The Group arrived at Ripon College Rodman Center for the Arts at 4:30 pm. Professor Marc Eaton met them and helped carry all the equipment into Benstead Theater. They chose to use the stage in Benstead Theater as home base and began preparing for the evenings investigation. The group started and time stamped their control recorders. It is important to have recorders running during the entire time spent at the location. At 5:00 pm Jann took outdoor condition readings, Gravy, Noah, and Tony set up cameras in the Theatre and Missy began to take baseline readings to establish the EMF levels throughout the building. At 5:45 pm a Professor from Ripon College arrived to give the group a tour of the building and share some stories of activity that had occurred. While they walked through the building Missy continued to take baseline readings. They finished their tour at 5:45 pm.
After The Professor left, the group established a plan as to where equipment needed to be set up. Cameras and equipment were set up by the group, Gravy blackened out lights with black plastic, and trigger objects were placed. It was then time to break for dinner but first the group turned on all cameras and voice recorders. It is beneficial to have equipment running while no one is present in the building. During this “quiet time” activity could occur and be discovered during evidence review. At 8:22 pm the group arrived back from dinner. Their control recorders, which had been shut off during their time at dinner, were again started. At 8:31 pm Gravy saw a black mass pass by the IR light in The Theatre. No one else was looking in that direction leaving Gravy the only witness to the event. It was then decided to start the night off with the first EVP session in Benstead Theatre.
Benstead Theater – 8:41 pm
The group situated themselves throughout The Theater. Noah and Gravy sat on the stage and Jann, Missy, Marc and Tony sat in the audience seats. At 8:41 pm the team observed five minutes of controlled silence to accustom themselves with the normal sounds throughout The Theater. The Theatre is mostly quiet with the exception of the mechanical sound of the heat being on.
At 8:45 pm Noah started the EVP session by introducing the group. After asking if anyone would like to communicate, Marc heard a sound of shuffling coming from the left of him. Jann and Noah heard what they thought was a similar sound. Missy was sitting to Marc’s left but did not hear the same noise. Many attempts were made to communicate with “Raphael” or anyone else who would be interested in communicating but no responses were heard by the group. At 8:55 pm Gravy heard a sound that he described as the sound of bass coming from a speaker but Noah thought it was something mechanical making the noise. The group agreed that it was most likely mechanical. At 9:00 pm Noah heard a ticking noise to the right of him. It is undetermined what that noise could have been. Shortly after at 9:04 pm it was decided to end this EVP session and investigate another room.
At 9:08 pm the group was walking out of Benstead Theater and into the main entryway when Noah heard what he described as a high pitched sigh. Immediately the group tried to debunk the noise by opening and closing the double door to The Theater. Noah stated that the doors were not similar to the sound he had heard. The group documented the experience and moved on to investigate Demmer Recital Hall.
END TIME: 9:04 pm
Demmer Recital Hall – 9:20 pm
The group walked to Demmer Recital Hall and once there realized that the security lights from the hallway outside The Hall needed to be darkened. Noah and Gravy went back to the Theater to retrieve tape and the black plastic used to darken rooms. They successfully covered the lights and proceeded in to The Hall. First the group made sure that all cameras and voice recorders were operating properly. Once it was determined that all equipment was working the group situated themselves around The Hall. It was then time to observe five minutes of controlled silence and begin an EVP session.
Gravy began by pointing out all the musical instruments near him. He asked if anyone would like to communicate perhaps they could play the pipe organ or any of the instruments that were in The Hall. After he asked that Gravy noticed that there was a red light in the back of the room. Tony was sitting closest to the light and determined that it was a light on the wall. He then took black electrical tape and covered the light so it could not be mistaken as something paranormal or reflect onto anything.
After the lights were all covered and the room was completely darkened the group continued the EVP session. At 9:44 pm a snapping noise was heard by everyone. Moments after the noise occurred Missy stated that she had the sensation of a spider web brushing against her face. Gravy said that he had experienced the same feeling at the same time that she did. At that time Noah asked Missy to move from her seat at the end of the first row to the center of the row to make certain that she was in the camera shot. After she was settled in her new location, at 9:47 pm, Noah and Tony heard a strange noise. It was not heard by anyone else and it is uncertain as to where it could have come from. Shortly after at 9:50 pm everyone was able to hear a noise that sounded like a chair being dragged across the floor. After this experience at 9:55 pm Marc stepped out and returned at 9:58 pm. At 9:59 pm the group decided to end this EVP session.
END TIME: 9:59 pm
Basement/Makeup Room – 10:16 pm
The group decided it was time to investigate the Makeup Room located in the basement level. Once they got into the room and closed the door Noah and Tony discovered that there was light coming in from the bottom of the door. It was important to completely darken this room because of the abundance of mirrors located on the walls could cause light to reflect in various places around the room. This could mistakenly be interpreted as something paranormal. They spent some time covering the bottom of the door and made the room completely dark. After that process was complete the group spread themselves out around the room.
At 10:21 pm Noah asked for five minutes of controlled silence. After the group determined what sounds they were able to hear, which were mostly mechanical noises coming from the furnace, it was time to start an EVP session. Noah began by introducing the group and making it known that we were not there to harm anyone. The group continued to ask if anyone in the room was getting ready for a show or if they were there getting the actor ready. After a line of questions, at 10:43 pm, Gravy saw a shadow that appeared in front of his face and had blocked out the light in front of him. This was not captured on video.
After this occurred Noah decided to make sure all camera batteries were still operational. The battery in Noah’s camera had died and he proceeded to go upstairs to Base Camp to retrieve a new battery. At 10:57 pm he arrived at Base Camp and heard what he described as a squeaky noise and shuffling coming from the Catwalk. He came back down to the Makeup Room and changed his battery. It was then decided to end this EVP session and investigate the Benstead Theater in hopes of hearing that shuffling noise again.
END TIME: 11:02 pm
Benstead Theater – 11:07 pm
The group decided that Gravy should go sit on the Catwalk since that was the location that Noah had heard the noise coming from. The rest of the group spread themselves out throughout the Theater. Shortly after beginning the EVP session, at 11:11 pm, Tony, Missy and Noah heard the sound of something dragging near the Back Stage. Noah thought the sound may be something mechanical. The group continued the EVP session and asked many questions and tried enticing any form of communication. At 11:41 pm Noah, Tony, and Jann heard a sound of someone moving in a chair. It was unclear where the sound was coming from. It was then decided to take a short break and check all equipment throughout the Building.
END TIME: 11:41 pm
Music Rooms – 12:27 am
After a short break the group decided to investigate the Music Section. The group spread themselves out amongst the Piano Practice Rooms except Noah who sat outside of the Practice Rooms. The group began with five minutes of controlled silence. It was determined that this portion of the Building was extremely quiet. At 12:31 am they were ready to begin an EVP session. Many attempts were made but no activity was reported during this EVP session. It was decided to end this EVP session and move to a new location at 12:41 am.
END TIME: 12:41 am
Art Room – 1:04 am
The group decided to investigate the Art Room next. The group situated themselves around the room and began by observing five minutes of controlled silence. The group then attempted communication with a line of questioning that evolved into normal conversation amongst the group. This tactic is sometimes used to entice paranormal communication. It is uncertain why this works but there is a theory that whatever might be there feels ignored and wants to make their presence known or would like to join into the conversation. Unfortunately in this case there was no reported activity and at 1:37 am it was decided to end this EVP session.
END TIME: 1:37 am
Acting Studio/Hallway/Props Room – 1:48 am
The group decided to cover the section of the Building from the Acting Studio to the Props Room. Noah and Gravy sat in the Studio, Missy and Tony sat in the Hallway, and Jann and Marc sat in the Props Room. The group began with the usual five minutes of controlled silence. The group began their last EVP session of the evening. They asked many questions and tried to communicate but no activity was reported. It was then decided to wrap up the investigation and break down of the equipment began.
END TIME: 2:01 am
No evidence was collected during this investigation
The claims of activity at the Rodman Center for the Arts have been very interesting. Unfortunately “Rapheal” did not make an appearance during our investigation. It was great to be able to investigate directly the claims of activity that have been rampant at Ripon College of many years. Though none of the activity was captured via equipment the night of the investigation, it is the professional opinion of PIM that further research would need to be conducted before a final conclusion could be made about the paranormal activity at this particular location.
PIM would like to thank those who made this investigation possible, especially Professor Marc Eaton and the staff at Rodman for setting up this investigation and giving us permission to do it. PIM would be happy to come back to do a follow-up investigation at a later date.