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SWP Investigation, Austin Basement

Jason Sanchez, TX, USA
July 2007

Austin Haunted Basement investigation
Southwest Paranormal Investigators Research
Documentation Case Number:__H487__
Date: 27 March 2007

Investigation Conducted By: Roy Whittaker, Kimberly Angel, Alex Fenke, Rita P. Conners

Nature of Paranormal Activity:
The Garcia family contacted SWP via our webform in early March 2007. Luis informed us that there was much activity in his home, especially around the basement area. The house had been built in 1923, had been partially destroyed in a fire that affected the home in 1939, rebuilt, and had been occupied since then as a multi-family home. It had been converted from a large single family unit into a duplex with separate basement rental studios. Luis and his family rented one side of the duplex, with his 21 year old son, Gil inhabiting the basement on their side. Luis was aware enough of the activity to document some of it. He sent us 5 photos of misty formations and what he termed "shadow people". He said his son had problems getting friends to stay over at the basement apartment due to strange noises and thumps at all hours of the night.

On March 27, SWP members were able to make the trip to Austin from El Paso to investigate the Garcia home.

We arrived early in the afternoon and were able to start setup at just 3:15 PM. We ran a motion-activated camera in the dining area, aiming into the kitchen to where the door to the basement is. We did a preliminary EMF baseline sweep of the entire home, basement and yard. With an exception of the laundry room, where there was a slightly higher EMF detection due to unshielded devices, the location was steady and constant in the electromagnetic ranges. Roy also set up a camera in the master bedroom, where some activity had been noted before.
Rita did the personal interviews. She also stopped next door and asked the people on that side of the duplex if they had experienced anything unusual. The family there was a military family of a father, mother and their teenaged daughter. They wish to remain anonymous.
The father, who we shall call "Mr. E.", claimed he did not believe in the paranormal in any way. Yet he was gracious enough to humor a few questions and did not mind if his wife and daughter talked to the Southwest Paranormal team.
His wife, "Mrs. E." was keen on telling us her stories. She said that she had activity in her kitchen. She was not afraid of the spirit, and told us it was helpful and handy. Such as, if she forgot to lock the door at night, she would hear a knocking on the door. Or if she was overcooking a meal, she would hear a clapping sound in the kitchen to call her back in there. The daughter, "Emma", told us similar stories. She said she felt a presence at many times. She was so accustomed to the feeling of being watched that she was not afraid of it any more, except for one time. She said that once as she was taking a shower, the door to the bathroom clicked open and swung open all the way, and she was frightened.
Other than that one instance, "Emma" states it was like a "friendly ghost" that reminded her when she forgot her homework or when she had something to attend to, also with noises, as it had contacted her mother.

The activity was more rampant on the other side of the duplex. Luis Garcia claimed to see the "shadow people" on a regular basis. He said they varied in size from about 3 feet tall to up to 6 feet tall, and that they seemed to come out at intervals of about every 2 to 3 weeks. There were noises such as footsteps, bangings, and whispers distant. His wife, a religious person, did not enjoy the activity and wanted to be rid of it. She was afraid to be in the house alone. She experienced the shadow people as well. The son, Gil, had the basement apartment. He said the activity was so strong that it affected him nearly every night. Gil had partial custody of his 2 year old daughter. On his visitory weekends, he would have the baby at the house. He said this aggravated the spirits and caused more activity than usual. There was an antique high chair that would tip and move across the kitchen floor. The chair had also been restained, and yet, a strange eerie pattern would appear on it even when it had been scrubbed or painted. It looked like a twisted face on the back wood of the chair.

We had done our preliminaries by 5:00 PM, and proceeded to allow Kimberly Angel to run a psychic feel on the house. She felt a jealous female entity in the basement, and a man and child, or multiple children spirits upstairs. The man had been kind and mellow, and the child had died a premature death. Something, she said, kept pulling her to the bottom corner of the basement, where a small bathroom with shower now was. Kimberly felt that the helpful entity that many people felt was the male adult spirit in the home, whom she thought was named James. There was an old chair that she kept feeling him in and so it was investigated thoroughly with photography and EMF.
At one point the EMF detector did spike up from a .2 to a 5.9 and held for 8 seconds. At that same time, Alex caught the temps, which had stablized at 73 degrees, drop down to 64 degrees in a radius about 4 feet around the chair. Kimberly had been told that the spirit could open and close doors, boxes, and cupboards. So a small jewelry box was placed on the chair. To our amazement, as 3 researchers were in the room, and no one was near the chair, the jewelry box opened up and remained open.We continued on with the investigation until 4:00 AM. Rita began to feel negative feelings down in the basement at about 2:30 AM so the team gathered down there. Gil and his girlfriend, Amber, were present in their breakfast nook. Amber began to say she wanted to leave and then things got very active.

A large box of kitchen utensils fell from the top of the refrigerator onto the floor with a crash, scattering them. Gil started to say that he would take Amber upstairs when she shrieked. Alex, who had been investigating the bathroom with Kimberly, came running with his camera and an other light was turned on. There was a bit of a panic, as Amber was thrown to the floor. Alex states that, as he watched, red welts began to appear on Amber's bare leg, and darkened. She was crying and her head jerked back, her hair flying out behind her, and she said she had been slapped. Alex took several pictures of the ensuing abuse. Amber was then removed from the home and with her gone the activity slowed. As Rita began her EVP recordings in the bathroom and kitchen, Roy snapped off over 200 photos and caught some interesting shadows. At one point he thought he saw what looked like "an adult male shadow", but the camera did not pick it up. Finally, after more than 11 hours investigating, we broke down and returned to our hotel rooms.

We returned as planned the following day at 2:00 PM and resumed the investigation. Kimberly was concentrating her efforts on the bathroom area of the basement. Rita went into town to find public records on the house and past inhabitants. Roy got 100 new photos and 2 hours of EVP Q and A. The 28th was much slower in activity than the previous night. But we did get some possible activity from the old wooden high chair, it seemed to move a bit when investigators were near (pic and video to be published soon). We wrapped up about 1:00 AM and returned to our hotel rooms. The following morning we drove back to El Paso to analyze the footage. Witnesses and background information: SWP members, neighbors, residents.

Tests Conducted and Results: Temperature variances: in the first investigation, cold spots were found upstairs around an old yellow chair, in concordance with an EMF spike.

Activity: jewelry box lid opened, highchair movement, kitchen utensil box falling.

Personal experiences: Roy saw a shadow person as Luis had stated he saw.

Personal experiences: Amber was physically attacked in the basement while witnessed by the full SWP crew.

Spirit contact: one male, possibly "James". One female, unnamed. One or two children, unnamed. History: Rita found that a mortician named James H. had at one time lived in the house around 1933. We wondered if he had conducted any business there, such as funeral service or autopsy, but there was no record of that.

Privacy or Special Requests: The neighbors in the duplex "Mr. and Mrs. E." wish to remain anonymous. No other privacy requests.

Conclusion: we found so much evidence that this location is parnormally active that we concur that it is haunted. The family, in particular Mrs. Garcia, we referred to their local Catholic church to have a house blessing. They seemed relieved to know that they had not imagined the activity. We told them we would return if there was still activity after the house blessing.

Jason Sanchez, TX, USA
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