Grand Opera House Investigation summary - 10/31/07

Fox Valley Spirit Hunters, in association with Midwest Preternatural Research (Matt Schenk), Appleton Paranormal (John and Donna Leski) and GRIM (Terre Sims and Carol), was pleased to be able to investigate the Oshkosh Grand Opera House on 10/31/07. What follows is a short summary of our findings.

Personal experiences reported include the following. These may or may not be paranormal in nature but were simply observed. These are listed below by location:

Balcony: footsteps heard behind seated investigators, light control room doors left open by one group and found closed by the next. Do these doors close on their own?

Main floor: a mist seemed to rise from the main floor for a period of a minute or two. This was reported by two investigators but a third investigator on the same team reports seeing nothing. Also, later on a different investigator observed a light flashing briefly above the top ring of the big chandelier after repeated requests to “turn on the lights”.

Basement under main floor: doors slamming, shadows moving, a noise was heard that sounded like a nearby wrought iron wheeled cart being moved slightly. Some of the noises heard could be attributable to traffic moving by outside and pipes running through the area.

Video and photographs revealed nothing unusual.

Audio recordings revealed some possible EVPs (electronic voice phenomena) and unusual noises which are included on a CDROM. What follows is a short explanation of each file and what it contains:

Track01 (Ann) : Despite its name, this file and similarly named files were actually recorded in the “basement” area. Most notable is a fairly frantic dog bark. The presence of a dog was not noted so we must assume the dog in question was not seen. It might be noteworthy to know that one of our team investigators who was not present that morning has spent some investigative time in the theater in the past. At that time she thought she felt what seemed like a small dog rubbed past her leg. The dog bark in this recording sounds exactly like a small dog.

Track04 (Ann) : This was recorded in the basement just as a tour group was entering the room. The singing voice is Katie's but she was in the balcony at the time and didn't sing this particular song.

Track05 (Ann): A small voice saying "hello" can be heard, also a short "dog bark".

Oly_ws10002_1min39sec_echosteps (Katie): Katie is going up the balcony steps from the front lobby. As she is walking, what seems to be a second set of footsteps is heard for a few seconds. The length of this file is to include her statement that these steps were audible.

Oly_ws10002_52min30sec_posTourGroupSinger (Katie): A woman is heard singing as a tour group is exiting the stage. The singer was not heard on video recorded on the stage at the same time. Could this be someone in the tour group? Subsequent discussion with Jeff Potts, who was giving the tour, did not confirm that anyone was singing.

Oly_ws10002_59min20sec_balcony (Katie): What seems to be a young boy's voice is heard on the recording as Katie is preparing to leave the balcony. It should be noted that at approximately the same time, the tour group was passing through the front lobby (per the video) and no voice like this was heard on the video.

It should be noted that any of these files could possibly be attributed to normal events going on in the theater at the time but we simply could not verify them.

It is our consensus that although we didn't get a lot of physical evidence of a haunting, our personal experiences and the possible EVPs lead us to agree that the theater does have some paranormal activity that would be interesting to investigate further. We would love the opportunity to return and try to replicate some of the results we obtained at a time of day where it is more likely that ghostly activity might be recorded. This is usually from around 9PM-3AM although a later starting time might be possible.

We would like to thank Jeff Potts and the Grand Opera House board for allowing us to come and investigate this wonderful, historic old theater. It was an amazing experience that we hope to be able to return to some day soon.