Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Haunted Conservatory

Central Methodist University has anchored the small town of Fayette, Missouri, since its doors opened in September 1857. During the past 150-plus years, a number of people have died at the university – and some may still be there, awaiting graduation.

Ghostly stories, of knocks, taps, footsteps and apparitions are often associated with dormitories.

“Howard-Payne is where all the whacky stuff happens,” said Melanie Schaefer, a former financial assistance counselor at the university.

A stone outside the Howard-Payne dormitory reads “Howard Female College.” While the college refurbished the dormitory in the 1940s, a falling brick killed a student, reported the campus newspaper, The Talon. Since then, her spirit has appeared outside the dorm, but more typically is experienced inside the building, turning electrical appliances on and off, knocking on doors and rattling pipes.

But bigger things happen at the conservatory.

Sean Maples’ supernatural investigation group Missouri Paranormal visited the university and is convinced something haunts the building.

“We spend most of our time debunking things and I would say 90 percent of the stuff we run across we can explain,” he said. “But it was one of most interesting ones that we’ve done. We really had a lot of weird experiences.”

The building moaned.

“It was probably right around one in the morning. It was just me and one other investigator in the whole building,” he said. “We were probably two feet apart. It was so loud I was surprised the other team members outside the building didn’t hear it. It literally echoed through this church.”

The noise died as quickly as it filled the sanctuary and, Maples realized, it came from the side of the building that held the exits.

“We decided to go downstairs in complete darkness and out of the auditorium in complete darkness to get out of that building,” he said. “It spooked me a little bit. We went back in there and could not determine the cause of it.”

The heat was not on in the building, nor was the air conditioning. Maples’ group has been back twice and has not been able to explain the noise by natural means.

In the auditorium, Maples and other investigators have heard voices “like whispers.” Maples has captured a number of these on audio in the form of Electronic Voice Phenomenon (voices recorded in an empty room).

“One of the weirdest things we caught on EVPs was a cat,” Maples said. “There’s a cat meowing in the basement of the church. We looked all over and couldn’t find it. We really didn’t find that significant at all, until the second visit we captured an EVP of a man in the auditorium talking about a cat.”

That man may be former band director Tom Birch, who died in that room May 1, 1964, while conducting the piece “The Catacombs” from Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” at the annual spring concert.

Jim Steele, owner and publisher of The Fayette Advertiser and The Democrat-Leader, was a senior at the university and was in the auditorium when Birch had a heart attack.

“It was kind of a warm pleasant spring evening,” Steele said. “He had the white starched shirt, tails. (He had) Just as he had gotten into (The Catacombs) there was a ‘whoo,’ a gasp you could hear in the audience.”

Birch dropped onto the stage, fell into the drum set and died.

Since then, people occasionally report seeing a man in a tuxedo that looks like Dr. Birch standing in front of the auditorium smoking a cigar – such as the image a student saw in the 1970s.

“A girl was going from the student union across campus to Cross Memorial Clock Tower on the campus’ quadrangle,” said Robert Bray, Central’s Alumni Director at the time. “The apparition appeared and said, ‘Nice evening for a concert.’”

Frightened, the girl convinced her boyfriend to go with her to the conservatory. She found a picture of the man she’d seen – it was Dr. Birch.

“You can tell it’s a male in the church, the voices we captured,” Maples said.

Other spirits that reportedly haunt Central Methodist University are N. Louise Wright, dean of the conservatory of music who died much like Birch, during a performance; and the ghost of a young stable boy who was killed on the university grounds during the Civil War.

During the group’s last visit to the university, they captured an EVP that may have been the stable boy asking for help.

“Each one of us carried a two-way radio; they’re all on the same channel,” Maples said. “When (the child’s voice) happened, two of the people with radios were standing next to me and mine was the only one who went off – it was a kid.”

Missouri Paranormal approaches reported hauntings as skeptics, treating orbs and bumps in the night first as things that can be explained terrestrially. But they couldn’t explain the Central Methodist University hauntings.

“A lot of activity we captured didn’t really follow the normal expectations of a normal haunting,” he said. “It seemed like the activity was very sporadic. It was a hit-or-miss deal. If you weren’t in the right spot you didn’t experience it.”

Copyright 2009 by Jason Offutt

Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt c/o The Examiner, 410 S. Liberty, Independence, Mo. 64050, or jasonoffutt@hotmail.com. Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”

Jason’s book of ghost stories, “Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to Missouri’s Most Spirited Spots,” is here. Order online at: tsup.truman.edu, www.amazon.com, or visit Jason’s Web site at www.jasonoffutt.com.

9 comments:

Courtney Mroch said...

Wow. What a lot of history somewhere that you might not expect to find such great spooky stories at first glance. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Fayette? You know what they say about places names Fayette...

ghunter said...

jason thank you for writing such a good article on our team and our investigation central methodist is a gem for paranormal investigators with the history and happinings that take place by my third investigation there my sceptisism was definatly tested

Chad VanSteenburgh
lead investigator
www.missouriparanormal.net

Anonymous said...

喝花酒
酒店喝酒
暑假打工
寒假打工
酒店小姐
酒店兼職
禮服店
酒店經紀
酒店兼差
酒店
酒店經紀人
酒店現領
酒店經紀爆米花
酒店經紀
酒店打工
酒店上班
假日打工
台北酒店經紀
酒店pt
酒店pt
酒店應酬
粉味
酒店經紀PRETTY GIRL
酒店經濟
酒店經濟
晚上兼差

teresa said...

[TVintheBox.com]Christmas Promotion: 70% Off on all DVD Box Sets Free Ship

21 Jump Street DVD Complete Season 1-5 Only $70.15 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
24 Hours DVD Complete Season 1-7 Only $74.53 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
30 ROCK DVD Season 1-2 Only $58.83 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Alias DVD Complete Season 1 - 5 Only $61.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Ally Mcbeal DVD Complete Seasons 1-5 Only $74.62 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
American Dad DVD Season 1-3 Only $73.64 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Angel DVD Complete Season 1-5 Only $65.09 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Audrey Hepburn DVD Ultimate Collection 20 DVD Only $78.87 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Baby Einstein DVD Complete 26 Discs Only $51.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Babylon 5 DVD Complete Seasons 1-5 Only $67.09 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Black Adder DVD Complete Collection Only $38.49 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Bones DVD Season 1 to 4 Only $62.09 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Boston Legal DVD Season 1-5 Only $62.87 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Brainy Baby DVD Only $67.87 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Brothers & Sisters DVD Season 1-3 Only $51.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Buffy DVD The Vampire Slayer Complete Season 1-7 Only $79.53 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Charmed DVD Complete Season 1-8 Only $84.09 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Cold Case DVD Complete Season 1-6 Only $78.69 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Criminal Minds DVD Season 1-4 Only $65.89 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
CSI DVD Complete Season 1-9 Ultimate Edition Only $97.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
CSI Miami DVD Complete Seasons 1-7 Only $83.79 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
CSI NY DVD Special Edition Seasons 1-5 Only $83.96 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Curb Your Enthusiasm DVD Complete Series Only $76.78 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Website: http://www.tvinthebox.com

teresa said...

[TVintheBox.com]Christmas Promotion: 70% Off on all DVD Box Sets Free Ship
Dawson's Creek DVD Season 1- 6 Only $79.79 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Deadwood DVD Complete Season 1-3 Only $63.08 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Desperate Housewives DVD Extra Juicy Edition Season 1-5 Only $68.59 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Dexter DVD Season 1-3 Only $45.68 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Disney DVD 100 Years of Magic 132 DVD Treasure Chest Only $139.84 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Doctor Who DVD Complete Season 1-4 Only $57.89 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Entourage DVD Season 1-6 Only $65.49 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
ER DVD Complete Seasons 1-14 Only $132.78 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Everybody Loves Raymond DVD Complete Season 1-9 Only $69.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Family Guy DVD Complete Season 1-7 Only $58.95 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Felicity DVD Complete Season 1-4 Only $55.89 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Forever Knight DVD Seasons 1-3 Only $64.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Frasier DVD Complete Season 1-11 Only $77.56 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Friends DVD Complete Seasons 1-10 New Collection Only $69.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Ghost Whisperer DVD Complete Season 1-4 Only $68.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Gilmore Girls DVD Complete Season 1-7 Only $79.88 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Grey's Anatomy DVD season 1-5 Only $60.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Hogan's Heroes DVD Complete Season 1-6 Only $69.34 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Hotel Babylon DVD Season 1-3 Only $76.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
How I Met Your Mother DVD Season 1-4 Only $62.89 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Hustle DVD Seasons 1 to 4 Only $79.87 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
James Bond DVD007 DVD US Version (22DVD+6 CD) Only $81.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]

teresa said...

La Femme Nikita DVD Complete Season 1-5 Only $69.87 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Las Vegas DVD Complete Season 1-5 Individual Only $76.87 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Lost DVD Complete Season 1-5 Only $70.57 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
MacGyver DVD Complete Season 1-7 Only $78.57 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Married With Children DVD Complete Season 1-10 Only $78.79 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
MASH DVD Season 1-11 US Version Only $69.85 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
MI5 DVD Season 1-7 Only $73.09 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Michael Jackson DVD Ultimate Collection 32DVD+1CD Black Suitcase Only $74.95 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Michael Jackson DVD Ultimate Edition 32 DVD+1CD White Boxset Only $64.59 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Monk DVD Complete Season 1-7 Only $59.89 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
NCIS DVD Seasons 1-6 Only $68.87 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Nip Tuck DVD Complete Season 1-5 Only $69.45 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
One Tree Hill DVD Complete Seasons 1-6 Only $68.97 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
OZ DVD Complete Seasons 1-6 Only $51.75 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Prison Break DVD The Complete Season 1-4 Only $72.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Queer as Folk DVD Complete Season 1-5 Only $59.09 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Queer as Folk DVD limited edition 1-5 season: 28 DVD Only $72.09 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Remington Steele DVD Complete Season 1-5 Only $84.45 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Rome DVD Complete season 1 and 2 Only $64.65 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Scrubs DVD Complete Season 1-8 Only $55.79 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Seinfeld DVD Complete Series Seasons 1-9 Only $67.19 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]

teresa said...

Sex and The City DVD Complete Season 1-6 Only $70.45 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Sex and The City DVD Complete Seasons 1-6 Pink Book Only $73.45 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Shark DVD Season 1-2 Only $71.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Six Feet Under DVD Complete Seasons 1-5 Only $88.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Smallville DVD Seasons 1 to 8 Only $75.27 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Sopranos DVD Complete Seasons 1-6 Ultimate Collection Only $57.59 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Sopranos DVD Season 1 to 12 Only $75.09 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Star Trek Enterprise DVD Complete Season 1-4 Only $66.29 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Star Trek Original DVD Complete Season 1-3 Only $64.09 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Star Trek The Next Generation Complete Season 1-7 Only $93.79 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Star Trek Voyager DVD Complete Seasons 1-7 Only $83.39 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Stargate Atlantis DVD Seasons 1-5 Only $64.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Stargate Atlantis DVD Seasons 1-5 New Version Only $73.59 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Stargate SG1 DVD Complete Seaon 1-10 Only $90.89 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Stargate SG1 DVD Complete Seaon 1-10 - Super Collection Only $93.47 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Supernatural DVD Season 1-4 Only $72.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
That 70's Show DVD Complete Series Only $67.39 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
The Apprentice DVD Complete Season 1-7 New Version Only $80.19 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
The Apprentice DVD Complete Season 8 Only $34.79 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
The Closer DVD Complete Season 1-4 Only $57.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
The Golden Girls DVD Season 1-7 Only $51.75 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]

teresa said...

The L-word DVD Complete Seasons 1-6 Only $59.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
The OC DVD Complete Season 1-4 Only $55.08 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
The Office DVD Season 1 to 5 Only $58.09 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
The Shield DVD Complete Season 1-6 (28 DVDs) Only $65.09 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
The Simpsons DVD Seasons 1 -20 Special Edition Only $159.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
The West Wing DVD Complete Season 1-7 Only $78.09 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
The Wire DVD Complete Seasons 1-5 Only $65.29 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
The Xena DVDWarrior Princess Complete Season 1-6 Only $98 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Transformers DVD Metal Box Set 20th Anniversary Only $97.64 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Tudors DVD Season 1-3 Only $56.49 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Two And A Half Men DVD Season 1-6 Only $64.87 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Ugly Betty DVD Seasons 1 and 2 Only $59.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Weeds DVD Season 1-5 Only $54.09 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Will And Grace DVD Complete Season 1-8 DVD Boxset Only $77.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Woody Allen DVD Collection - 44 Movies Only $97.67 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
X-Files DVD Complete Season 1-9 Suitcase Only $116.79 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
Friends DVD Complete Seasons 1-10 Only $69.99 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
House MD DVD Season 1-5 Only $63.96 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
P90X DVD - Extreme Home Fitness with Tony Horton 13 DVDs Only $39.75 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]
P90X DVDExtreme Home Fitness With Guides On Sale Only $45.79 - Free Shipping[TVintheBox.com]

Website: http://www.tvinthebox.com