MacAllister Hall was built around 1895 by George Wilbur, founder of the Wilbur Lumber Co. Wilbur and his family lived in the house until his death in 1922.
In 1927, with a generous donation from Lydia E. Morgan, Carroll College purchased and renovated the building. Named Morgan Manor, the building functioned as the college’s library and Civil war museum until 1942. The building was remodeled into a dormitory six years later. Activity wasn’t reported until the building was used as a dormitory.
In 1979, the building became an administrative building and was given its current name, MacAllister Hall. Staff and professors still claim to experience activity within the building.
Guest Invesigators: Brad and Kevin from Carroll’s Society for Paranormal Research (CSPR)
Noah, Gravy and Tony arrived on location at 7:10 pm. Jarod arrived at 7:45 pm. PIM members met with CSPR members Brad, Matt, Kevin and Josiah. Brad and Kevin would remain there for the investigation while the other two left after equipment was set up. Campus Security personnel was also on site and was in the building throughout the investigation. Rules and guidelines were communicated to said person to minimize contamination of the investigation.
PIM members started their control recorders before taking a tour at 7:22 pm. Control recorders are not only used as another recording device but also to discriminate the sound contamination an investigator might create during an investigation. Control recorders are started and time stamped using a designated atomic watch. Time stamps are used as a point of reference and make cross referencing easier during evidence review. Once the tour ended at 7:40 pm, the group began setting up equipment and taking baseline EMF, temperature and outside weather conditions.
Outside weather conditions were taken with the Kestrel 3500 Weather Station. The Kestrel Weather Station is a device that measures temperature, wind speeds, barometric pressure and humidity. Baseline EMF (electromagnetic field) readings and temperature were taken with a Single-Axis EMF Mel-8704R.
Alongside audio and video recording devices, environmental monitoring equipment was placed throughout the building. A Sony DCR-DVD610 video camcorder and Zoom H1 digital audio recorder were placed on the 1st Floor facing the main hall just inside the front doors of the building. Trigger objects, including a cigar, bottle of whiskey, touch flashlight, and geophone were placed within camera view. Trigger objects are miscellaneous items chosen in hopes to invoke a response. Some trigger objects are chosen based on location, historical events, claims of activity and other factors. The geophone is a device that is sensitive to vibrations and has multiple lights that when vibrations are detected will light up incrementally based on intensity of vibration. 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 was unintended. The touch flashlight is activated by two contacts being touched, thus closing a circuit and turning the light on. Placed next to the trigger objects were environmental monitoring equipment such as a GQ GMC-300 Datalogging Geiger counter, which measures beta and gamma radiation and an Extech RHT50, which datalogs temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure.
A Sony HDR-CX160 full spectrum camera, Sony DCR-SR45 camera and Zoom H1 audio recorder were placed on the 2nd Floor.
A Sony HDR-CX160 full spectrum camera and Zoom H1 audio recorder were placed on the 3rd Floor. Trigger objects, which included: a deck of cards, cigarettes, a Playboy magazine, and touch flashlight, were placed on the table in view of the camera. An EMF pump, Extech RHT50 and GMC-320 datalogging Geiger counter were placed on the table next to the trigger object.
A Sony HDR-CX160 full spectrum camera and Zoom H1 audio recorder were also placed in the Basement.
Once equipment was set, everything was started and time stamped. All lights that couldn’t be turned off by switch and windows and doors were covered using a 3-mil poly-plastic to eliminate light sources from outside and in. Not only is every member of PIM equipped with a Zoom H1 audio recorder, as their control recorder, they also carry an Extech RHT50 datalogger and a UV flashlight.
Part of the reason that PIM was conducting this investigation was to allow members of CSPR to witness how a scientific paranormal investigation is best conducted. As such, PIM took special care throughout the night to explain why we were using specific techniques and equipment to help CSPR get a better feel for what PIM does on investigations. Everyone met down in the lobby area and discussed the investigation set up with members from CSPR, after which, Matt and Josiah left for the evening and the investigation began.
Claims of Activity
- CSPR was investigating on the 2nd Floor and had a knocking sound occur on a table
- Apparitions of Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur have been seen by residents
- Local legend has it that Lydia Morgan hanged herself in the attic. Though this hasn’t been proven, an apparition of a woman with a noose around her neck is claimed to be seen
- A middle aged man in an overcoat said to resemble Ray Wilbur, son of George, had been seen
- Faculty members still claim to see and hear things
Basement – 10:18 pm
The group sat in various parts of the Basement. Controlled silence was observed for several minutes before beginning an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) session. Controlled silence is a common practice used to tag or document the normal sounds of the building and its surrounding environmental noises. An EVP session is conducted by asking several questions but leaving a minimum of ten seconds between each question in the event a response is captured on a nearby device. Investigators speak in full voice and tag any abnormal noises they might make or hear during an investigation. Common noises that investigators tag are stomach growls, incidental whispering and shifting or moving noises they might create what could be mistaken as something paranormal during evidence review.
No notable activity occurred and no anomalies were recorded during this time. The EVP session was concluded and the group moved to the 1st Floor.
END TIME: 10:56 pm
1st Floor Classroom – 11:04 pm
Due to the size of the room and the separation from the rest of the floor, the group sat themselves throughout the Classroom. Control silence was observed before beginning an EVP session. It was noted that several outside noises could be heard in the Classroom. No activity was reported and the group moved to the remaining area of the 1st Floor.
END TIME: 11:19 pm
1st Floor – 11:21 pm
The group spread out throughout the remaining 1st Floor. Again, control silence was observed before beginning an EVP session.
No activity occurred during this time and the EVP session was concluded. The group moved to the 2nd Floor.
END TIME: 11:45 pm
2nd Floor – 11:49 pm
The group situated themselves throughout the 2nd Floor. Control silence was observed before beginning an EVP session. Shortly after the EVP session was started a “thump” sound was heard at 11:56 pm. Some members of the investigative team thought the sound came from outside while others thought it came from upstairs. After reviewing audio, the sound occurred from downstairs when the Public Safety personnel were leaving the building for a short period of time. At 12:01 am, Brad and Kevin went down stairs to talk to the Public Safety person but said person was out of the building.
At 12:18 am, Jarod’s video camera powered off due to normal battery drainage. Jarod went down to base camp to get a replacement battery. Jarod noted a different Public Safety person came into the building and was standing by the back door waiting for the original Public Safety person to return. Gravy and Jarod went down to basecamp to get an extension cord, a few minutes later, and noted the original Public Safety person was back in the building.
No other activity occurred during this time and the EVP session was concluded. The group moved to the 3rd Floor for the remainder of the investigation.
END TIME: 12:24 am
3rd Floor – 12:26 am
The group spread themselves throughout the 3rd Floor. Control silence was observed before beginning an EVP session. At 12:26 am, two thumps were heard. The thumps were not in response to a question asked and could not be reproduced, thus the thumps were dismissed as anything out of the ordinary.
No other activity occurred and the investigation was concluded.
END TIME: 1:25 am
MacAllister Hall is an interesting location with a long history. Though claims of paranormal activity are abundant, no evidence of the paranormal was captured that night. The purpose of this investigation was not only for training purpose but also to prepare PIM members for another investigation at this same location.
PIM would like to thank CSPR for inviting them to Carroll University to offer their experiences and investigative techniques. PIM looks forward to working with CSPR in future endeavors and hopes, together, both groups can collaborate on research to try and advance the paranormal field