Description of location:
The building was built in the early 1900s as a private home, which has since been converted into a public museum. The building is filled
with hundreds personal and historical items of Hackettstown residents, including a significant amount of historical documentation. The
house consists of two habitable floors, an unfinished basement, and a small attic.
The majority of the reported activity takes place in the "child's room" on the second floor. Several visitors to the building have reported
uneasy feelings and a sense of "sadness" in the room. They also report feeling as if they are being watched. Similar reports are
mentioned for the "adult's bedroom", which is on the same side of the building (the back portion of the second floor). A bathroom
stands between the two bedrooms.
Donna, recently appointed the NJPRG historian for the Hackettstown area, personally reported that she and a co-worker in the building
heard "footsteps" late at night. Donna and her co-worker were working in the documentation office on the first floor, directly under the
child's room, when they heard "footsteps" from above. The "footsteps" moved from the child's room to the adult's bedroom along the
short hallway between them.
|New Jersey Paranormal Resource Group
Donna had provided a great deal of historical research to NJPRG for previous cases in the Hackettstown area. She was intimately
familiar with the location based on personal work experience. As a result, it was deemed unnecessary to conduct a preliminary
A full investigation was scheduled for 20 September 2008.
The investigation was conducted between 7PM and 11PM. Investigators John, Dave, Phil, Ron, and Lisa participated. Donna provided
the team with a walkthrough of the building before leaving the premises.
The equipment was placed as follows:
Digital camcorders were placed in the child's room, adult's bedroom, and attic. The camcorders in the child's room and adult's bedroom
were placed to cover the hallway and main walking areas of both rooms as well as each other. This ensured that the space where the
reported "footsteps" originated would be adequately monitored throughout the investigation. All camcorders also allowed for audio
monitoring support (built-in electroset microphones).
In the child's room and the adult's bedroom, head researcher Dave set up two newly completed audio stations. Each station was set up
to record using a dynamic microphone and condenser microphone. Each microphone fed into a mixer, where the microphones were set
to record to the left or right side of the channel. The results were recorded on cassette tape, which was then converted into a digital
format for review. The purpose of the experiment was to determine if three different types of microphones, recording in the same
location, would provide different audio recordings, based on potential sensitivity to EMF. (Based on the concept, one would expect any
anomalies would be captured by the dynamic and electroset microphones, but not the condenser microphones.)
Additionally, digital audio recorders were placed in the two other rooms on the second floor (on the front side of the building) and on the
first floor in the office where the "footsteps" were reportedly heard.
Following the initial setup, a thorough EMF survey was taken throughout the building, beginning with the second floor. It was
determined that the wiring within the walls gave a background of 10-30 milliGauss. In particular, the readings were found in the hallway
between the child's room and the adult's bedroom. Following the survey of the second floor, the basement was explored, focusing on
the electrical breaker box. It was found that the breaker box, as well as the nearby security system controls, gave off an EMF field well
in excess of 100 milliGauss, topping out the tri-field meter used in the survey.
The main office of the building is situated on the first floor above the breaker box and security controls. Additionally, there is a
low-hanging fluorescent light above the desk, which also presents a 100+ milliGauss source. The net effect is a constant baseline EMF
level of 4-5 milliGauss at the location of the desk. This could have an effect on anyone spending a significant amount of time sitting at
These readings did not change in subsequent EMF surveys.
Following the initial EMF survey, the team attempted to debunk the "footsteps". Investigators John and Dave both attempted to walk
from the child's room to the adult's bedroom. The rest of the team recorded the sound from the office below. John was unable to
create the sound of footsteps. Dave, wearing heavier boots, was able to replicate the sound; however, this was only possible once the
carpet in the hallway was rolled away, allowing him to walk on the bare wooden floor. It was also determined that it was not possible to
walk up the stairs to the second floor without making noise that can be heard from the office.
The following audio anomalies were recorded in the adult's bedroom using the audio setup described above. In each case, the voice
was recorded on the channel created using the dynamic microphone:
Audio Anomaly #1
Audio Anomaly #2
Audio Anomaly #3
The main audio anomaly recorded in the child's bedroom was captured by both the Dave's audio setup described above and John's
camcorder microphone. The camcorder footage (not currently available) confirms that Dave was in the adult's bedroom changing
cassette tapes at the time that the audio anomaly was recorded. His own camcorder was recording in the adult's bedroom at the time,
and did not capture the same voice or sound. As with the recording from the adult's bedroom, the voice recorded using Dave's audio
setup is captured on the channel associated with the dynamic microphone:
Audio Anomaly #4a (dynamic mic, very faint)
Audio Anomaly #4b (camcorder electroset mic)
Based on the results of the audio experiments from this investigation, further study was recommended. A second investigation will be
scheduled for early 2009.
raw audio recordings
NJPRG is dedicated to peer review of data collected during investigations, when approved by the client. Raw audio recordings will
shortly be available for download and independent review. NJPRG welcomes any insight that may be gained from the peer review
Please send any questions, constructive comments, or observations to firstname.lastname@example.org.