July 11, 2019
Beautifully constructed in the heart of downtown Zelienople, stands the three-story Kaufman House. It has survived multiple fires yet still brings a certain life to the town. Many who walk through the small town do not recognize its’ historic value or the stories which have only been passed down through families rather than written text. The Kaufman House holds much of this oral history within its’ brick structure.
Currently, under heavy renovations, the hope of the current owner and general manager is to revitalize the building to its’ once-popular glory days. The third floor of the building actually has been completed and residents are currently living there. The dining area and first floor, in general, are still under construction – only in the drywall phase. The second floor is roughly the same, the mechanical features of the second floor are being installed and the living space walls are almost completely constructed. The basement is nearly untouched and simply used for storage for the time being.
The investigation began with a group meeting in the Spring Street Café, which we would highly recommend a visit to if ever in the area. From there, we ventured down to the Kaufman House. We toured the first floor but when the group began to pick up certain feelings and feel cold spots, we immediately jumped into the investigation. We worked our way from the first floor to the basement, then finally to the second floor. With the residents on the third floor, that area was off-limits.
The investigation began roughly around 7:00 PM and lasted until approximately 9:00 PM. With a public group, there was a lot of background chatter which we attempted to drown out. We did not use all of our equipment with such a limited time frame and plenty of moving around from location to location. We utilized a K2 meter, a handheld camera, SB7 spirit box, Rempod, and recorder.
The location that was most active was the second floor rear room, most likely will be used as a utility room in the future. We had plenty of communication via spirit box in that area. In the basement, there were a few cold spots and energy seemed to increase throughout the open space. We never really had much of a feeling personally, but the mediums who were present did pick up a few voices and activity mainly in that basement area.
Below are our recordings and videos that we took during the investigation. We marked the locations we feel we received communication from the other side like voices, noises, anything and everything we captured. Let us know your thoughts if you get the chance to listen and watch some of the footage.
As always, you have been warned, some of this is not for the faint of heart and can be slightly explicit:
Dining Room – First Floor
In the past, when the Kaufman House was in operation, rumors circulated of phantom footsteps and a woman who would attempt to lure men into the basement. There are also stories of a man reeking of cigar smoke in an old-fashioned suit who used to wander through the bar and disappears just as quickly. While the building is under construction, heavily in this area, construction workers have noticed cigar smoke, even though it’s a nonsmoking work zone.
During our time in this area, the group was much too excited and loud to get much of an investigation. We only snapped a few photos while the mediums used their senses and their dowsing rods. We did not even set up our recorder here. We did capture a little video of the mediums at work but did not record anything out of the ordinary.
- We managed to get more shots of the group and the mediums than any actual activity here.
- While the mediums used their dowsing rods and attempted to make contact with any spirits that were present, we did not capture anything odd on the videos.
- This is the same situation, the mediums attempted to contact the dead and even use the visitors to help stir things up, but nothing out of the ordinary was captured here.
In the basement, there have been people getting touched and just the odd feeling of being watched. Henry Stokey, a former owner, has been said to make his presence known in the basement. However, more than anything, he simply likes to people watch. During our time with the mediums in this area, they picked up a spirit who died from a fatal head injury after a bar fight and that John Randolph, original owner of the Kaufman House, will slam doors to keep the place neat and tidy.
- We took plenty of photos, especially when the mediums began to get signs and feel cold spots, but we were unable to capture anything unusual in the photographs.
Recording 1 – Spirit Box & EVP:
- As the mediums began opening up, the entire group, one by one, began to feel cold. This began around the 1:30 marker.
- The spirits began picking up activity as the Rempod began to activate at 2:40 and 3:36. Right then, one of the nearby guests felt touched. The Rempod once again was alerted at 4:11.
- At about the 4:11 point, a couple guests began complaining of headaches and having a difficult time breathing. The mediums attributed this to John as he isn’t always friendly.
- The Rempod was once again alerted at 7:48 right as we began our EVP session.
- Through the EVP session, we only received silence, but as we were wrapping up, at the 16:27 point, the Rempod was once again alerted.
Video 1 – Spirit Box & EVP:
- At about :32, the group began to feel cold.
- The Rempod began to activate at 2:49. Right then, one of the nearby guests felt touched. The Rempod once again was alerted at 3:30.
- At about 5:11, some guests began complaining of headaches and having a difficult time breathing.
- The Rempod was once again alerted at 6:35 right as we began our EVP session.
Second Floor – Front Bedroom
In this area, once living spaces, has been known for phantom footsteps and moans, as if residual energy has been left over just from past guests. Children have been said to wonder around this area and play with toys and giggle at the random guest.
- There was nothing paranormal caught in the pictures.
Recording 1 – Spirit Box:
- There was not a lot of activity in the area, however, at 4:12, after we asked if there were too many people around, we captured “Go”.
Video 1 – Spirit Box:
- The video did not pick up anything paranormal but right before we heard the “go” response as was on the recorder, the camera battery was drained.
Second Floor – Side Small Room (Closet)
As we ventured into the side room where the living quarters construction was underway, we had an odd feeling that we should check out a small closet off the main room. We set the video camera down with the Rempod and left it alone to see if either would pick anything up as we continued on with the investigation.
- There was nothing paranormal caught in the pictures, however, we did manage to debunk a hand print on the door here. At first it appeared as though there was a fresh hand print as if someone opened the door recently, but as we attempted to recreate this, we realized that the door had created some odd shadows creating this effect.
Video 1 – Stationary Camera:
- After we walked away, at about :50 in, there can be an orb seen moving on the left side of the screen.
- At 2:30, another apparent orb can be seen moving from the back of the closet toward the camera. No one was around to create dust, and it seemed to move in a straight, specific pattern.
Second Floor – Back Room (Utility)
For no particular reason, one of the employees had an odd occur over her in this area. There have been reports of echoing screams and cries for help in the second floor, but there has never been a specific location as to where they occur. After some of our communication here, and the mediums making contact with a mischievous spirit, it’s possible that this area could be that location. We have photos and recordings of this area, but the video camera was left in the closet room so we did not have any video documentation.
- There was nothing paranormal caught in the pictures.
Recording 1 – Spirit Box:
- As we began opening up our conversation, we told the spirit that we just wanted to speak with them and at :31 we heard “My name.”
Recording 2 – Spirit Box:
- We heard “Hello” at 2:23 so we continued and asked how many people were in this room to which we captured “Five” at 3:09. At that time, there were only three of us investigating.
- “Help” was heard at 3:56 so we asked how we could help explaining that we want to help them. We captured “Not you” at 4:42.
- As two more investigators joined, we heard “Hello” at 5:30.
- At 5:55 we captured “Scott” (who was one of the investigators).
- We asked what could possibly require help for them and we heard “Fight” at 7:02 followed by “Yeah, me” at 7:20.
- At 7:50 we heard “Help” after we explained that there were some people there that could help them.
- As we wrapped up the session, we captured “Help” once more at 8:36.
Upon completing our investigation and data analysis, we do believe that we received a little evidence throughout the Kaufman House. With the large group of people and the constant movement, we were unsure if we would be able to capture much of anything at first. Once we settled into a few locations, and after we went through all of our recordings and videos, we realized that we did capture some paranormal evidence during our evening.
In the basement and the second-floor utility room, we felt as though there was some intelligent, albeit mischievous, activity. The Rempod reactions to questions in the basement and the spirit box session in the utility room proved that we could get responses to questions. In the side small closet room, we managed to capture some orbs moving from inside the closet, out past the camera and disappearing off screen. This is possible some spirit which hides from larger groups, moving away as the investigators came close to it. The front bedroom we believe is more residual as we believe we heard some footsteps and caught the word “go.”
Based on our experiences and the evidence gathered, we can conclude that the Kaufman House is home to a few different spirits. Some which want to communicate, others which want to play games, and some that may not even realize they have passed on and are still living in their former home.