4/23/08

Sci Fi Channel Ghost Children Of The Grave Mitchell house

Mitchell house draws ghost hunters, Sci Fi Channel movie
Haunted bed & breakfast draws guests for thrills


About four years ago, Mitchell, Ind., resident Jarret Marshall noticed an ad about the Whispers Estate, a historical home for sale. The house was cheap, almost too cheap, but Marshall bought it anyway. What he didn’t know was that someone already inhabited his new home.

Marshall said his house is haunted and local ghost hunters agree, since many have flocked to the site to search for the ghost of “Rachel,” a young girl who died decades ago. Now a bed and breakfast, the house will be featured in an upcoming Sci Fi Channel documentary.

On the exterior, Marshall’s house looked like an ordinary historical home. The inside, Marshall said, needed a lot of work.

A week after Marshall bought the home, he and his sister were painting the upper floor. Marshall was downstairs in the kitchen, while his sister went upstairs to start working.

“My sister went upstairs and a couple minutes later, I thought I saw her come back down,” Marshall said. “I didn’t look twice because I thought it was her. … She followed me to the fireplace, but when I turned around she wasn’t there. I heard someone whisper, ‘hey,’ but no one was around. I went upstairs and there was my sister with headphones on, painting. She said she never went downstairs.”

Thus began the strange occurrences that were to become commonplace in Marshall’s life.

Marshall said he has been experiencing paranormal activity ever since he moved into the house and began remodeling. Eventually, Marshall began to get curious and did research on his home.

The house was built in 1899, and its first owners were Dr. John and Jessie Gibbons. In order to stay close to his family, John Gibbons had his office in one room of the home and an operating room in another. The Gibbons were also known to take in orphans, and one such orphan was Rachel. Around Christmas one year, Rachel stumbled into a candle adorning the Christmas tree and caught herself on fire. She died two days later under Gibbons’ care. People believe she now haunts Marshall’s home.

Ghost hunters far and wide began to take notice after Marshall initially contacted the Indiana Ghost Trackers to ask them to investigate his strange experiences. They wanted to investigate for themselves. Others followed, including the Louisville Ghost Hunters Society. Tonya Haynes, case manager for the Louisville Ghost Hunters Society, went to the house with the group once.

“(Rachel) likes to move things … We set some jacks out and she moved them … We were recording in the attic above the nursery once and all of the sudden insulation started being thrown at us… You get smells…(and) they’ve actually picked up electronic voice phenomenon,” Haynes said.

Shannon Simpson also investigated the house with Indiana Ghost Trackers.

“Around the (Whispers Estate) is one of the more active areas,” Simpson said. “We had some photography with an apparition caught in the front parlor of the house. We captured several (electronic voice phenomenon). We even had one that said the owner’s name when it was played backwards.”

Both groups’ findings garnered national attention, including sparking the attention of the Sci Fi Channel. Sci Fi is going to run a documentary called “Children of the Grave,” which will feature the Whispers Estate. There is no set air date for the program, but Marshall said he thinks it will be picked up in a couple of months.

Marshall has converted his house into a bed and breakfast since his claim to fame. Guests may stay in Rachel’s old room, the old doctor’s office or the original owner’s bedroom.

“(Marshall) has had people stay in there and say that they see the doctor appear,” Haynes said.

Videos of the ghost hunters’ findings are available on YouTube, some so convincing they might change non-believers into believers.

By Nathan Brown

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