On Friday, February 25, 2011, Eastern Iowa Paranormal conducted a scientific paranormal investigation at The Franklin Hotel in Strawberry Point, IA. This investigation was conducted by James Bramow, Jeff Bramow, Kevin Grendler, Jessica Bryant, David Erb, and Lyndsey Essary. We started our investigation at approximately 9:00pm and finished at 4:30am, covering all levels of the hotel including the basement, main level, and the upstairs area including Room 29 and Leo’s Apartment.
The claims of activity at the hotel include the spirit of “Lillie,” a woman from the early 1900’s. She was first reported by a man named Leo who lived at the hotel for 42 years. Leo was blind and sensitive to audible sounds and frequently heard “Lillie” singing. Current owner, Doug Schmidt, has even seen an apparition of a woman in the front lobby dress in older clothing. When he went to tell her they were closed, she had simply vanished.
We started the investigation by taking measurement readings of electromagnetic fields (EMF). There are not unusually high EMF readings on any level of the hotel. High EMF readings can cause paranoia, feelings of unease, and illness. We also recorded base temperature readings on each level of the hotel and throughout the night, we received very little changes. Temperature changes or “cold spots” are believed to potentially be paranormal related.
We setup our stationary IR cameras to record all areas of the basement. We also placed our handheld video cameras in the Café and in the front lobby. We also placed one digital voice recorder in Rm. 29 and one in Leo’s Apartment and let them record the entire night. Each investigator also had at least one digital recorder with them during all sessions. A digital voice recorder is used to catch electronic voice phenomena, or EVP.
As far as what we did or did not capture. Our investigators had a few personal experiences. Lyndsey felt something touch her a couple of times throughout the night. James also had what felt like someone stepping on his foot, and Jessica felt uneasy in the basement as well as upstairs in Rm. 29. We did not capture anything paranormal on video. We did capture quite a few EVP’s. Some of the EVP’s document knocking responses we were getting to our questions, especially in Rm. 29. We also captured a loud “banging” sound coming from the basement that was so loud our recorders picked it up on the 3rd floor! James was the only one in the basement at the time watching the camera monitor when this occurred. Below is a transcript of the EVP’s we captured:
3rd Floor: Q) “Did you like living here?” A) “Yeah”
3rd Floor: “Don’t go”
Basement: Q) “…who’s here with us right now?” A) A male voice groaning
3rd Floor: “Mary”
Basement: “Are you trying to show us something on the screen?” A)”No”
3rd Floor: Female humming or singing (which is a claim made by former tenant Leo)
3rd Floor: As we were leaving Leo’s Apt. “Stay”
Basement: Q) “We are here to communicate with any spirits that may be here.” A) “We know”
Basement: Q) “What is your name?” A) “Paul”
We also used a Frank’s Box to conduct a couple of EVP sessions. A Frank’s Box is a AM/FM radio that continuously scans frequencies. The theory with this device is that by providing the energy for spirits, it makes it easier for them to communicate with us. Below is a transcript of what we captured using the Frank’s Box:
Q) “One person talk at one time.” A) “Sorry”
Q) “Tell us your name” A) “Charles”
Q) “Is that you touching Lyndsey again?” A) “Murphy did”
Q) “Can you tell me my name?” A) “Jeff”
Q) No question being asked A)”You want me out? Go home”
In the end, it is our professional opinion that there is in fact, paranormal activity going on at The Franklin Hotel. Some of the EVP’s we captured validate some of the claims of the place. There seems to be both residual and intelligent spirits at the hotel. A residual haunt is energy in the building playing over and over similar to a recording. Intelligent haunts have spirits that in fact know they are there and are communicating. For us, that communication was through EVP’s as well as knocking in response to our questions.
We would like to thank Doug and Kris Schmidt for allowing us the opportunity to investigate the Franklin Hotel.