Wednesday, August 18, 2010

McFarland House, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada Aug 14, 2010


The home is of particular historical significance as it survived the burning of Newark, a tragedy which took place when the American forces occupying Fort George retreated from the area in December 1813. This makes McFarland House one of the oldest structures in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
John McFarland and his sons built the house in 1800 from bricks made in a kiln on the property. A back wing was added later in the nineteenth century in order to accommodate the needs of this growing family. During the War of 1812 McFarland House was used as a hospital by both the British and the American armies and a gun battery was situated on the property to help guard the Niagara River.


ParaHunt team arrived around 5:30pm whereby we familiarized ourselves with the outside areas, including surrounding woods and knolls. Exterior pictures taken and reviewed with no anomalies in surrounding woodlands.

After the tour given by staff, the team setup equipment. We took base temperature readings in all rooms prior to group investigation.

We had two digital voice recorders running, preset to correct recording positions. However, when reviewing evidence, one recorder’s buttons had been turned to manual settings and no discernable recordings were made on that recorder.

Very uncomfortable chest feelings which began in the parlour and heightened in the children’s room. It felt like someone was standing on my chest and that I could not breathe deeply enough to catch my breath. This feeling eased in the servant’s room when I was standing beside the hanging spices, which perhaps were used historically for medicinal purposes.

The high EMF readings in the parlour from the inside hall wall approx 3 feet off the ground to the left of the piano was attributable to furnaces and electrical panels in the cellar directly below. No anomalies noted.

No maglite communication.


1. 01LightOrb Basement – Video Tape – Top Left at 7 sec. Light anomaly during EVP session. Camera with infrared light used. Present: Carol, Gary, Claudia and Ted.

2. 02Parlour Parlour – Video Tape – During EVP session, Carol experienced a touching sensation. Claudia felt that the candles in the dining room were swaying. First noticed sensation of tightening of chest here. Present: Carol, Gary, Claudia & Ted.

3. 03MovieSpiritBox Soldier’s Room – Video Tape – Using the Radio Shack 20-125 spirit box, answer to questions posed. These included name “Jackson” and answer to how many here “eight” then “seven” then back to “eight” when Gary asked. But responded as “two” when Carol asked. Present: Carol, Gary, Claudia and Ted.

4. 04EVPPanting Childrens’ Room – Audio Tape –Unidentified anomolies on tape are “gasping” for breath sounds, panting at .08 sec, .25 sec and .40 sec. Here Claudia experierenced an almost asthmatic attack feeling like there was intense pressure on my chest and lungs. Present: Carol, Gary, Claudia and Ted.

5. 05Debunked Soldier’s Room – I thought that we captured a child spirit darting past us in the room. But upon closer examination it was only the Digital Thermometer. Present: Claudia and Ted.

Baseline room readings:

Dining Room 76’, Hall 77’, Library 77’, Lower Hall 77’, Basement 81’, Soldier’s Room 77’,
Master Bedroom 75’, Baby Nursery Area 72’, Children’s Bedroom 77’, Servants Room 76’,
Upper Hall 72’

Moon Cycle:

Waxing crescent, 32.2% illuminated


Minimum Temperature 22.0 °C, Mean Temperature 27.3 °C, Maximum Temperature 32.0 °C,
Total Precipitation 0.00 cm, Maximum Sustained Wind Speed 12.00 kmh

Equipment Used:
Digital movie camera with infrared nightlight, 2 digital recorders, 2 Maglite, KII meter, Digital Camera,
Radio Shack converted Spirit Box, Infrared Thermometer


Screaming Tunnel, Thorold ON - Aug 2010

EVP, Audio & Video, Maglite sessions performed - no anomolies noted during this investigation.

Normandale Cemetery, Normandale ON - Aug 2010

Everytime I have travelled past this small countryside cemetery, I have had this very uneasy drawing sensation. Something about it being on a dangerous curve into town sends shivers down my spine. I travelled back one Sunday to investigate.

Aug 2010 - Nanticoke Cemetery, ON

July 2010 - Farnsworth Inn, PA

July 2010 - Cashtown Inn, PA


Notable History of Location

Stand on the front porch of the Cashtown Inn and let your eyes roam along the gentle grade of Old Chambersburg Pike as it rises past apple orchards and open fields toward the wooded slope of Cashtown Gap in South Mountain. Then let your mind wander back to the Gettysburg Campaign in the summer of 1863, when Confederate troops filled this roadway.

To an unwary observer who stood in front of Cashtown Inn on June 29 of that year, it must have looked as if the whole Rebel army had emerged from the rough, forested ridgeline when the van of Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill's Third Corps suddenly swung into view. Their crimson banners swayed with the liquid motion of marching soldiers, who were dressed in ragged butternut and gray. A gentle breeze carried with it the noise of rattling mess tins, the clanking of swords and bayonets, and the cheerful bantering of confident veterans on parade. To Cashtown Innkeeper Jacob Mickley, who witnessed the spectacle, it appeared as if “the entire force under Lee...passed within twenty feet of my barroom.”

Including a brief occupation by Confederate cavalry under Jeb Stuart in October 1862, this was the second time in less than a year that the Rebels had invaded Cashtown* (*Cashtown Inn gave its name to the peaceful crossroads village where the inn was built circa 1797. The name Cashtown was derived from the business practices of the first innkeeper, Peter Marck, who had insisted on cash payments for the goods he sold and the highway tolls he collected.)

During the Gettysburg Campaign, Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia had surged across southern Pennsylvania at will until June 28. Late that day scouts informed Lee that the Union army was north of the Potomac River and coming his way. Quickly Lee ordered his scattered army to concentrate at Cashtown, which stood strategically on his supply line back to Virginia. Within hours, legions of lean Rebel soldiers descended from Cashtown Gap and shuffled past Jacob Mickley's Inn.

As one of the oldest hostelries in the region, Cashtown Inn had served “for the entertainment of strangers and travelers” since 1815. That fateful summer of 1863, however, Cashtown Inn served hundreds of unwelcome strangers, including Confederate Gens. A.P. Hill, Henry Heth, and John D. Imboden. Suffering from a chronic ailment when he arrived at Cashtown at the head of his corps on June 29, the 37-year old Hill set up his headquarters in the relative comfort of Cashtown Inn. It was a good choice. For decades Cashtown Inn had been touted for its “healthy neighborhood; pure mountain air” and “daily bath” in fine waters from a natural spring flowing through the cellar. The cellar also included two giant brick ovens where Confederate commissaries could bake bread in abundance. (The spring and evidence of the brick ovens are visible today).

Cashtown itself was transformed into an armed camp for several days in late June and early July 1863, while the battle of Gettysburg raged just eight miles to the east. It was from there that the pivotal battle was launched when A.P. Hill sent Maj. Gen. Henry Heth's division to Gettysburg for shoes and supplies. Cashtown Inn bustled with activity during this time while Confederate officers and their staffs were quartered here. A stable located next to the Inn (but no longer standing) was used to shelter the wounded, as were many of the homes in the vicinity. Also dotting the orchards and meadows surrounding the village were hundreds of Lee's supply wagons and the cannons and carriages belonging to his artillery reserve.

Lee used many of these same vehicles to transport his wounded back to Virginia following his defeat at Gettysburg. Commander of the 17-mile long wagon train of misery, Brig. Gen. John Imboden made his headquarters at Cashtown Inn. On July 4, Imboden wrote, “About 4 pm the head of the column was put in motion near Cashtown and began the ascent of the mountain in the direction of Chambersburg.” It wasn't until the next day when Imboden passed over South Mountain with the last of the wagons that peace returned to Cashtown.

(In previous) decades Cashtown Inn has been on the declining end of almost two centuries of service. In 1948 a by-pass constructed on a segment of the Lincoln Highway (Route 30) relegated Cashtown Inn to the backwash of tourist traffic. The Inn fell to disrepair and some ill-repute. Not long ago, for example, a previous owner of this Civil War landmark had considered sub-dividing it into low-income apartments.

Preservationists take heart, though. (t)hanks to the tireless efforts of ... (former) owners Charles “Bud” Buckley and his wife Carolyn, Cashtown Inn is back, and is once again providing for the “entertainment of strangers and travelers.”... - George F. Skoch


June 2010 - Welland Historical Museum

May 2010 - Buffalo Terminal Station with Steve and Tango from TAPS