Old Rectory Investigation

The first owner of the property where the rectory now stands was Illinois Civil War Governor Richard Yates, who purchased it in 1847. Two years later, he sold the land to James Ewing and built the Yates Mansion next door. Ewing held the property until 1895, when it was sold to the Our Savior Catholic Church, which began constructing the rectory. When finished, it was regarded as one of the finest homes in the city. It was constructed from brick and stone and was furnished with oak throughout. Both electricity and gas were installed at the time.

Father John Crowe was the first to reside in the rectory and he lived there for 20 years. He was succeeded by Father Francis Formez, who lived there from 59 years and is now believed to be the rectory's most active ghost.






Hauntings: Monsignor Michael Driscoll was the next to live in the rectory, along with Father Bud Degrand. The rectory was closed in 1995 and has been undergoing renovations. It is listed today on the National Historic Register. It is considered one of Jacksonville's most historic sites -- and one of the most haunted!  

According to both legend and first-hand accounts, the apparitions of four of the rectory's former residents have been seen looking out the windows, reflected in mirrors, and lurking about the house. They are joined here by a phantom nun, whose identity remains unknown. Lights turn on and off by themselves, cold winds blow through the house with the windows closed and odd aromas, like cooking food and men's cologne, are often experienced.


Address: 462 E. State St., Jacksonville, IL. 62650, 217-479-8833




The Ghost Research Society investigated the Old Rectory on June 25, 2011. Team members included: Stan Suho, Nicole Tito, Lauren Kasmar and Dale Kaczmarek. We were assisted by Michael & Jeanne Chilton, Susan Hearty and Chris Crum from PRIOM, and Rita Doe, Theresa Moore and Kyle Baalman from Calhoun County Ghosthunters.








Equipment setup: The Command Center was set up in the main dining room on the first floor. G.E.I.S.T., a laptop running Audacity hooked up to a microphone, two mini-monitors and my laptop running the Thermasound device were all part of the CC. The Thermasound device was placed in the basement facing in the direction of the old wine cellar. Nicole’s camera was set up in the first room at the top of the stairs along with an extended IR illuminator and EM Pump. My camera was placed in the first bedroom on the right along the hallway with an IR illuminator, EM Pump, the G.E.I.S.T. equipment which included; Negative Ion Detector, Geiger Counter, Tri-Field Natural EM Meter, GhostCam and Ghost Microphone.  

Experiments performed: Several EVP sessions were conducted in the upstairs rooms where the IR cameras were situated and the far back bedroom where investigators in the past have received responses while mentioning religious topics. Additional EVP sessions were conducted in the basement and the sitting room next to the CC.  

Observations: We conducted this investigation during a violent thunderstorm where there was added electricity in the air due to lightning strikes. This may have a direct effect on evidence and equipment readings.  

Personal experiences:

 Lauren Kasmar: I, Lauren Kasmar, was teamed with Nicole Tito for the Old Catholic Rectory investigation on 6/25/11.  The weather was humid and stormy.  I used my digital camera, Melmeter, Sony digital recorder, and REM E-Pod.  I assisted Nicole with setting up her camera, and running the wires down to the Command Center.   

We began our first EVP session in the basement at 9:50 PM. The temperature was 70.1 degrees F.  At 9:54 , I got a spike of 1.9 on the Melmeter.  It remained at a constant 0 prior to that.  I also received spikes from 2.3 to 4.0 when I was near an area with wiring.  We asked for a knock to let us know someone was with us, and we heard faint knocks on the brick wall next to me.  During the session, we also heard what sounded like the wood ladder hitting the wall in the old wine cellar room two times, which was to the right of me.  We also heard this same sound at the very end of our session, after we turned the recorders off!  

At 10:18 PM, Nicole, Dale, and I began another EVP session in the first large room at the top of the stairs.  The temperature was 73.5 degrees F.  Shortly after we began the session, the batteries in Nicole’s recorder drained. When asked if they had drained the battery, the Ovilus responded with what sounded like “did.”  We received responses from the Ovilus several times of “attic,” and “up.”  The Ovilus was in phonetic mode.  Dale and Nicole reported feeling cold drafts near them, and I got a low of 54 degrees F near Dale, and 65 degrees near Nicole’s feet.  We heard a light tapping that seemed like it was coming from the sitting room next to us, as well a light knocking from the same area.  

We then did a session in the living room downstairs with Dale and Stan.  The temperature was 76 degrees F.  Shortly after we began the session, the battery in my flashlight began to drain.  When I turned it off and back on a few minutes later, it was fine.  We got responses on the Ovilus of “help her,” “look at” and “up” in phonetic mode. We heard faint talking/ a breath coming from the other room, and a slight tapping sound during the session.  

At 11:45 PM, we did an EVP session with the entire group in the pink bedroom.  The temperature was 75.6 degrees F.  Again, the Ovilus gave us “up” several times.  We also got “oy” several times.  It also gave us George, and Murphy.  We used the Ovilus in phonetic mode.  

At 12:21 AM, we began an EVP session in room #4 in the back of the rectory.  It was 73 degrees F.  Shortly after we began the session, we were discussing Saints, and we heard a loud alarm like noise.  We thought it might have been the REM E-Pod, but later realized it was the Ovilus X; we had the same thing happen in a later session, we realized the noise was probably indicating low battery in the device.  

Nicole and I conducted our last EVP session at 1:25 am in the pink bedroom.  The temperature was 69 degrees F.  We were singing “Our God is an Awesome God,” and the Ovilus X made that loud alarm like noise twice.  The Geiger camera went off at one point while we were singing as well.  

In conclusion, I feel that there is probably something paranormal occurring in the Old Catholic Rectory after receiving the knocking and tapping responses we got during our sessions; especially during our session in the basement.  I did not catch anything abnormal in my pictures.

Stan Suho: We arrived around sunset to a big old three-story building. We were teamed up with two other groups. After we made our guided walk through, we decided to set up the command post on a big table on the first floor. We shared the table with Jeanne's group. My setup was the standard G.E.I.S.T. computer with another computer running Audacity software. Dale also had his Laptop setup running his new Sonic Scanning device.

The equipment was setup in an up stairs Bedroom which was purportedly very active. The Ion Detector, Geiger Counter, and the Tri-Field were setup. Also the Ghost Camera and the Ghost Microphone were located in the same room.  I monitored two EVP sessions during the evening, and recorded both of them with Audacity.

During my free time, I made several walk throughs with a 35mm and a Digital Camera. I also spent time monitoring the house with my Night vision viewer, as well as monitoring the EVP sessions.  


Upon reviewing my G.E.I.S.T. printouts, sound recordings and camera print outs, I could not find anything that could be considered paranormal. However we'll have to see what the others have turned up.  

Evidence collected:  

Atticvisit was during an EVP session, the Ovilus said “Attic visit” and we weren’t allowed in the attic.  

Bitch a group EVP session. During the beginning of the recording and with each question asked a female child’s voice is heard saying, “nah, nah, nah” which finally ends when the Ovilus spits out the word “bitch” twice.  

Didit a question was asked, “Did you drain the batteries?” The Ovilus replies with, “did it.”  

Humming static IR camera in the back bedroom picked up some humming in the background.

Knock a question was asked, “Can you give us some sort of sign to let us know that you’re here?” A knock follows.  

Nun – a question was asked, “Are you a nun?” The Ovilus replies with, “are.”  

Old Rectory Audio James Amy – during the walkthrough a strange voice mentions the names James and Amy and sounds a lot like our guide but it wasn’t.  

Old Rectory Audio Table Being Hit – a loud bang of a table being hit and nobody human did it.  

Old Rectory Audio Ovilus II Session Personal Experience Smelling – during a group EVP session Jeanne smells the strong smell of cigarette smoke.  

Old Rectory Ovilus Session saying You Are at Home – group EVP the Ovilus says, “You are at home” in phonetic mode.  

Ovilusfail EVP session in the small bedroom at the end of the hallway; at the beginning of the file and in between our talking, you can clearly hear the sound of a female humming or singing in the background followed by the loud sound of the Ovilus batteries failure.  

Talkover during an EVP session Nicole says, “We’re all lucky that our parents sacrificed and put us through school.” Just as she says “through” some gruff male voice appears to talk over her voice and also says “through”.  

Uasshole during a group EVP session the Ovilus says, “You asshole.”  

Up Here during an EVP session the Ovilus says, “Up here.”  

Upattic during an EVP session the Ovilus says, “Up”. Nicole asks, “Up where?” The Ovilus replies with, “attic.

Weirdsound during an EVP session a weird sound suddenly is heard by Lauren, Nicole and I coming from behind Nicole’s camera that we could not account for.  

Youareat – (see Old Rectory Ovilus Session saying You Are at Home)  


I found this investigation to be most interesting while nothing was captured on the Thermasound device in the basement and the static IR camera could not back up the child’s voice saying “nah nah nah” on the handheld IR camera, there was plenty of interesting EVPs and Ovilus replies especially mentions of the off-limits attic. I wonder what kind of responses we would have received had we been able to conduct some experiments in the attic?  While sound does travel throughout the building easily and keeping noise down to a minimum was difficult, we were able to tag the extraneous sounds and background noises on our EVP sessions.  This would be an interesting place to redo with a smaller group but more cameras throughout the building.


Follow-up Investigation

Date: February 25, 2012

GRS Members present: Jim Graczyk and Dale Kaczmarek  

Other investigators present: Loren Hamilton, Kelly Davis and approximately nine others who paid for this investigation.

Equipment setup: All handheld equipment was used during this investigation including IR camcorders, digital recorders, digital cameras, digital trap cameras, Ghost Box, Ovilus, Paracorder 667, REM Epod and EM Vortex.  

Experiments performed: Several EVP sessions were conducted in various locations such as the basement, master bedroom and the small bedroom where Monsignor Driscoll died. Kelly Davis also read from a bible that was a personal possession of Driscoll during the EVP session in the master bedroom.  

Personal experiences:  

Dale Kaczmarek: Jim, I and another researcher felt a distinct temperature drop while conducting our EVP session. The Epod when used in a handheld mode did go off when pointed towards the bathroom threshold where Driscoll died.  

Jim Graczyk: I used the GRS Cam for most of the night and Dale would review those pictures at a later date. This was a public event and we had numerous groups and people walking all over the place. I really didn't pick up on anything during my visit there. My few digital camera pictures that I did take turned up nothing out of the ordinary. I believe a smaller controlled group would be more appropriate for a further investigation.  

Evidence collected:  

Apple dare you.MPG An EVP session in the Master bedroom when Kelly was looking Monsignor’s bible for personal passages, the Ovilus said, “apple dare you.” I interpret that as the original sin when Adam and Eve took a bite from the apple in the Garden of Eden.  

Female yowl.MPG A Ghost Box session in the Master Bedroom when a female yowl is heard through the Ghost Box.  

Fuck yes.MPG> An EVP session in the Master Bedroom, Kelly asks, “Would you like me to read this?” The Ovilus replies, “Fuck yes.”  

Fuck you.MPG An EVP session in the Master Bedroom, it appeared that a spirit was angry about Kelly reading from the book and the Ovilus said, “Fuck you.”  

I feel bad feel bad.MPG An EVP session in the Master Bedroom, the Ghost Box says, “I feel bad” then another different voice says, “Feel bad.”  

That’s correct bitch.MPG An EVP session in the Master Bedroom, Kelly says, “I think that book was only meant for priests and monsignors” and the Ovilus says, “That’s correct, bitch.”  

There are eight.MPG An EVP session in the Master Bedroom, suddenly the Ovilus says very clearly, “There are eight.”  

Conclusions: We received a lot of obscenities again in the Master Bedroom like the last time we investigated here. Whatever is here called Nicole Tito a bitch and this time called Kelly Davis a bitch and used the F-Bomb several times. I don’t believe we were communicating with the spirit of Monsignor Driscoll but someone completely different who apparently had a vulgar mouth. We did also get a few “up” and “attic” through the Ovilus as before. We had no communication with the little girl that we contacted last time but still found this place to be very active as far as EVP, Ghost Box and Ovilus sessions.

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