Ghosts of Georgia Investigation report

On October 11, 2014, GOGPI investigated claims of paranormal activity at The Historic Morton Theater in Athens, GA. The activity reported at the theater are as follows: Seeing apparitions, cold spots, lights turning off and on, light anomalies, blue light at stage left, feeling of being watched, hearing breath sounds and footsteps.

Investigators & people present at investigation: Investigators – Ed Laughlin, Larry Conley, Beth Peters, Gretchen Mann, Christie & Chris Bradley, Jason Martin from Radar Production, Jeff Montgomery and Jason Harwell from Athens-Clarke County, and Alex (Morton Theater Staff).

Weather conditions:
Meridian Passing
Date
October 11, 2014 Moonrise
9:45 PM
(69)
Moonset
10:55 AM (290) Time
3:45 AM (71.4) Altitude
Distance Illuminated

89.6% Phase

(mi)

235,560

Past Weather Conditions for KAHN
Observations prior to selected time: October 11, 2014 – 09:00 EDT
Weather Conditions at October 11, 2014 – 8:51 EDT
8:51 24 Hour Max 24 Hour Min
Temperature 70.0° F 84.9 at 16:51 66.0 at 23:51
Dew Point 64.0° F 68.0 at 10:51 60.1 at 17:51
Relative Humidity 81% 90 at 23:51 45 at 16:51
Wind Speed 0 mph 7 at 12:51 0 at 19:51
Wind Gust – 16 at 12:51 16 at 12:51
Pressure 29.18 in 29.25 at 9:51 29.14 at 0:51
Sea level pressure 30.03 in 30.11 at 9:51 29.98 at 3:51
Altimeter 30.05 in 30.12 at 9:51 30.00 at 0:51
Weather conditions clear – –
Visibility 10.00 miles 10.00 at 10:51 7.00 at 9:51
Ceiling – 11000 at 2:51 4600 at 12:51

Equipment used by Investigators:

Cameras: Two Canon Rebel digital cameras, iPhone 5S Camera/Video and Four IR Video Cameras connected to a J2000 DVR, three full spectrum video cameras, Bell and Howell IR camcorder, Nikon full spectrum digital camera, and FLIR thermal camera.
EMF Meters: Electro Sensor EMF Meter, Cell Sensor, Digital EMF Detectors, Mel-8704R-KII, K-II Meter, and rempod.
Audio Recorders: Sony P210 digital voice recorder, Olympus D-10 digital voice recorder, and Olympus VN-4100PC.
Thermometers: Cen-Tech mini non-contact infrared digital thermometer and an Omega HH68K ambient thermometer.
Other: Parabolic dish and spirit boxes.

Condition of the theater:

The Morton Theater opened in 1910 and over the years several restoration projects have brought back the theater to it’s former glory. All utilities are up to date and are in good working order. Very little noise could be heard from the outside from the windows and doors except for the downstairs dressing area where the sounds of passing cars and people could be heard, and little to no draft could be felt coming from the windows and doors. The building is structurally sound.
Base Readings & Walk Through 5:11 pm, Set Up 6:00 pm, Start DVR 7:12 pm, Start Investigation 9:55 pm – End Investigation 4:07 am

Base Readings
Lobby/Entrance 74 temp, 0.4 EMF
Entry Stairway 74 temp, 0.4 EMF
Upper Landing 77 temp, 0.6 EMF
Heater Rm. – 78 temp, 0.5 EMF
2nd Floor Stairs – 77 temp, 0.4 EMF
Balcony Level Theatre – 75 temp, 0.4 EMF
Balcony Level Left Box – 76 temp, 0.3 EMF
Balcony Level Right Box – 76 temp, 0.4 EMF
Balcony (Highest Level) – 77 temp, 0.4 EMF
Production Rm. – 81 temp, 0.2 EMF
Theater Seating (Main Level) – 76 temp, 3.0 EMF
Second Level Dressing Rms. – 76 temp, 0.3 EMF
Basement Level Dressing Rm. #1 – 77 temp, 0.3 EMF
Basement Level Dressing Rm. #2 – 76 temp, 0.4 EMF
Kitchen Area/Casket Viewing Rm. – 76 temp, 0.4 EMF
Pharmacy – 77 temp, 0.7-2.3 EMF
Stage – 76 temp, 0.6 EMF

Investigation – Team 1 – Ed & Gretchen
1. 10:26 pm – Production Room (Gretchen up in the Cat Walk – Ed in Booth)
a. 10:35 pm – Start EVP w/flashlights– 10:48 pm End EVP
2. 10:51 pm – Balcony (Gretchen on one side – Ed on the other side)
a. 11:10 pm – Start EVP w/Spirit Box – 11:22 pm End EVP w/Spirit Box
3. 11:27 pm – Stage
a. 11:47 pm – Start EVP w/Two Flashlights -“yes/no” session – 12:01 am End EVP w/Flashlights
4. 12:03 am – Second Level Dressing Rooms
5. 12:11 am – Basement Dressing Rooms
6. 12:16 am – Kitchen/Casket Viewing Rm
a. 12:18 am – Start EVP w/Spirit Box – 12:38 pm End EVP w/Spirit Box
7. 12:40 am – End Sweep

Investigation – Team 2 – Chris & Larry
8. 10:28 pm –Basement Dressing Rooms
a. 10:29 pm – Start EVP w/Spirit Box – 10:35 pm End EVP w/Spirit Box
9. 10:41 pm – Pharmacy
a. 10:41 pm – Start EVP – 10:48 pm End EVP
10. 10:57 pm – Second Level Dressing Rooms
a. 10:57 pm – Start Conversation EVP – 11:20 pm – End EVP
11. 11:25 pm – End Sweep

Investigation – Team 3 – Christie & Beth
12. 1:04 am – Basement Dressing Rooms
a. 1:06 am – Start EVP – 1:11 am End EVP
13. 1:16 am – Kitchen/Casket Viewing Room
14. 1:20 am – Pharmacy
15. 1:22 am – Lobby & Back Lobby Area
a. 1:22 am – Start EVP – 1:37 am End EVP
16. 1:42 am – Orchestra Pit
17. 1:46 am – End Sweep

Investigation – Team 2 – Chris & Larry
18. 1:00 am – Production Room/Cat Walk
a. 1:04 am – Start EVP (Cat Walk)– 1:13 am End EVP
b. 1:18 am – Start EVP (Production Room) – 1:25 am End EVP
19. 1:30 am – Balcony Box – Stage L
a. 1:30 am – Start EVP w/Spirit Box – 1:43 am End EVP w/Spirit Box
20. 1:46 am – Stage
a. 1:49 am – Start Conversation EVP – 2:05 am End EVP
21. 2:10 am – End Sweep

Investigation – Team 3 – Christie & Beth
22. 2:15 am – Production Room/Cat Walk
a. 2:15 am – Start EVP w/Flashlight & EVP Bear (Beth in Cat Walk – Christie in Booth) 2:31 am End EVP w/Flashlight & EVP Bear
23. 2:32 am – Balcony
a. 2:36 am – Start EVP w/Flashlight – 2:42 am End EVP
24. 2:42 am – Stage
a. 2:50 am – Start EVP w/Flashlight – 3:06 am End EVP
25. 3:10 am – Stage (Gretchen joined Christie & Beth w/ Rest of Group to sing/perform during EVP and visual investigation
26. 3:20 am – End Sweep

Investigation – Team 4 – Christie & Gretchen w/Jeff & Alex (Production & Morton Theater Staff)
27. 3:30 am – Admin Area/Alex’s Office (Old Funeral Parlor)
a. 3:39 am – Start EVP w/Spirit Box & Flashlights – 4:06 am End EVP
28. 4:07 am – End Sweep

Investigation – Team 5 – Ed & Chris
29. 3:30 am – Theater Seating (Main Floor) – Visual Investigation
30. 3:50 am – End Sweep

4:06 am – End Investigation

History

Located in downtown Athens, Ga. the Morton Theatre was the first vaudeville theater in the United States that was built, owned, and operated by an African American. It opened on the evening of May 18, 1910, with a piano concert by Alice Carter Simmons of Oberlin, Ohio Conservatory. Please visit the following links for more history of the beautiful and historic Morton Theater http://www.mortontheatre.com/template-full-text.php?page_ID=1268413305 and http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/arts-culture/morton-theatre.

Special Thanks

We would like to thank Jeff Montgomery, Jason Harwell, and the rest of the staff of the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County, GA Public Information Office for inviting us to come in to investigate the Morton Theater and all their help during the investigation. Our thanks also go out to Lynn Green, Alex Bond, and the rest of the staff at the Morton theater for their time and valuable information about the Morton theater and their help with the investigation, and Jason Martin at Radar Productions.

Findings:

GOGPI was called in to investigate the above claims of activity. Base reading in the theater were within normal limits, temperature normal for conditions, EMF were within normal limits.

We did get a few anomalies in our pictures. We captured a blue orb in the area where a witness had seen a blue light, a dark mass in a seat in the auditorium where a cold spot had been reported, and several green light anomalies that could not be explained. We did capture, on video, one of the rempods activating on stage with no one around. We did record numerous EVP’s, most of them were in response to our questions. The investigators had numerous personal experiences, some of the experiences verified some of the claims of activity, see below.

With the claims of activity, personal experiences by the investigators, the EVP’s that were recorded we feel like there is paranormal activity in the Morton Theater. We cannot say it is haunted without a follow up investigation to see if we can reproduce the claims of activity, personal experiences, and to gather more evidence of paranormal activity.
Ed Laughlin
Ghosts of Georgia Paranormal Investigations

Personal Experience summaries from investigators on the investigation:
Ed
When I was walking up the aisle from the stage area to the main door I saw something cross in front of me. I was unable to make out a form but looked to be the size of an adult person. When Gretchen and I were in the balcony I saw a narrow light go across the seats below us, it look like a beam of light from a flashlight. No one had a flashlight on at the time and cannot explain where the light came from. While investigating on stage I heard several bang noises, I do not believe they were building noises as they sounded different. We were unable to find out where they came from.
Beth
Personal Experience: I heard a disembodied voice say “hey, hey, hey” in a loud whisper type voice while walking through the hall of the basement level with Christie. The voice was heard right between us. We both heard it, but she only heard one “hey”. I had several chills when we were down there. I heard several bangs and loud sounds on the stage above us when we were investigating in the basement. It sounded like someone was walking around or moving something on the stage, but the other team was at Base. When Christie and I were investigating the stage itself, we saw several little green/blue lights flash along the back wall. We saw too many to count. I thought it was an optical illusion, but after reviewing my pictures and finding the same green lights in my pictures, I know the lights were real. While on stage, I also heard talking/chatter the entire time. It was so loud, I was convinced I was hearing the other team talking at Base. I checked with the other team, but they said they had not been talking at all. The chatter was so loud, I couldn’t concentrate. While investigating up in the cat walk, I heard a very loud bang on the metal grates. Christie heard it in the production room below me too. While investigation the open lobby area in the back part, I had several chills the entire time I was in this location. Sensitive Report: A couple of weeks before the investigation and after I heard about where we were investigating, I had a vision of an old jazz or blues type club in the lower level of the building. Maybe a basement level, but I was not sure. The room was very hot with no modern air conditioning and filled with cigar/cigarette smoke. It was full of very sweaty, loud and happy people. I could see ladies in dresses that went just below the knees with old fashion close toed shoes and 1-2 inch chubby heals. The shoes were like a pump, but had lower heels. The neckline on the dresses the women wore, were more open and/or unbuttoned part of the way. They were glistening with sweat as they were laughing among other ladies and their men. The men were in suits, and smoked. I could hear the music and singing. Everyone I saw in this vision was black (African American), or very dark skinned. At the time of the investigation, I had no knowledge of the history of the theater, or the African American heritage. I was told later that there was an old pool hall on the main level in the back of the lobby area. It would have looked and sounded just as I described.
Larry
While setting up my computers at base a file cabinet door opened in its own. Alex said that it happens often. I tried to debunk it, but could not get it to open again. While Chris and I were in the upper dressing rooms, I heard some voices but could not tell where they were coming from, I also heard 2 loud bangs that sounded like they came from the stage. The other team was still up around the production room.
Chris
While waiting at base I saw the filing cabinet drawer open on its on. While investigating with Larry in the upper dressing rooms, I heard some voices that I could not determine where they were coming from. Then while back at base while helping Gretchen watch the monitors, Gretchen and I heard a disembodied voice say “Hi”. The only ones in the room was Gretchen, Ed and I. Ed was listening to his recordings with his headphones on.
Christie
While taking base readings I heard a male sounding disembodied voice in the upper balcony. While Beth and I were in the basement hall I heard another disembodied voice say “hey” and directly afterwards I had a chill go through me.
Gretchen
Personal Experiences- I heard a voice stage right, upper balcony while we were walking through. Beth was with me but did not hear it. I saw a couple of lights on the stage, one looked like a flashlight and was on the back side of the back curtain hanging from the stage ceiling. Beth and Alex were on stage with me, but no one had a flashlight- we had not gone dark yet. I saw a light on stage against the back curtain. It was white and orb shaped. Jeff saw it as well but thought it was blue. I heard a disembodied voice at base say “hi” or “hey”, Chris heard it too. Ed was the only other person with us at Base but he was listening to EVPs.
I was in the balcony when Jason came in and talked to us about filming. I experienced a small human shaped shadow move from right to left across piano and disappear. The shadow was solid black. I heard a shuffle sound in the production room as we were leaving the room. I heard a loud chain like rattle while on the cat walk, it came from up there and was loud. I heard bangs on stage. It may have been related to the roof, but not sure.
Sensitive Experiences-
1. In the Lobby upon arriving, I sensed a woman in her late twenties. She was African American and had on a domed shape hat. She said she was not an audience member. She had on black wedge heeled shoes and a necklace. Her dress was black and went to her knees.
2. On Stage and in the production room, I felt there was a man named Stanley, who seemed to be a worker there who took care of maintenance and stage hand type things. He lived there. He could fix anything.
3. While on stage I received the name William Tell, which seemed silly. But I said it anyway. When researching Sunday after the investigation, I could not verify a Stanley, but there was a performer named Blind Willie McTell, maybe my William Tell?

The Theater feels great…really good energy and appears happy place and well balanced. No bad vibes at all in the theater.


What we hear:

  1. “Four” then “Jump”
  2. Loud noise 
  3. “Here”   
  4. “Good”  
  5. “Yes”       
  6. “Chuckles” then “Chuck”   
  7. “Hello” x2
  8. “Hey”
  9. “Good”
  10. Bang noise
  11. Footsteps (boards creaking) and whistling  
  12. “Four”  

Below is our investigation of the historic Morton Theater for Athens Ga. for the department of Public Relations. Their video won a national award and GOGPI is very happy to have been part of the video.

Our investigation at the Historic Morton Theater

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