Thursday, May 30, 2024

HGB Ep. 540 - Edinburgh Manor

Moment in Oddity (Suggested by Karen Miller) - Barnett Grave in Road

We have heard about bodies getting exhumed to be relocated to new burial sites. Near Franklin, Indiana, along County Road 400 there lies a most unique grave. Nancy Kerlin Barnett died in 1831 and was buried on a hill overlooking Sugar Creek. By 1912, the community planned to build a road which would run through the existing cemetery. The decision was made to exhume and move the bodies to a new location. As the construction proceeded, the grandson of Nancy protected her grave by brandishing a shotgun. He stated that the location was where his grandmother wished to be buried and he would not allow her body to be moved. The workers conceded and built the road around her grave. A headstone and historical marker identified her plot for decades. In 2016, the road was in need of repair and the preparations entailed exhuming Nancy's body temporarily while the road was worked on, then she would be replaced once the road was finished. To the astonishment of everyone involved, six more bodies were discovered during the exhumation. Two women, a man and four children were found.  Once the road and median were completed, the bodies were reinterred and a new marker was placed on the spot. People still leave coins and flowers at the burial today. It was surmised that perhaps Nancy's grandson fought the exhumation due to the fear of a family secret being uncovered. The burial is definitely one of the most unique gravesites in the United States to date and certainly is odd.

This Month in History - SpaceX Dragon

In the month of May, on the 25th, in 2012, SpaceX's Dragon C2+ capsule became the first commercial spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station. The flight was performed under a funded agreement from NASA as the second Dragon demonstration mission in the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services also known as the (COTS) program. This was the first American spacecraft to visit the ISS since the conclusion of the Space Shuttle program. The initial launch from Cape Canaveral took place three days earlier on May 22nd. Various objectives were completed successfully prior to the docking which was accomplished utilizing the Canadarm2 to capture and dock the Dragon. For nearly six days the spacecraft stayed docked at the ISS while astronauts unloaded its cargo and then reloaded cargo destined for Earth. On May 31st, Dragon undocked from the ISS and its capsule landed in the Pacific Ocean off the California coast. All the objectives of the mission were successfully completed, and the Falcon 9-Dragon system was then authorized to begin regular cargo delivery missions to the ISS under the Commercial Resupply Services program.

Edinburgh Manor (Suggested by: Karen Miller) 

The Joker isn't just a comic book villain. This is an entity said to reside at the Edinburgh Manor in Scotch Grove, Iowa and he too seems to be a villain. The manor was once a poor farm and as we have found through the years, these locations tend to come with haunts. After the original poor farm was dismantled, the brick manor was built and used to house the mentally ill, disabled and elderly. There are several spirits who have joined the Joker here. Join us as we explore the history and hauntings of the Edinburgh Manor!

Edinburgh Manor sits a few miles south of Scotch Grove in the middle of eleven acres of cornfields, making it an easier place to investigate because there isn't a bunch of outside contamination. The land upon which the manor sits was originally set aside for the construction of a courthouse. The plan originally was to have the then-town of Edinburgh serve as the county seat for Jones County. President Buchanan had signed a grant for that purpose in June 1840. This was section 36 in Wayne Township. When the decision was made to build the courthouse elsewhere, commissioners kept the grant so that they could build a poor farm. It was going to be needed because the area would become impoverished as Edinburgh faded away. The first settlers in this area had come from the Red River Settlement that had been in Winnipeg, Manitoba. These were called the Selkirk Settlers because they were sponsored by Lord Selkirk. This group had been through a lot. Fur traders had tried to drive them West and by the time they got to the future Scotch Grove, they were starved and terrorized. Their ancestors had experienced the same as they were evicted from Scotland during the Highland Clearances. This Scottish heritage is where the name Scotch Grove came from. The town was officially laid out in 1872 and remained a rural crossroads community despite having a train depot.

Several decades before Scotch Grove was officially founded, the poor farm was built on section 36 in Wayne Township. A husband and wife team known as the matron and steward would run the poor farm for the government and raise their children there. If you lived on the farm, you worked on the farm. Most residents were elderly, disabled people abandoned by their families, the incurably insane and orphaned children. During the nineteenth century, poor farms popped up all over America as a way to house and care for the indigent and needy. By the 1950s, most poor farms were gone. In 1909, it was decided to replace the residential facility on the land with a better building and that was finished in 1912. This new rendition was run as a county home and stood two stories with a basement and was built from red brick. The building covered 12,000-square-feet. The manor was split by gender with male inmates in the west wing and women in the east wing. 

From the time of the poor house to the closing of the manor, at least 230 people died on the property. There were suicides, disease and natural death. If families didn't collect the bodies, they were buried in a pauper cemetery on the grounds. By the 2000s, there were very few people living here, somewhere between 20 and 40 residents. The county government decided to hire a not-for-profit company to provide care. And before long there was a scandal, which led to a Medicaid fraud investigation that uncovered mismanagement and abuse and the sexual assault of a resident by three employees at another facility that the company managed. The company was fired and Edinburgh Manor was cited for being “dangerous… and not conducive to having disabled people live there.” On top of that, Social Security and other public safety nets had made the need for these kinds of facilities obsolete. The manor closed officially in 2010.

The building was bought in 2011 and reopened for tours and paranormal investigations under the ownership of Cindy Anderson and her partner. The initial plan was to renovate this into a bed and breakfast, but that didn't happen. The building needs much love as the paint is peeling heavily from the walls, ceiling fan blades are literally drooping and everything is in a state of disrepair. Anderson told Curious Iowa that they figured out that the property was haunted after her partner spent a night alone in the manor shortly after they acquired the property. About midnight he went to go to sleep with his dog on an upper floor and he called Anderson to tell her that something was touching his foot right at that moment. Something he couldn't see. And then the dog pops up out of a dead sleep and she starts barking and doing a guttural growl. Anderson's partner described the feeling as though someone was squeezing his foot and releasing it, over and over. Then a family member asked if he could investigate the place and after some hesitation, Anderson agreed. They hadn't told this family member what had happened or what room it happened in and in Room 200, which had been where the paranormal touch happened, the investigators caught an EVP that said, "I grabbed you." 

Over the years, Anderson has been pushed and had her hair pulled. She believes that the time she was pushed, was by The Joker because she was down in the basement. Everybody agrees that whatever The Joker is, it is a malevolent spirit. Once, it threw a bunch of dishes. It keeps to the basement, mainly in the boiler room and a small padded cell on the opposite end of the basement, and has appeared as an apparition and has grabbed and choked people. He is said to have ended his life in the padded cell. There are claims that this is a demon and that it is joined by four other demons down there. Uh huh. There are several other spirits in the building. Visitors and investigators claim that there is a spirit of a little girl. She has been heard playing and laughing and likes to play with toys. She has rolled balls when asked. There may also be a second child as well. Both seem to stick to the first floor and any poltergeist activity is attributed to them. There is a Puzzle Room where jigsaw puzzles still remain, partially completed, and that sometimes pieces follow guests home without them knowing. Toys light up on their own and move, doors slam on their own and people have heard the disembodied running of children. One of the most common things that happens is that stairway doors open and close on their own. Paranormal Investigator Noah Leigh was in the men's recreation side when his group heard a door close on its own.

Another spirit may be connected to a brutal rape that occurred in the manor on the first floor. People claim that there is an uncomfortable presence in that room. A woman in white has been seen on the second floor landing dozens of times. Is she connected to this rape or is she another woman? She vanishes after being seen. Paranormal investigator Marilsa, of Paranormal Investigators of Milwaukee, claimed when the group investigated the manor that she saw a white mist near the ceiling while they were setting up. It's thought this might be connected to the lady in white.

We were watching this video by Twin Paranormal, which is a team of three young men, and the story they tell about one of the ghosts started this way, "This next story is about an elderly man in his fifties..." WHAT!? Geez Kelly, now we are elderly. Anyway, the story continues that his family abandoned him here at the manor and he was very upset about it. He decided to tie a bedsheet around a door handle and then around his neck and he hanged himself. This man is now seen walking the halls as a dark or shadow entity. Some stories claim that the man was actually a janitor who hanged himself in the janitor closet. Twin Paranormal had a ton of interaction, loud bangs and noises, lots of words coming across an ovilus. They were told that there were seven spirits there and that one is bad. About 30 minutes in there was an interaction that peaked our interest. They asked the spirits to either speak into a device or interact with the devices that were set up and the ovilus said, "We will hurt." Now, these guys assumed that perhaps the spirits were threatening them. We were wondering if the spirits were saying that touching the devices would hurt them. We've been told that in the past. They were down in the basement and when they asked where the Joker was, they got "Boiler Room" across the ovilus. During the hours long investigation "tall man" came up twice when the team mentioned The Joker. It is said that the Joker appears to be tall and slender. There is a Basement Kitchen Office and Cindy Anderson saw a tall male ghost down there with a brown cowboy type hat and a long duster coat. It was in the middle of the day. Could this have been the Joker?

Paranormal Quest investigated in 2022. They are a great team that goes into these places with respect and because of that, they got this endearing and sad interaction with a spirit that said its name was Mark and that he ended up here because he had PTSD from combat. "Please help" and "pray" came through the spirit box. They caught shuffling and loud thumping on video. @theamazingoz9764 commented under their video on YouTube, "I’ve toured it with my dad and felt something tap my shoulder with no one behind me." Ghost Adventures investigated during Season 11 Episode 1. Zak was sitting in the Padded Room and claimed to be "possessed" and felt an evil presence in there. Billy was in the Basement Laundry Room and a plate was knocked off a table and shattered and it spooked him real good. On the SLS camera they captured what appeared to be a figure the size of a child. Aaron said he saw a tall and slender figure down in the basement.

Paranormal Investigators of Milwaukee wrote on their website, "Personal claims in the basement are not at all uncommon. On a previous investigation, one of our investigators was walking into the Main Basement Hallway from the Basement Kitchen together with a second investigator when she felt the second investigator pull on her arms as if to stop her. When the investigator turned around to see why she was being stopped, she realized that our other investigator was in another room at least twenty feet from her. During a recent public investigation at Edinburgh Manor, hosted by PIM, one of our guests claimed to experience what she described as a hand on the back of her neck which were at the same time cold and burning hot. Although she was completely fine after a minute or so, her neck was observed to have a pronounced red mark after this occurrence. Although we are unable to say that this was anything but a personal claim, it still adds to the mystery of Edinburgh Manor’s famous basement."  

Ace wrote a year ago, "Always love coming here, been here 8 times now and always seem to experience something new. I've caught a female's voice on evp in the boiler room responding to a question I asked. Also the last time we went on 9/12/22 the person i was with left the restroom house to meet me in the manor and she heard kids playing and screaming and we went across the street to the small cemetery at 9pm and as we were leaving to go back to the manor she heard a little kid laugh at me due to me saying it was creepy in the cemetery. Same night we went to 2nd floor of manor where we were told the resident of the back room liked bird songs so we set up an evp and a YouTube video of birds singing and as we were sitting in the hall in the dark we heard someone say something it was like a whisper but unfortunately the evp didn't catch it due to being turned off." 

A man named Sean had gone to the manor for a photo shoot and they did a little exploring after. He said, "Forgot to mention that while we were in the attic, we heard an organ playing. There is an organ in the front room as you walk through the front entrance, but it doesn't work." A paranormal group investigating in 2021 left a recorder in Room 200 and caught a clear EVP saying, "Hello." Another group wrote in a review, "Our group first went there in 2013 and we try to go there every year. Full body apparitions, beds being dragged, strange lights, and much more!"

Paranormal Investigator Chris Nielsen spent five days and nights alone in the manor back in 2013. He wrote the book "Fear and Fascination in Edinburgh Manor" about his experiences there. He told the Paranormal Housewife Blog this about the manor, "The place is alive. Some strange type of organism. Each individual spirit in the building contribute to making the Edinburgh Manor a ‘living’ thing, like cells in the body. The halls speak. The walls have eyes. If you listen closely, you can hear it breathe." She also shares on the blog, "He said that they have heard “blood curdling” screaming. People have asked why they were screaming inside the manor but it wasn’t either of them. Chris said that the sound echos down the hallways. Another thing that Chris said that he has experienced is hearing an infant crying. He said that hearing it really unsettled him. He said that a former employee was talking to him during an investigation when the former employee said that he use to hear an infant crying while he worked the night shift. Chris also said that sounds are constant in Edinburgh Manor. He said that knocks, taps, bumps, voices, doors slamming and other noises are constantly happening. He said that the first night he spent the night at the manor, he was only able to sleep for maybe half an hour because of all of the noises. 'The manor has a way of playing cat and mouse with whoever in it.' He recounted a time during an investigation that the group he was with listened to a full on conversation between an older man and what he assumed was a child...He said that he has heard both plates and chairs being thrown. He also warned that people do get touched. Some of it is light touches or hair being lifted up but they have seen bruises and other marks from the not as polite spirits that roam the halls...they have experienced disembodied humming, a small green light, and even a full bodied apparition. They have also played peek-a-boo with a shadow form. Chris also had a note about The Joker. He said that Kelly believes it is a former tenant who had a mental disability that kept him from socializing normally. Chris thinks its an old maintenance man who believes he still has a claim to the manor and likes to try to keep the manor his." 

Desination Fear investigated the Manor and they captured disembodied footsteps. In the basement they asked the Joker to set off a REM Pod across the room and it did. There was definite audible laughing in the distance in the basement. They captured a snarling EVP, which was very creepy. At the end of the EVP Session Dakota says that it is the spirits last chance to say something before they turn off the recorder and there is a very loud "No!" that sounded bizarre, like a screech or something.

*How we would go about investigating the basement.*

Edinburgh Manor is ripe for hauntings with its history. Poor farms and county homes and asylums all seem to be magnets for paranormal activity. Very few enter here without getting some kind of paranormal evidence. Is Edinburgh Manor haunted? That is for you to decide!

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