A Test Case For Psychic Perception

Kat Chelten, Sarah Chelten, Christopher Tillman, and Jennifer Shortridge

Recently, the Haunted Toledo crew ventured out to a private residence* in Lucas County. Private residences are generally not my forte. As you all know, I tend to stick to more historic locations and leave the private residences for Haunted Toledo’s Residential Response Team. But this particular location caught my interest and, after hearing about the specific claims of supernatural activity from the owner, I wanted to see if for myself.

Long story short, the former occupants of the home died (illness-related and years apart). The home has been virtually untouched or lived in since, and is now under the care of family members.

Multiple eyewitnesses have since reported strange claims associated with the house such as noises, “heavy” feelings, being watched and touched, small objects coming up missing only to reappear later, and apparitions of the former owner. Activity tends to increase when changes are made to the property, such as the planting of new and different flowers in the yard, or if family heirlooms are moved or taken from the house.

The current owners believe the former owners may still be present in the home. HT was tasked with confirming these suspicions and, if we determined them to be valid, to ascertain how the spirits would react to the sale or renovation of the house. This home was a point of pride in the family; a symbol of a family’s accomplishments, and there was a concern that the previous owners would not appreciate it if the house was sold or rented.

I discussed at length with the current owner what they were experiencing, the family history, and the key spots in the house where activity seemed the most prevalent. When I plan HT’s investigations, I’ll also include one or two “sub-investigations.” This would include things like testing out new equipment, new techniques, etc. During last night’s investigation I decided to include the field-test of a new type of camera as well as testing Sarah Chelten’s sensitivity to paranormal energies.

For the camera, I am introducing the use of bodycams to HT’s list of gadgets we carry into the field. These are the same types of bodycams used by law enforcement. We’ll still be using the standard IR camera rigs as we have in past investigations, but the addition of bodycams now ensures that every angle is covered during an investigation.

As for Sarah, she has developed a pretty good track record for her seeming ability to sense spirit energy. I prefer to think of her as a ‘sensitive.’ I hesitate to use terms like “psychic” or “medium” because not only are those terms sorely over-used but I also find them a bit pretentious as well. (My opinion.)

Anyway, her canny ability for knowing just where to find spirit energy can no longer be brushed off as “dumb luck.” Her ability has been instrumental in places like Georgjz419 and the Bone House, and it helped HT record some of the most fascinating video I’ve ever seen at the Brown Building. But, don’t worry. Haunted Toledo is still all about history and facts. We’re not going to start morphing into one of those groups that rely on unproven claims issued by wild-eyed psychics any time soon. We’re still all about collecting tangible proof of hauntings. Still, Sarah’s abilities have me curious and last night was the perfect night to test them.

Prior to the investigation, I told no one about the house, the claims, or about the lives of the former owners. They all went into this cold. The first step was to have Sarah walk the house alone and then report back her impressions.

Sarah Chelten and Jennifer Shortridge

When entering the house, there is a small room on the right. This room, in particular, was a symbol of a great deal of loss for the family for it was intended to be used as a nursery for twins who did not make it. Sarah immediately picked up on the heavy sense of sadness surrounding this room.

In the bedroom used by the home’s former owner, many say they’ve sensed a presence and even an apparition. Sarah picked up on this as well. In fact, most of the crew reported a very heavy feeling in this room.

She also accurately picked up on the specific illnesses suffered by the home’s former owners. She even accurately picked up on mobility issues concerning one of the former owners. She kept seeing someone who had problems getting around but couldn’t determine if they used a walker or a wheelchair. As it turns out, it was both. The homeowner used a wheelchair as a walker.

Sarah hit on all the key points in this particular case, points she knew nothing about prior to her arrival. While I believe in the possibility of psychic phenomena, it’s still hard to accept when I hear someone claim they possess the ability. Sarah is slowly turning me into a believer that she, at least to some degree, has this ability. (Still, HT will remain rooted in evidence and fact.)

As for the main reason for the investigation, there were a few EVPs that still require further analysis but also some physical interaction. Kat’s purse was tugged on, as were Jen’s pants. (The moment Kat’s purse was grabbed may have even been caught on video. We’re still reviewing.) And Sarah felt something tap her forehead three times. Interestingly, the former homeowner had a habit of tapping in groups of threes whenever they felt stressed and/or anxious.

Jennifer Shortridge

We all experienced various moments when we felt as if we were being watched intently by some unseen presence. At one point I stood at the doorway of a bedroom and overwhelmingly felt as if someone was standing in the corner of the room, staring at me and wanting me to leave. In fact, based on personal experience and some spirit box activity, we were left with the overall impression that we weren’t welcome in the house. It didn’t feel aggressive. It was just the feeling that the spirits didn’t want us there.

We were there last night to make contact with the previous homeowners and asked to get their blessings, so to speak, on what needed to be done with the house. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to gather that information. They wouldn’t entertain those questions and refused to answer in that regard, leaving us with the impression that the spirits still believe this house to be theirs and theirs alone.

It was a fascinating night, to be sure.

*We never discuss private residence investigations without the consent of the homeowner and even then we keep identifying information vague.

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