Legends & Ghost Stories
Wisconsin Ghost Investigators were asked to come to Sparta, Wisconsin to research the Boys and Girls Club Haunted House (aka “House of Shadows). The building was built in the 1800’s as part of the Child Care Center. It is a large red brick building, which 320 children died while they were in the Child Care Center. Later, this building was used for the care of the elderly. A building to the south of the Haunted House was used as a sanitarium and to isolate children with tuberculosis. Through the years, many people died in the 2 houses mentioned. Between the 2 houses there was tunnels for the steam pipes to run. It was the workers in these tunnels, who first witnessed the supernatural events. It is said that they could hear voices of people who were not there, lights would mysteriously go on and off, tools that they were using would disappear, and they even claimed to have seen ghosts.
The Wisconsin Ghost Investigators interviewed a man named Sean, who has worked at the Haunted House for at least 3 years. Sean told them that he was working in a hall when he heard a child say “Help me Mommy!” He is certain of what he heard, even though he was listening to the radio at the time. Sean said that he knew the song that was playing, and there is nothing in the lyrics that would sound anything like what he had heard. At the sound of the voice the hairs on the back of Sean’s neck stood up. He only managed to work an hour, after hearing the voice. Although, Sean had never seen a ghost, he informed the Wisconsin Ghost Investigators that several of the other workers had indeed witnessed figures moving from one area to another in the house. He also said, that on several occasions when workers would leave for the night, they would double check to make sure that all of the lights had been turned off, only to return in the morning and find all of them back on.
The Wisconsin Ghost Investigators wanted to see for themselves, if the house was really haunted so they went there to spend some time themselves this is what happened to them. They reported that on entering the house, they did sense a presence, that they couldn’t explain. As they began to walk around they noticed an odor, that they couldn’t identify, that lasted only a few seconds. Suddenly, they felt a cold breeze, there is no air conditioning and no windows were open. Later, another Investigator experience a strong odor. At this time, they could figure out what it reminded them of, they said that the smell was of urine mixed with cleaning supplies. “It was the kind of smell that reminded me of being in a nursing home that wasn’t well maintained”, said one of the Investigators. The Investigators also experienced the rush of the cold breeze in another room, as was stated there is no air conditioning or windows opened. It was after midnight, when the Investigators were using their camcorder when it suddenly lost all power. They turned the switch to the off position, and then turned it back on, the camcorder began to work as though nothing had happened. They also had trouble with their walkie-talkies. One of the walkie-talkie wouldn’t work at all when the batteries were in place, but when they were removed to see if they needed to be replaced the walkie-talkie began to have sounds come through.
The following two paragraphs are summarized from the book called, The Haunting of Sparta Mysteries in a Small Town by Joe Cook. The investigators tried an experiment in the pantry area of the building, by placing toys and candy on the floor and marked the positions. They discovered that a doll that had been placed face up on the floor was overturned and found face down. They don’t know if this was a discrepancy of remembering, which doll was placed or if something paranormal was playing with the doll. They were going back to check the film footage that was being taken. Another interesting story is that there is a radio in the building that turns itself on a 6:30 to an oldies station according to a worker at the Haunted House. She said, “The music was like from the 1940’s or JazzEra”. Many people wonder, if the previous residents are coming back to listen to their favorite music.
Another tale that has been related is that when some workers were finished working on the Haunted House in the evening, a gentleman looked at the upstairs window of the building and saw a ghostly appearance, which apparently was an elderly woman. He was really shocked and his friends admitted to seeing the same thing. They were trying to figure out, if it was true or part of their imagination. They were serious that they did see a ghostly female figure. You can make your own conclusions.
The conclusion of the Wisconsin Ghost Investigators was that even though they experienced only a few paranormal activities something is definitely occurring in the house. Photos that were taken that evening, did show the presence of orbs and appeared to show movement. They also had many interviews with people, who had witnessed unusual sightings, they felt that the witnesses were credible in their accounts of what they had experienced. In the end, they felt that there was the potential for something to be haunting the building. The lead Investigator said, “I get the impression that the site has a character all it’s own”.