Several years back, I was fortunate to be able to participate in a paranormal investigation in the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah, Nev. prior to its grand reopening.
My friend and I joined the WIGs (Women Investigating Ghosts) for an electronic voice phenomena (EVP) recording session in the Lady in Red’s room on the fifth floor.
Rose (her birth name was Evelyn Mae Johnston) was a prostitute who worked at the hotel and regularly “kept company” with a volatile gambler. On Jan. 2, 1914, he entered her room unannounced and found her with another customer. Jealous, he chased her into the hallway where he stabbed her to death.
Her spirit, now called the Lady in Red, is said to haunt room 512 as well as the fifth floor hallway where she died. Some who’ve stayed in the room report seeing her and afterward finding a single pearl on a pillow or the nightstand.
So there we were in her room. As we conducted EVP in her room, a video camera secured to a tripod filmed our session. It wasn’t long before someone in our group noticed strange movements from the camera: Whenever one of us asked a “yes” or “no” question, the camera either nodded or shook as if answering our queries. If we posed a question that required a longer reply, it remained still.
The owner of the camera went to her equipment to make sure it was screwed tightly onto the pod. It was. There was no explanation for how it moved without anyone (at least anyone we could see) near it.
Afterward, I spoke to Sharon Leong, an investigator I respect, about our experience and I learned a valuable lesson. She asked: “You did have someone videotape the camera replying to the questions, didn’t you?”
Ugh. We didn’t. But if this ever happens again, you bet we will.
For more on the Mizpah, see my post, “Waiting for the Lady in Red.”
All may not be lost – here’s a follow-up question: Have you heard from WIGs if upon their review of the video taken from the camera that moved, whether the scene wobbled or shifted indicating movement? E.g., on my first overnight investigation on Alcatraz, I had set up and left a video camera running continuously inside one of the solitary confinement cells. Imagine my surprise when upon reviewing the video, the scene shifted to the left and then back to the right again as if the camera had somehow moved on its own (or perhaps examined by a curious spirit)? 🙂
It was so many years ago at this point…I don’t know. I’ll see if I can find out and will let everyone know. Thank you, Sharon.
Sounds like Paula’s footage did get the movement. She’s going to try and find it. I don’t believe I can post the footage here, but will see about posting it on my Facebook author page at Kathleen Berry Author. Will let everyone know here when I see the footage. Thanks, Sharon!
FYI…the movements to yes or no questions just happened. to us on Oct.31st and Nov 1st 2015 and we recorded it! This is crazy and awesome. I now know we are not crazy!
Did this happen to you in the Lady in Red room? If so, wow–what cool validation. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and to comment.
Hi Sharon! In answer to your question, no we did not video the camera. We were too puzzled by the movement and was trying to figure out why it was happening. I did ask another investigator to come look at it, just in case my eyes were playing tricks on me. I have seen this happen one other time with this same camera. Mona was leaving a room and the camera followed her for a short distance. We had her come back into the room and it seemed to follow her coming back in. Unfortunately, I don’t have that footage. I will post a clip from the Mizpah for you to view in the near future.
Thank you so much, Paula. If you have a link you can share here, that would work, as I don’t think I have the ability to post video clips on my blog. Happy Halloween!!!
Would be great to see it! I remember you, Kathleen, et al. talking about it that night at the Mizpah … Thanks, Paula and Kathleen, for bringing this up.
Thank you for always providing valuable input for us to learn how to be more credible investigators.
Some more information from the investigator, Paula, on the camera movement: After this clip, Rebecca left the room to get the recording of the Shoshone music, it did not move at all until she returned and played the song. I’m very interested in Sharon Leong’s opinion of this. Is it paranormal? I just don’t know, maybe. Could it be a glitch in the camera, you betcha. It’s weird how it appears to answer yes or no and at times coincides with the rods.
I want to add that I have used this camera for 4 years now and have experienced the movement only twice. I just purchased another camera, same model. It will be interesting to see if it does this as well. Then we’ll know that it is in the internal working of this camera model. I will be using them both this weekend and will get back to you on the outcome.
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Thanks, Paula and yes, please keep us posted as to your findings re the camcorder this weekend.
Here’s the link to the video. It is just one instance in an hour long video.
Look forward to hearing your opinion Sharon Leong!
Thanks so much for finding this and posting it! I look forward to watching it.
What’s interesting is the camera moves a lot early on, but doesn’t look as definitive as it did when we were there. Near the end of this clip, the camera is very still until you ask if it has been moving the camera, then it starts again….
Just viewed the video & without seeing the camcorder-tripod mount, I can’t say definitively whether the camcorder’s movements were mechanically caused or whether it was caused by something more paranormal in nature. That said, I will defer to you and Paula and the WIGs team as eye-witnesses. 🙂
Thank you, Sharon. I guess it will remain a mystery, whether it is explainable or paranormal.