Ghost Hunters In Ohio
Chestnut Grove Cemetery - Ashtabula, OH.
State Street Tavern - "The Walls Have Eyes"
A Little History
To the best of our knowledge, the building in which the State Street Tavern (aka "The SST") resides was constructed in 1887. Our research shows that it was originally the Osborn Hotel, hence the unbelievably spacious construction of it's three upper levels. It was known as The Forman Building until somewhere between 1970 and 1976 when it became The Singer Building, in which it became The State Street Food Market. It has housed a multitude of different businesses in it's 118 years and was sectioned off into several businesses at a time throughout most of it's years. Though too numerous to mention them all, we will say that the building is rich in musical history, as many musical instrument shops and music schools have resided within it's walls. We shouldn't fail to mention that, in more recent years The SST has been notorious for being one of the only death metal venues in Erie, PA. and has coincidentally been the SHGHRS founder Aedryan Methyus' nightspot of choice for many years.
Though it is very early in our actual research process at this point of the investigation, only two unconfirmed deaths have been reported to us that are in any way related to the structure. During the time it was the State Street Food Market an employee reportedly died in the basement of natural causes. More interestingly, we have been told that an employee of a prior business (business name not yet confirmed), by the name of Judy Schneider had been dragged out of the establishment, abducted and taken to a location (still unknown to us at this time), where she was forced to run away, only to be shot in the back and murdered by one Joseph Szhon. It is rumorered that the next bar to open in the structure was named "The Wiggling Judy", though according to our research no bars other than the State Street Tavern has ever existed in the structure, so it's pretty safe to say that is only a rumor. However, one of our members - Kimberlee is familiar with the murder, so we're pretty certain it happened. It is also rumored that an illegal gambling and prostitution ring may have been ran in the structure at one point as well. We're still searching for more facts at this time....
In July of 2004 David and Robin Powell took over occupency of The SST (or so they had thought), but it seems they are not alone. There have been numerous reports of strange happenings occuring within it's walls. Things such as voices coming from a television, which was turned off, the strong scent of sulfur coming from one of the stairways, the sounds of footsteps, ghostly knockings and "something" banging on the floor, under the feet of an employee, coming from the basement of the tavern. Co-owner Robin Powell also reports having seen the ghostly apparition of a man, wearing a long trenchcoat and a hat, eerilly floating out of one wall and going into another. Other occurances have been reported as well, such as a thick, a heavy walk-in cooler door slamming shut in the basement and the back door of the tavern flying open on its own accord, a piece of wood reportedly flew out of someone's hand and the presence of an unseen cat following people from one end of the bar to the other, while meowing.
April 24, 2005 Investigation
On April 24, 2005 SHGHRS members Aedryan Methyus, Kimberlee Wurst, Matt Ostrowski and Tony Cromwell conducted their initial investigation of the State Street Tavern at 1013 State ST. in Erie, PA. We arrived at about 10:00 PM and went through some preliminary questions and answers with Robin. Afterwards we unpacked our equipment and began our investigation on the first floor of the club.
Aedryan began by setting his analog recorder on the north east corner of the stage, where it remained throughout the rest of the evening. A total of 135 minutes of audio was recorded on this recorder, in which only two evp's were obtained. However, those two evp's taught us a couple of very interesting things, which will be mentioned further into this report. Aedryan had also began recording with his digital audio recorder at about the same time. He and Kimberlee took turns carrying it and asking questions throughout the course of the evening and captured at least 6 paranormal anomalies within the time span of about 2 1/2 hours.
Aedryan setup his digital video recorder on its tripod and let it record about an hour of video on the main floor of the club, with the main focus being on the hallway to the rear of the club, where Robin had reported seeing the apparition of a man wearing a trenchcoat prior to the investigation. We have not yet discovered any paranormal anomalies in the video footage obtained during that first hour.
Aedryan and Matt began taking photos throughout the first floor, while Kimberlee and Tony monitored the electromagnetic frequencies and temperatures. As with most indoor investigations the electromagnetic frequencies were so high (base readings of 1 - 2 mg) that we just decided to put the EMF detector away. Additionally, our thermoscanner seemed to either need recalibrated or in need of new batteries, because we were getting unusually high temperature readings, so we seized temperature monitoring as well.
After our run through of the first floor we proceeded into the basement, continuing to take photos and record with our digital audio recorder. After taking a few pictures throughout the basement (which produced some amazing discoveries), Aedryan returned back upstairs to retreive his video recorder. Once the video recorder was positioned in the basement it didn't take long for the ghostly activity to begin. Throughout the course of only an hour of recording time we witnessed orb activity and multiple orb activity in real time on numerous ocassions through the nightvision on the LED screen of Aedryan's video recorder. Upon reviewing the video we quickly learned that there was even way more activity than we were noticing in real time.
After an hour of recording video in the basement all 4 of us headed up to the second and third floors of the structure, where we only spent about 30 minutes or so taking pictures, because we ran out of memory. We were all absolutely amazed by the spaciousness of the rooms on those floors and agree that there is a lot of potential for major SST expansion in the future. After our brief tour of the upper levels we returned to the first floor and began packing up our equipment. Aedryan stayed behind and continued packing up after the others left. While leaving his digital audio recorder on record, he continued talking with Robin for a bit before departing....
Read On To See Some Of The Fantastic Evidence
Collected By The SHGHRS On This Night!
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Aedryan's Equipment Used
Toshiba PDR-4300 4.0 Megapixel Digital Camera (2400 x 1600 resolution)
Aedryan took a total of 145 photos throughout the premises. Not all of the anamolous photos that were collected on this night will be posted, as we are only posting the best ones. Please note that other than One Step Photo Fix and/or brightening for clarity and resizing in Paint Shop Pro, none of these photos have been altered or enhanced in any way. Original photos were shot at 2400 x 1600 resolution and the photos shown below are only 800 x 533, so if you have trouble seeing some of the anomalies that are described it is due to a combination of the difference in resolution, your screen resolution and your monitor's brightness settings. As we have stated many times throughout this website, screen resolutions that are set higher than 800 x 600 pretty much suck for viewing anything in general and especially spirit photography.
"The Man In The Hat"
One of the most uncanny discoveries we made at The State Street Tavern is that, it seems we were being followed and watched from within the walls, by the "Man In The Hat" (among other "things"), which Robin had previously reported seeing the apparition of, coming out of one wall and passing into another. We captured several other images of what appear to be "people"? wearing hats within the walls as well. Not all of them will be shown below, because as always, we are only posting our most compelling evidence. We have spoken to other paranormal investigators in the past that believe many haunted locations will have a "leader" of sorts and that it will usually be the most aggressive of the spirits in a given location. Though it may be a bit presumptuous, we feel there is a strong possiblility that the "Main" man in the hat that keeps popping up, is in some way the "Head" of whatever it is that haunts The SST. Additionally, we feel that it may be his raspy voice that surfaced in three of the EVP's we obtained on this night....
In the following image we have shown comparisons of what is clearly the same man in the hat, taken from different locations. Take note of the identical eyes, nose and hat in all three of the images. The third image is taken from one of the four photos that we feel may possibly contain spirit writing, which would be an extremely rare happening. It appears as though "something" took a rock or some other sharp object and scratched a drawing of a man in a hat, either on the wall or on the picture itself. Strangely, this "drawing" appears near the area of the wall that contains the majority of writing. Is it possible that "someone" was trying to send us a message? You be the judge....
First Floor Photos
"Activity In The Hallway" (Photo taken at 10:49 PM) - This photo was taken of the east hallway to the rear of the bar. Notice the orb with strong facial features. What appears to be a demon-like head on the floor was actually a 5 gallon bucket, but we have at least 3 other photos, in which it has this appearance and the facial expressions seem to differ from one to the next. We are trying not to jump to conclusions, so we will not comment any further at this time. The most compelling thing about this photo is, this was the first time "The Man In The Hat" surfaced on this night. Very interestingly, this is the wall that Robin told us she had seen the apparition of a man, wearing a hat and a trenchcoat passing through....
"The Man In The Hat" (Photo taken at 10:49 PM) - This is the same photo from above. It will give you a better look at "The Man In The Hat".
"Wierd Reflection" (Photo taken at 10:49 PM) - This is most likely just a reflection, but notice it's "devilish" appearance. It looks like a little devil with horns and you can even make out it's eyes, arms, legs and crotch area.
"Dude With Long Hair" (Photo taken at 10:51 PM) - This strange photo was taken by the pool table, in the front of the bar on the first floor. It appears to be a man with long hair, a big nose and a pointy chin. He reminds us of the "Zig Zag Man".
"Wierd Face On The Floor" (Photo taken at 10:51 PM) - Though we will not show them all, due to their inconclusiveness, two or three other photos like this were captured throughout the night in different locations. We are uncertain, but they appear to be some sort of ecto, forming into a face.
"A Different Man In A Hat & Co." (Photo taken at 10:53 PM) - This photo was once again taken of the east hallway to the rear of the bar. This is one of the few different men, wearing hats that we captured throughout our stay. Notice the demon-like head above him. We do not believe this to be the "main" Man In The Hat that kept surfacing....
Between 11:00 and 11:01 pm Aedryan took 4 consecutive pictures of the hallway in the south end of the basement (facing north) within a one minute time frame and upon reviewing the photos he may have made a startling discovery. All 4 of the photos clearly show (at least to the trained eye) partial apparitions, multiple ghostly faces, what appears to be an apparition of a little boy and a man in a hat on the eastern wall of the hallway. Additionally, you will see what appears to be a giant skull. It should also be noted that in the third of the four photos, you will notice 3 orbs that are directly by the wall. Two of them have very well defined facial features within the nucleus. Interestingly, it is in that third photo that the apparition of the little boy is the most defined. The first of the four photos shows only a single, larger orb up by the ceiling. At this point there is still a slight possibility that these could be false possitives, due to an extraordinary trick of the light of some sort, but we feel it is highly unlikely that we would get so many ghostly images if that were the case. Usually when a false possitive is produced in that manner it will only be one ghostly image, not several or the images will be caused by pixelations, which is definitely not the case with these photos. We are in great hopes that the good people of The SST will allow us to return for a more extensive investigation in the near future. If we are unable to reproduce these photos on our follow up investigation, it is Aedryan's opinion that there may be some sort of portal in this area....
Due to the amount of ghostly faces in these photos we will not point them all out. If anyone has enough interest in these photos to find them all, save the pictures to your hard drive and open them up in a higher end photo editing program, such as Paintshop Pro and zoom in and out on them from all different angles, while looking at the wall and you will find them.
"The Wall" (1) - This is the first of the 4 photos. It was taken at 11:00 PM.
"The Wall" (2) - This is the second of the 4 photos. It was taken at 11:00 PM.
"The Wall" (3) - This is the third of the 4 photos. It was taken at 11:00 PM.
"The Wall" (4) - This is the last of the 4 photos. It was taken at 11:01 PM.
"The Wall" (Comparisons) - Here are some side by side comparisons of the above four photos.
"The Skull" (Photo taken at 11:00 PM) - Note the top part of the skull, the cheek bones, the jaw, bone structure of the teeth, nose cavity and eye cavities. Several other smaller ghostly faces can be seen coming from the skull from all different angles as well. Can you find the old lady? Again, the skull itself could very well be a false possitive, caused by a trick of the light, but we can't imagine all of the other ghostly faces would be, because they change from photo to photo.
"Little Boy Apparition" (Photo taken at 11:00 PM) - This is the third of the four wall photos and though you can see the little boy in all three of the other ones, he is the most defined here. We also obtained electronic voice phonemenon that seems to be the voice of a young boy, which you will see further into this report.
"A Man In A Hat" (Photo taken at 11:00 PM) - Unless he was just not fully formed, this does not appear to be what we believe to be the "main" man in the hat that seemed to be following us around during our stay and he can be seen in all 4 of these wall photos. The most notable thing about this photo is how his hat seems to pass in front of the poster that is hanging on the wall. He seems to change in appearance from photo to photo and other faces seem to come off of his as well.
"The Witch" - After extensive examination we have sadly determined "The Witch" photos to be false positives. They are the most convincing and deceptive tricks of the light we have ever seen, so we thought we should post them for others to learn from. It was caused by a combination of lighting and shadows casting onto some items that were stacked up in the background and the picture being taken from just the right angle.
"The Witch 2" - This photo was taken immediately after the last photo. (see above comment)
"The Man In The Hat Again" (Photo taken at 11:04 PM) - This is by far the clearest image that we captured of the man in the hat. Notice that there seems to be another ghostly face, which appears to be screaming in the upper part of his hat. Other ghostly faces can be seen throughout this photo as well, but we will not point them out. However, the following two photos draw attention to the corner in this photo. There might possibly be spirit writing in this photo as well, but we have not yet confirmed it. Also note the mirror that leans against the wall and casts a reflection of the wall the man in the hat is in. We only wish it would have been position in such a way that would have shown whether or not the man in the hat casted a reflection....
Upon reviewing our video footage further we realized that Aedryan had momentarilly scanned over the wall, in which the above photo was captured with his video recorder and "The Man In The Hat" showed up in the footage. He appeared to be in the same exact spot as he was in the photo, so there is a possibility that the above photo may be another false possitive. We will not know for sure until our follow up investigation. If it does prove to be a false possitive it is still very odd that the man in the hat in this photo has such a striking resemblence to the others that are shown in the "Man In The Hat Comparison Photos", because we are absolutely certain that out of several photos that were taken of the wall in the upstairs hallway, only one produced that image. The video footage does not seem to show any of the other peculiarities that are pointed out in the following two photos however....
"Watching With The Man In The Hat" - We are not sure what is going on near the corner of the room in this photo. If it is something paranormal, it would seem that there may be some sort of ecto forming into a head on the floor and it looks very similar to the "head" that is seen on the floor in in the "Activity In The Hallway" photo we captured upstairs. We have no clue what the white thing that appears to be floating above the head is, but up farther notice the alien looking head with a huge eyeball, looking down from behind the mirror. It should be mentioned that mirrors have been said to be portals, through which spirits can travel. For lack of a better description, this photo reminds us of some sort of doorway to another dimension. Definitely wierd....
"Those Who Watch With The Man In The Hat" - Cropped view of the above.
"Possible Spirit Writing" (Photo taken at 11:04 PM) - In this photo you can see words and letters throughout the photo. The majority of them are on the wall to the left. We are unsure at this point whether or not there is writing on the wall in this area of the basement or not or if the writing is ON the picture itself, but there does seem to be writing here and there throughout the picture, under various enhancements. The wierdest part about this photo is how it appears as though "something" took a rock or some other sharp object and scratched a drawing of a man in a hat, either on the wall or on the picture itself. It has an uncanny resemblence to the man in the hat, as can be seen in the "Man In The Hat Comparison Photos". We are still trying out verious enhancements to try and make sense of the writings and we will examine this are of the basement closely in our future study of The SST. Also note that this photo was taken within seconds of the above "The Man In The Hat Again" photo....
"More Possible Spirit Writing" (Photo taken at 11:05 PM) - This photo also appears to have writing on the walls and it was taken within only seconds of the above two photos. Also notice the creepy, zombie-like face, peering out of the hole in the wall. He almost has the appearance of an African American man. Note the structure of his nose and lips....
"Ghostly Animal-Like Face" (Photo taken at 10:55 PM) - For lack of a better description, this has the misty appearance of some sort of an animal's head (perhaps a horse or a goat) with a human's face forming on it. Note how it appears to extend out of the wall. It should also be noted that this is the far corner of what we have been referring to as "The Wall" and it is just to the right of where we may have captured the spirit writing in the "Possible Spirit Writing" photo.
"Ghostly Animal-Like Face 2" (Photo taken at 10:55 PM) - This photo was taken only seconds after the last photo. Though it was taken from a slightly different angle, it appears as though it is more formed than in the first photo.
Anomalous Video Footage
As previously mentioned, we obtained a considerable amount of orbs on video. Many times they move so quickly that we cannot see them all in real time or even in the playback. Due to the size of video files we will not post all of the orb videos we obtained on this night, but we will post some of the best ones. Please keep in mind that due to the loss of quality when optimizing video for the web you will likely not be able to see everything exactly as described unfortunately.
Several Orbs On The Stairway - In this clip 3 orbs are seen, taking off from the front stairway of the basement that leads up to the bar. The first one comes out of the wall on the right, crosses the stairs and goes into the wall on the left. The second one does the same thing, only up a couple steps from where the first one went. And the third one comes towards the camera, up on the ceiling.
Orbs Scattering In The Hallway - In this clip at least 4 orbs are seen, scattering from the hallway moments after we moved the video recorder from the stairway. Though you may not be able to see all of it in this clip, the first orb comes from towards the top of the wall on the right and shoots down to the end of the hallway away from us and takes a sharp right. The second one comes from the wall to the left and follows the first one at almost the same time. The thirst one comes towards us on the ceiling. And the fourth one seems to appear on the floor, right in front of us and swings around into the wall to the right. It is as if they kept fleeing from each area we went to until they got used to us being there. The stairway from the previous clip is right on the other side of the wall to the right. We shouldn't fail to mention that the wall to the right is also what we have been referring to as "The Wall".
Orb Coming Towards The Camera - Earlier in the evening Robin had told us how her sister had taken some sort of "plug" out of the basement and took it home with her. She told us that her sister started being pushed and shoved by unseen hands every time she was in her stairway. Someone told her sister to take the plug back to The SST and put it back where she got it, so she did so and the pushing stopped. In this clip you will hear Robin say, "What if we take your plug back?" and an orb comes out of the wall to the right and slowly comes towards us.
Orb Taking Off From Beside Us - In this clip an orb comes from right beside us and takes off. You may not be able to see it, due to the loss of quality, but once it was out in front of us it zig zagged and left trails behind it as it took off.
Electronic Voice Phenomenon
We learned a couple of very interesting things from from the EVP's we obtained on this night. The "Ghostly Girl" and the "Ghostly Boy" EVP's are the only two that were captured in both our digital and analog recorders. This is because the other ones were obtained during times that the analog recorder was out of tape. During the time the "Ghostly Boy and the "Ghostly Girl" EVP's were captured the analog recorder was sitting on the stage floor on the other side of the room and the digital recorder was sitting on the bar, right next to us. The voices heard on the digital recorder sound very close, as if they were right next to us. The voices heard on the analog recorder, which was clear across the room sounded very distant, as if they came from where we were sitting. This proves the spirit's proximity and also tells us that the voices came from our realm and not an otherworldy dimension. The other interesting thing about these same EVP's is, how the reverberation their voices project in the room are identical to our own voices, yet we could not hear them as they were happening.
Strangely, most of these EVP's were captured in the bar area on the first floor, even though most of the activity seemed to be in the basement. Please note that even though these EVP's have been put through a multitude of different enhancements while they were being deciphered, the ones heard here are in their rawest form. They have not even been amplified and no noise reduction has been used.
Click Here To Listen To The EVP's We Obtained!
Unfortunately, Matt's photos were accidentally deleted from his computer. He is presently trying to recover them.... >8>(
We have been given permission by the good people of The SST to return for a more extensive follow up investigation. We are trying not to jump to conclusions, but if everything is as it seems, our accessment is that The SST definitely seems to have spirit activity. Aedryan feels that "something" may have followed him home from the investigation as well, but we aren't going to go into those details here. We will say that we will not be taking anything for granted on ANY investigations in the future. We foolishly failed to do any of the things we normally do for protection prior to our investigation of The SST....
Now that we have learned all of the basic history behind the structure itself, along with 118 years worth of names and dates that have been associated with it, our historical research member - Dee Dee Methyus is preparing for the second phase of her background research. We are certain that we will be learning many facts, in regards to any deaths, murders or any other sort of dark past related to The SST in the very near future.
Please understand that our intentions are not to try and freak anyone out or scare our clients. We only call things as we see them. We have advised the folks at State Street Tavern to exercise caution just to be safe. Our recommendation is that no one should ever be alone in any secluded areas of the structure if possible and especially the basement. It would be best if everyone tried to be in at least groups of two or more whenever possible in those areas. Though spiritual or demonic possession or physical injury is rare, we have seen proof that it can and does happen, so it's always better to be safe than sorry....
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