Scutt Mansion

Now known as the P. Seth Masgosky Museum of Victorian Life & Joliet History was sometimes referred to as also known as Barb Villa, is a historic residence in Joliet, Illinois. Hiram Scutt was a Civil War veteran who opened H. B. Scutt & Co., the first barbed wire manufacturer in Joliet, in 1874. He was part of General Sherman’s Army that captured Atlanta. Scutt held ten patents for varieties of barbed wire fencing. The mansion was designed by Joliet architect James C. Wesse and was built in 1882 at an estimated cost of $40,000. It was constructed in the Second Empire style with elements influenced by the Eastlake Movement. Scutt sold his business in 1884 and started the Joliet Barbed Wire Company. He also was the president of the Joliet Wire Check Power Company and the Citizens Electric Company. Following his death in 1889 at the age of 47, Hiram's son Frank W. Scutt owned the mansion. He was secretary of the Joliet Wire Company. The house was later sold to Daniel Robertson, who allowed a variety of women's schools, such as the Business Woman's Club House, to operate in mansion. He lived in the mansion until 1916. The mansion held such classes until 1977, when it again became solely a single-family residence. Recently, the house has been opened to the public as a banquet hall. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 5, 2003.

Located at 206 N. Broadway, Joliet, IL. 60435 815-723-3052




There are conflicting reports regarding the alleged paranormal activity occurring at the Scutt Mansion. Even our host was only able to relate some of the events and personal experiences from past investigations conducted by other paranormal teams. It seems that there are allegedly several “hotspots” of activity including Seth’s Room, the Library both on the 2nd Floor and the Doll Room on the 3rd Floor. Recently there have been some untimely deaths on the property, in fact in the front yard as recently as 2006.



The GRS investigated the Scutt Mansion on March 26, 2011 and GRS members present were Stan Suho, Sandra Weber and Dale Kaczmarek. We were also assisted by Rebecca Sommers and Ashley Ottenstein of Kindred Spirits and some of her team.









The Command Center was set up in the Double Parlor on the East side. The G.E.I.S.T. equipment along with the Ghost Camera and Ghost Microphone was set up in the Library (also called the Master Bedroom).  I placed my Full Spectrum camera with the Wide Spectrum Illuminator and large IR illuminator in Seth’s Bedroom directly adjacent to the other room on the same side of the hall.

My static IR camera, large IR illuminator was placed on the third floor and connector to a monitor at the CC with category five cable. Also placed up there was a set of motion detectors at the far end of the room, the EM Vortex on the glass case directly over the devil doll and to the right of the glass case the Geophone was placed on the floor to detect any vibrations or footsteps.

Experiments Performed: Stan, Sandra, I and a woman from the other group conducted the first EVP experiment on the 3rd floor in between the Movie Theater and the Doll Room. I used a hand held IR camcorder, a digital recorder, and the Ovilus PX. Sandra also used her FLIR camera. Stan took some digital pictures up there as well.  There were some minor sounds coming from the PX but all in all pretty quiet.

The second EVP session was in Seth’s Room where all the stuffed bears were located. We were joined by two other people that used their IR camcorder. I again used the same devices as on the 3rd floor. After awhile we did get the PX to interact with the questions being asked and it almost sounded like the name Seth was indeed vocalized.

However about this time a lot of my equipment began to malfunction including the Pyrometer, Digital Trap camera, full spectrum camera and static IR camera on the 3rd floor. They all lost complete battery power a lot sooner than they were supposed to. This might have had something to do with the cold in the house and lack of heat.  

Sandra Weber: Upon arrival, I walked all over the building, basement to 3rd floor with the FLIR but found no unusual temperature variations or shapes.  I then repeated my walk-through with the Tri-Field Natural EMF detector, on the combined magnetic-electric setting, stopping every 3 – 4 steps to allow it to adjust, holding it away from my body in both hands, bracing it against my body with my elbows.  When near furniture, I placed it stationary on the furniture.  Again, no findings.  The needle returned to almost zero throughout the building.  The only room that I did not cover with the FLIR and Tri-Field Natural EMF was the room used as base.  

Personal Experiences:  

Sandra Weber: I made another sweep through the building with the FLIR with no unusual temperature variations or shapes.  

                        During EVP sessions on the 3rd floor landing and in Seth’s room, headed by Dale, I placed the Tri-Field Natural EMF detector on furniture near the recorder (table on 3rd floor, bed in Seth’s room) on the combined magnetic-electric setting with the alarm set very low and invited any entity to come near it so that it could make a sound.  There were no changes to set off the alarm.  I put on the FLIR for brief periods during the sessions to look around the area, but found nothing unusual. I made no paranormal findings.  

Photographic Evidence:  Nothing showed up on the regular or infrared digital still pictures I took. The Full Spectrum camera that was used in Seth’s room did not show any visual or auditory anomalies however there was some contamination of talking from the downstairs and the Command Center that was heard on the audio and some of the other group did block the camera’s view while they were in the room so anything that was detected was missed during their time and EVP session.

Stan Suho: Arrived around midnight to an old three story building that is now a Museum (with no heat). We were given a tour by the proprietors of the facility. There were only three of us on this trip, Dale, Sandra, and myself. Also we were traveling light equipment wise. We didn't have the video system, so I brought along two small video monitors.

I set up G.E.I.S.T. on the second floor and Dale set up his camera on the third floor. One monitor was connected to Dale's camera and one was connected to my Ghost Camera. The standard G.E.I.S.T. setup was used.

Three devices, Ghost Camera, and Ghost Microphone. The Audio was recorded on a Laptop running Audacity.

Two unusual things happened neither of which is paranormal. About half way through the 1st hour, a radio station started getting into my sound system. It sounded like a Basketball game. This is not unheard of, but is the first time I experienced it. The second thing is the TRI-FIELD was acting strange. I knew it was temperature sensitive, but this is the first time it had to operate lower than forty degrees. The needle went below zero and stayed there. This affected my Interface Controller. 

I have now synchronized the time stamp on G.E.I.S.T. with time stamp on the Ghost Camera so now we can do a one to one comparison between a picture and G.E.I.S.T. When I wasn’t busy with other things, I made several walk throughs with my Night Vision Viewer and 35mm camera.

Upon reviewing my pictures, computer files, and sound recordings nothing paranormal showed up on them. I think this house could use a follow up investigation, this time with a full crew and when the weather is a bit warmer.

Photographic Evidence: Nothing out of the ordinary was captured on the Full Spectrum, Digital IR or regular digital cameras. However there was something captured on the Nightshot IR in the attic.

As we went up to conduct our EVP session, suddenly and without any reason the supplemental IR illuminator for my handheld IR camcorder came apart and crashed to the ground. This was captured on the static IR camera. The unit was tightly placed on the camcorder and I had not even touched it. I make note of it at the time that it almost felt like a “force” of some kind came between my hand and the unit causing the unit to disassemble and tumble to the ground. A female psychic who was accompanying us on the EVP session at the time mentioned that she felt a presence of someone walk from that area in the doll room towards the theater and approximately two minutes later the static IR camera picks up a weird buzzing noise that starts at the 1:18:58 mark. It was not heard before or after.

IRlight.mpg is the file for the first encounter followed by buzzing.mpg for the second sounds. A MP3 file was also made of the strange buzzing sound.

Then at 1:41:33 a sound is heard in the background as though something fell over somewhere behind the camera possibly in the theater. There were a number of little sounds and noises that resembled wood knocks throughout the evening up there when nobody was upstairs. Later when we reviewed this with the owner, he confirmed it most likely drips of water coming from the roof and some recent damage.  

EVP evidence:

The handheld IR camcorder was used for all EVP sessions both in the attic and in Seth’s room. A digital recorder along with the Ovilus PX device used in phonetic mode which allows the spirits to form their own words was also employed in all sessions.

In the attic a question was asked, “Do you like to dance?” The response is a faint female whisper that says “Yeah” followed a few seconds later by the PX also saying “Yeah.” (dance.MP3)  

There was two times the PX called out the single word, Help1 and Help2.

Another question was asked, “Where’s your mommy?” Again a whispered female voice says at the 13.5 second mark what sounds like, “My mommy.” (mymommy.MP3)  

Later we tried another EVP session in Seth’s Room.  

A question was asked, “What would you like to eat?”  The PX device again in phonetic mode says, “Beer and…?” We cannot make out beyond the word beer. (eat.MP3)  

A question was asked, “You want to come downstairs and have some tea with us?” The PX says something that sounds very much like the name, “Seth.” (seth.MP3)  

Conclusions: There were enough personal encounters, evidence collected and interaction with the PX device to “suggest” that there may indeed be intelligent spirits inhabiting the mansion. They don’t seem to be at all harmful or destructive but more playful, mischievous and perhaps unwilling to move on because of having lived here sometime in the past.

It would have been a better investigation if it wasn’t so cold inside the building, I had more of my people to help with setup and experiments and that the noise could have been kept down at the Command Center as some of the audio in Seth’s Room was contaminated due to bleed through of conversation coming from below. There was a lot of laughter and loud talking coming from the other group which contributed a bit to this bleed through.

All in all, I found the location an interesting place worthy of a future investigation with more people at a warmer time of year.

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