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The Gilbert Farmstead is the first building added to what is now the Storrowton Village Museum in West Springfield, MA. This Village Museum was the vision of Mrs. Helen Storrow. As an active trustee of the Eastern States Exposition, she dreamed of moving a handicraft exhibit of an early American kitchen to an actual home on the grounds. She began discussing this dream with friends and soon after, she was presented with the opportunity to purchase an 18th century home. This was the Gilbert Farmstead and was the first building in the village.
After the purchase of this building, several others followed and resulted in what is now Storrowton Village Museum. Check out more information on the Village Museum at www.storrowtonvillage.com
Spirit Sisters has investigated the Gilbert Farmstead twice to date and has assisted in leading "ghost tours" of the village, which included the Gilbert Farmstead.
This was a family home originally built by brothers, Levi and Peletiah Gilbert in 1794 in West Brookfield, MA. The building was constructed of hand-hewn timbers and wrought iron nails and hardware that remain in the home to this day.
Personal experiences at this location include hearing clicks, taps and bangs that could not be explained and seeing a shadow person cross in front of one of the kitchen windows.
Please see our evidence page to listen to the multiple EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon) and video clips captured at this location. You can click on the photo of the Gilbert Farmstead to get to the evidence page.
The Spirit Sisters were honored to be the first paranormal team to investigate the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, MA.
Wistariahurst was the home of Mr. William Skinner's family and was originally built in Williamsburg, MA in the mid-1800s.
After Mr. Skinner started his silk business at the Unquamonk Silk Mills in Williamsburg, the area of town the mills were located in became known as "Skinnerville".
On May 18, 1874, a dam built over the villages of Williamsburg, Leeds, Skinnerville and Haydenville burst, causing a flood that destroyed homes and businesses, took 139 lives and left more than 740 homeless.
While the Skinner home was one of the few homes left standing in town, the building that housed Mr. Skinner's business was destroyed. Mr. Skinner decided he needed to move his business to the city of Holyoke where "cheap and reliable waterpower is to the manufacturer what good rich land is to a farmer". Mr. Skinner's home was dismantled, moved by oxen, and reassembled in Holyoke, MA.
Mr. William Skinner's silk-making business, now named, "William Skinner and Sons Manufacturing Company", made some of the finest silk in the entire world. (Although it has been rumored that the Queen of England herself wore Mr. Skinner's silk, this cannot be confirmed by records.)
When Mr. William Skinner and his wife, Sarah Skinner died, their children Belle and William C. inherited the home.
Belle began remodeling the home and made several additions throughout the years, including the introduction of electricity in 1905.
Spirit Sisters had two very active investigations at this location, with the most active areas of the home being in the 3rd floor servant's quarters and the 2nd floor room that was Belle's nephew's room.
Personal experiences included team members being touched/tapped, noises being heard by the entire team that could not be explained and equipment being manipulated, including battery drainage, that indicated the presence of spirit.
This was an amazing location to investigate, but also to learn about historically.
The main thing that we came out of these investigations understanding was that this was a family that enjoyed giving back to the community that they lived in and caring for their "servants" who were truly more like extended family.
In speaking with members of the Skinner Family, after our investigations, they stated that those who resided in this home (owners and staff) were happy and loved to be in this space, which we were able to confirm.
The homeowner of this residential case contacted us due to activity in the home that had recently increased to an uncomfortable level.
Claims included the smell of an unfamiliar cologne/perfume, seeing shadows in the kitchen and bedrooms, flickering lights in the kitchen, sound of knocking on son's bedroom floor (from the basement), sounds of sighing, objects moving and scratches on homeowner's son's back and neck.
While the homeowner believed some of the activity was related to the passing of loved ones, who had followed her from her previous residence to this home, she knew when her son began to hear someone sighing in his bedroom, seeing his computer chair move and hear his computer mouse clicking that something, or someone, was here that they hadn't experienced before. The final straw was when the homeowner's son was scratched on his back and neck several times.
During our 1st investigation we were able to communicate with the homeowner's loved ones, who she believed had been with her for years. We also communicated with a man who we believe was a previous homeowner. He loved the home very much and had become unable to move from the location. We felt that this was the spirit causing the activity in the homeowner's son's bedroom as he was attempting to get the son's attention; but was not trying to harm or scare him. We offered alternate ways the spirit could communicate with the homeowners without scaring or hurting them and let him know we would return in a couple of weeks to help him move on, which he indicated to us he would like to do so he could find and see his family again.
During our 2nd investigation we started with communicating with the male energy of the previous homeowner. We explained what a releasing ceremony was and determined this would benefit both the spirit and the homeowner. After the ceremony was performed, we moved to a different space in the home and was again able to communicate with the homeowner's loved ones who had passed.
The homeowner continues to report to us that the activity that had previously been unsettling and scary, completely stopped after our 2nd investigation. now when the lights flicker or she smells perfume or food she is reassured that it is her loved ones checking on her and her family.
We decided to put together two investigations to allow for our close friends and family to experience "what we do". We chose Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum in Lenox, MA for these investigations, as some of our team members had been here before and enjoyed the history, architecture and experiences of this location.
Ventfort Hall is a Jacobean-style mansion that was built in 1893 for George and Sarah Morgan (Sarah was the sister of J.P. Morgan). It contains 50 rooms in a total of 28,000 square feet of living space, including 9 main bedrooms and 10 servant's bedrooms, 7 bathrooms and 17 fireplaces and is set on a large landscaped garden of 26 acres.
After the Morgans' death it was rented for several years by Margaret VAnderbilt before being sold a few times and served as a dormitory for Tanglewood music students, a summer hotel, the Michel Fokine Ballet Summer Camp and community housing for the religious organization "The Bible Speaks" (now known as Greater grace World Outreach). In 1991, a developer had plans to demolish the building and began disassembling parts of it before it was rescued in 1997 by the non-profit Ventfort Hall Association and restorations began. Shortly after the Ventfort Hall Association purchased the location, the movie "The Cider House Rules" was partially filmed at the location. The space is now run as a museum and is available to rent for use for weddings and events (including paranormal investigations).
There were limited claims going into this investigation,
Our team experienced of activity at this location including orbs, Maglite activity and EVPs (including the mewing of a possible "ghost" cat).
This location was investigated by Amanda and Carrie right as the Spirit Sisters team was being created. An opportunity presented itself to investigate with several other people, but also on our own so we took it.
The Murdock-Whitney house is now known as the Winchendon Historical and Cultural Center and Museum.
The original home was built in 1850 by Elisha Murdock, the founder of E. Murdock Co. (later known as New England Wooden Ware). The house was enlarged at the turn of the 20th century, by Elisha's daughter Sophia Whitney, and served as a home for five generations of the family.
Amanda and Carrie did not know the history of the property or any of the claims prior to investigating this location, but that did not stop us from experiencing one of the most memorable personal experiences we have had, to date.
Neither Amanda nor Carrie felt drawn to investigate the basement of this location, so while most of the others investigating on this night headed in that direction Amanda, Carrie and another person decided to head to the 2nd and 3rd floors, which consisted of bedroom areas (some of which are currently used as an office) on the 2nd floor and the old nurseries and servant's quarters on the 3rd floor.
Deciding to start on the 3rd floor, the trio passed a hallway leading to the back area of the 2nd floor (where offices are currently located) and noticed a light on. This was strange as all lights had been turned off at the start of the investigation. Amanda and Carrie thought maybe someone had gone into that room and a light on a motion sensor had turned on. The group made a note of this and decided to check it out when returning to the 2nd floor.
While the architecture, including the stained glass windows, was beautiful no personal experiences or evidence happened on the 3rd floor so the trio headed back to the 2nd floor, where it was noted that the light in the back office was now off.
Still thinking there was a motion sensor in that room, the trio headed that way for a closer look. Once in the room it was determined that the light was controlled by a regular on/off light switch and there were no motion sensors in that room (confirmed later by the staff).
The trio was walking deeper into the office space, toward a bathroom, at the very back of the office, when there appeared to be a short (3-4 foot) shadow behind the shower curtain. The trio was hesitant, and Amanda picked up on an energy that was not exactly human, so stopped dead in their tracks and continued to look toward the bathroom when the shadow began to move toward the trio.
The group moved out of that space quickly and later determined that other psychics have also reported similar experiences and that of an elemental spirit in the home. Other psychics have reported to staff that they felt the elemental generally stayed in the basement of the house, due to the limestone in that space.
It was an experience that Amanda and Carrie have never forgotten and reminded us that what we do can be dangerous and requires constant awareness, focus and respect at all times.
This was a family home that was getting ready to be sold. Before selling it, the homeowners wanted to see if their deceased parents were still in the home.
Claims included shadows and footsteps in the upstairs hallway, apparition of female with long black hair seen by homeowner's husband.
Due to this home being on the market, we were only able to complete one investigation. During this evening we did have experiences; some that left questions and some that brought comfort to the homeowner.
While in the living room of the home, the team and homeowners were beginning the investigation when everyone heard the basement toilet flush. The homeowners reported that this was something that happened fairly regularly. They also reported having the toilet looked at by a plumber to determine what could be causing this, but no cause was identified.
While continuing to investigate in the living room, we were able to communicate with a spirit believed to be the homeowner's father. The homeowner became understandably emotional During this communication session a guest investigator was using an SLS camera and witnessed a figure move behind the homeowner, almost as if to comfort her. During our time on the 1st floor, Amanda could hear a woman's voice upstairs and kept getting glimpses of a shadow at the top of the stairs; she sensed a female presence and "saw her" with long dark hair (at this time, Amanda had not been made aware of the claims of the home).
When the team moved upstairs, we were in the master bedroom when a figure was captured on the guest investigator's SLS camera. It appeared next to Carrie, who reached her hand out and immediately felt the sensation of pins and needles on her extended hand; it was noted the figure "touched" Carrie before disappearing, at which time the pins and needles Carrie felt, stopped. Less than 3 minutes later, a team member stated they saw a shadow in the hallway, then a door creak was heard by everyone (audio in Evidence page) and then footsteps were heard in the upstairs hallway.
Throughout the investigation we were able to communicate with at least one spirit by using Maglites, Parascopes and EMF meters. While it is unclear who the female seen by the homeowner's husband and sensed by Amanda is, we were able to bring some peace to the homeowner by letting her know her father is still with her and watching over her and the family.
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