I work with a team that tries it’s best to schedule as many investigations as possible throughout the year. This often means that we are doing two different locations in one weekend. Such was the case in October 2020 when we traveled to Independence, MO and then Atchinson, KS. On my way home from that weekend, I would have told you that the house in Atchinson was incredibly active and the house in Independence was lovely but quiet. This would turn out not to be the case.
Built in 1881 for Colonel Harvey Merrick Vaile, the home was inspired by a large house in Normandy, France that Vaile and his wife had visited while in Europe. Vaile made his wealth through business ventures that included interests in the construction of the Erie Canal and partial ownership and operation of the Old Star Mail Route. His home was the “showplace of Jackson County ” and host to many U.S. Senators and congressional representatives. In the early 1880’s, Vaile was charged with defrauding the government, faced two trials, and ended up being found not guilty in both. Unfortunately, the trial expenses exceeded $100,000. In 1883, his wife Sophia was found dead at home from a morphine overdose. Many suspected suicde as she suffered from stomach cancer. In 1895, Vaile passed and his heirs contested ownership of the home in a legal battle that lasted 5 years. In 1908, the home became a sanatorium, later a nursing home, and the operating site for “Vaile Pure Water Co” (a spring water bottling company). The home was acquired by the city of Independence in 1983.
When we arrived, the team was awestruck by the size and beauty of Vaile Mansion. There are few places that you visit as a paranormal investigator that are this lovely (and clean). The inside has been restored to a state that would likely make Colonel and Mrs. Vaile very happy. The team walked around the house, pointing out different items and commenting on the decor. I set up 3 cameras that night. One in the entry hall, looking up the front stairway. The next on the second floor at the front of the house and facing toward the back. The final camera was at the bottom of the servant staircase facing up. The team spent most of our time on the second floor attempting to communicate with Mrs. Vaile and had some interesting hits on the REMpods and paranormal music box.
At one point, I had gone downstairs to grab something from my gear case and was walking back through the main hallway, toward the stairs, when the chandelier came on. Most of the team was upstairs, one member was sitting in the dining room, and the caretaker was in the very back of the house. I walked around looking for whoever turned on the light, figured it was perhaps a problem with the switch, and pushed the button to turn it back off before heading back upstairs.
Later, while reviewing my front hall camera, I discovered something may have been trying to get our attention and we just weren’t hearing it. At a little after 7:30pm, the entire team was upstairs finalizing set-up when my camera captured a voice whispering what sounds like “wasn’t me.” It sounded female and I’m not sure if it was responding to a conversation we had just had about how another team reported seeing a spirit walking down the stairs, a comment about the stairs being a bit unstable with a loose newel cap, or something completely unrelated to our conversation. While I will concede to the skeptic that this camera was positioned by the front door and we could be hearing a voice from outside, the same voice appears multiple times over the course of the next 3 hours decreasing the likelihood of someone standing on the front porch messing with us.
Just after 10 pm, the same camera captures what sounds like the same female voice whispering “this is true” three times. We believe this may have been in response to a conversation that was being had by 3 investigators who were looking at items on the first floor. A comment was made regarding the clothing on display and how small people appeared to be in the 1800’s. One investigator went on to say “did you see the civil war uniform? They were like this big.” This is the moment that the voice decides to comment on the conversation. Sounding as though she believes “this is true” in regard to the size of the civil war soldier who wore that uniform.
Finally, at roughly 10:10pm, the team who was touring the house had made their way upstairs and there was another whisper that appeared to say “it’s us”. This is shortly followed by an unidentifiable whisper. Moments later, I walked into the hallway and the chandelier light came on. I asked out loud “who is turning on lights?” I walked around looking for an explanation and found none. This camera continued running until 1 am with no other voices heard. Did whatever was trying to communicate use the last of its energy to turn on the light? Was it a sigh of frustration that was heard just before the light came on because no one acknowledged the presence downstairs? I don’t have the answers to these questions. All I can say is that it was abnormal and of interest.
If you would like to listen to the whispers yourself, you can find the video here. I have clipped each segment to 1 minute and there has been no alteration to the sound quality. You will likely want headphones to hear each voice. Feel free to share your thoughts about what you hear either in the comments below or on my Facebook page.
Until next time, Happy Hunting!