little contact to the surface based on the lips of the pitcher. Slightly rocking the pitcher would allow it to tip over and considering all three pitchers were next to each other, if one tipped over they could all tip over.
While investigating the claims, at 8:14 pm, a large pick-up truck quickly drove by causing the building to vibrate in a way that made it seem like three footsteps were heard upstairs. PIM wasn’t certain if it was the truck itself driving by or if there was base from music coming from the truck that caused the building to shake. Gravy also noted the truck was moving much faster than the current speed limit of the road. This experience provided another possible explanation for the reported sound of footsteps heard on the 2nd Floor.
Next, PIM decided to examine the lights in the Bar Area. There were several toggle switches with dimmers alongside the toggle on the wall near the hostess station. Noah began to turn them on to investigate how the light fixtures operated. It was noted that one of the pendant lights would flicker on and off above the bar. Gravy checked to see if the bulb was loose and determined it wasn’t. It was believed the filament in the
light bulb might be loose and would flicker based on different vibrations of the lights. Other than the power going off completely or a power surge to the restaurant,
PIM could not replicate the event of all the lights brightening up and then turning off without touching the light switches.
PIM went into the Kitchen to examine the location where the knife was seen spinning on the table.
Without knowing which exact knife was seen spinning, PIM found two different knives in the Kitchen to experiment with. The large cutting knife was experimented with first. The knife was weighted in a way that there was too much friction between the blade and the table that only allowed it to revolve once or twice on the table when a lot of force was used. Even when Gravy added a little water to the table the knife spun a little more but not long
enough that someone might see it spinning. The steak knife on the other hand could spin easily without any force. The weight of the handle kept the knife off the table unlike the larger knife. Gravy placed the knife on the edge of the table with part of the blade hanging off. Walking past the table and bumping the knife caused the knife to spin. Also dropping the knife with a slight spin on it causes the knife to spin as well. It is possible, with the busyness of the restaurant, someone, without realizing it, could have dropped it off a plate or tray in such a way that would allow it to spin. Alternatively, if the knife was on the edge of the table and a server walked past quickly and caught the end of the knife, it could send it spinning while another person only sees the after affect. Once PIM was done experimenting with the knives, they placed them in the middle of the table and took a baseline photo (as shown in Figure F).
Next PIM went into the Basement to investigate the claims surrounding the liquor pantry (Figure A) and freezer doors (Figure B). Both doors
were padlocked shut so PIM had to improvise in their experimentation. The area between the two doors is “L” shaped. One could not stand by one door and see the other door. PIM experimented by putting Noah by the liquor door. Brandon would come down the stairs jiggle the freezer door to simulate it opening and then go back up the stairs to see what, if at all, Noah could hear. Noah could hear the freezer door being opened but could not hear Brandon walking up or down the stairs or to the freezer for that matter. It is entirely possible someone could be getting liquor from the pantry and hear another person entering and exiting the freezer. The person exiting the freezer could be gone before the person coming back from the liquor pantry sees them. Figure G shows the freezer door and the stairs at the far left of the image. The liquor pantry is around the corner at the far right of the picture. Since the Basement has pathways that go around the center freeze (as shown in Figure G), the same is possible for someone to be in the freezer and hear someone entering the liquor pantry and then exit and walk around the other side of the freezer without ever being seen.
The “creepy” feeling in the Basement by the meat slicer is believed by PIM to be psychological. Darkness, small areas, basements, being alone, thinking you are not alone, can all be contributing factors to a “creepy” feeling. A common example is similar to walking up the stairs from a dark basement and feeling like someone is behind you.
PIM’s attempts to debunk the claims of activity does not imply that PIM feels the claims are manufactured in any way. PIM’s goal when conducting an investigation is to solve the mystery of the claims made. Through experience and experimentation, PIM has been able to find natural reasons for claims of activity at locations across the country. PIM feels that it is in the best interest of PIM’s clients to first rule out natural explanations whenever possible before moving on to trying to document a possible paranormal cause. In some instances without the exact conditions of each of the claims known, or the exact object surrounding the claim (i.e. knife, candles) no longer available for examination, PIM can only speculate as to what really occurred and make conclusions based on Occam’s Razor (the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one). There are many factors at play when a paranormal claim occurs and very often the person experiencing the claim is focused on the perceived activity and other details can be missed. PIM attempts to take those things into account when conducting an investigation, and although PIM is providing some alternative explanations for some of the claims, it is possible that some other possibility exists (both normal and paranormal) for the claims being made.
Bar – 8:58 pm
The group sat in the Bar. Noah sat at the East end of the Bar near the entrance to the Front Dining Room. Gravy sat in the middle of the Bar Area by the Kitchen doors and Brandon sat near the west end of the Bar. They observed control silence before beginning an EVP session. During control silence, it was noted outside traffic could be easily heard since the main street (Hwy 83) ran right in front of the building. It was also noted that several refrigerators and freezers behind the Bar and in the Basement could be heard running. When running, the freezer in the Basement was noted to vibrate the floor and Bar on the 1st Floor. The ice machine in the Kitchen could also be heard running.
Control silence is the practice of sitting quietly and getting accustomed to the normal sounds of the building structure. It allows for investigators to get a baseline of normal building sounds and tag those noises for evidence review. Tagging is the process of calling out naturally occurring noises during an investigation such as traffic, running equipment or general popping noises a building might make due to expansion/contraction. Tagging is also used in the event an investigator makes a noise. Noises investigators make can be anything from internal sounds, such as stomach or breathing noises, to external noises, like squeaky shoes, shifting or chairs creaking. Tagging is required from the moment a piece of equipment is recording to the time it is turned off. This allows for easy identification of noises heard when reviewing evidence. When an investigator makes a noise, it is their responsibility to tag it or say “that was me”.
An EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) session is the practice of asking questions and leaving ten seconds of silence in between, in hopes of capturing a response via an audio recording device. Rarely is a response heard by the investigator’s ears during the investigation and when a response is heard by human ears it is called a disembodied voice.
At 9:02 pm, Noah heard what he described as a conversation between a woman (possibly in her thirties) and a man. He claimed the woman had said something followed by the man in response. The group looked outside to see if any people had walked by the building. No one was seen at the time.
At 9:08 pm, Noah heard two footsteps coming from the room above his area. It was noted that a car had drove by the building at the same moment. Because the building is close to the main road, it is possible the car shook the building enough to cause the two footstep-like sounds. It was noted throughout the night the same sound was not created as other vehicles drove by, including some of the larger dump trucks that passed by that evening.
At 9:12 pm, Noah heard a single syllable come from the area of the Main Dining Room. No source of the sound was heard and this was not captured on any of the recording devices at the time.
At 9:14 pm, Noah heard a tap in the Main Dining Room which was attributed to a normal building noise. It was also noted that several popping noises were heard in the Front Dining Room as well. These were considered normal building noises as well.
At 9:15 pm, Noah heard several loud thumps coming from the Upper Office (north) above the Front Dining Room. He described the sound as if someone had fallen down or as if books had fallen off a shelf. Noah, Gravy and Brandon went upstairs to make sure no humans were in the office and to confirm nothing was out of place. After the room was checked out, Noah returned to the Bar to sit where he was. Gravy and Brandon remained on the 2nd Floor and attempted to duplicate the sound and communicated back and forth with Noah via two-way radios. At 9:27 pm, Brandon, first, took three heavy and quick steps. Next, Brandon fell onto the floor. Both the steps and falling on the floor sounded similar to what Noah had heard earlier.
It was noted the building next to the Fork in the Road was approximately six feet away and made of cinder blocks. Being a law firm and a Sunday night, the sound was not expected to come from that building.
At 9:30 pm, Brandon and Gravy returned to the Bar to continue their EVP session. Because of all the noises coming from coolers, Brandon could not hear what Noah was hearing from where he was originally sitting. Brandon sat between Gravy and Noah on the east end of the Bar to see if he would hear any further noises.
As Gravy and Brandon walked through the double doors (Figure H) between the Kitchen and the Bar, Noah heard the glasses rattle on the shelves of the bar. Gravy, weighing 235 pounds, walked through the doors multiple times to see how much the glasses rattled. The constant rattling of the glasses throughout the day coupled with the vibration from the coolers and freezers in the Basement could be the cause for glasses to slowly shift to the edge of their rack before falling off.
At 9:43 pm, all three investigators heard a sound that was described as a sticker being peeled off a surface. This sound was believed to have originated from the west end of the Bar. No source of the sound could be found but it would be heard again later in the evening.
No other activity occurred and the group decided to move to another location.
End Time: 9:52 pm
Main Dining and Back Dining Rooms – 9:53 pm
The group spread themselves throughout the Main and Back Dining Rooms. Brandon sat at the east end of the Main Dining Room. Noah sat at the far west end of the Back Dining Room and Gravy sat in between them, near the china cabinet in the Main Dining Room. Again, they observed control silence before beginning an EVP session. It was noted traffic could be heard from this area. It was also noted lights from passing cars from the south would project their lights through the windows and reflect off many of the reflective surfaces of the Bar Area and Dining Rooms. This light and shadow play caught the attention of the investigators out of the corner of their eyes on multiple occasions.
At 10:02 pm, Brandon heard the faint sound of a woman talking. Again, the group looked outside to see if anyone was passing by. This sound was not captured on any recording devices.
At 10:18 pm, Noah heard a four syllable response to a question Brandon had asked. The response was described by Noah as a whisper but he was unable to make out what was said. Unfortunately, the response was not captured on any recording devices.
No other activity occurred and the group decided to move to another location.
End Time: 10:20 pm
Basement – 10:26 pm
The group spread throughout the Basement and observed control silence before beginning an EVP session. Noah sat near the liquor pantry door. Brandon sat in the middle of the storage area and Gravy sat by the cleaning supplies in the back of the storage area. Due to the load noises from the walk in freezers and other equipment, it was nearly impossible to hear any outside noises such as traffic. The noise of the equipment also drowned out any responses that might have been heard by the investigators. No responses were captured on any recording device in the Basement during the investigation.
No other activity occurred and the group decided to move to another location.
End Time: 10:46 pm
Upper Office (north) – 10:53 pm
The group sat in the office and observed control silence before beginning an EVP session. The room was noisy and limited the investigators ability to hear outside the room.
At 11:58 pm, Gravy and Brandon heard what each described as a long musical note. This sound didn’t seem to originate from within the room and no true source of the sound was found. Due to the ambient noise of the room, the sound was not captured on any audio devices in the room at that time.
At 11:02 pm, Brandon heard a shifting noise coming from the area between the south office and the entry door.
At 11:05 pm, a mechanical device, that was situated outside a door of the Upper Office (north) where the group was sitting, turned on. When this same device turned off, it made three loud thumps. It is believed this was the source of the sound Noah heard at 9:15 pm when he was sitting in the Bar Area. Since it makes the thumping noise when it turns off, it would explain why Brandon and Gravy didn’t hear it earlier in the night when investigating the noises Noah had heard. It was turned off when Gravy and Brandon attempted to find the original source. This was confirmed during evidence review.
No other activity occurred during this time and the group decided to move.
End Time: 11:13 pm
Front Dining Room and Bar – 11:19 pm
Brandon and Gravy sat in the Front Dining Room and Noah sat at the east of the Bar. The group began an EVP session immediately.
During the EVP session, Gravy used a marquee app on his Amazon Fire 7 tablet to ask questions. Since nothing has been proven in the field of the paranormal, Gravy wanted to test if communication could be established visually. Gravy had several preset questions in the app. He would select them and read them out loud once as the marquee displayed the question. Reading the question out loud allowed the question to be documented on audio recorders should there be a response to the question displayed on the marquee.
At 11:22 pm, Gravy believed to have heard a whisper response to the question “Why are you here”. Unfortunately the response was not captured on any audio recorder that was in the room at the time.
At 11:24 pm, Noah heard the same “peeling sticker” sound that was heard earlier in the evening at 9:43 pm. Since Noah was the only one sitting in the Bar Area, he was the only one to have heard the sound the second time. Again, no source of the sound could be determined, but due to the repetitive nature of the noise it is most likely building related and not paranormal.
At 11:29 pm, the mechanical device that made the previous thumping noise turned off again, confirming what Noah had heard earlier in the night.
This concluded the EVP session and the investigation.
End Time: 11:30 pm
The investigation was called to an end at 11:30 pm. PIM broke down all their gear, stopped their control recorders and packed their equipment into their vehicles. Noah notified Claire so she could come back and lock up the building for the night. She arrived shortly after midnight.
The Fork in the Road has been one of a few places that PIM has been eager to have the opportunity to investigate over the last decade. The restaurant has several claims of activity and a long history of tragic events including fires and a documented death.
PIM would like to thank Theresa and her staff for welcoming them to the Fork in the Road to document their stories and claims of the paranormal. It has been a pleasure working with Theresa and we hope to be able to continue working with her in the future. Unfortunately, we were not able to document any paranormal activity during our investigation. We were able to provide some possible natural causes for some of the claims in the building in hopes that some of their questions have been answered.