By Gail Parsons, Fort Riley Public AffairsDecember 4, 2018
FORT RILEY, Kan. -- After spending 10 overnight hours in the Custer House and the Triangle House, a team of ghost hunters from Old School Paranormal did not go home disappointed.
Accompanied by Maggy Gray, Historical and Archeological Society of Fort Riley president, Laura Childers, HASFR vice president and Jasmin Haskell, leasing consultant with Corvias, the team, from Hays, Kansas, set up video and audio equipment in the two buildings the night of Nov. 10 and stayed until about 4 a.m. Nov. 11.
Now it's time for the team to start combing through the audio and video recordings from 12 cameras. Steve Stults, co-founder of OSP, said it will be after the turn of the year before they have a full report of their findings.
But after witnessing what she saw in those overnight hours, Gray doesn't have to wait to hear from them to know there is more to the ghost stories than urban legend.
"I definitely think there is some kind of energy that can reside in places," she said. "I'm not really sure exactly what that means as far as an actual ghost, but I definitely think there is energy that can be found in places -- for sure."
Throughout the night, in both locations, there were several incidents of disembodied voices, noises and unexplained reactions to the sensors.
Stults said despite more stories out of the Custer House, they had the most response from the Triangle House.
"The Triangle House was pretty active," he said. "Particularly in the basement of both sides -- that's where the vast majority of strange things happened."
On at least two occasions Gray and Stults said everyone clearly heard disembodied voices.
"We were all together," Stults said. "We are all in the basement together and just very faintly heard it."
After getting some rest Sunday, Stultz said he went straight to the audio recording to see if it had been recorded -- and it did.
"Our audio recorders picked up a moan, kind of a female moan," he said. "Everybody heard it. It was definitely a female sound. I think that was a little unsettling for the ladies that were there."
In addition to the video and audio equipment, there were several sensors placed around the houses designed to detect unexplained movement and environmental changes such as an increase in static electricity and sudden temperature fluctuations.
On several occasions the sensors activated and even responded to questions.
"There was one piece of equipment that had an antenna on it and it made a buzzing sound if anything touches it or gets within a half an inch of it." Gray said. "That thing went off a lot, especially over at the Triangle House and when nobody was around it."
Another time when they were aware of a presence, they asked it what its name was. Gray said a voice, which sounded like a child's voice, answered with something like "Jim" or "Tim."
The most frightening time of the evening for her was at the Triangle House. She was texting with a former resident of the home who said the family dog never liked the back stairway, so they put a sensor there.
"We were all in the basement and someone asked the question 'are you done, would you like for us to leave? Give us a sign if you're ready for us to leave,'" she said. "And that back sensor just went off like crazy. We were like 'okay that's it, that's all we need to know and we cleared out."
Another time it appeared that a spirit was responding to them was when one of the sensors was going off quite regularly until one of the OSP team members came into the room.
"All of a sudden nothing started lighting up again," Gray said. "He was like, 'oh, do you not like me? Would you like me to leave the room?' and the thing just lit up and pointed right at him."
While there were plenty of unexplained sounds and reactions from the sensors, the investigation part of the process is apt to uncover more. Stults said oftentimes as they watch the video or listen to the audio they will hear and see things they had not seen or heard while the recordings were being made.
The team will begin watching all of the video and listening to all of the audio recordings. If a voice is detected it is analyzed to ensure it doesn't belong to someone in the room. If footsteps are heard, they'll watch the video to account for everyone's whereabouts.
He knows one piece of evidence he'll be looking for concerns a light in one of the upstairs rooms in the Triangle House.
"We went lights out, all the lights were out," he said. "We went downstairs with flashlights … and then we went upstairs and we're walking down the hallway of the main floor and I looked up and it looks like there's a light on upstairs. The other guys said they know all the lights were off. There was a bedroom light that was on upstairs, so we need to review the video to see if one of our guys just forgot to turn off the light."
He said they are looking forward to being able to present all their findings and possibly explore more hauntings on Fort Riley.