Belleville Masonic Lodge; January 17th & 18th, 2014

Case Background and Claims:

Bellevile Masonic Lodge ExteriorWe were invited to conduct a ghost hunt at the Belleville Masonic Lodge in order to ascertain if there was any paranormal phenomenon present.  We had two investigations back-to-back on January 17th and January 18th.

The current Lodge Brothers have not witnessed any paranormal activity, but some sounds have been heard by Lodge Brothers in the kitchen off of the common room.

The Belleville Masonic Lodge was built in 1856 and operated under the Masonic Charter of the Lodge in Ypsilanti until a Charter was issued in 1857 for the Belleville Lodge to open as their own Masonic Temple.  This Lodge had several Civil War soldiers attending, form both sides of the battle, both before and after the war.  This Masonic Lodge was a place where they could meet as fraternity and set all grievances aside while conducting Masonic ritual.

Currently, the Belleville Masonic Lodge is the oldest building in continual use in Van Buren Township.  Over the course of its existence, the Belleville Masonic Lodge building has also housed a funeral parlor, a furniture store, an apartment and a realtors office in the areas of the building that are not strictly dedicated to Masonic business.

Recently, the Lodge underwent extensive remodeling.

Investigation:

  • Investigators: Aaron, Bert, Brenda, Cas, Curt, Don, Eileen, Gayle, Heather, Jason, John, Kate H., Kate Z., Sue, Tim R., Tim W., various Masons and Their Family on both nights.
  • Weather: Exterior 20 degrees F., slight wind; 68 degrees F inside average
  • Air Particle Count: 66,123 @ 3 microns
  • Moon: 93% visible, Waning Gibbous
  • Structural: 2 stories + basement, original building with addition
  • Equipment: Ovilus, MEL EMF Meters, Natural Tri-Field Meter, K2 EMF Detectors, Sony Nightshot IR Cameras, JVC Digital Video Camera w/ IR, Motion Detector, EMF Pumps, Flir I7 Thermal Camera, EM White Noise Generator, PSB-7 Spirit Box, Minibox Plus, Frank’s Box, Laser Grid, Flashlight, Static Electricity Detector, Trigger Objects (Family Masonic Rings)
  • Time: 8:00pm-1:00am

Belleville Masonic Lodge Ceremonial Room

The Ceremonial Room

The Ceremonial Room of the Masonic Lodge today is not the original room used to conduct Masonic rituals.  The current ceremonial room was part of an addition to the original Belleville Masonic Lodge building.  The bulk of the furniture in the Ceremonial Room is original to the Lodge.

The Ceremonial Room had a baseline EMF reading of .6 mg, a reading only slightly elevated above normal conditions and therefor no cause for alarm.

While investigating the Ceremonial Room of the Belleville Masonic Lodge, our paranormal investigators had some personal experiences.  There were several investigators who spotted shadow persons in the darkness, including one shadow that blocked the street light coming in through a window.  There were several pops and bangs, and one knock that was an apparently intelligent response to a question.  Some noises were attributed to the possibility that past brothers were taking their seats near the team.

Bert conducted one of his famous Period Resonance sessions. Bert started with poetry from Brother Kipling. During Bert’s session, the team had a few random flashlight hits. A couple times, the flashlight only lit up as Bert got closer to the flashlight. The team also heard the pocket doors rattle as if someone was going to enter. Bert was sitting on the other side of the room from Tim and Don and saw a shadow pass above the two. Bert was studying the shadows made by the headlights of passing vehicles and said that the shadow that was cast over the two investigators was not replicated. Don got chills and the MEL meter and was very sporadic in its readings at this time, ranging from .4MG to .8MG, which is a far jump from the flat baseline reading Don and Kate received before the team started this session.

A Natural Tri-Field EMF Meter was placed on the alter and was initially giving positive responses to changes in the magnetic field in the room.  During one line of questioning, the meter sounded and Kate H. noticed the knob used to tune the meter located on the side of the device had a bright glare to it that shone against the darkness for one second.  She likened it to the fact that it had a light which is not possible since that device has no lights.

One of our investigators, Heather, did not feel that she was welcome to enter the game room adjacent to the Ceremonial Room.  In response to this, our investigator Curt entered that room and felt a cold spot moving with him.  Our investigator Eileen, while sitting in the Ceremonial Room, saw a shadowed lower part of a human torso walking fast directly towards her and it rattled her to the point where she had to leave the room to compose herself.

At two different investigation times, there was a scent reminiscent of mothballs that wafted by.  Later in the night, there was the smell of incense in the room; there are no incenses used during Masonic Ritual.

Downstairs Apartment

The downstairs apartment was on the addition side of the building.  Ir sits directly behind the storefront that used to serve as a furniture store and funeral parlor.  According to the current Masons, there was a lady who lived in that apartment rent-free for 13 years until she passed; it is believed that she died in the apartment.  She baked cookies and sold them to the Masons to get by and she referred to them as “Her boys.”  The dates are a bit sketchy, but it is believed she lived there from the late 1940’s to early 1960’s.  Her apartment has been vacant ever since and it now used as a social room for the Lodge Brothers.

The apartment area had an excessively high EMF with a baseline EMF of 1.9 mg.  At times, the EMF fluctuated as high as 13.2 mg.

During the investigation, Kate H. noticed that the light coming in from a door jamb was completely blocked out for a second.  This was investigated and by having Tim W. stand in a specific spot on the other side of the wall, the light could be blocked out in the exact same manner.  The first floor and basements of the building where then searched and there were no other people on the first floor that could have blocked out the light in such a fashion.

While not always accurate, we had several positive flashlight responses to questions posed.  We are still researching the name of the lady who lived and died in the apartment, but she was responding well to the name Eleanor.  According to the responses we received, she may have lost her husband in a war and she ultimately lived on her own for the rest of her life.

Jason, Don, Kate and Aaron used the Spirit Box and had a lot of success. The team heard what they believe sounded like a child talking for a good 15 to 20 seconds several times while the device was in use.  When they went back in the room later that night they attempted using the Spirit Box again but no voices came through

Basement

The basement was split into 2 sections. When you walked down the stairs there was a room that had the boiler and a few workshop materials. If you walked straight from the stairs there was a wide open room that on hot days the lodge members from the early years would use as a meeting room to keep cool.

Because the basement gave some members headaches while on the tour, we agreed that if we were to investigate the basement it would be for a short time and in the first room on the right.

Cas and Tim started in the first room in the basement. Tim asked, “Is there someone here from the cemetery across the lake? If there is, make a sound.” They then heard a loud “clink.” After the sound was heard, both Cas and Tim heard what sounded like a growl coming from the back of the room (but this was not caught on audio). Cas and Tim both felt as if something was peeking around the corner from the other room while they investigated. They reported an eerie feeling while down there.

Jason observed an orb – not characterized as a dust particle or insect — pass in his video camera’s frame. Jason also began to feel like he was being watched. Aaron switched places and immediately got the chills and felt a cold spot. Don checked the EMF and found a massive spike coming from the water pipes.  Later on, Kate discovered the recording from this session had either overridden the first session recording upstairs or that the upstairs recording never happened. Either way, recording of first upstairs session never made it on Kate’s recording.

EVPs obtained during Paranormal Investigation

“Oh yeah.” Class A EVP.  Dennis, the current Lodge Master, followed up Tim’s statement about fraternities needing a woman around to keep things from running amok with the word “True.”  Right after this, the EVP occurs.

“Hey, oh.”  Class A EVP.  John is conversing with fellow investigator Heather.  He was using a crystal and was remarking how he often gets a response before the crystal responds to the question.

“What’s the problem Here?”  Class A EVP.  Our investigators are trying to ascertain whether or not the spirit is still present when a female voice seemingly wonder if there is a problem…

“Tim.”  Class B EVP.  Tim is addressing the lady who lived in the apartment.  She called the brothers her “boys,” and Tim is trying to establish a rapport by mentioning her term of affection for the lodge brothers and the need for a woman’s presence.  In between the two statements in this EVP, you will hear a Tim’s name whispered very loudly in a male voice.

“No.” Class B EVP.  Brenda is attempting to get a flashlight response in the room and is asking if the being present could light up a flashlight for communication.  While she is stating “..light one of them up so we can at least..”, you will hear a male voice say “no,” over her “so we can at least,” statement.

“Bobby.” Class B EVP.  Jason is attempting to find out a name of any spirit present, and he gets one.

“Hi.”  Class B EVP.  During a brief conversation between Don and Tim R., a female voice chimes in that was not present in the room.

“It’s a lie.” Class B EVP.  Investigators Heather a Eileen are talking about a particular piece of equipment  not working like it usually does, the Ovilus, when this response comes in.

“OK.”  Class B EVP.  Don is doing a walkthrough of the basement taking initial readings when he gets a response.

“Nurse!  Need some help!”  Class X EVP.  Tim W. was using a Minibox Plus ghost box when this communication came through.  One of our investigators who was in the room is a nurse.

Conclusion

The Belleville Masonic Lodge left every investigator with some form of personal experience.  There are several more EVP’s that were recorded, but they were deemed to be Class C and therefor unpresentable as evidence.  This lodge has been in service for almost  160 years and with it’s rich history of fraternity, we have no doubt that some former lodge members check in from time to time.  We also believe that the lady who lived in the side apartment also checks in on her boys from time to time.  We are confident that there is nothing malicious within the building and we are very grateful to have had the opportunity to investigate this wonderfully historic building.

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