Brownella investigation yields spooky evidence

Matt Echel­berry

By Matt Echelberry

Inquirer Reporter

Brownella Cot­tage hosted sev­eral vis­i­tors on the evening of Fri­day, May 25. Para­nor­mal inves­ti­ga­tors con­ducted exper­i­ments there from 9 p.m. — 2 a.m. (with the approval of the Galion His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety). Joe James and Greg Seyter, the lead­ers of Para­nor­mal and Cryp­tic Explo­ration (PACE), set up video cam­eras and other equip­ment in sev­eral of Brownella’s rooms to see if any para­nor­mal activ­ity occurs amid its red car­pet, ele­gant decor and fireplaces.

Brownella is slated to be another stop on the Haunted Mans­field tour, along with the Ohio State Refor­ma­tory (in Mans­field), the Biss­man Build­ing, Mal­abar Farm State Park, the Renais­sance The­atre, and the Mans­field Fire Museum. It is sig­nif­i­cant that this Galion land­mark has become a part of the tour, for 2012 marks the 75th anniver­sary of the death of Bishop William Mont­gomery Brown, who lived at the cot­tage with his wife, Ella (whom the estate is named after), and Ella’s mother.

PACE did an ini­tial inves­ti­ga­tion there to see what kind of activ­ity occurs and to get famil­iar­ized with the loca­tion before ghost hunters par­tic­i­pat­ing in Haunted Mans­field check out the cot­tage. In addi­tion to James and Seyter, Seyter’s wife and daugh­ter were a part of the PACE team and helped con­duct the inves­ti­ga­tion. James, a senior at Clear Fork High School, has been fas­ci­nated by the occult for some time now. In June of 2011, he pub­lished a book titled “The Ohio State Refor­ma­tory: An Overview” and is work­ing on one about Mal­abar Farm.

He said that Haunted Mans­field is very dif­fer­ent from past events that have been held at Brownella, such as the “Evening with the Browns” ses­sion hosted in the past by Dr. Doug Gru­ber. Haunted Mans­field allows par­tic­i­pants to con­duct their own para­nor­mal inves­ti­ga­tions with their own equip­ment and is intended for more advanced ghost hunters. “This is game-changing because it really opens up the poten­tial [of Haunted Mans­field],” James com­mented before his investigation.

Sev­eral mem­bers of the Galion His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety were also in atten­dance that evening. They dis­cussed some of their own expe­ri­ences with spooky noises and sight­ings, which mainly tend to occur in the din­ing room and kitchen areas. Some noises that they often hear while inside Brownella include a bark­ing dog, piano play­ing and whistling. “The Bishop loved to whis­tle,” Thomas Palmer, cur­rently sec­re­tary of the soci­ety, added.

Palmer also recalled once being in the din­ing room with another per­son and they heard talk­ing even though nei­ther of them were say­ing any­thing. Accord­ing to him, full con­ver­sa­tions can some­times be heard.

All four mem­bers of PACE had some type of an expe­ri­ence that night. Some felt a phys­i­cal pres­ence in the house, like James, who reported feel­ing a tick­ling sen­sa­tion on his right hand while sit­ting in the par­lor room. Oth­ers reported spot­ting shad­ows or hear­ing sounds.

In par­tic­u­lar, one of the tape recorders picked up the dis­em­bod­ied voice of a young girl. James stated the team could not deter­mine what the voice said, but a girl’s voice can clearly be heard. Images caught on the video cam­eras still need to be assessed by the team.

Brenda Treisch, trea­surer of the Galion His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety, was present for some of the inves­ti­ga­tion and said that she was not sur­prised by PACE’s find­ings. Treisch watched the secu­rity mon­i­tors through­out the evening and said she could see orbs from time to time, which can be either dust or an entity, she explained. She was impressed by the team and is really happy that the His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety has part­nered with Haunted Mans­field. “These ghost hunts are going to be very well-run and I think peo­ple will have some evi­dence [of the para­nor­mal] when they leave.”

If you would like to set up an inves­ti­ga­tion at Brownella Cot­tage or any of the Haunted Mans­field loca­tions, con­tact Joe James at ParanormalACE@