Author’s note: This is the second of a two-part story on a haunted bed and breakfast.
Voices whisper in the night at The Parlor Bed and Breakfast in Ironton, Mo., and, when people turn to see who’s there – no one ever is.
Jeannette Schrum, co-owner of The Parlor since 2000, said disembodied voices speak to guests, a little boy playing in the main parlor smiles at those who see him, and a man wearing a white shirt stands in a window.
But the most common activity at The Parlor are shadows. Shadows of people often walk the porch of The Parlor, and sometimes wander the interior of the building.
“I see shadows all the time,” Schrum said. “The shadows are just unbelievable. They’re day and night both.”
Belinda Clark-Ache, founder of Haunted Missouri Paranormal Studies, has investigated The Parlor and knows the bed and breakfast is haunted. When her paranormal team stayed at The Parlor, members felt dramatic changes in temperature; taps on the shoulder and one man heard someone whisper his name – even though he was alone in the room.
“We were woken up at 5:30 a.m. hearing our names called in the hallway,” Clark-Ache said, going through the experiences of the evening. “Two different doors on the second floor hallway opened at the same time. There was the smell of fresh bread baking – she didn’t make us fresh bread that weekend.”
The most compelling evidence she saw was in a room called “The Brass Bed.”
Tim Harte MA, LCPC, University if Illinois-Springfield, was with Haunted Missouri Paranormal Studies that night, and had set up in The Brass Bed a computer system he developed with Dave Black, also of the university, that is designed to measure energy frequencies associated with haunt phenomena. Included was an infrared video camera with microphones.
“When he turned in for the night, he left the machine recording,” Clark-Ache said. “About 20 minutes later, you hear what sounds like him coming through the room. Then the bathroom light comes on. You hear bathwater and splashing. You hear draining and the bathroom light goes off. The rest of the recording is silent.”
No one took a bath in that room, or slept there during the investigation – and no one was visible on the video.
“Anyone going from the bedroom to the bathroom would have been discernable on the tape,” she said. “We could not reproduce the event. That’s got to be the most excited I’ve ever been about a piece of evidence and it wasn’t even mine.”
Although Schrum doesn’t embrace the ghosts of The Parlor, she doesn’t want to hide the fact that the home is haunted.
“I’ve had couples get up in the middle of the night and leave,” she said. “I put (the haunting) on the Web site because I didn’t want anyone to come in here and be frightened. That’s not fair. That’s not what they bargained for.”
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 email@example.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.