Oakland County Historic Library; August 23, 2013

Case Background and Claims:2013_08_23-Auburn-Hills-Library-Picture_Outside_Current

Many individuals have experienced unexplained occurrences.  One of the most common occurrences is the sound of footsteps heard overhead of the adult reference desk, as if someone is walking around on the second floor, even though no one is up there.

A lot of occurrences happen on the second floor, which is part of the original home.  Sometimes there are unusually cold spots.  Staff has been pushed out of the door once, as well as had the door slam on them.  On one occurrence, a staff member was getting something out of the storage room and had left the keys in the lock on the door.  When she went to leave, she could not find the keys, which were eventually found on the floor, even though they had securely been left in the lock.  In this same area, a staff member has also had their shirt tugged on, and others have reported the feeling of being watched.

Downstairs, people have heard their names called, books have mysteriously moved from where they were left on display, and shadows have been seen.

History of the Location:

Photo courtesy of the Auburn Hills Library and Auburn Hills Historical Society.

The home in 1936. Photo courtesy of the Auburn Hills Library and Auburn Hills Historical Society.

The Auburn Hills Public Library is one of the many buildings that make up the historic Auburn Hills City Civic Center Complex. It “is the former Brunette House, long-time private residence for Annette Brunette,” according to the Auburn Hills Historical Society.

Ms. Brunette purchased the home from Mr. William Johnson, the original owner, on July 21, 1939.  At that time, the 5,000-square feet, Greek Revival Style home resided on Mount Clemens Road (now known as University Drive) in Pontiac.

The home, believed to be built in the early 1900s due to the type of wood that was used, is thought to have been remodeled in the 1930s, when the Greek Revival Style touches were added, and again in the 1950s.  It “was scheduled for demolition during the University Road expansion project when members of the Library Board expressed interest in acquiring the building,” according to a pamphlet written by Hester Witters for the Auburn Hills Historical Society.

The owners of the land sold the building to the City of Auburn Hills for $1, as stated in an article written by Kenn Jones for Oakland Sunday Magazine, published by The Oakland Press.

The home in the 1940. Photo courtesy of the Auburn Hills Library and the Auburn Hills Historical Society.

The home in the 1940. Photo courtesy of the Auburn Hills Library and the Auburn Hills Historical Society.

After the purchase, in 1987, the City of Auburn Hills moved it to where it now stands as part of the Auburn Hills Civic Center Complex on Seyburn Drive.  The move was made possible after the home was split into two, with one part being “hauled down Walton Boulevard, and the other half hauled through the woods to the new site” (Jones). Then, in 1996, a large addition was made to the historic home, and it now houses the library.

The home fit the feel of the Auburn Hills City Civic Center Complex as several buildings in the complex are original historic buildings of the Wesson Seyburn estate, which originally stood at that location.

Wesson Seyburn, a wealthy real estate developer, was married to Winifred Dodge, eldest daughter of the John Francis Dodge, of Dodge automotive manufacturing.  (Dodge’s third wife, and Winifred’s stepmother, Maltilda went on to build Meadowbrook Hall.)  While Seyburn and his family resided in a mansion in Grosse Pointe, the Auburn Hills home was used as a country estate and for hunting.  In fact, a pet cemetery still exists on the land for Seyburn’s former hunting dogs.

In addition to the original location of Ms. Brunette’s home bordering Mr. Seyburn’s estate, the two were also friends.   Ms. Brunette, a registered nurse, was a dog lover and would frequently take her Labrador to play at the duck pond on Seyburn’s estate, according to the Historical Society.  It is also believed that she sometimes cared for Mr. Seyburn’s hunting dogs when the Seyburns were not at their country home.

Many parts of the original Brunette House have been maintained and preserved, while other parts have been converted to functioning parts of the library. According to the Auburn Hills Historical Society, the original woodwork and pine staircase that leads to the second floor can be found upon entering the library.  Upstairs, a window seat still remains and was originally used by Ms. Brunette as a toybox to store items for visiting children.  The original upstairs bedrooms have been converted into areas used by staff, but a black and white tiled bathroom remains, including its pedestal sink. On the main floor, the extravagant private bedroom suite has been converted into the adult fiction area, the kitchen into the main desk and checkout areas, the dining room into the business reference collection, the library into the director’s office, the bath into “where the stairs now lead to the basement level.”  Additionally, the room where the non-fiction collection is located “still retains a wall of original shelving where new books are now displayed,” as well as the original fireplace and an old brick wall (Witters).

Information provided by:

Jones, Kenn. “Cornerstones: A cozy place to enjoy books.” Oakland Sunday Magazine.
Witters, Hester. “The Brunette House.” The Auburn Hills Historical Society.

A Video that Documents History and Claims:

Video Evidence from the Investigation:

Investigation:

  • InvestigatorsJohn, Lee, Mike, Tim R, Brenda, Sharon, Gayle, Jason, Cathy
  • Weather: Clear, 81F
  • Time: 8:00pm to 12:15am
  • Date: August 23, 2013
  • Equipment Used: K-II meters, Ghost Radar, Recorders, Ovilus, MEL meters, Ovilus X/w DTD, K-II w/Audio, MEL ADD, Mag Lights, Nikon Digital IR Camera, Nikon Digital Camera, Sony Night Shot 8mm with IR, Motion Detectors, EMF Pumps, Air Particle Counter, FLIR thermal camera, infrared thermometer, Sony HD camera
  • Props Used: Doll & Ball
  • Air Particle Count: 68753* 3uf
  • EMF: .0 to .1 Base Reading

Investigative Timeline:

8:05 p.m.

MEETING ROOM

Previous to the start of the investigation, Brenda let the Ghost Radar run and turned her flashlight on.  While one of the librarians was speaking, she would get flashlight confirmations to the facts she was discussing.

Ghost Radar Words:  Along, I’ve, Carbon, October, Needs, Income, Breeze, Discussion, Cross, Coast, I’d, Gun, Making, Hang, Movement, Philadelphia, Hope, Border, Command

8:45 PM

TEAM 1: CHILDREN’S AREA

During Team #1’s (John, Lee, and Mike) investigation of this area, John believes he saw a dark shadow figure cross just outside of the area the team was sitting in.  While Lee was taking pictures with her IR Digital Camera, she experienced a battery drain, plus her camera wouldn’t take shots at times or when pointing her camera at John.  Also during the session, John’s MEL ADD detected a temperature change at the same time it reacted to an EMF change in the room.

Ovilus: Embark, Tail, Meat, Bend, Police, Thus, Natural, Her, Fist, Embark, Happen, Represent, Salvation, Cost, Live, Discover, Feed, Western, Happen, Spectacular, Subtract, Section, Quarter, Represent, Hope, Debra, Empty, Woman, Broad, Dwindle, Never, Ghost, Shepard, Suddenly, Priest, James, Never, Ticket, Dig, James, Helpful, End, All, Mistake, Fouled, End, Column, Restore, Her, Ticket, Ground, Can, Read, Various, Batteries, End, Six, Digital, Lord, Warrior, November, Add, These, Digital, Center, Probably, Freeze, Their, Clairvoyant, Float, Remembers, Tied, Lark, Would, Stone, Each, Allow, Anti, Wonder, Steven, Comfort, Read, While, Seek, Let, Lash, Let, Tweak, Twenty, Cost, Picture, Mother, Real, Restore, Lonely, Carbon, Tragic, Sip, Would, Movie, Tall, Plant, Soil, Suit, Vast 

TEAM 2: MAIN FLOOR

Team #2 (Jason and Gayle) were sitting down in the library by fireplace (in the adult section) doing an EVP session. Jason felt a sensation on his leg. During the EVP session, they were also getting consistent K-II hits.  Gayle asked, “Are you letting us know you are here?” and the K-II spiked all the way to red.  Gayle also kept feeling breezes by her, especially near her legs.  They checked for draft, but could not find one, and were also not experiencing any sort of temperature change. Both Jason and Gayle kept hearing loud knocks by one specific bookcase. When Gayle walked over to the bookcase, she got the chills. Also, they experienced a spike of 0 to 2.0 on the MEL meter at one point.  Jason also felt cold breezes on his legs and saw shadows moving about.  Jason felt a breath on his ear, and, at one point, both Jason and Gayle heard a man breathe.  Jason did also see an unexplained random blue spot appear on the FLIR thermal camera and then disappear.  Eventually, Team #2 moved near the front of the library where they both thought they saw a shadow go by at the same time but at different spots.  At this same time, while they are commenting on seeing the shadows, Gayle captured an EVP that sounds like it says, “Do you see us?”  This may support the idea that there were two shadows.

TEAM 3: THIRD FLOOR – IN ONE OF THE FORMER BEDROOMS

Team #3 (T3, Brenda, and Sharon) believed that they came in contact with William Johnson and Annette Brunette, former owners of the home, and had numerous flashlight responses to confirm this.  The hall light outside of the room came on by itself, and when asked if Annette turned it on, two flashlights turned on to confirm it.  Brenda started a spirit box session trying to contact William or Annette. When Brenda asked “who is here,” the word, “William,” came through. The team also had flashlight confirmation that Mr. Johnson enjoys the children who come to the library to study and that Ms. Bennett’s spirit was here with Mr. Johnson.  Also, during this session, the EVP, “Deceit,” was recorded.  At one point, Brenda had a hard time breathing and T3 got the “chills.”  Later, T3 reported that something touched his ear and Brenda felt “static” around her legs.  Sharon also thought that someone touched her arm.  The session ended at 9:40 p.m.

Ghost Radar:  Castle, Full, Canada (family was from Canada), Distant, Amount, Burst, Adult, May, Bag, Got, Ben, Jonathan, Tape, Becoming, Point, Dad, Quite, Hard, Is, Peace, Mars, Gulf, January, Ann, Asleep, Free Famous, Strange, Caught, Curious, Loud, Teeth, James, Line, October, Frightened

Ovilus: Pluto, Human, Records, Paul, Tree, Eat, Carrier, Highway (house was moved from Pontiac to build a highway)

9:50 p.m.

TEAM 1: MAIN FLOOR

During Team #1’s (John, Lee, and Mike) session, John’s motion detectors responded a few times indicating something pass into the area the team was sitting.  Also, Lee smelled a rotting flesh smell on a few occasions.  The team tried to debunk this through the air vents, but the smell also occurred when air was off.  John felt what he believed to be a young male child, about 8-years-old, touch his neck while sitting in this area.  At this same time, one of the motion detectors went off and Lee smelled the rotten odor.  (It is significant to note that the team made contact with the boy later in the night, too.)   

TEAM 2: THIRD FLOOR – in one of the former bedrooms

Team #2 (Jason and Gayle) were joined by two of the library’s employees, Tina and Devan.  The team was getting K-II hits in this area. They also had the motion detector go off and the K-II at same time. The team moved to the room near the maintenance room for the last 15 minutes of the session and had a few K-II hits, mainly when talking about the home. 

TEAM 3: LOWER LEVEL (Children’s Library Area)

Team #3 (T3, Brenda, and Sharon) welcomed the spirits in the room and had an immediate flashlight response. They tried getting into contact with any deceased librarians. The team believes they got into contact with Brenda’s father, Slick. Later on, Brenda asks, “Are you the one that calls out the staff’s name,” and an EVP was caught with a female saying, “Yes.”  Then, Brenda comments that a fly at the window was bugging her and the Ovilus replies with “fly.”  About 13 minutes later, Sharon ask if the spirit was the one who turned off the light outside, and an EVP is caught that sounds like a male voice saying “yes.”  Session ended at 10:45 p.m.

Ghost Radar:  Gasoline, Child, Connected, Composed, Spain, Tom, Furniture, Colony, Friend, Alphabet, Matter, Program, Flies (when Brenda said a fly was bugging her at the window), Key, Deceased, Discussion, Chicken, Joe, Pleasant, Cap, Pig, Lost, Pull, Him, Mixture, Fairly, Louis, Characteristic, French, Bag, Librarian, Planning.

Ovilus:  Eat

10:50 p.m.

TEAM 1: THIRD FLOOR – in one of the former bedrooms

While Team #1 (John, Lee, and Mike) are in this area, Mike sees a white light appear directly behind John on the inside wall.  No explanation could be found for this as they were on the top floor.  Also, they had a few flashlight responses while asking about the gentleman (Mr. Johnson) who originally owned the home.

Ovilus Words Spoken: Crowd, Cry, Same, Turning, Bomb, Stir, Train, Shining, Lark, Rope, Move, Vast, Column, Get, Book, Wonder, Lash, Seek, You, Mother, Attitude, Alive, These, Alive, Decompose, Allow, Thick, Help, Comfort, Grave, Manual, Flow, Felt, Beth, Anti, Shuttle, Bunny, Lash, Roselyn, Reap, Stone, He, Ask, Early, Bunny, Orbs, England, Who, Quiet, Plant, Past, Ah, Quiet, Attitude, Stood, Inches, Anything, Shuttle, Level, Muddy, Sum, Suit

TEAM 2: LOWER LEVEL

Team #2 (Jason and Gayle, along with Tina and Devan) started their session in the conference room downstairs but did not experience anything.  Eventually, they moved to the children’s section.  They did not experience anything unusual there either. 

TEAM 3: MAIN FLOOR, behind the fireplace

Team #3 (T3, Brenda, and Sharon) thought they heard a dog bark, but did not capture it on any of the recorders. At 11 minutes into the session, Brenda’s recorder’s batteries randomly drained. The team believed that Annette had followed them to this room. They received confirmation with flashlight responses. Session ended at 11:45 p.m.

Ghost Radar: Acres, behind, I’ll, Log, Almost, Arrangement, Counts, Raise, Flag, Article, Vertical, Century, Reach, Remain, Greatest, Blanket. 

12:05 a.m.

WHOLE TEAM: THIRD FLOOR – Mechanical Room 

The whole group was present for this session.  The group believes they may have come into contact with a child spirit (the same one John made contact with earlier in the night).  Based off of the flashlight responses Brenda was receiving, as well as the Ovilus words, they believe the boy is lonely, sometimes moves things in the library, and enjoys all the people that come to visit.  During the session, Gayle and Mike had to leave the room due to not feeling well and feeling dizzy.

Ghost Radar: August, Among, Hurry, Fireplace, Closely, Asleep, Alaska, Avoid, Grandfather, Please

Ovilus: Adultery, Nurse, Grave, Adultery, Move, Bunny, Book, Pillow, Lonely

EVP Audio Evidence Obtained During Investigation:

“No.” Class C EVP. On the main floor, the motion detector and K-II both off, which prompts Gayle to ask, “Can you do that again?” and a response that sounds like a child saying “no” is captured.

“Whispered Response.” Class C EVP. Recorded on the main floor, Gayle asks, “Was that you that made that knock?” and some sort of whispered response is heard.

“No.” Class A EVP. Jason comments on feeling a weird feeling and then Tina, one of the librarians, says “you don’t like the library?” and a response saying “no” can be heard.  This was recorded in the mechanical room.

“They Know.” Class B EVP. Recorded in the basement, John is commenting about all the activity is going on and a voice, which sounds male, responds that says “They know.”

“No.” Class C EVP. Also recorded on the main floor, Gayle asks, “Who’s upstairs? T?” and a response that sounds like “no” can be heard.

“Get Out.” Class C EVP. Also recorded on the main floor, Sharon asks if “Joe the spirit” was the one who turned off the light outside, and a male responds with what sounds like “Get out.”

“Hi.” Class A EVP. As John and Mike are in another area of the basement, Lee is repeating the last Ovilus word, “Various,” and a male voice can be heard whispering “Hi” to Lee.

“Yes.” Class C EVP. This was recorded on the main floor, and Brenda asks “Are you the one that calls out the staffs’ names?” and a female responds with “Yes.”

“Did You See Us?” Class C EVP. After Jason and Gayle both see shadows, at the same time, in different areas of the main floor, a voice is captured that sounds like “Did you see us?”

“Deceit.” Class B EVP. On the third floor, an EVP is captured that sounds like “deceit.”  It occurs after Brenda is asking if the spirit is Annette Brunette.

Conclusion:

The team experienced many personal experiences throughout, as well as had multiple interactions through flashlight responses, Ovilus and Ghost Radar responses, and EVPs.  It is our belief that there is definitely something present in this location, and it appears to be more than one spirit.  Potentially, it may be three, two of which may be the previous homeowners, William Johnson and Annette Brunette, and that of a child.  In regards to the EVPs, male and female voices were captured, as well as one that sounds like a child.  The spirits appear to be intelligent in their communication and unthreatening.  We appreciate the Auburn Hills Library for opening their doors and allowing us an opportunity to investigate in a location with such rich history.

One comment on “Oakland County Historic Library; August 23, 2013

  1. B.

    Hi, I just visited this library, with no idea of it’s history. I was in the children’s section, rushing around, trying to help my son find a book on JFK. When I swiftly stepped into a smaller room across from the librarian’s desk, I felt the strangest rush of dizziness and vibration. It stopped me in my tracks and I audibly cried out “Woh!” I had to stop and steady myself…what was going on in this space? I didn’t feel threatened, but I felt like something was there, and that I had run right into it. It caught me off guard. I thought immediately that I had encountered something supernatural. The next day, I couldn’t shake the power of that moment, so I started doing research on the library, and I found out that the building has a history of unusual activity. I felt a little spooked, but intrigued as well.

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