Christine L. Davenports questions about the paranormal arose after an incident involving an iPod that was mysteriously propelled across a room.
The answers were discovered in her attic in rolled up scrolls dated from the 1800s.
Mrs. Davenport was one of the about a dozen attendees of a paranormal town hall meeting hosted earlier this month at Flower Memorial Library sponsored by the Parascience Journal, an Internet radio show hosted by Evans Mills resident George D. Stadalski.
A few of the attendees, like Mrs. Davenport, brought along their paranormal stories.
Hers began shortly after moving into an old house on state Route 180 between Stone Mills and LaFargeville in 2007.
She was unpacking from her move from Stockton, Calif. Her children were at school, her boyfriend was at work and her dogs were outside in a fenced-in area. She had the music style she loves, punk rock, blaring from her iPod, which was plugged into a mini stereo unit in a corner of another room.
The music suddenly stopped.
I thought, Gee, thats odd, Ms. Davenport said.
When she got to the room, she saw the iPod unit was tipped over. I thought maybe the house bounced or something. I repositioned it real good, she said.
She continued her tasks. But the music stopped again. Entering the room again, she discovered the unit was unplugged. She plugged it back in and continued her unpacking.
The music stopped for a third time. When she entered the room, she said she found her iPod unit was three feet across the floor and unplugged from the wall.
There was no tremor in the house to make (the unit) be over there, Mrs. Davenport said at the town hall meeting. That kind of made me feel a little bit odd.
She got the sense that somebody didnt like the music she was playing.
You feel, Sorry! Ill play different music! she said.
Over time, Mrs. Davenport sensed an unusual feeling whenever she walked by the corner where the iPod had been plugged in.
And I kind of started to get these impressions, she said.
That impression, which she couldnt shake, was of a woman who wore her hair in a bun with a bonnet. She was looking out of the window in the corner, gazing in a certain direction.
I even told friends and family members that feeling; that somebody sad was looking out that window, Ms. Davenport said. I had people say theyve felt things in different houses that I didnt feel. I never really thought too much about it.
That changed when a work crew was putting insulation in her attic last spring.
The guys came down and said, We found something, she said.
It was two old scrolls rolled up, dated from the 1850s. One was a charcoal sketch. It was unrolled and the woman in her vision, complete with a bonnet, was revealed, she said.
I was tripped out, Ms. Davenport said.
The other is a funeral notice/poster that says in part, In loving remembrance of my dear father & mother. It notes the deaths of Hiram Mitchell, who died at age 74 in 1882, and his wife, Ann, who died in 1885 at the age of 77. Times files say they were Jefferson County pioneers.
Within sight of her house, Ms. Davenport said, is a graveyard for the Mitchell family.
Ms. Davenport theorizes that the woman in her vision was Mrs. Mitchell.
That woman sat in that window after her husband died, mourning his loss, and looking at his grave, she said.
In 1958, the Mitchell homestead became the first farm in Jefferson County to be recognized by the New York State Agricultural Society as a Century Farm, noting that it had been continuously owned for at least 100 years by the same family. Ms. Davenport believes the home was finally sold out of the Mitchell family in 1998.
Since the discovery of the scrolls, Ms. Davenport hasnt experienced anything unusual in the house.
Its all positive energy, she said. Everybody loves the house when they come in now. I figured whoever might have been there, or whatever essence was there, is now satisfied.
Mr. Stadalski, who as a member of the Region 7 Paranormal Research team performs paranormal investigations in the Northeast, focusing on Central, Western and Northern New York, said he is working with Ms. Davenport to schedule an investigation at her property. Ms. Davenport said she plans to have three independent paranormal investigations of the house.
focusing on science
Mr. Staldalski hosted the town hall meeting to gather topics for his Parascience Journal, which is heard at 7 p.m. Tuesdays on the Global Radio Alliance. The focus of the show is the scientific method and how it can be incorporated into investigating the paranormal.
Mr. Stadalski told the approximately dozen who attended the town hall meeting that science is the key to investigating paranormal experiences. He said its more than using high-tech equipment at investigations.
The scientific method is there to help us along the way, Mr. Stadalski said. Its not just setting up fancy equipment and standing in the dark. You have to formulate a hypothesis and come up with an experiment followed by peer review.
He said that paranormal television shows have brought more people into the field.
They are going out and basically mimicking what theyve seen on TV, Mr. Stadalski said of the new investigators. Thats a great start. But I think the key to do something right is to educate yourself.
When answers are discovered about certain paranormal activities, Mr. Staldaski said the results may be surprising.
I think were going to find out some of the answers were looking for, but I think a lot of the stuff were going to find out, when we do figure it out, is going to be completely different from what we thought it was, he said. Its going to be something in a total different direction.
At the town hall meeting, Sherry L. Pennock, Watertown, shared several photographs she took on her property, which contains, she said, some sort of paranormal portal or a brief dimensional window that shows what once was and that still exists in another realm.
The digital photos Ms. Pennock took on her property contain wispy shapes and forms often called ecto-mist by investigators. Subjects she saw in the photos range from horses, a fetus and a 20-foot guy standing on her garage.
Ms. Pennock, who lives in a residential area on Washington Street hill, said she started getting the images about a year-and-a-half ago.
She noted that she is a paranormal investigator and was preparing to investigate other locations when she was readying her camera on her porch.
I was setting the night vision, and I started getting stuff, Ms. Pennock said four days after the town hall meeting.
She claimed other people have taken photographs on her property and gotten the same effects.
I always believed, always sensed things, but never actually took a picture of it, Ms. Pennock said. I didnt know you could until I started doing it.
She said two of her photos won first and second places at the 2012 Jefferson County Fair in the digital art category.
Ms. Pennock also sells calendars of her work, but said shes not motivated by financial gain.
I havent really made any money on it, she said.
She added, Its only going to be a matter of time before I have a stockpile of video. Ive got a full-spectrum camcorder that has infrared and ultraviolet.
Mr. Stadalski said he couldnt explain Ms. Pennocks photographed phenomena, but noted there is one theory that when a digital camera cant register an image correctly, it creates an orb of confusion.
Im not saying the orbs arent real, Mr. Stadalski said. Im saying this is what I know about them. Im not saying that any one thing is right or any one thing is wrong because Im not qualified to do that. I like looking at everything and seeing all of it and trying to gain a better understanding.