Tinker Swiss Cottage Investigation 2016

The Tinker Swiss Cottage is a historic place, museum, and park in Rockford, Illinois, USA. It was built as a personal residence by Robert Hall Tinker in the1860s. It is now a popular destination for school trips and wedding receptions.

Robert Hall Tinker was born in Honolulu to missionary Reuben Tinker (1799–1854) and his wife Mary Throop Wood (1809–1895) in 1836. Tinker moved to Rockford in 1856, where he was employed as an accountant by Mary Dorr Manny, the wealthy widow of John H. Manny of the Manny reaper works. Tinker traveled Europe in 1862 and was greatly impressed by the estates and gardens he had seen there. On his return to Rockford, Tinker built himself a 20-room Swiss-style cottage on a limestone bluff overlooking the Kent Creek and the home of Mary Manny. In 1870 Robert and Mary were married, becoming Rockford 's most influential couple. Tinker was mayor of Rockford in 1875 and a founding member of the Rockford Park District.

Upon the death of the Tinkers, the cottage was left to the Rockford Park District. The home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) on December 27, 1972.

Located at: 411 Kent St., Rockford, IL. 61102, 815-964-2424

Executive Director: Steve Litteral

Website: www.tinkercottage.com



Equipment setup: Teams were Chuck in the Barn, Marge in the Carriage House, Dale and Greg in the Basement of the Main House and Stan and Barbara in the Red Room on the 2nd floor of the main house.

Experiments performed: EVP, Ghost Box, Ovilus X and Dowsing Rod sessions were conducted in the Red Room, downstairs Canning Room, Carriage House, the Barn and other rooms in the main house.

Personal experiences:

Greg Kos: Dale and I were in the Tinker house basement.

Equipment: Dale REM Epod, SB-11, Voice recorder and Temp sensor. Greg K-II, EMF, Voice recorder, IR camera and dowsing rods.

Group 4


Group 3


Group 2

Roberts’s bedroom Dowsing Rods used by tour person answered? Are you here? Point the rod tips in the direction of the person in a hat. Point in direction of where you are at in the room.

Nothing on voice recorder

Possible orb in picture of hallway and office taken from Roberts’s bedroom after the dowsing rod period. This was later debunked as a fixture on the ceiling.

Group 1

Kitchen SB-11 Temp change in kitchen.


Barbara Meagher: Group 3 Session 1 in Red room EVP session began at 7:54:57 pm and lasted 13 min and 41 seconds. Josephus communicated through dowsing rods held by one of the participants and pointed to the windows, also through the dosing rods spirit indicated he was at peace. No definitive EVPs were recorded. It was confirmed that Jesse was communicating and indicated that she was at peace.

Group 2 Session 2 in Red room EVP session begun at 8:31:10 and lasted 10 min and 35 seconds. EMF meter did fluctuate as high as 4.0 several times when asked if spirits were in the room with us. No voices heard on recording.

Group 1 Session 3 in Red room session began at 9:08:18 pm and lasted 9 min and 47 sec.  One participant heard the word “NO” when we were asking questions about the silver but it was not picked up on the recorded and no one else heard the response.

Group 4 Session 4 in Red room session began at 9:47:54 and lasted 11 min and 6 seconds. It was during this session that the flashlight which was set up was turned on twice during the session after spirits were asked to attempt to turn it on. No EVPs were recorded.

Stan Suho: Another one of Kathy’s Haunted Rockford events. Our group is usually selected to provide support. This time we were at the Tinker Swiss complex. I was assigned the 2nd floor of the cottage along with Barbara. We chose to concentrate on the nursery where on a previous visit Dale had recorded a baby singing a lullaby. I set up my IR camera in the room along with a Ghost Microphone. The cables were run down the hallway to one of the bedrooms, and monitored on a video monitor along with an Audacity laptop. Barbra conducted here EVP sessions in this room which generated a lot of excitement and participation by the groups. One investigator even bought along his Dowsing Rods, and did a session. After all four groups had made their way through, they were invited to “cross over the bridge “.  On the other side of a ravine was an old cemetery. Following this the whole group assembled in the great hall for feedback and cookies.

 Conclusions: I think everyone got their money’s worth and a good time was had by all.

Chuck Williams:

I limited the equipment, due to this being a public investigation, and us being in one area with rotating groups. 

GoPro camera with Ghostlite IR lights, Zoom recorder, iPhone apps; iOlivus, Geophone, and Echovox, Speaker, FLIR Camera. 

Personal Experiences

As we assembled, I tried the back door to the barn, and heard “Hey”, as if someone was going to reprimand me, or inquire what I was up to.  No recorder was rolling. 


Marge was in the Carriage House, Chuck was in the barn, Dale and Greg were in the basement of the Cottage, and Stan and Barbara on the 2nd floor.  People attending the event were split into 4 groups and rotated through the locations. 

I focused my lecture time on apps that are available for smart phones, the beneficial ones mentioned above.  One group had no questions, and appeared interested but not over enthused about investigating. 

Group 1- Knocks were heard in the entryway, outside the hall.  Echovox stated the boy who haunts the area was present.  A woman stated she was in the washroom and heard a voice believed to be the stable guy saying, “I have you alone now”. 

Group 2- Kathy noticed some shadow play in a corner and near the doors.  A girl was touched after asking for a sign someone was present.

Group 3- I noticed a light near the GoPro, someone suggested it may be someone’s phone since some were using their apps. 

Group 4- The Echovox stated Theodore was present when asked if any of the Tinker’s were present.  It was also starting to curse in male and female voices.


Always a good time here!  My video looked a little dark, wish I would have had one of Stan’s IR lights.  Also wish I would have had my full spectrum still camera to take a pic of the lighted area near video camera. 

I was honored to be entrusted to have an area to my own!

The girl who heard the voice in the washroom, also made some other fantastic claims.  Was she psychic?  Was she embellishing? 

Marge Sucha: We arrived at the location around 6:00 p.m. 

This was a public investigation hosted by Kathi Kresol, from Haunted Rockford Paranormal.

Our group broke off into 4 groups with each of us assigned to a location on the property.  I was assigned to the Carriage House. This was my first time I was in the Carriage house.

Equipment I used, Digital Voice Recorder, Spirit SB-11 Spirit box, FLIR, & Dowsing Rods & K-II Meter.  

Session 1 Group 1

We had temperature fluctuations throughout the night. 

Twice the Spirit box said "mommy" in a little girl’s voice. 

Session 2 Group 4

In my second session with group 4 one of the guest mothers came through using dowsing rods and spirit box.

Session 3 Group3

We had several replies to questions asked on both Spirit box and dowsing rods.  Answers on the spirit box matched replied using the rods.

Session 4 Group 2

We had the name Steve, Dale and a Hello come out of the Ghost Box as we started our session.   We also communicated with a little girl who likes to hang out in the carriage house.  We also had several on the guest had loved ones coming thru using dowsing rods and ghost box.

I also left my voice recorder on while we were all in the barn for the introduction to the evening.   As I was leaving the Carriage House I thought I heard a voice. 


Dale Kaczmarek: The basement was a little quieter than usual with fewer responses. Allowing the first group to use mine and their equipment before cutting them loose on their own might have been a mistake on my part because if any EVP responses were forthcoming, they were probably drowned out by the noise made by the group investigating and moving around. I did not employ that method with future groups until they had their alone time near the end of each session.

Session 1, Group #4 was pretty quiet as per my comments listed above.

Session 2, Group #3, there was a strange background hum that I could not account for. Also during a Ghost Box session using the SB-11 with the antenna disconnected, the device clearly said a very clear, “Get out!”

Session 3, Group #2 heard some noises like footsteps or things being moved around at the top of the center staircase. Upon checking quickly, there were no real people around who could have made those sounds.

Session 4, Group #1 was very quiet with only a few words coming through in the Dictionary Mode of the Ovilus X but not in response to any questions asked.


The Ghost Research Society investigated Tinker Swiss Cottage on September 23, 2016. Team members included: Stan Suho, Marge Sucha, Barbara Meagher, Chuck Williams and Dale Kaczmarek









Evidence collected:

Ovilus X in dictionary mode in basement of Cottage:

Session 1, Group #4: Wood, porch

Session 2, Group #3: Yours, modern, muddy

Session 3, Group #2: Level, soil, anything

Session 4, Group #1: Excel, dinner, stood

Boo tinker16.MPG – during an EVP session in the Barn, Group #2 “Boo” was recorded.

Bullshit tinker16.MPG – during an Echovox session in the Barn, Group #4 “Bullshit” was heard and recorded.  

Calling me on my way out tinker16.MPG – while Sucha was leaving to go to the Barn, a tape recorder was left running and after the door close, a voice is heard.

Cow dog pig tinker16.MPG – during an Echovox session in the Barn for Group #1, a question was asked, “What’s your favorite animal?” The Echovox says what sounds like, “Cow, dog, pig.”

Cunts fuck fuck tinker16.MPG – during an Echovox session in the Barn for Group #4, some expletives and fowl words came through, “Cunts, fuck, fuck.”

Eat me tinker16.MPG – as Williams was explaining devices, in the background and very near his GoPro Camera, “Eat me” was recorded.

Fuck hi mom tinker16.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the Barn a couple of possible real EVPs words were recorded that say, “Fuck hi Mom.” Not 100% sure that this wasn’t contamination of people talking in the background.

Get out tinker16.MPG – while conducting a Ghost Box session in the basement of the Cottage for Group #3, “get out” is clearly heard.

Hurts tinker16.MPG – while conducting an Echovox session in the Barn for Group #1, “Hurts” came through the device.

Keep quiet tinker16.MPG – as Williams was explaining to the group about asking EVP questions, a faint female whisper is heard saying, “Keep quiet.”  

Margaret tinker16.MPG – while conducting an Echovox session for Group #1 in the Barn, a question was asked. “If you last name’s Tinker, what’s your first?” The device says, “Margaret.”

Marge tinker16.MPG – while conducting an Echovox session for Group #2 in the Barn, a question was asked, “What’s your name?” The device responds with, “Marge.”

Oww tinker16.MPG – while using the FLIR camera in the Barn, a high-pitched female voice says, “Oww.”

Partial BS tinker16.MPG – after the conclusion of a session for Group #4, Williams is heard saying, “That’s a good question” followed almost immediately by a whisper that says, “Partial BS.”

Radio I’m still typin tinker16.MPG – while conducting an Echovox session in the Barn for Group #2, a whisper comes through that says, “Radio” and followed by a very loud, possibly female voice that said, “I’m still typin.”  

Rustling and tapping sound tinker16.MPG – while in the Barn and nobody else was around, strange rustling and tapping sounds were recorded.

Shit tinker16.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the Barn for Group #3, “Shit” was recorded.

Shut up tinker16.MPG – while conducting an Echovox session in the Barn for Group #4, the device says, “Shut up!” Williams initially thought it said, “Bitch, stop.”

What was the question tinker16.MPG – while conducting an Echovox session in the Barn for Group #1, a question was asked, “Do you know that you’re dead?” The device responds with what sounds like “What was the question?”

Yeah tinker16.MPG – while conducting an Echovox session in the Barn for Group #1, a question was asked, “Are you from the orphanage?” The device responds with, “Yeah.”

Conclusions: It appears that the hotspot this time was in the Barn with lots of responses and explicatives. Most of those responses were captured on the phone app, Echovox and were very clear and heard by many in real time.

The location never fails to produce some evidence each and every time that we visit it. Apparently many who lived here in the very beautiful location simply refuse to move on and perhaps some were a bit angry with the groups asking questions this time around. Williams received quite a number of swear words that came through while other responses were just random words that didn’t make much sense in the context that they were used.

Can’t wait until the next time we investigate this location!

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