Friday, October 01, 2010

Playing Children Haunt Historic Missouri House

joplinglobe - The pink ball looked out of place at the Kendrick House.

The oldest standing building in Jasper County is a Victorian, two-story home with a history that dates back to before the Civil War. Inside are all sorts of Victorian furnishings, from old portraits on the wall to period furniture.

In the parlor of the house, placed near an old piano and opposite a wall with original built-in cabinets, the pink ball rested within a square of blue tape fastened to the striped carpet covering the uneven floor. Someone had written “Carol” across the ball.

“We had asked various questions,” said Lisa Martin, one of the leaders of Paranormal Science Lab. “We asked about things she liked and didn’t like. She responded that she liked balls, so we brought one and set it up in front of a camera, to see if she could move it.”

Carol is, allegedly, Carol Sue Janney, the daughter of Carl Jr. and Lucy Janney. She died of polio in the house in 1936, at the age of 2.

However, some paranormal researchers and some family members believe that her spirit can be detected in the house. Martin and other members of the group say they think they have had conversations with her through the use of flashlights.

Kelly Harris, president of the house’s board of directors, said the house was used as a headquarters during the Civil War by both Union and Confederate soldiers, she said. It is one of the few buildings that survived massive fires, and has housed several families since its construction in 1849.

Over the years, several of those residents reported strange occurrences, from hearing voices to seeing strange figures outside, Harris said.

"We had several groups investigate, and some of them were out in left field,” Harris said. “But we hit it off with this group. They are really scientific, and don’t go crazy with reports.”

Part of the Kendrick House ghost hunts is a review of collected evidence. One of the recordings taken earlier this year features what sounds like a child’s voice saying, well, something.

"A majority of us thought that it said ‘Carol,’” Crinnian said. “But one member of our group swore that it said ‘carrot.’ There was some dispute over it.”

The dispute was presented as part of a revelation of evidence to members of the house’s board of directors. Crinnian said that at the mention of the word “carrot,” a few of the board members gasped.

Apparently, Carol’s nickname was “Carrot.” It was heard in response to members asking who was present.

Carol also enjoys playing with the group’s “magic candles.” Group members prepare flashlights by turning them on, then adjusting the battery casing to the point where there is barely an electrical connection. After a test to make sure bumps or vibrations won’t turn the flashlights on, spirits are allegedly able to light them in response to yes or no questions.

“We’ve had some of our best responses through the flashlights,” Crinnian said. “We go through and ask questions, and we get responses. There’s also internal validity. We can ask the same questions, and get the same responses.”

Martin said data collected from the Sept. 18 ghost hunt has yet to be reviewed. But data from other hunts at the site reveal more EVP, Martin said.

“We caught the voices of a little child, a woman and a man,” Martin said.

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THE KENDRICK HOUSE - CARTHAGE, MISSOURI


The Kendrick House in Carthage is a fairly not interesting building to look at. It's a big rectangle. But it was part of the Battle of Carthage. It was outside the City of Carthage. And the confederates used it as -- used it as a base. They kept horses inside the house so union soldiers wouldn't know they were keeping it as a base. And there is still hoof prints in the wood that was still soft whenever they took over the house.

From the balcony when Carthage was set on fire, the family before they fled and the Confederates took over the house, stood there and watched the entire city burn -- the entire city didn't go down, but a nice chunk of it did.

The house -- the main ghosts that seem to haunt the house are children who play in the backyard. Okay. I'm not sure whose children they were because the children who lived there didn't die but there is a trucking company that is now very close to this and they will often call and complain to the Friends of the Kendrick House that there are kids playing outside at ten o'clock at night. They're playing ball, they're wearing knickers. So probably not neighborhood kids.

Strange lights have been seen in the house. From the Missouri State University down in Springfield people have come up and spent the night in the house and have recorded strange glowing lights floating around the room -- rooms upstairs and strange noises. The kitchen that's set up downstairs to -- it's for show, people will come in the next morning after having set up the kitchen one morning and glasses will be turned upside down, silverware will be on the floor and strange things -- strange things like, like, that. I wouldn't recommend sleeping there, there are no beds. - Missouri State Archives

Here is a link to detailed history of the Kendrick House