It is currently 9:30 ish am here in Louisville, I have just arrived home after a mostly fun night with friends and loved-ones and new found friends with a breakfast for a few of the stragglers. Wyrd, Tina, Beverly, Donna (aka ghostlynights
), Jack, Jeff, Chris and I ate at a breakfast buffet which may or may not have been named The Golden Nugget. Quite a spread. Deb and Mark visited the parking lot but then left for the hotel in a sudden flurry of what may have been romance or exhaustion. We'll never tell. Anyway, they were missed, but I know we'll see them at dinner - err something.
The trip went like this: Leave home Thursday am with girls and Buddy, arrive in Fort Wayne 8:30 ish that evening. Do computer stuff and then retire. Spend Friday grocery shopping and eating; watch movie re: Brothers Grimm, listen to hosers then retire. Awake Saturday am to request allowance of pets to hotel. Find that pets are not allowed but relate story of Buddy and receive permission for him as special case (medical conditions). Bonus. Go Best Western! Girls stayed in Fort Wayne as we will be home Monday. They have lots of food and water and will get copious snuggles at that time.
Find hotel with help of Navvie, Chris drove - went the speed limit. Argh. Amusements on the way: Large billboard proclaiming "Raptor exhibit - live bald eagle!"; a town called Floyds Knobs, Indiana. Possibly more later.
Waverly is an amazingly impressive building. At 180,000 square feet there is certainly a lot of room to roam. I will go into more detail about the time leading up to the overnight and some of the history of the building in another entry as I've already rambled on enough in this one and I think people like pictures - lots of pictures. As in the Mansfield entries, not everything is going to have possible paranormal evidence in it, that's just the way it goes, and quite frankly on this trip I felt a little let down by most of the spirits of the building given the intense publicity which surrounds the place, BUT haunts don't happen on a daily basis, and some days you are lucky and some days you aren't. It does NOT negate the existance of the paranormal in an area, it just means you may have to go back a few times. Having said that I still heard what I feel to be a very convincing evp, inadvertentaly (apparently) taken by Deb, I had someone play with my shirt, felt a cold spot come and go numerous times and saw related pics and heard related possible evp which makes me feel that we hit a rather haunted room. I MAY have seen a few shadow people and I definitely had a few spots wehre I wanted to run fast and hide. The company was awesome and it really was a great night aside from one event (I'll tell later) which was very upsetting.
To me every old building is incredibly photogenic, peeling paint is a work of art and rusting metal is a treasure. Visually, I mean, because for health reasons and financial reasons it is otherwise decidedly icky. Waverly is a place with such a reputation that EVERY nook and cranny seems to contain a possible face or apparition. This first picture is nothing special, I think, but when I zoom in the place inside the room becomes alive with nurses and misty things. Tricks of the eyes I'm sure. It's still a lovely fantasy and exciting to look at.
Shoot. It's the next mornign and I still haven't gotten to the picture part. I have to check out soon, so I'll add them next entry. Sorry.
I'm going to make this a reasonably short entry, I think. I'm kind of tired and these actually take a while to compile. I have changed the format of the journal, so I am able to load wide pictures in now and have the whole thing show, which is nice, I think.
The showers - the larger communal showers - are at the end of the range on the bottom floor, the room is on the left. We were told that the men got a shower once a week and there was no air conditioning. Apparently you could smell the prisoners from the middle of the buildings (the guard room shown from the ground in the previous entry). Nasty. Anyway, I took a few pictures of the place with no special things happening (we were in there for approximately five minutes) and looked above and saw these neat shower nozzles coming out of the pipe, so I tilted up and took a picture:
The thing I neglected to do when taking this picture was put the cap back on my water bottle, so Ms Impressive dumped water all over the front of her shirt. Go Me.
This next picture was taken at 8:10 pm (by my camera time). I was really drawn to this particular area and I have a few pictures of it. The first one seemed to show and orb on my camera screen. As it was reasonably humid I was a little unsure of its origin, but I decided to take more. The next 3 pictures are all taken in succession (there was one immediately before them which showed nothing unusual) at 8:13 as the group was leaving the room - again I was the last person to vacate the area.
This shows the orb which intrigued me.
This shows what seems to be a rather strong mist.
This shows a few orbs all centred in one main area, which is intriguing.
This also shows a mist, although I tend to like the first mist better *grin*
Given that these pictures are successive and repeat a phenomenon (albeit in different ways), I am inclined to think it is likely not humidity causing these anomalies. My "trusted non-biased person" also thinks it is possible (given the circumstances) that this may be paranormal in nature.
We were next taken to solitary, which is in the west block on the ground floor, although There are other spots, I think. Bear with me as we did do a lot of walking through the place. This is a picture of a door hole in solitary. Prisoners would receive their food etc through this little flap.
This is a shower area in solitary. It actually looks more like a spray-down room.
This is another room in solitary. The bed is that thing on the floor and it would have actually been attached (as it were) to the wall on the right.
When you go to this place they tell you outright: "DO NOT CLOSE THE CELL DOORS. WE HAVE NO KEYS." It seems people are still stupid enough to try it and the volunteer staff has had to try to find ways to liberate the twits who don't listen. In this particular case the person stayed outside when they closed the doors.
This is another tarted up room, and I assume it was done for a movie. These alternated brown and blue for a part of the row. It was interesting. Later on we sat in the cells for a bit. I could hear things, but nothing with substance. I also tried EVP, but I don't believe I got anything. I have yet to really go through my voice recordings, although one file seems to have something on it.
This last one is just some graffiti on a cell wall. I thought it was kind of fun. Chris got a picture of a duck drawing - that was cute. I can't recall if I did as well.
Ok, I'm tired and need to get some sleep. Up next is... I forget, but it's going to be from row 5 of my pictures (I have 12+ rows of images here), and I'm choosing certain ones or you'd be looking at over 300 pictures of things you may not even care about - imagine that!
Night night. :)
The Guard tower is accessed through the library. We weren't allowed to take pictures in that direction or on that part of the tour - apparently the new jail doesn't care for that kind of thing and it happens to be the main view from up by the tower. Fine by me, although a shot of the roof of Mansfield would have been a nice one.
As we left the library I took a shot of the view out the door. I was the second last one out - the last being the second guide for the tour. No one was in my way. I figured all the squiggles were just flashy things until I sent it to someone who doesn't know my, but whose opinion I respect a great deal. I wanted to know why the squiggles happened. Imagine my surprise when he said he feels this is unexplained phenomena!
EDIT NOTE: I changed the layout of the journal, so hopefully things will show better
Other people find the blue light squiggles interesting as well. His exact words were "the squiggles are caused by the movement of light photons. They are moving extremely fast. There is no natural explanation for them forming in that type of pattern.
" I am fascinated with light photons now! Note that what I am referring to is the blue squiggle and the orange squiggle - not necessarily the "repetition of shape" which appears to be happening in an orange colour from the bars. I believe this may be light bounce. I don't have any explanation for what is going on in the lower right corner. I can tell you it's not a person, my finger, or any other object.
This next picture... I have no clue. The orange things are in similar-to-each-other shapes. Ideas are welcome. The cell was on the range back from the library.
The one on the top is original (in as much as all I have done is make the image smaller), the one on the bottom is brightened up a bit. I actually took this one before the raggy blue (mostly) walled cell in an earlier post. I'm trying to go in order of photo but it's not always going to happen.
The range in the east cell block is impressive, it makes a person (even a tall one) feel very insignificant in comparison. This view is toward the shower and the library. This is not the library from the Shawshank Redemption - linked in an earlier post - but the real library for the building. Apparently the real library was a bit too large, so they found a different area to make into a library. That's Hollywood. On the stairs coming out of the library there have been reports of a tall man who hangs out there. I didn't hear about him until after we left the library, but that squiggles picture a few up is around the spot he hangs out. One of the others in the group, Mike, got a rather spectacular light anomaly picture which I'm hoping he will allow me to share on here. We looked at the shots before and after and it wasn't there. It's very large and very bright and was rather impressive. We attempted to make contact later on in the evening. This is around the spot he took his picture, but it was after we left the showers.
In this picture you can see a very bright light up near the top of the picture (aside from the orange one) It's about 1/3 down and 1/3 in from the right. That IS a light - nothing paranormal. There is also an overly bright orb up near it (that may be dust or moisture, I don't know), and then there is one down lower near the people (again, could be dust or moisture, I don't know). I'll give you the zoom version:
What you can't see well is the incredible filigree work on what would normally be very simple structures. Hopefully you can get an idea here, it's a tough one:
This is one of the reasons this building is so incredibly beautiful.
This is on the way toward the showers they are taken from the ground floor.
This is the view into the guard area and visiting area of the prison. You can see the incredible black marble columns and the stonework. On the left is the east block range - north side.
This is looking up to the first range of cells above the ground floor. The bars were there to stop prisoners from being thrown over the rails. Apparently on the 4th range a man had smuggled turpentine from the furniture shop so as to have a little snort now and again. It seems he decided to snort AND smoke. The guards couldn't get to him in time and the guide told us that smoke can be smelled up there among other occurrences like disappearing and reappearing cans of turpentine. We were along that area but I don't recall experiencing that. I had forgotten about wanting to go there and check it out.
I also took a pic of some of the cells on the bottom floor:
There were cells at the end which were showers as well, which we found strange considering the communal shower at the end of the block not too far away.
Next up: The Showers... and some interesting photos.EDIT: Apparently Picturetrail is fecking with my pictures and has let a load of them (random areas) go missing. Sorry, some of these may disappear. I'm ready to kill, really.
EDIT jr: Ok, it's all fixed.
The woman giving the tour was amazing, REALLY amazing. Naturally I forget her name but she was very animated and entertaining as well as informative. Her co-worker was very nice and very patient with me, which can be a struggle.
Our first "stop" was in the library. We went through into the east block and up to the second top range then walked along there to the library. On the way I saw this rather immaculate (compared to most of the others) cell. I assume they used it when filming the things they filmed in here, like The Shawshank Redemption
which is, by the way, a really wonderful film.
All neat and tidy. Wait until you see the others!
This is more like the norm. Lots of paint falling off, and toilets destroyed. The cabinets and mirrors were often completely gone or destroyed. Sometimes there was so much paint on the floor that it crunched under our feet.
This is a look at the doorway in the library, the sunburst design is beautiful and so very unexpected in all of this.
This is a bit of the view in the library. The "obs" on the counter are actually paint. This room had many off rooms which I did not enter, but others did.
I found this door incredibly beautiful. There were other rooms, one of which was used as a law library, I could see many of the pieces of paper all over the place. One bunch was a leaflet for prisoners to know their rights.
I found this one interesting. The light is not sunlight - the night was completely overcast. No light was coming at my camera, and it was actually still "daylight" out so the chances of it being a light from another person are lower. There is also a "mist" kind of thing down near Mike's hand; I can't explain that either.
I was really strongly drawn to this corner, I tried to get a good picture of it but didn't really accomplish my goal. At this point we all went up an obscenely cramped circular staircase up into the tower where the guard tower is. We were not allowed to take pictures from there as the new prison is in that direction.
I'm wiping out, more tomorrow-ish.
The Warden's House is a beautiful building, and very similar to the administration building on the other side (the side shown in the previous post). We did not enter the building from the front, but rather later both during the tour and on our own several hours after that.
We were the last people allowed to go in with the first tour group. Lucky us :). The night was humid. My camera clock says it was 7:26 when we entered the building. I took this photo as we were about to climb the stairs, it's a group of hostas still wet from the rain earlier.
The gardens around the buildings are very well kept and this picture doesn't do justice to how lovely this spot is. When I was going over my pictures (there are well over 300 from digital) I noticed this orb and orange light of which I will add a crop and zoom.
The picture on the left (or top, depending on how this publishes)is, in all likelihood, a moisture orb, although I have been told that moisture orbs tend to be multiple in a shot. Like most pictures I will post there needs to be more data than one photograph to say "yes, this is likely haunt phenomena". So I put it to you as an anomaly only - whether moisture or non-corporeal. The picture on the right (or bottom, depending on how this publishes) has a small flare type or orb-y thing, that's probably as technical as I get without a text book beside me. It could be a light "reflection" from a standard in front of the buildings, however I am not sure if the light is higher than the building which was behind me when I took the shot (I wasn't looking for ghosts there, so I didn't pay as much attention, I will next year); it could be a reflection of light from the doorway of the building behind me (it's a "check in" area for the visitors and volunteers, we did not come through that building when we began the tour, so I don't know if the door was open or closed, or if there was glass in it for light to shine through); it could be a light coming from the basement however I don't know if there were any lights in that spot, if they would show from that angle, or if they would flare enough as to seem to be no longer on the window glass. EDIT: I just realised that in the main picture I cropped out the window, it would have been to the right in the shot, sorry about that.
I was the last person of the tour most of the time because I was in such stupid awe of the place that I couldn't stop taking pictures. This is a shot of the floor (obviously). These are ceramic tile and each piece is separate. You can see that one has been replaced as it's a slightly different colour than the rest. I imagined someone having to tile that floor.. ALL
those floors. It must have been overwhelming.
I'm sure the volunteer at the back with me must have thought she'd died and gone to heaven given the job she had prying me away from things like this staircase:
And these stairs:
Just imagine 100 years of people walking up that staircase, walking on these runners. The work in the stairs is really beautiful, and hopefully you will get to see the magnificence shown in places no one would normally see - like filigree under some stairs, but that's for later.
Next up: Some cells and the library.
I have a few picture to share, although I'm not sure I can stay awake long enough to get this texted and piccied.
4 of us went to Mansfield on May 26th 2007 - Mike, Mickey, Chris and I, and then a rather large group of others we didn't know.. We were first broken up into tour groups after a very entertaining talk given by one of the tour guides. A draw was had and prizes were given. It was amusing.
This is a shot of the Administration building on the right, and behind it the central area above which are the chapel and the tuberculosis hospital (on the top floor). Mansfield had the county tuberculosis patients staying in that top floor. The size is not very big, I have no idea of their success rate.
This is a shot of the east block, it's a newer part of the prison. The cells are smaller and the inside looks a lot bigger than the outside. You can really get a feel for how hard the architect worked designing this building.
This is a corner of the east cell block. The work is magnificent and the building really does come across as a castle.
More tomorrow, I am falling asleep.
I've made one phone call and sent two emails to MRPS to get permission to post my pictures here in the journal. It has been a week since the first email, but there has been no reply. This is frustrating, I'm trying to comply with their wishes, but it's not a very positive experience so far. This is not the first time being honest has come back to bite me in the butt. I have some nice pictures, too. Hopefully I will get a return call soon.
Mansfield Reformatory was built in (by - the building began some years earlier when the cornerstone was laid in 1886) 1896. It is a large set of buildings containing 2 main wings - east and west. The west wing is the older wing and contains 3 ranges. The cells are larger and the walls thicker. The east block was built in 1910 and contains 5 ranges, OR was built in 1908 and is 6 ranges high - depending on whether you believe the 1934 book which was produced by the current Superintendent or the volunteers now working at the reformatory. The stats are all over. The east block has much smaller cells and was originally built to have one man per cell, however population increase demanded 2 men per cell by 1934, housing approximately 1212 inmates.
When you see these cells you really get a feel for how hard it must have been for the prisoners, who were often locked in their cells for long periods of time. As versions of how long differ greatly I won't go into that. The size of the cell can't be felt in the pictures, but the bunks are single size with a 4 inch pad. There is approximately 3 feet to the walking side of the bunk, in which corner is the toilet, and in the other corner is a sink where there is just enough room to stand between it and the bunk. Each cell had a small "mirror" made of polished metal, and a small cabinet - most of which have been demolished. The layers of paint literally drips from the ceilings, walls and bars. The colours are beautiful and numerous, ranging from cream to pink to brown to dark blue.
The Volunteers from MRPS were wonderful, much to my surprise, not that I was expecting shoddy work, but when you go over the regulations for attending an overnight, it is very strict and it's a bit unnerving. I was really pleased and impressed with the efficiency, friendliness and knowledge of the people who showed us around at the beginning of the night. They foresee problems which may arise and they take the task in hand in a really expedient and friendly fashion. Impressive. Our tour was a good length of time and our tour guide was a very entertaining speaker, rather than thinking "Let's get ON with it!" I just enjoyed the ride. She was very open and she and her cohort were very open concerning their own experiences and with what others had shared. We all enjoyed ourselves and we can't wait to go back - taking more friends so they can experience this amazing building too.
More in the next installment, I think I'm about to get a storm.
I made this community so that others could add their own pictures and thoughts on the places and or topics I will be talking about. I don't actually expect a lot of people to come, but if they do, this is here.