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Barnes Museum - Southington, CT

Investigation Date: April 12, 2018

 

Investigators: David Bray, Chris O'Connor, Melissa Whited

History: E.C.P.S. was contacted by Southington Public Library in Southington, CT for a presentation on paranormal investigations. Because of this, E.C.P.S. wanted to present evidence from Southington to use during the presentation. Therefore, the team asked the library to find possible haunted locations to investigate and were given the contact information for Marie at the Barnes Museum. The museum has had several claims over the years, but no paranormal teams have previously been invited to investigate.

Subjective Claims:

Medium Report

The team and I arrived at the museum at approximately 6:00 PM. We met the caretaker of the museum, Bonnie, in the parking lot and then met the museum director, Marie. The museum was given to the town and library by the last descendant of the name sake, Bradley H. Barnes. We were informed that Mr. Barnes died in 1973 at the age of 93. Along with the home, everything in the house was to stay intact, almost like a time capsule that the modern-day public can learn from and enjoy.

 

The home is quite large. There are multiple bedrooms, gathering spaces, a solarium (goblet room), music room, parlor, standard kitchen, and summer kitchen.  There was a full attic with its own quarantine room and full basement that held some very old “spirits,” ethanol in nature. There was also a barn that houses the overflow of historical items.

After the meet and greet, the team decided to walk the grounds. We took many pictures and I was able to get a sense of what spirits were there and those that may want to provide us any messages to forward onto the staff.

 

We were able to gather some objective evidence throughout the night, but I would have to say that this case was more about validation of both visions and messages I received, along with what Dave received emphatically. So, let’s start.

 

The first vision I received was when I walked to the side of the house that had the second-floor porch. I first heard the women and then saw what I described as a “gaggle” of women all dressed in the finest from the period of the late 19th century. There was an older female whom I identified as the matriarch of the family. She was insisting to her female guests that it was their responsibility to convince their husbands to vote for the man (running for office) her husband wanted to win the election.

 

I received validation from the staff that the Barnes family was very much into politics and that it was one of the central areas of Southington where such gatherings would happen. The staff couldn’t go as far to state that the eldest Mrs. Barnes told such things to her guests but what they know of her from the diaries left in the house, they could imagine such a thing could take place. We know better don’t we (wink wink)?

 

The staff took us on a tour of the museum. Dave and Melissa went with Bonnie and I stayed behind with Marie. Throughout the tour,

two young ladies were following us. They were staying about five paces behind. When I looked back at them, they would put their heads down and giggle. These young ladies were dressed well in attire from the early 20th century. They were little busy bodies, listening to everything Marie and I were saying. When Dave was mentioned, the young ladies would giggle even more. At this moment, Dave was coming up the stairs with a camera and the girls looked at him and turned and quickly walked away.

 

I laughed and smirked at Dave. I said to him that there are two young ladies interested in meeting the new young suitor. I asked Marie about who these young ladies were. I knew that they weren’t related to the Barnes’ but are attached to the house. Marie explained that Mrs. Sylvia Barnes (if I remember correctly) would invite or welcome newcomers to town or country into her home. She would help them out and in return, they would perform servant type duties. These young women often married into well to do families. Marie stated that they would be treated more like family than servants.

 

Marie and I concluded the tour and I caught up with the team to help them with the rest of the setup of equipment. Marie took her leave and we went “lights out.” Our first stop was to the barn. As I always do, I started picking up on energy which turned into visions.

 

We were near the end of investigating the barn when a vision of a young boy around nine or ten appeared with his father. This little boy was so happy to be with his dad, working alongside him, and learning all that he could. This little boy was extremely happy and proud. I saw him struggling to carry his father’s satchel. He helped his father mend fences and care for the horses, and other stable animals. He was genuinely happy to be with his dad.

 

I explained my vision to Bonnie and asked if there was any relevance to this vision and the property. At first, she wasn’t sure but then remembered the previous caretakers of the property. “Pete and Pete,” Bonnie stated. She explained how Pete (the father) would bring his son to work with him. Eventually, Pete (the son) took over as caretaker.

 

While we were still in the barn, I kept hearing a clanging sound, like the bell from a trolley. Then I envisioned well-groomed horses pulling a trolley and then a historical movie-like version occurred showing me the progression of the trolley that serviced the town of Southington. When asked, Bonnie confirmed the trolley used to run right in front of the Barnes’ home.

The three of us split off to do solo sessions. During my session, I received multiple visions. My first vision was of a scandal within the family. There seemed to be a conflict between two spirits. One wanted to hide information from another, but the other wanted the story to be told. The other vision was a connection between the Barnes’ and a former President. I felt that there was a letter in the house from Mr. Lincoln. Finally, I felt my throat being closed off, as if I had something stuck in it with some trouble breathing.

 

The first scandal was validated by the staff of a cousin that suffered from alcoholism. Cousin Eddy eventually died from the disease. The connection between the Barnes’ and a former President is within the collection of the family and is a piece of the death cloth from President Garfield. I mentioned to the staff to keep searching through the correspondence, as there will be a letter from Mr. Lincoln. The feeling of why I felt my throat being cut off and having trouble breathing was explained to us that Alice, Bradley Barnes’ mother, died from consumption or better well known as tuberculosis. 

 

Each case, Dave and I will go off to perform what we call an energy session, usually in one of the rooms that has high claims of paranormal activity. We chose to go to Bradley Barnes’ bedroom. This was an interesting session for me. While attempting to get spirit activity, I received a vision regarding Bradley’s father Norman Barnes. I feel like a gossip, but this is what I saw: Bradley Barnes walking into a room where he interrupted his father in what I would say was a compromising position with a female. The female was not his wife. I feel that Bradley’s

Barn/Tool Shed, 2018

mother Alice, was already passed since Alice died young. Of course, this indiscretion would not have been documented in the

countless diaries in the home. What was validated was that there is documentation that Alice’s brother opposed the union of his sister to Norman Barnes because he discovered inappropriate advances from Norman towards Alice.

 

It came time for me to go into the basement. I didn’t go there during the tour. I decided to go to the basement by myself. I was warned that the ceiling heights were low, so I was to be careful. My first attempt was cut short. I got midway down the stairs and I felt something touch my leg. This startled me, and I immediately returned upstairs (afterward, I debunked this by deciding that my pant leg brushed up against the wall). I wasn’t going to let this stop me, so I returned to the basement and made it to the bottom step. I didn’t explore the basement because I didn’t have a flashlight and I didn’t want to hit my head. 

 

I stood on the bottom step and asked if there was anyone who wanted to come forward. I immediately received a vision of an angelic being with their arms out stretched. This is a sign telling me that this home is safe and free of evil. During this vision, the angel showed me thousands of monarch butterflies being released along with butterflies that were black with purple/blue wings. They flew away and into the light that was emanating from the angelic being.

 

I know that the staff has trepidation about going into the basement. I told them of my vision which I hope lessened their feelings about it. I told them about the butterflies. Apparently, the Barnes Museum is connected to an organization for the conservation of the monarch butterfly. The purple/blue butterfly is related to Marie. The butterfly is an icon on her Reiki business card.

 

So, there it is. This investigation was a lot of fun and very educational. The Barnes Museum is a must visit for those that appreciate history and a wonderful way to discover the times of yesteryears. The spirits that the staff interact with are primarily residual past residents. I believe that Mr. Bradley Barnes is still on the property and interacts with the staff and guests that attend the tours. Mr. Barnes will remain there ensuring that his and his family’s legacy stays intact and available to the public for educational purposes.

 

Christopher O’Connor, M.A.

Co-Founder/Psychic Medium

Eastern CT Paranormal Society

Empath Report

Before the investigation, I picked up some energy on a woman whose name began with an “L.” For whatever reason, the feeling of “creativity” popped into my mind.

 

When we arrived at the Barnes Museum around 6:00 PM, I immediately began to feel the massive amount of energy that the home was emitting. I found myself drawn to certain windows from the exterior of the property. I would later learn that the windows I was drawn to, were in fact Emma Barnes’ bedroom and the attic.

 

After introductions, we were given a tour of the property by Marie and Bonnie. We decided to separate our group to avoid putting excess energy throughout the house (which can interfere with readings). Marie gave Chris his tour while Bonnie gave one to Melissa and me. One of the first things I noticed was the butler’s pantry, as I felt it was giving off a “busy” type of energy. According to Bonnie, this pantry is a hot spot for paranormal activity, and I feel that the spirit(s) who rattle the cabinets in there are doing so out of habit, particularly around dinner time. I did not receive any other empathic messages from the lower level of the house.

 

However, upstairs was different. Bonnie took Melissa and I upstairs which led to a bedroom and a long hallway. I immediately asked Bonnie if the bedroom in front of us belonged to a female and she confirmed that it belonged to Emma Barnes. I am not sure if Emma was a writer, or enjoyed writing, but I felt as if someone were recording their thoughts in a diary or journal. The hallway proved to be interesting as well in that it gave off a lot of residual energy. I felt happiness, sadness, pensiveness, and even a sense of playfulness while walking down the hall. I would later find out that this hallway is notorious for recreating the sound of footsteps. Residual spirits tend to leave behind traces of energy that repeat common events from their lives in a repetitive fashion and since this hallway was such a busy place, I believe that is why I felt so many emotions upon entering it. Before we left the second level, the “L” name from before the investigation popped back into my head. Only this time, it was clear as day. The name was Leila.

When we entered the attic, I immediately said to Bonnie, “This room has been used for something else, right? Other than storage?” I felt a heavy sensation on my chest, shortness of breath, and a tickle in my throat. Later, Bonnie confirmed that it used to be a contamination room, primarily for tuberculosis.

 

I received empathic messages of a woman who used to look out of the attic windows. It was later told to me that Leila Barnes had a painting room in the attic and used to stand by the window. The name “Leila” that I received downstairs confirmed the message and my feeling of creativity prior to the investigation. I also received a vision of several men who were loading or moving boxes.

 

These men were shirtless and sweating as it was a hot summer day. However, I am not sure if there is validation behind this vision, but I was told that it is possible.

 

Further into the investigation, our team went up into the attic with Marie and Bonnie to perform communication sessions. During this session, we had several hits on the spirit box and caught several EVPs. Unfortunately, the EVPs were mostly inaudible. At one point, I began to hear a music box playing. I asked Marie if there were any music boxes nearby and she confirmed that there were two of them downstairs on the second level. After the session, we ventured down to look and the music box in Leila’s bedroom next to her bed played the exact same tune that I heard in the attic. I am convinced that Leila and I share common traits and she was reaching out to me throughout the night because of this.

 

During a solo session in the upstairs hallway, I asked the two girls that Chris saw earlier to come forward. I asked them to come sit with me and talk. They would peek around the corners but would not come any closer as they were too shy. I am unsure who these girls are. I simply know they are frequent visitors to

Staircase to the Upstairs Hallway, 2018

the home. It was also during this time that I received a female “C” name with two syllables. My interpretation of this

name is “Clara,” but I am not sure if it is relevant to the history of the home or if there was ever a “Clara Barnes.”

 

Overall, the Barnes Museum is a fantastic and beautiful home with tons of history. It is a must-see museum in the state of Connecticut and ranks as one of the most interesting places I have ever seen. The energy that it gives off is radiant, rich, and profound on many levels. I look forward to re-visiting and hopefully re-investigating the Barnes Museum in the future.

 

David Bray, B.S., L.M.T.

Co-Founder/Psychic Empath

Eastern CT Paranormal Society

Objective Findings:

  • Photos:

    • No photographic evidence was found. We took a lot of pictures and had some POSSIBLE hits but they were not substantial enough to warrant publication.

  • Audio:

    • Several EVPs were captured during the investigation, but most were inaudible as they were too quiet. The ones posted below are the highlights:

  • Video:

    • After 45 hours of video evidence review, our IR camera that was set up in the Parlor caught this orb:

Assessment:

Paranormal Level: Grade 2 – Objective findings include evidence of an EVP in direct relationship with a photo or video. The Spirit Box or other item responds to direct questions with relevancy to the history of the residence and/or the occupants (including the paranormal team).

The Barnes Museum received a 'Grade 2' rating because of the direct correspondence between our team and the museum's rich history. We consider the museum to be "spirited" as opposed to "haunted." Keep in mind, there are no malevolent or harmful spirits here. It is a beautiful home full of historical items and a plethora of information. The museum houses tons of residual energy from its use over the years. Every room you enter, every item you touch, and everywhere you look has a story to tell. The energy it gives off is incredible; it is like taking a walk through time.

We are unsure if there are intelligent spirits present in the museum. We did receive a couple intelligent EVPs and Spirit Box responses, but they were not significant enough to make a clear cut determination. To best understand what we experienced, please scroll up to find Chris' medium report and my empath report.

Plan: We would absolutely love to re-investigate the Barnes Museum. We received a lot of information during our investigation, but there are still more questions than answers. Now that we have a general idea of the layout, the history, and have experienced the house's energy - we are positive we can find further evidence of the wonderful spirits that inhabit the home. If you get a chance to visit, please do. It truly is a magnificent museum and the staff is fantastic. They are extremely knowledgeable and friendly, and will welcome you with open arms.

Captain Grant's Inn - Preston, CT

Investigation Date: January 22, 2016

 

Investigators: David Bray, Chris O’Connor, Melissa Whited, Lisa O’Connor, Emily O’Connor

Guest Investigators: Kristina Shavor-Lincoln, Anna Smith, Raul Rosa

 

History: Captain Grant's Inn, a rustic and beautiful bed-and-breakfast, finds its home in Preston, CT. For over two centuries, the inn provided refuge and safety to soldiers and travelers alike.

 

In 1754, Captain William Grant built this remarkable home for his wife Mercy and their children. Even though Captain Grant died at sea, the house served the Grant family for three generations.

 

During the Revolutionary War, soldiers of the Continental Army were garrisoned there. During the Civil War, escaped slaves were sheltered there; as part of the Underground Railroad. Poquetanuck's oldest cemetery is also located in the woods behind the inn.

 

In the mid-1990's, the inn went through a significant renovation. It now houses five rooms, six gas fireplaces, and a three-story balcony.

 

The inn itself has become known for its eerie activity. Each room contains a guestbook which features handwritten accounts from guests whom have encountered unexplained phenomena in the home. One room in particular - the Adelaide Room - is considered the most active room in the house. Such reports from guests talk about hearing footsteps and random knockings throughout the night, seeing full body apparitions, TVs turning off by themselves, children having full conversations with spirits, and more. The owners describe the activity in a positive light and are convinced there are only good spirits present in the home.

 

Captain Grant's Inn is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and has been featured on several news outlets and TV programs including A&E's "Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal."

Subjective Claims:

  • Chris:

    • Before the initial investigation, he was driving by and saw spirits standing in and around the front of the inn. A young woman gestured him to “come inside.”

    • An African American woman came to him and gave him a message of indiscretion or something secretive happening.  She wanted to tell him, but another spirit that was guiding her told her not to.

    • Another spirit had also visited him and gave him the impression that she was the mistress of the home and was also inviting our group to come and visit.

    • Upon arriving at the inn, he immediately began to get messages and visions. The spirits wanted to clue him in on some of the history of the home. The first vision he received was of a gentleman carrying a young male child wrapped in what he calls “death swaddling.” He got very little information about the man, but the woman that was in the vision was very sad and all he got was that her name began with the letter “M.”  The boy’s name was John, Paul, or John Paul.

    • He also received a message from the mistress that she did not approve of vulgar language, particularly from females.  She said to him, “Females that speak vulgarity are not ladies.” There were also two young females that were in their mid to late teens that were smitten by the two eligible males on the team.  One of them wanted to secretly kiss them so he said, “Go ahead, but don’t let your parents see.”

    • He was sitting at the dining room table when another spirit appeared between Emily and Melissa. This man was a servant and appeared to be asking or gesturing if there were any needs of the guests. His guess is that he turned and left because he did not get a response.

    • While in the Adelaide Room, lying with his wife, he felt something touching his hand. He also received a vision of a mother and child coming from the bathroom.  They were standing in the doorway of the bathroom in their nightclothes. The mother was caring for the little girl who was sick.

  • David:

    • He experienced cold spots and feelings of being watched, particularly in the attic and the Adelaide Room.

    • Throughout the night, while lying in bed, he heard noises coming from the attic, as if someone was walking around.

  • Melissa:

    • While in the attic, she experienced severe cold spots and feelings of being watched.

    • She believes the inn gave off a warm, positive feeling.

  • Emily:

    • Before the investigation, she began receiving information about the inn.  Each time she thought about the inn or prepared for the investigation, she received senses of sadness to the point where she felt that she wanted to cry.  She took notes of her feelings and these were discussed post-investigation.

    • While lying in bed, she heard noises coming from the attic, as if someone was walking around.

  • Lisa:

    • She experienced a similar feeling as Chris while in the Adelaide Room.  She saw what she thought was the shadow of a child run across the foot of the bed from the bathroom towards the dresser.

  • Anna & Raul:

    • While in the dining room, they heard a door slam shut coming from what sounded like the kitchen. They investigated and could not find any explanation.

    • While in the attic, Anna felt something or someone touch the top of her head.

  • Kristina:

    • After everyone went to bed, Kristina heard what sounded like, “A ball bouncing down the hall.” In the morning, she asked if anyone else had heard the noise and no one else had. Before breakfast, a tennis ball was found under a chair that no one remembered seeing. It also does not show in any of the pictures from the investigation.

 

Objective Findings:

  • Photos:

    • Before the investigation began, we decided to take a group picture. There are two reasons that we do this.  One is to have a picture for prosperity – the other is to see if there are any more people in the picture other than those who were actually there. Chris asked John, one of the inn’s staff, if he would mind taking the picture. He asked for the group to be in front of the painting of the sea captain. Sure enough, after reviewing all of the photos that were taken, Anna noticed someone else in one of the pictures. We reviewed this picture and concluded that there is a reflection in the window that resembles the sea captain. Our professional opinion is that the captain was standing next to John while he took the picture. Here is the picture:

  • While taking photos in the dining room, David captured a photo of “Cat’s Eyes.” They seem to be traveling in pairs:
  • While in the attic, Melissa stated that she felt extremely cold. As she said this, David took a picture and captured this photo of an orb:

  • Audio:

    • Several EVPs were captured by our audio devices. Most of these were intelligent responses to questions that were being asked.

  • Video:

    • In the Elizabeth Room, it looks like a manifestation began to occur, but suddenly dissipated. No one was in the room at the time.

    • While in the attic, Dave, Melissa, and Emily were using a flashlight to communicate with the spirits of the inn. Throughout their time, they had a full conversation with the spirits of two children who were fascinated by the flashlight. The flashlight turned on in an intelligent fashion in response to specific questions and specific questions only.

 

Assessment:

We want to start off by saying what a wonderful and beautiful place this is.  Captain Grant’s Inn is a must stay for anyone; even more for paranormal investigators.  The owners and staff were extremely nice and generous towards all of us.

 

Paranormal Level: Grade 4 – Objective findings include evidence captured by a photo or video of a partial or full-body apparition. This can be a "shadow" person or a mist with the clear definition of a body. This also includes apparitions that are caught in reflections of windows and/or mirrors.

 

There is evidence of aggressive behavior without inflicting harm. For example, there is clear documentation of pushing, tripping or audible vulgar language that has been captured by EVPs or any other audible devices. There is evidence of objects moving.

 

Overall, Captain Grant’s Inn receives a paranormal ‘Grade 4’ rating. As far as we can tell, there are no malevolent or evil spirits inhabiting the inn. The inn is a friendly, warm environment with plenty of residual and intelligent spirits present. They are curious, friendly, and willing to communicate. They may spook you from time to time, but they mean no harm.

 

Captain Grant’s was an amazing experience and a great stay for everyone. The amount of evidence retrieved along with personal subjective experiences made this investigation well worth it. We would definitely recommend the inn to anyone for the New England charm and certainly for any paranormal team that wants to investigate without being let down. We’d like to thank the owners for allowing our team to come and investigate the inn.

 

Plan:

Our team would love to return to Captain Grant’s Inn someday; not only for investigation purposes, but as a means to enjoy a weekend with our loved ones. It truly is a beautiful place.

 

If the owners will have us, we’ll be back again to try and attain more evidence of the spirits that inhabit the inn.

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