Wednesday, January 21, 2009

South Jersey Ghost Research Investigation

Burlington County Prison Museum
Mount Holly, NJ

Designed by Robert Mills, The Burlington County Prison Museum was once the oldest prison in continuous use in the United States and is now a National Landmark. When the last prisoners left in 1966, it had been open for 155 years. Today, the building is open for tours. There have been a lot of unexplained activities reported over the years including voices, objects moving or levitating, apparitions and much more.

The Burlington County Prison Museum is located in Mt Holly, NJ. The prison was built in 1811 and was designed by the famous architect Robert Mills (the designer of the Washington Monument). It is a large rectangle building made of stone and iron that looks more like a castle from the outside. It was used continuously as a jail until 1966. Since then, local legends spoke of the ghosts that inhabited the building. One in particular was the ghost of Joseph Clough, a convicted murderer who killed his mistress. He was held in the death row cell which consisted of an eye hook in the floor where he was always chained and an extremely small window. He was eventually hanged. The guards and other prisoners began to report hearing his moans and chains rattling from that cell. The guards and inmates also reported seeing someone in the empty cell as well as objects levitating in the cell.

In 1999 the county began a restoration project transforming the run down building into a museum and returning it to its original condition. As the work progressed, the construction workers began reporting strange events such as loud noises, voices and screams coming from various areas of the building.

They also reported having their tools disappear when they turned their backs only to find the missing items in another room or on another floor later on in the day. Eventually some workers were leaving early so they would not be the last ones in the building.

The county officials decided to contact a prominent local ghost research group, South Jersey Ghost Research, to see if they could verify the claims of the workers and to put their minds at ease. SJGR director Dave Juliano attended each investigation conducted and witnessed some of supernatural events first hand. On each investigation he set up a motion detector in the death row cell. During each trip the motion sensor detected an infrared heat signature of an object greater than 40lbs, but invisible to the naked eye. SJGR investigators were able to capture orbs on video and film simultaneously with the motion sensor chiming its alarm.

On the second visit, Dave Juliano obtained an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) seconds after the motion detector was triggered, of a man's voice saying "go out here."

Members of SJGR experienced objects moving as well, as did three reporters from The New York Times that were there during the initial investigation. A stretcher that was located in the cell next to the death row cell relocated itself… and it was actually the reporters who noticed it first.

Other members of the SJGR observed an apparition in one part of the building and found a single barefoot print on a dust covered floor of what was once the prison showers. SJGR investigations also yielded numerous photos, video clips and EMF (Electromagnetic Field) readings.

The November 2000 investigation was filmed for a television show later aired on MSNBC. An EVP of a spirit voice saying "Go out there" was recorded right after a motion sensor detected unseen movement in the Death Row Cell.

November 2003’s investigation yielded two unexplained temperature drops of 24 degrees and 13 degrees in the middle of a cell block on the second floor.

In May of 2002, two EVPs were obtained in addition to multiple EMF readings.

In March of 2005, 14 EVPs were recorded, motion sensors were triggered six times, and two EMF readings were obtained.

Some of the EVPs are what we consider “A-Class”, meaning the words are clear to everyone who hears them. On this trip a female’s voice saying “Johnny, deny it” was recorded, in addition to other spirit voices interacting with investigators saying “No” in response to the question “Is anybody in here?”, and “What is it?” as an investigator shows another investigator a possible anomalous photo.

EVP - deny it

EVP - no

EVP - what is it?

In March 2008 SJGR filmed an episode for a new show on Living TV in the United Kingdom called "Conversations with a Serial Killer." The basis of the program is to have a psychic visit places and try to contact deceased killers to see if they will confess and give more information about their crimes. Director Dave Juliano was using a laptop computer to attempt to record EVPs when he obtained “You keep ordering us around,” in response to the questions being asked by the television host and psychic.

On SJGR’s 10th trip to the museum on March 26, 2008 director Dave Juliano obtained two apparition photos using a new combination of pre-existing technologies (First Generation Nigh Vision monocular scope and a digital camera combined on a stationary tripod).





This is the first time a pairing of these technologies has yielded consecutive apparition photos.








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