A Haunting in Tennessee
by Elizabeth Lunceford
(Co-Director of VSPR)
In 2006, my sister Bonnie passed away suddenly and I began researching the paranormal to help find answers to my questions about the afterlife. It’s been a journey that has raised even more questions than I’ve found answers for. Leading me to believe that the afterlife is a lot more complicated than we’ve ever suspected it was. In 2009, my mother passed away after a short battle with pneumonia and dementia. Leaving my father alone in the house where she died as his mental faculties also began failing him. I spent 4 years making the hour long commute to his home in Madison to visit and care for him, but eventually had to hire a live-in service to assist him as the strain of driving so far so often became too much. In March of 2013, he died in my arms on the back stairs of his home as I tried to get him to a doctor.
As the executrix of his estate, I began making weekly visits to the home after his death to check on it and help clear some of the belongings out of it so that the house could be eventually sold as his will required. It was during these visits there that I began to experience various paranormal events that seemed to be growing with strength and frequency, even following me home to my house an hour away.
The day my father passed, the live-in caregiver informed me that she believed there was something going on in the home but had been afraid of saying anything about it for fear of losing her job. She told me that at night, she had heard the sound of a woman weeping and screaming out from the living room area on several occasions. The living room had been converted into a bedroom for my mother in the last weeks of her life. The live-in caregiver did not know this. There was a video night-vision baby monitor in my father’s bedroom so that she could keep an eye on him at night. She told me she had seen my father reach out with his arm like he was hugging an invisible person in bed with him on more than one occasion just prior to his death. Was my mother still there in the house? Or was she hearing a residual haunting? Did my father see her before he died? Or was it just a hallucination from his dementia?
It was a week after my father’s death, the first time I tried to contact my parents in the house, I used a REM-Pod. I explained how to use it and asked them to make it go off for me. I filmed the session and ran a digital voice recorder at the same time to see if there were any EVPs. For 15 minutes there was no response. Just as I was about to give up, the REM pod blipped.
At first I thought maybe something like the heat turning on might have made it do so. I went back to talking to them and after a few more minutes I sneezed, the REM-Pod blipped again at the same time. I then thought, maybe my sneezing could have caused it, so I tried faking a sneeze or coughing on it, nothing happened. I went back to asking them more questions and encouraging them to talk to me. Then the REM-POD began to go off again, once, twice, three times and then to slowly build up to a continuous frantic beeping. I asked them repeatedly to stop so that I knew when they are trying to answer. It stopped. I asked if I was speaking to my dad. No reply. I asked if it was my mom, the REM-Pod beeped. I asked if dad was there with her, the REM-Pod beeped again. I carried on this conversation with my mother for over 5 minutes with the REM-Pod acting as a conduit for her. It was an amazing experience which I will NEVER forget.
[ Here is a video clip of one of the sessions of the Rem-pod in use communicating with Beth's dad.]
After my father’s ashes were laid to rest it got quiet in the house. Subsequent visits where I’d do a short 15 or 20 min session to communicate with them yielded no interaction. I thought after a while that maybe they had crossed over. For several months, I didn’t try again to speak to them there at the house. Then one night I had to be there after dark to coordinate the sale of my father’s car and it’s transport. The house took on a whole different feeling at night and though it was 85 degrees in the house (I was not running the AC) it suddenly felt extremely cold around me and all the hair on my body stood on end, like a huge static field just engulfed me. It was more than a little unnerving. I didn’t feel like this was either of my parents. It was someone or something else. Nervous, I got out my phone (I didn’t have any of my equipment with me then) and turned on a “ghost radar” app which I’d had interesting results with on previous occasions over the years at various locations. I asked “Who is here?”, it replied “SAM”. I asked “Sam, why are you here?” He replied “DANGER”. I asked “Sam, What am I in danger from?” He replied “Themselves”. At this point, I’m thinking, OMG, what’s here and what can it or they do? The house was vacant now, had a bunch of ghost-squatters moved in? I was glad to get out of there as soon as I’d concluded my business and definitely didn’t want to be there after dark by myself again.
About a month after this, I was in the garage working to discard 40 years worth of junk and sift through things looking for stuff that might sell or be worth keeping for nostalgia. After I finished filling the trash can, I took it up the driveway to the street. All the way there, this butterfly followed me, swooping around me and tracking me all the way to the street. Once there, it continued to circle me until I wondered if it wasn’t being controlled by my dad. I greeted him and told him I was sorry I had to throw out his things and that I understood it bothered him. I went back to the garage and as I was finishing up, the garage light turned on by it self. That following weekend, I was caught out one night in a terrible thunderstorm on a local highway late at night. I took shelter under an overpass while the rain and lightning crashed all around me. Cars pulled in behind me and out of nowhere, this butterfly just lands on my driver-side window right next to my face and I looked at it. It was identical to the one that had followed me before.
I just stared at it trying to understand why it was there at night in a torrential downpour on my car window. Was my dad there trying to protect me? It crawled up over the top of the car until I couldn’t see it anymore and I suspected it was sitting directly above me. At the time, a car in the right lane of the highway pulls to a stop IN THE TRAFFIC LANE about even with my rear tire. I am watching in my side view mirror in disbelief as they just remain there in the traffic lane. There are crazy people still trying to drive in this rain at full speed and I’m thinking, “OMG, I’m going to die!” It would be a miracle if someone didn’t slam into the back of that car and they both come careening into me. I’m terrified for about 5 minutes as cars fly by at 60 miles an hour in the left lane and others slow down and wait to go around the idiot in the right lane who is stopped dead. After a while, the person in the right lane pulls away and the danger is past. I wonder how much of my safety was due to my father watching over me and how much was just dumb luck?
The next weekend, I take my husband and kids up to the house for him to go through my father’s tools to see if he wants any of them before the estate sale. The kids go into the house and sit down in the living room to play on their tablets. My husband and I began to sort through the tools. I pull over the trashcan and as I do so, I pass my father’s old wooden toolbox and wonder if I should keep it or try to sell it. I’d emptied it out already except for one drawer. It was closed up and it’s top was down. After we’d been going through things for about 30 mins, I needed to make a run over to the trashcan to dump the trash we’d accumulated in the sorting. I walked by the wood toolbox on my way to the can and all the time I could hear my husband tinkering in the toolbin nearby as he sorted things. When I finished dumping the trash, I turned back around to bring the empty box back to him and as I approached I stopped dead in my tracks and just went slack jawed.
There in front of me was the wooden toolbox with the top lifted up and the ONE drawer with items in it pulled so far out that it was ready to fall on the floor. I looked over to the other side of the garage at my husband who was apparently oblivious to everything and asked “um, hon did you do this?” he looks over at me and then to where I’m pointing at the toolbox and says “what?” I said “Did you open this and pull out this drawer”? He shakes his head and says “You must have done it”. I am like “NO WAY!” OMG!! I KNOW that I didn’t do that. I can’t believe my eyes really, I’m just stunned. At this same time, there is a huge thunderstorm building up and the sky is nearly ready to fall out on us. It’s getting really dark in the garage now so I say to my husband, I am going to turn on the light for us and go over to the steps to look for a switch. I see one on the garage door controller that is labeled “light” and raise my hand to press it. Before I can touch it though, the light turns on all by itself. I just freeze and look over to my husband who is not paying any attention at all and say “um, hon – I didn’t turn that light on, it came on by itself.” He looks at me and says, “right. it must be a short in the wiring or something”.
I’m thinking back now to the week before when it had happened? Was it a short in the wiring or was it my dad? I look back over to the old toolbox and I’m thinking it’s a little more than a coincidence.
I return to helping my husband and the storm breaks outside pretty badly. After 20 minutes or so it’s moved on and gotten quiet again. My kids come running out of the house into the garage shouting “Mom, Mom.. We heard someone scream! And then we heard what sounded like a cat meowing”. I look at them and remembered what the caregiver had told me about hearing a woman crying and screaming in the living room. I wonder if the thunderstorm had charged the air enough that a spirit could have been trying to interact? Had the storm released residual energy from that room somehow? Had the kids being there for the first time since my father passed away triggered something? Or was it just the removal of the tools he was so attached to? Whatever was it was, something paranormal seemed to be happening. After I calmed the kids and tried to explain things away for them, we finished up our sorting and packed up the truck. In addition to the tools we also took some of my father’s square dancing equipment and records. I left two crates of tools and the old wooden toolbox (the haunted one) there for the night.
The following week, I returned to the house to load up the things we hadn’t gotten the last trip due to lack of room. As I got out of the car, a butterfly remarkably like the previous two, greeted me and began to fly around the car and myself. I laughed and told my father “hi dad, good to see you too”. I opened the garage up and popped the back of my trunk open and began to load the crates and the old tool box inside. When I looked up to close the trunk lid I stopped in surprise to find the SAME butterfly sitting on the lip of the trunk lid watching me. I smile at it and say “I love you too dad” and it flies off. I close the lid of the trunk and the garage light goes off. I smiled and thanked him for the help before closing the door to the garage.
The following week, my kids were out of camp and school hadn’t started again for the fall so I had to bring them along with me for my weekly trip to my dad’s house. It had been about 10 days since they had been there and heard the cat sound. This time, I figured I’d be prepared to catch it on audio if it happened a second time. The kids took their tablets into the living room as before and I set up two audio recorders on the table near them and turned them on. Being July, it was still very hot and I did not have the air conditioning running. Since I was also taking photos, I did not want to stir up a lot of dust by turning on ceiling fans. I was on my way into my father’s bedroom to pack up some things when I remember looking up at the ceiling fan in the dining room thinking “I wish I could turn that on, but I don’t want to disturb the dust”. I was in my father’s room for about 10 minutes and when I came back into the living room, the ceiling fan was going full blast. There is no wall switch for this fan and the pull string is only inches from the blades. Not even I could reach this. I asked my kids if they’d drug over a chair or something and turned it on, but they said no. I’d have heard them doing this if so.
Then I went out into the garage and began cleaning things out as usual for me. After about an hour, they both come running out of the house yelling “Mom, Mom… something breathed in my ear and the rocking chair in grandma’s room was moving.. then we heard the cat thing meow again, three times!” I’m thinking, Oooookay. I tell them, not to be afraid. We’ll check the recorders later to see if they caught the sounds..
Later at home I reviewed the digital audio recording of the time the kids were in the living room. During the recording I discovered not only the cat-like phenomena but an additional 31 EVPS through-out the recording. Some of them were extremely clear, others were Class B and difficult to discern without sound manipulation to amplify, slow or otherwise clean the anomaly. At no time have I seen any cats at or around my father’s house. The anomalies recorded did have a cat-like sound to them, but sounded more like someone pretending to be a cat than an actual real cat. The phenomena also sounded like they emanated from within the room or adjoining rooms, not muffled like an outside sound would be. There were also no open windows. Since bringing the tools back to my house from my father’s place, I have also experienced the sound of a wrench hitting a concrete floor, disembodied footsteps, brushing against my legs from no discernable source, shadows in my periphery, and many other inexplicable things. There may indeed be some form of object attachment going on here.
After the estate sale had emptied out the house and it was completely devoid of all furniture and items, I cut my trips up there back to once every other week. I would make a trip up there for about an hour to check on the place, make sure it hadn’t been vandalized, that the yard had been mowed etc.. While there I would attempt communication with the spirits by running a digital voice recorder, a REM Pod, a SpiritBox and video. I did four small investigations with a group of friends and researchers over the next year while trying to find a buyer for the house. I documented over 200 class A EVPs, over 50 videos of visual anomalies, REM-Pod interaction and over a dozen spirit orbs. I eventually found a buyer for the house, did a house cleansing and blessing the day before the house closing.
[Photo of Orb taken by Beth]
[Orb photo captured when VSPR team investigated the home. The VSPR team witnessed the Orb flying out of the closet; then leave the room. Mike took a digital photo with his SONY DSC-H50 digital camera. set in night vision as it was exiting towards the door.]
On the day of the house blessing I prayed for all the spirits there and said my goodbyes. I got an amazing photo of a spirit orb with the full image of my father’s face in it. Best spirit orb I have ever seen. He spoke into my recorder telling me he wanted to be allowed to remain in the house. Many other spirits were recorded that day saying either they were going home with me or weren’t able to leave. I don’t know if the new owners are still having any activity there, but hopefully everyone is happy there, both the living and the dead.
[AUDIO CLIPS ]
Beth (Audacity).wav 3 SECOND MARK
This is a disembodied voice I captured on the recorder I left running in the kitchen while I was outside sweeping the back patio. It captured my mother’s voice calling for me “Beth”.
[Loud Thump in Kitchen only ]
Here is an audio clip of my visit on Easter 2014 when I went in and wished them a Happy Easter and they responded with a HUGE knock. The house was completely empty as you can hear by how it echoes.
[My father’s saying “Glad you’re back” to me upon arrival one visit as I unlocked the door]
If interested in more about Beth; she also shares her paranormal experiences and research on her personal website Music City Ghost. MUSICCITYGHOSTS.COM