The GRS was the first paranormal team to ever investigate this location on November 7, 2009!
After purchasing the Old Avenue School in 1988 and converting the first and second floors into manufacturing space for Facemakers, Inc., Mr. & Mrs. St. George converted a music room, a band room and an art room, into the "Mon Temple des Songes" Theater. They then converted various other classrooms into the backstage dressing rooms, make-up rooms, scene shop, and gaffer's shed. Prior to renovation, the "theater" was divided into three classrooms, and had no equipment. Undaunted, Mrs. St. George picked up a crowbar and struck the first blow for renovation. The massive project was finally completed in 1991, and hosted charity performances produced by the St. Georges for seven years.
Located at 800 Chicago Ave., Savanna, Illinois 61074 815-273-3944
Reports of shadowy figures drifting across the stage from side to side have been encountered. Mr. St. George once observed what looked like sparkly dust tossed in the air and drift to the floor in the center of the stage. A ghost of a little girl that might have died from tuberculosis has been reported in the St. George's Hallway just as you enter into the building. Additional reports of strange activity in the props rooms and behind the stage as well as the Rose Room have been reported. The sounds of moving objects and shadows.
Investigative findings: Video evidence includes the creaking sound of a door in the St. George's Hallway and immediate experiments to find the door that made the sound were unsuccessful. The sound of an exhaled breath was recorded near Nicole Tito's camcorder in the St. George's Hallway, a strange noise on the audio track of a camcorder in a room where a large pig and cow head was sitting on a table, dancing lights recorded backstage between the curtains not caused by anything explainable, unexplained sounds captured on the audio track of Jim Graczyk's camcorder positioned in the prop room on two separate occasions and there were no sounds of approaching or receding footsteps heard, and a disembodied voice either saying "Shit" or "Shhh" near Nicole Tito's camcorder in the St. George's Hallway. Many EVPs and personal experiences were encountered especially during the last 1 1/2 hours in the basement area where a number of researchers experienced interaction with something unseen.
The Ghost Research Society investigated Adrienne & Alan St. George's Center for the Arts on November 7, 2009. Team members included: Jim Graczyk, Stan Suho, Joe Tito, Joey Tito, Nicole Tito, Andy Rhodes, Lisa Krick and Dale Kaczmarek. We were also assisted by Rob Johnson and Erica Behringer.
Savanna Theater Report 11/7/09 from Nicole Tito
Team Partner: Lisa
During my investigating in the theater, there were several spots in which I did not like. During the initial setup when the lights were still on, I was talking to Rob and Erica in the theater when we all hear what sounded like the spotlight move a little on the balcony in the back of the theater.
Throughout the night, Lisa and I were conducting EVP sessions.
In our first session at the end of the 1st floor hallway when
you first walk into the building, we kept hearing strange sounds coming from the
room next to us and the office across the way.
We couldn't determine whether the noises were natural or paranormal.
At one point, Lisa's
Probably the best personal experience of my life happened late in the evening. Lisa and I went to the basement to do EVP work in the sewing room as Andy told us earlier in the night that he had some personal experiences down there. Things were pretty quiet and we were going to wrap up the EVP session in that room. At that point, Erica and Rob came into the room and we all talked for awhile. After that, we decided to investigate the gym where they kept the molds of the heads of the costumes. I was in the back of the gym making a remark about a poster I saw when Rob asked us if anyone said, "Hello." None of us had said that so that was the first strange thing to happen.
We all proceeded to move into the boys' locker room to look at the Moo & Oink costume heads. Erica and Rob were taking pictures as I stood there with Lisa looking around the room. We all hear a knocking which sounded like it was coming from the hallway. Instantly, we all remained quiet and the knocking appeared to move around in location from the hallway. We had heard a toilet flush earlier upstairs and it wasn't the same sound. Rob proceeded to go out in the hallway to mimic the sound. He knocked on the wall outside the room and we told him to knock softer. When he did this, the noise matched perfectly to what we hear. Rob knocked a few more times at which point we hear a knocking from the room next door to us. Rob stopped knocking and he waited to come into the room for several seconds. When he returned, we asked, "Why did you stop knocking?" He replied that someone told him to "Stop knocking," and he assumed that one of us said it. However, none of us in the room made that comment.
We all went out into the hallway because it seemed like strange occurrences were happening there. We sat in the middle of the hallway looking down both ways. We continued to hear the knocking from various places in the hallway. At one point, Erica thought she hear a little kid's voice say something. The next forty-five minutes were action packed. I don't remember the precise order of everything, but I did have my audio recorder running the entire time. At one point, we all saw some sort of shadows moving in the one long hallway with the red glow exit sign. I saw a shadow person peek its head up above the door looking at us then dart into the wall on the left side. Later on, Rob first spotted that something didn't look right at the end of the hallway near the exit sign. He had noticed that a roll of white fabric had started moving. Lisa and Erica quickly looked and saw what he was talking about. I still couldn't make out the location until I got up and moved. At that point, I saw that a strip of white fabric had been unrolled from the piece. It was almost floating in the air making a wave like pattern right below the exit sign. This occurred for several seconds and then stopped.
There were major temperature fluctuations throughout the period of time in which some spots were drop a significant amount only to be normal again in a few minutes. At one point, I was shivering so badly my teeth were rattling. When I panned my flashlight across the entrance to the other side of the hall, Rob thought he saw an apparition of a young child standing in the hallway looking at us. He quickly moved to that area and believed that he saw the walls at the end of the hallway swirling in and out. At this same time, I was looking down the opposite end of the hallway and saw the shadows darting in and out of the rooms again near the exit sign.
We all reconvened in the hallway and I panned my flashlight across the same entrance and saw an apparition of a ghost boy child standing there. It took me aback and when I moved the flashlight again, it was no longer there. However, I had a direct head on view on what I was looking at. In a split second, it appeared that he was a young boy standing there with his hands on his hips. I couldn't make out any the features or clothes. During this time, we tried to call Joey with our walkie-talkie approximately two times. There was no response so we figured that someone had packed up the walkie-talkies or the volume was too low. We later talked to Joey who said that nothing came through and he had the walkie-talkie on full volume.
Later on, Lisa's
At the last part, Rob decided to walk through the doors in the hallway
towards the exit sign. The girls
stayed on the outside and watched through the glass windows.
When Rob got to the center of the hallway, the
EVPs: (see EVP transcripts)
Video Footage: Nothing out of the ordinary.
Still Pictures: Nothing out of the ordinary
Rob Johnson & Erica Behringer: Rob and I were completely comfortable there until about 10:30, we were up in the balcony of the theater.
I was recording EVP, but haven't gotten anything to speak of from it. We were just shooting off photos towards the stage. We kept seeing what
seemed like tall figures darting around on the stage, just a shadowy person shape. We never pulled up anything on photos, but we did see your
video camera pointed that way, so hopefully something came up on that to see what we both think we saw. At this time, the air started getting
much colder and I actually saw my breath for about a minute. It was odd because Rob barely had breath showing, but I did! I also felt as though
something lightly scratched the right side of my neck. I checked to make sure there were no bugs or clothing tags touching me, I pulled my hair up
off my neck (though I'm not sure my hair could scratch me). It didn't hurt, but it was a definite scratch! After I pulled my hair off - about a minute
later I had it happen on the left side of my neck! Rob actually stated he could see a mark as though a nail had scratched me lightly, not red - but the
lighter dry skin type scratch on the surface.
We stayed there a bit longer, and Alan actually joined us for a bit and we just chatted and nothing else much happened up there. After a while we
actually went downstairs and joined up with the girls in the sewing room in the basement level. We were probably there for over an hour just sitting
and doing EVP, it was all very comfortable to be quite honest! About 12:30 or maybe a little earlier - we went to the boy's locker room. Soon we
started hearing a knocking sound. We figured it was not the clock that made a loud "clack" when its hands moved. Rob actually went out in the hall
to emulate the sound, but when he first started hitting the concrete walls from outside the room, it was too loud. He got quieter and quieter until he
reached the right sound and at that moment we heard the same sound but further down the room where we were at - it was some sort of closet.
Rob came back in the room and asked us why we told him to stop knocking; none of us had done so. He took us out in the hall to show us where
the voice had approximately come from and it was just on the other side of the wall where we heard the responsive knock to Rob's own knocks! So
we focused our work out in the hall. The girls and Rob all noted seeing shadows moving behind the doors just past the locker room, leading to the
hallway with the sewing room. We kept getting cold chills, and I did manage to see some of the small / short shadows moving around just past the
doors. Just as something would happen there, it was almost as if something wanted our attention in the mascot head room with the open door, exactly
opposite of us - as we'd either see something or think we heard something from that direction and we'd focus there. Then it would start back behind
the hallway door again! The cold spots were incredible and were not constant. Rob was interrogating a bit trying to be a "bully" and I actually heard
what sound like a sad young boy kind of disheartened moan like he didn't want to be picked on! Nicole was recording audio at this point, so I really
hope it picked it up. Rob also claims he heard someone using my voice called his name... which I never did!! Nicole and Lisa both attested to that!
Another very interesting thing we all four watched and saw, was a huge bolt of fabric at the end of the hallway past the doors in front of the exit sign
was actually waving about in a slow and very odd manner. We all ran towards it and it would no longer move. However, when Rob got down half-way
the hair on his skin all stood up. At that point his attention went back to the mascot head room and at the same moment he and I heard what sounded
like rustling in the plastic bags and we both took off to see what did it but found nothing.
It really did seem like everything picked up right at 1 am like Alan said - but at that point we were wrapping everything up! I really think a later start
might get some good results at that place, like it was really picking up for us!
Equipment Used - Digital Audio Recorder, Digital Camera,
Partnered with - Nicole Tito
Facemakers is an old school which was slated for the wrecking ball. It was bought and turned into not only a place of business, but a small theatre for charity. Mascot costumes are made mostly in the basement, offices and staff rooms are on the main floor, and the theatre, props rooms, sets workshop, and dressing rooms are housed on the upper floor of the building.
My camcorder was set up in the auditorium, facing the
stage. I have reviewed all video
evidence and have found nothing untoward.
Nicole and I did EVP sessions in the following areas and I
have nothing on audio from these areas: By
the stairs to the basement on the main floor, the dark dressing room, the
dressing room with the mascot heads, the props room, the sets workshop, the red
However, once we stepped into the basement, it seemed to be
a whole other ballgame ... We started our basement exploration with the sewing
room. It appeared to be calm and
peaceful. We heard some knock noises
which we finally attributed to the wall clock in the next room.
I do have some whispering on the audio recorder, but cannot make anything
out. The whispers are heard while we
are talking. Rob and Erica joined us
in the sewing room after we had been down there for about 15 minutes or so.
We sat around a sewing table and chatted for about another 20 minutes.
At that time, Rob asked us if we had seen where they keep the actual
mascot prototypes. We hadn't seen
any of the rest of the basement, so he guided us there.
We walked through the gymnasium, where the mascot head moulds are kept,
then through a "pattern" room, where the foam body patterns are kept,
and then into an old boys locker room where there were two mascot heads that Rob
wanted to photograph. As we were
standing in that room, watching him photograph the objects, I heard a knock.
I asked if anyone had heard it. Rob
said he did. I heard another knock.
Rob heard that as well. Nicole
thought it might be the clock, but when I asked for a third knock and it
happened, she could differentiate between the clock sound and the actual knock
sound. At that point, Rob stood up
and said, "the first knock came from my left ... the second knock came from
directly behind me ... the third knock came from behind Lisa, but in the
hallway" and he walked into the hallway to try to duplicate the sound for
us. He knocked on the cement block
wall in the hallway and it sounded very loud to us. It was the same sound, but
way too loud. So we told him to do
it again, more quietly. He did.
We told him that was it. He
knocked again, and then ran in the room, asking us if we had told him to
"quit knocking". None of
us had said that. He stated that
someone right behind him had said "quit knocking".
We all headed out to the hallway to see if we could communicate with this
being. I was leaning against a rack
of bolted fabric. Nicole and Erica
were on the opposite wall from me and Rob was squatting down with his back to
the double doors with the paned glass, which lead into the sewing room. We tried
to get the entity to knock again. And,
it did. It began to get cold in the
room. Rob said he didn't feel it.
The knocking continued for us, at our command.
I began to see shadows behind Rob on the right (his left, as he was
facing me). He turned to look, and
as he did, he saw a ball of white light, about golf ball size, shoot across the
floor from the wall into the sewing room. I
continued to see the shadows. He
turned back around to us and he saw a shadow figure about waist high, standing
in the large room across the entry way to the basement.
He went to investigate that room. As
soon as he left, it got cold in there again, and all three of us girls commented
on it. Rob walked back over and saw
that there was a bolt of fabric all the way down the hall behind the double
doors that appeared to be moving of its own volition.
After he pointed it out, all four of us saw it.
We walked down the hallway to investigate it, and it continued to wave,
as if wafting in a breeze until we got about half way down the hall.
Then it very gently laid itself back down flush with the rest of the
cloth, as if unseen hands were smoothing it down.
Once we reached the cloth, we saw that it was heavy faux fur that is used
for making mascots and could not have moved on its own.
There was no breeze whatsoever in the hallway.
We went back out to the area outside the boy's locker room.
Again, Rob saw a shadow in the opposite room and as he was walking over
there, I looked back through the double doors and saw the ball of white light
fly across the floor from the sewing room toward the opposite wall and vanish.
We tried to call Joey on the walkie-talkie, but it appeared to be turned
off. However, about 30 seconds
later, Jim contacted us via walkie-talkie and told us we needed to wrap up.
We told him we were right in the middle of some fantastic activity and he
told us to take our time. Rob took
Facemakers warrants further investigation.
Tito: I ran several free hand segments while
investigating the theater/workshop and also ran a static camera on stage behind
the curtains. I have reviewed parts of the free hand segments but not all of it.
I have not reviewed any of the stage footage as of yet. While sitting at the
command center I did notice several odd noises coming from the main hallway and
lobby. This is where Stan set up G.E.I.S.T. Some noises were identified as coming
from a natural source, but some footsteps and foot shuffling were heard when
there wasn't anyone in the vicinity. Rob and Erica noticed a shadow cross the
stage from one end to another. I wanted to state this fact since Rob relayed
this info to me moments after it occurred. Other than that, I did not come
across anything paranormal.
Stan Suho: We arrived in the evening after dark and carried our equipment in to the first floor lobby. After a brief walk through led by the owner we decided to set up the command post on the second floor landing just outside the theater. We chose this place because the lobby was one of the Hot spots as well as the theater. G.E.I.S.T. was set up as well as the Sweet System with several cameras. The G.E.I.S.T. devices were set up downstairs in the main lobby at the far end of the hall. The five standard devices were used. These were the Ion Detector, Geiger Counter, Tri-Field, Ghost Camera and the Ghost Microphone connected to a R-R tape recorder.
During the monitoring period I noticed the Tri-Field was very quiet this time around, hardly a peep out of it. I found this very unusual. This was contrasted by the Geiger Counter which was unusually active all night. I set the count to 5 clicks per second, and it still gave us numerous alarms. This area is known to have a lot of subsurface minerals so who knows. While the monitoring was on going, I made several walk-throughs with a Digital Camera and 35mm camera. The Tape Recorder ran all night
Upon reviewing my results I found a couple of orbs in the lobby photos. The R-R turned up nothing unusual. Late in the evening we got reports that they were getting EVPs in the basement. Since it was too late to re-configure, I think this should be taken into consideration during a future investigation. The coffee and snacks topped off a great night for ghost hunting.
Jim Graczyk: This old school was truly an amazing place. Joe Tito was my partner at this location for the walk through. Joe and I had our digital cameras as well as the temperature/ humidity sensor.
Joe and I explored the building and found nothing unusual at the moment. I didn't feel anything usual throughout the night. I did not encounter anything that could not be explained. Andy R. did want Joe T. and me to go down to the basement since he was hearing and seeing shadows down there.
Andy, Joe and I did find that the clocks did not have seconds on them and caused a click when it moved a minute. The boy's locker room was the room Andy heard the sounds coming from. As for the shadows, we could not find a reason that the light from the EXIT sign was being interrupted. I did not see the event happen again so I can not explain the cause of the event.
My video camera was placed in the first prop room facing from the doorway into the room. My digital pictures did not come up with anything paranormal or out of the ordinary. The video footage I did review unexplained noises were heard somewhere in the background and no evidence indicated the approach of footsteps or the voices of real people.
Dale Kaczmarek: I found this building to be extremely active in multiple areas. The first area where activity was audible was the main hallway where the equipment was lined up when first unpacking. Sounds were heard of a door creaking and what sounded like a cough were heard by all at the command center which was set up at the top of the stairs in between the hallway and the theater entrance. I'm sure this will be picked up on both the audio tape that Stan was running but also on the audio portion of the Nicole’s video camcorder mounted at the entrance to the hallway.
Later as Joey, Jim and I were experimenting in the basement of the building we entered into a room filled with unfinished faces. The room was already extremely cold upon entering but in one particular spot near the front of the room I was being blasted by a constant stream of cold air from no source. Then it just suddenly stopped. I walked to my right, thinking it had retreated in that direction but the intense breeze was nowhere to be found.
While exploring another area in the basement we met up with Rob and Erica coming up from an adjacent hallway and when Rob came out of the boiler room, it appeared that for a brief moment through my Nightshot camera that his breath was visible for a moment indicating an extreme cold spot. He immediately backed up but it was no longer there. A number of infrared digital trap camera shots were taken in the area and down the other corridor facing a set of double doors and when later examined, it appears as though there is a face in one of the window panes.
Motion sensors and a negative ion generator were set up at the end of the main hallway near the administration offices but nothing interfered with them throughout the evening. Another remote motion sensor was placed in the second prop room and monitored at the command center but again, nothing broke the IR beam. EMF readings throughout the building were within normal range with no EM spikes and in fact G.E.I.S.T. only generated a few Geiger Counter hits in the evening and the Tri-Field Natural EM Meter was very quiet.
Darklight experiments were also conducted in the basement by Joe, Jim and I without any visible results.
Basement Hallway Bad
We are standing in the basement hallway experiencing a lot of activity then Rob walks into another part of the hallway and explains to us that there is a "bad feeling in here," to which we all go in and investigate.
Fabric Moving Clip
We are standing in the hallway looking down at the fabric down at the end near the exit sign and all react to what is going on.
Weird Noise EVP
Rob is talking about how the K-II meter is going crazy in the middle of the hallway and then you hear a weird noise like someone is burping, but I don't remember none of us doing that and we never react to the noise.
Weird Whoosh Noise
We are still in the same area investigating the activity and you will hear a weird whoosh while Erica is talking.
We are in the same area again and Rob talks about "Mr. Sneaky Pants is still here." After he says this, you will hear a far off yell.
Front Hallway Bang
Lisa and I are in the front hallway conducting an EVP session when we both hear a loud bang and react to it.
We are in the front hallway conducting an EVP session and you will a voice say what I believe is, "Hide."
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