Paranormal sleuths: Spirits abound in Larimer Mansion
Some of the former residents of Larimer Mansion Bed & Breakfast in North Huntingdon might still be living in the 221-year-old building.
Members of Pittsburgh-based Hauntings Research spent about eight hours investigating the mansion on Sept. 13. They reviewed audio and video recordings and photographs for almost a month.
The investigation gave Lynne and Larry Moisey, owners of the bed-and-breakfast, a few answers, but also left them with several questions about who - or what - might be living in the house.
"I think this will answer a lot of questions for many people, but I think I already knew," Lynne Moisey said. "This just confirms it."
The findings stunned the members of Hauntings Research, said founder Ed Ozosky.
"What we're presenting is only a small sample of what we found that night," he said. "It was overwhelming - we don't usually get this much of a response."
Each member of the team at the Larimer House claimed to have some kind of paranormal experience during the investigation. The group got an extraordinary amount of photographic and audio evidence during the investigation, Ozosky said.
Hauntings Research used consumer-grade digital cameras and voice recorders. EMF meters also were used; the equipment finds electromagnetic fields of power sources in homes and on construction sites to document investigations.
The group also use digital voice recorders, in hopes of catching an electric voice phenomenon (EVP), which could be spirits speaking. Voices can be heard by replaying the audio recordings with the volume turned up.
Investigators typically don't need to make any adjustment to audio recordings, photos and videos to spot evidence. All of their findings are based on audio, photographic and video findings, Ozosky said.
"Without proof, all personal experiences are just stories, not facts," he said.
First in the lineup
Ozosky showed Lynne Moisey a photo from the attic, which looked like a young girl in a dress, huddled up on a ledge, with her arms wrapped around her knees. The girl, who Ozosky said made several appearances throughout the night, was transparent.
Only her outline was visible, he said.
Ozosky took the photo at the end of the night, when he was doing a final walk-through to find members of his team. He started snapping photos when he got an uneasy feeling.
"I had this sensation someone was just sitting there, watching me," he said. "It was the very last picture I took before coming down the steps."
The picture astonished Moisey, who has believed the spirit of a young child inhabited the house.
"I was told that a 5-year-old boy had died in the house at some point," she said. "I always assumed it was a boy, but now, I just don't know."
Another photo showed the shape of a woman wearing a hood and looking through an upstairs window in the back of the house.
After snapping the photo, investigators took several others from different angles in an attempt to replicate it but were unsuccessful. They also examined the window for dust, smearing or imperfections in the glass, which might have created the image, but found nothing.
Moisey said visitors often ask her about a woman looking out of the upstairs windows, dressed in an old-fashioned dress.
After she and her husband bought the mansion, Moisey read about a woman who lived in the house who would sit upstairs, looking over Clay Pike and Route 30, waiting for her boyfriend to come home.
The image captured by Hauntings Research investigators served as an eerie reminder of that story, she said.
Recording sessions fruitful
Investigators also gave the Moiseys a chance to hear what the spirits in the Larimer Mansion might have to say, after revealing the results of several EVP sessions. Investigators said they caught disembodied voices of a man, several women, at least one child and a baby.
"We got EVPs in every single room of the house," said Norm Torisky, a member of Hauntings Research.
When they asked who lived in the house, on two separate occasions, in the attic and the kitchen, different investigators said they got a recording of the name "Maggie."
The name was instantly recognizable, Lynne Moisey said.
"A woman named Margaret Anne Larimer, who supposedly died in the house during childbirth -- she and the baby both died," Moisey said.
During another EVP session, investigators said they picked up a recording of a female voice identifying a man named Thomas Foote, who allegedly haunts the house.
Moisey said she is unable to identify the name and isn't sure if anyone named Thomas Foote ever lived in the house.
While recording in a small crawl space in the attic, Ozosky said the digital recorder picked up the sound of someone hammering a nail into wood. The loud, easily distinguished, noise could be a sign of a residual haunting.
Ozosky described a residual haunting as a spirit continuing on with a routine after experiencing a traumatic or emotional event. Such a spirit doesn't interact with the living like other spirits.
The investigation, Ozosky said, proves that something paranormal - but friendly - is living in the mansion with Lynne and Larry Moisey.
"There's no unfriendly, threatening or dangerous spirits in the mansion, which is important," he said.
"Our evidence reveals an abnormal amount of unexplainable events and unnatural occurrences -- and supports the existence of paranormal energy," Ozosky said. "It appears to be an active and residual haunting at the Larimer Mansion, with an above-average amount of activity."
Lynne Moisey said she a believer in the paranormal, but Larry remains skeptical.
"I guess it confirms everything my wife's been saying and believing," he said, smiling.