built in 1853 and became the 1903 Bassett Sheepskin Tannery in 1892.
Later name changes included the Sears Hitchcock Tannery in 1903 before
becoming the Berlin Tannery in 1903. A
huge fire gutted the building around 1923 but was eventually rebuilt. It
eventually closed down in 1987 due to much of its work being farmed overseas.
It has remained empty mostly used for storage and offices for other buildings.
S. Wisconsin St., Berlin, WI 54923
Hauntings: Reports of shadow figures, disembodied voices and loud bangs are experienced throughout the building.
is a room at the bottom of a ramp on the 2nd floor that proprietors
claim is probably the most active room in the building. Some of past experiences
include: growls, Rempods going off just outside of the room as well as K-II
meters which was once knocked out of the hand of a past investigator, cold spots
and some psychics claim that there may even be a portal inside of the room.
ramp just outside of the room has been a location where shadow play is often
seen including a ghost nicknamed Hunchy.
on the 2nd floor is a hallway where a humming noise is heard,
touching and, in one former investigation, what was described as a mild
possession. A chair swings and rotates by itself in an office which was once
occupied by the original owner, Jimmy Dahl.
room filled with sofas and couches, items have been tossed about and a couple of
females had been scratched in the past.
the basement, a walking sound has been heard on the catwalk, voices, and groans.
And just outside of that room is where one of the proprietors heard a
little girl screaming.
is also a room just a slight distance from the previous that proprietors say
something may reside there that is “somewhat nasty.”
have encountered a number of spirits in the building including: Eddie, Stretchy,
Hunchy, Cid and Steve.
The GRS investigated The Berlin Tannery on July 18, 2015 and the team included: Stan Suho, Katie Para, Jim Piscopo, Chuck Williams and Dale Kaczmarek.
setup: The Command Center was set up on
the main floor with several monitors set up to watch various locations
throughout the building including the large open room on the same floor and near
the CC, the ramp on the 2nd floor and a microphone was employed to
record possible paranormal sounds or voices.
the bottom of the ramp, the shadow detector was placed as there has been much
shadow play in that area of the building.
performed: EVP, Ovilus X and
Ghostbox sessions were performed in the room with the couches on the 2nd
floor, most active room at the bottom of the ramp, basement room that is claimed
for possible negativity and the basement room with the catwalk. Rem Epod was
deployed outside the most active room and all sessions were videotaped with IR
camcorders and full spectrum camcorders.
is a large two story building with a full basement. There are so many rooms it
is easy to get lost. To do a thorough investigation we would have to make at
least one return visit to cover the large area.
We had some type of
activity in each area of the building that we investigated but in my opinion,
the most active area was the basement.
In the basement we heard
distant voices several times, shuffling as if someone were walking nearby and
various other noises. At one point a Melmeter registered a reading of 110.5 and
quickly returned to zero. This could not be debunked. We also had equipment
malfunctions in the basement, a camera shut off and a REM pod kept going off.
The REM pod was found to have a weak battery upon returning to our base but I
have to wonder, was the battery weak beforehand or was the battery drained by
something paranormal. Unfortunately there is no way of knowing. During the time
the REM pod was going off I had an extremely cold area on my leg which evidence
of a thermometer supported several times.
Another hot spot we found
was by the “Saws” room on the second floor. The REM pod went off for a short
time, the Melmeter readings were notable, we heard bang, squeak and shuffling
and some relevant Ovilus responses.
In this same general area
on the second floor we had our shadow detectors go off a few different times.
Shadows were seen in various parts of the building throughout the night.
I have no doubt the
activity we experienced was paranormal. I would love to go back to the Tannery!
Piscopo: We arrived at
the tannery around 7:00 pm and unloaded all of our equipment. We got a very
informative walk through of the building. I set up my camcorder in the room in
back of the main office. We did several EVPs throughout the building. Through
the course of the night I heard some very strange noises, we also had some
interesting responses to questions we asked.
I really didn't have any unusual feelings or experiences in the
Stan Suho: Well another great big timber frame building, very old and very haunted. We arrived late afternoon with a small group of regulars. After the walkthrough we began our setup. Using three cameras we just covered most of the hot spots. I setup in a long corridor in the basement where paranormal activity was going on. As usual with these old wooden structures, any sounds would echo through the entire building. With my microphone in the basement, I picked up just about every sound made, both man made and paranormal. The EVP team took off for places unknown, while at the Command Post, the monitors DVRs and laptops made digital records for posterity. Jim's camera was on the second floor, while Dale had two static cameras running. The evening proceeded as usual with investigators moving around the various hot spots. Because of the long trip home, we broke down a bit early.
Nothing showed up on my video but it was a long hallway and the IR light did not reach to the far end. The audio was pretty much contaminated because of the aforementioned problems. It was an interesting building and might be worth a follow up investigation.
Williams: History- Little was known going in.
No deaths occurred there. While
it was a tannery, they had one bizarre incident of a human hide being sent
anonymously to them.
voices, shadow people, EVPs, some sensitive interpretations.
Equipment- I set up
my Sony Handycam with ultraviolet lighting in the shop area with the
scaffolding. I had another camera
rig with me as we investigated- my full spectrum GoPro camera, Full spectrum
digital camera, and 2 IR lights. Digital
audio on my Zoom recorder, my Melmeter was carried as well.
We employed EVP
sessions, Ovilus, and spirit box sessions. Since
we were a small group, we stayed together. Stan manned the Control center, and
joined us from time to time.
experiences- Kathy was wearing short pants, and felt a cold spot on her leg in
the service area. This was backed up
by my Melmeter. The ambient
temperature was very warm in the Tannery, and the closer the Melmeter was
brought to her leg, the temperature dropped 5-8 degrees.
My overall feelings-
The place was generally quiet and peaceful.
Only one area held audible disembodied voices, hits on equipment, and
noises in bulk; the area was set up like a mad scientist lab for a haunted
house. Reports of something evil was
Kaczmarek: William’s REM Epod
with shadow detection did go off a couple of the times in the room with the
couches however, the device is very sensitive to subtle changes of light and
people were occasionally using flashlights and other devices that produce IR
light, so some of those hits might be naturally occurring. Some thought they saw
shadow play looking back towards the negative room but upon further examination,
there were some windows and glass which could have created some of those
using my Melmeter in the room where negativity is felt, I received a spike of
110.5 and it quickly faded back to 0.0 indicating a moving EMF field of energy
had probably drifted through the room very rapidly. I and others did hear what
sounded like a lot of background voices while conducting EVP sessions. While
some of those could have been legitimate, there was a sump pump running in the
large room just outside of where we were at. This could have accounted for a
number of strange sounds resembling voices.
the room with the catwalk, several loud noises and metal clanks were audibly
heard which seemed to emanate from the metal catwalk! Cold spots were
experienced by other members and the REM Epod hits captured in this room were
caused by a low battery failure. The Ghost Radar was used and the following
words were spoken: somehow, short, hall, policeman, Sunday (and it was indeed
12:58am on Sunday when that word was spoken) and changing which I find most
interesting due to the cold spots and the words Ed and Eddie coming through the
Ovilus X in phonetic mode at the same time.
floor saws room area bang tannery.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the
saws room, a loud bang was heard and recorded.
floor saws room area squeak tannery.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in
the saws room, a weird squeaking sound was recorded in the background.
right medication up here tannery.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the
room with the couches several words are heard in the background including;
“All right, medication and up here.”
talking tannery.MPG – Kaczmarek’s static IR camcorder deployed looking down
the ramp, captures some background talking in between the researcher’s voices.
tannery.MPG – Kaczmarek’s static IR camcorder deployed looking down the
ramp, picks up a loud bang in the background.
bang tannery.MPG – the static IR camcorder of Piscopo records two loud bangs,
catwalk room noise tannery.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the
basement near the catwalk, a noise was heard and recorded just before the
question, “Can Eddie come down?”
locker room noise tannery.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the
basement locker room where perhaps something nasty is located, a noise was
recorded in the background as I was attempting to tell the spirits to move the
pieces of plastic that were hanging from the ceiling.
room catwalk clank tannery.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the
basement where the catwalk is located, a loud metal clank was heard coming from
tannery.MPG – while conducting a Ghost Box session, a question was asked,
“Can you tell us the city that we’re in?” The Ghost Box responds with,
fall in tannery.MPG – during our initial walkthrough the proprietor was
cautioning us about a hole in the floor when, in the background, a disembodied
voice is said to say, “Don’t fall in.”
sound1 tannery.MPG – the static IR camcorder of Piscopo picks up a distinct
dragging sound nearby.
sound2 tannery.MPG – the static IR camcorder of Piscopo another, somewhat
fainter sound of something being dragged across the floor.
up packing.tannery.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus X session in the Locker
Room, the Ovilus says Ed, E (Eddie?) followed by the word “Up”. A follow-up
question was asked, “Where upstairs? The Ovilus X says, “Packing.”
tannery.MPG – during our initial walkthrough, our host was relating an
incident about a girl that screamed at the top of her lungs after experiencing
something. William laughs, followed by a voice that says, “Girl.”
tannery.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the Locker Room, a growling
sound was picked up on Williams’s camera.
tannery.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the Locker Room, a question
was asked, “Did you think one of us was George?” A clear-sounding
“Hello” is heard by most in the background.
it’s Jim tannery.MPG – while finishing up a session in the basement, a
whispery voice in the background is heard saying, “Hi it’s Jim.”
tannery.MPG – a static camera in the basement picks up a voice that sounds
don’t tannery.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the basement, a
question was asked, “Did you live here?” A whispery voice is heard saying,
held her head down tannery.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the room
with the sofas; a voice is heard in between group members talking which sounds
like, “I held her head down.”
sounds tannery.MPG – the static IR camcorder of Piscopo picks up several
noise1 tannery.MPG – the static IR camcorder of Piscopo picks up a loud noise
in the background.
noise2 tannery.MPG – the static IR camcorder of Piscopo picks up another loud
noise in the background.
noise3 tannery.MPG – the static IR camcorder of Piscopo picks a third loud
noise in the background.
tannery.MPG – while turning off the Ghost Box during a session in the
basement, a low, deep male voice is said to say, “Move.”
tannery.MPG – the static IR camcorder of Piscopo picks up a distinct noise in
the same room as the camera.
near camera tannery.MPG – the static IR camcorder of Piscopo picks up a noise
very near to the camera and perhaps something even touching the camera.
tannery.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the Locker Room, in the
background a voice is heard.
me tannery.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the room with the couches,
the REM Epod is heard going off and then a clear whispery voice is heard saying,
tannery.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the basement, a whispery
voice is heard in the background saying, “Sorry.”
light.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the most active room, a very
strange white glowing object appears from the area of Piscopo’s chest and
slowly drifts towards the floor before disappearing.
saw sound tannery.MPG – the static IR camcorder of Piscopo hears the distinct
sound of a table or circular saw being turned on and running.
tannery.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus X session in the Locker Room, a
question was asked, “Did you think one of us was George?” A voice is heard
in the background.
tanenry.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the Locker Room, a question
was asked, “It’s cool down here. Why don’t you come down here?” A voice
is heard in the background
tannery.MPG – the static IR camcorder of Piscopo picks up a very
strange-sounding voice in the background.
- Kaczmarek’s static IR camcorder deployed looking down the ramp, picks
up a strange voice in the background.
Wolf call tannery.MPG –
Kaczmarek’s static IR camcorder deployed looking down the ramp, picks up what
sounds like a wolf call whistle in the background.
tannery.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the most active room, Jim is
heard saying, “That thing hit…” It is followed by a voice that says,
point of interest, you should probably not investigate this location in the
middle of the summer like our group did. It was extremely uncomfortable in the
upper portions of the building with the exception of the Command Center area
which was air-conditioned and the cool basement where we spent the majority of
our time experimenting.
was a very unique building that produced a number of disembodied voices and
intelligent responses and even some experiences that other groups had
encountered; i.e. the metal clank and sounds of people walking on the catwalk.
little visual evidence was collected from camcorders with the exception of
unexplained voices and sounds on the audio track of the videotape. All static
cameras did not produce any interesting visual evidence with the exception of
the glowing white object that Kaczmarek filmed in the most active room. I’m
not 100% convinced however that it is paranormal in nature. There were some orbs
that were clearly dust particles stirred up by Piscopo in the room; however this
image bears no resemblance to dust orbs. It’s a bit of a mystery.
A follow-up investigation could be warranted with more cameras, equipment and certainly on a cooler month of the year!
Ghost Research Society (www.ghostresearch.org)
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