Paranormal Activity at the Hamill House
By Tom Mensik
Being that it is almost Halloween, I thought a few ghost stories would be appropriate. Before the ghost stories, I would like to take you back to July of 2015. While sitting in the office of Historic Georgetown, Inc., we received a call asking if we would be interested in doing a paranormal investigation of the Hamill House. I was immediately hooked, as I have always had a fascination with this topic. A group by the name of ParaColorado came to the Hamill on August 22 and began their ghost hunt. I honestly did not know what to expect. Rory and Faith, who are the team leaders of ParaColorado, were incredibly professional and are very passionate about their craft.
To execute a proper investigation, there are several tools you need. First is a simple digital recording device. Recording devices, are essential because they pick up voices and whispers of prospective spirits throughout the investigation. Most of the evidence that is captured during a ghost hunt comes from voice recording. Another simple tool is a Mag Lite flashlight. The flashlights are placed throughout the room, the investigators are in, and are used by the spirits to make their presence known. Along with these tools, there is a device called a REM pod. The REM pod detects motion but is only activated if physically touched or handled. K2 meters detect the presence of an electromagnetic field, while a spirit box allows you to ask ghosts some questions in real time. Using these tools, allows investigators to make contact and get the best evidence possible for the existence of paranormal spirits.
Now for some ghost stories. I was nervous and excited as we began our investigation. It all hit me while we were investigating the dining room. I believe the spirits were already whipped up because the day before the first investigation we had three generations of Hamill family members visit the house to celebrate William Arthur Hamill’s birthday. As we sat around the table in the dining room of the house, one of the investigators began asking about the visiting family members. The Mag Lite on the mantle began lighting up like crazy. At this point, I got shivers of excitement and almost started crying. It was remarkable, after this first test I was hooked. All throughout the house we were getting all sorts of activity. The K2’s were going nuts. Up in the nursery of the house, we began hearing several names come through the spirit box. As we dug deeper we learned it was a gentleman named Seth. We also have a spirit tell us she was hanging out under the bed. You know there is something in the room with you, when you get a sudden heavy feeling in your chest, all of us were getting this feeling throughout the house. This investigation laid the foundation for the second one.
The second investigation was, in my opinion, the best. The investigators felt more comfortable, and so did the museum staff that accompanied them. In addition, we were able to see the a few parts of the house we did not get to investigate last time. Most notably the attic and the basement. The basement proved to be a very emotional experience, particularly for one of the investigators. During their session, she was overcome with emotion and began to sob. The whole time this was happening, the REM pod was going off like crazy and the K2 devices were spiking in the red. Another really cool incident that was actually caught on recorder, was the sound of a little girl singing in the hallway clear as day. During the investigation of the carriage house, I had a pretty personal experience. As we were asking questions, I got this incredibly anxious feeling almost out of the blue. As this happened the light in the hallway of the carriage house lit up. The recording device on the window sill, came back with the word “malevolent”. After this it really set the tone for the rest of the night. Another freaky incident occurred in the attic of the house. As we sat in the attic near the door which led to the second floor, it slowly creaked open and a few footsteps could be heard walking up the stairs, all of a sudden the light in corner of the attic room lit up. All the while the other group was down in the basement three floors below the attic, so there was no chance another person opened the door. All in all this second experience had a more personal feel than the first one.
During these two investigations we found out some more history of the Hamill House and its occupants. As mentioned earlier, we kept coming across a spirit named Seth. It turns out there was a gentleman named Seth Spalding, who was a prospector in the 1880’s. He is listed on the Georgetown census of that date. There is a chance that Seth was an employee of William Arthur Hamill’s because of Hamill’s many mining investments. Another name that we kept coming across was Becca. It turns out that Rebecca Shellenburger was listed as a servant and permanent resident of the Hamill House in the census of 1900. It is reasonable to assume that she still resides in the house and tries to carry out her work from beyond the grave.
Paranormal investigations are important. Not only for a thrilling evening, but also from a historical perspective. In communing and interacting with the spirits we have been able to learn more about the house itself. There is a good chance we never would have been able to learn about people like Seth Spalding or Rebecca Shellenburger. Overall, I am very glad we were able to work with ParaColorado, on this project. They were excellent guides and investigators into the world beyond our own. It goes to show you never know what or who is in your house.
The ParaColorado Team