IS IT A GHOST
YOUR GHOST STORIES
Weld County Courthouse
The original Courthouse was built in 1883 and remained in place until the current building was constructed in 1915.
Construction of the Courthouse was started in 1915 and took over two years to complete. The contractors who designed the building were Seerie & Varnum of Denver. The total cost of construction and furnishings was $414,302.05 and it was paid for entirely in cash.
The building is mainly constructed of Granite & Gypsum, featuring columns and cornices of Indiana Limestone and terra cotta designs.
The Marble used in the construction was mined in Marble Colorado and is no longer available from the mine. It was the last of the Building grade stone that was taken from the mine.
The Opening dedication of the Courthouse was held on July 4, 1917
The building is now the home of the Nineteenth Judicial District.
The 4th floor of the building originally was built to house jurors while they were sequestered during trials. The Women and Men had their own sleeping quarters and basic facilities.
The Attic was originally used for storage of evidence and used for utilities as well.
Because of its status of a courthouse there have been many trials throughout the years. The most infamous of the early years was that of Wilbur D. French who was hanged from the tree in the front of the building. He was left hanging for a full day.
Some of the ongoing construction have included:
In the 1960's some of the ceiling decorations were restored. They had been destroyed in the 1930's.
In the 1970's the Heating system was replaced, the manual elevator was updated to an automated system, ceiling tiles were replaced and the original jury seating was replaced.
In the 1990's the Stained glass windows were restored.
Throughout the years there have been many stories of unusual events at the courthouse, things such as people being seen in the building when nobody was there. Reflections of "Demonic faces" in the clock faces, and strange sounds.
Some of the stories are:
A Janitor was working late one evening and saw a face reflected in one of the clocks and never returned to work.
Several employees have seen full forms and shadow type figures in on the fourth floor usually around the opening that is between all of the floors.
Recently a employee was setting up a courtroom for the day and before anyone was in the room she heard a loud breathing sound coming from the benches in the back of the courtroom. She checked and saw nobody and called for help to see if anyone could find the source of the sounds but nobody could.
During a hearing there was an audio recording taking place, and on the recording there is a section that lasts about 30 seconds that appears to be the sound of banging, footsteps and some unintelligible voices. The recording of the hearing continues after the unknown sounds without any disruption of the talking.
In the Women's room on the Fourth floor there have been reports of a "shadow man" that walks throughout the room.
The back staircase that is used by jurors to go from the third to the 4th floor courtroom is said to be haunted by the spirit of a little boy. The employees of the Courthouse have left toys out for him to play with and when the toys have been removed there have been many things moved in the adjoining offices. One such occurrence was an overhead storage compartment closing when nobody was near it.
The Rocky Mountain Paranormal Research Society was contacted to conduct an investigation at the Courthouse to see if any Paranormal activity could be found.
Initial Interview and preliminary investigation:
Members Present: Bryan Bonner, Richard Estep, Carol Olivacz, Cheryl Anderson
We visited the Courthouse and interviewed a clerk at the court.
During the tour we noticed normal levels of E.M.F. however we did find one area that was very high and seemed to be coming from a wall with a master power line running through it.
We attempted to determine where the most likely areas to set up equipment and monitor the reported activity of the building.
During this visit we scheduled a follow up overnight visit.
First overnight session:
Members Present: Bryan Bonner, Carol Olivacz, Ginger, Richard Estep, Matt Baxter, Rhonda Baxter.
The team arrived in the late afternoon and spent some time hauling our mountain of gear
from the underground garage up to the second floor.
Some members of our team had not been to this location before, so an employee of the court that was spending the night locked in there with us gave a tour of the facility for everybody.
This was hooked up to microphones, thermometers, and video capture equipment (both standard video and infra-red) in the courtrooms that had the most interesting histories.
The Baxters were working the fourth floor, directly above us, and were setting up the same kind of equipment. However, throughout the night they were plagued by some bizarre technical issues. The narrow back staircase between floors 3 and 4 was established as one of the most haunted in the building, as a young boy named Jonathan is known to run up and down it, scaring a number of people. Some toys are even kept around the area for him to play with, which seems to calm him down. We placed two stuffed toys (a dragon and an owl) at the top of this staircase to act as control objects - in other words, marked off their position, and we would check on them throughout the night to see if they had been moved or interfered with.
As night fell and the courthouse, our ears began to get used to the natural sounds of the building. Time stamp machines would click on at regular intervals (entirely normal), compressors inside vending machines would fire up, air circulating through pipes, and automated toilet flushes were all sounds that we had to get used to hearing, in order to identify noises.
We had strung microphones throughout the building, and had floors two through four wired for sound. Throughout the night, we heard a battery of strange noises. The sound of heels scuffing against floor tiles came from the fourth and second floors at various intervals, and an unusual clicking was picked up sporadically - when Bryan and I crept downstairs to investigate, the noise stopped cold. We spent 20 minutes down there sitting in the dark silently, but heard nothing. When we went back to the third floor, the clicking resumed.
Doors slamming were heard from several floors of the building on multiple occasions, despite the fact that we were completely alone in there and locked in.
Temperature readings were consistent throughout the evening but the only changes were due to the HVAC system and the lowering temperatures outside the building because of the night.
EMF readings were unspectacular throughout the night. Throughout the evening the EM readings were fluctuating between .05-1 milligaus. However the wall that was very hot with EM was not showing any readings at all. The Baxters' technical problems were eating into a lot of their time. Equipment that had worked fine on other investigations and tested OK before coming to the location now flatly refused to work. They were using a wireless LAN for their Macs, a number of cameras interfacing with the central hub. Connectivity between the devices just did not want to happen.
Matt left a video camera running in the jury room (adjoining the staircase) at midnight and came down to join us for coffee. At around 00:50, he and I went upstairs to check on the camera - it had been physically turned off right after we left the room, and had recorded nothing.
The door slamming and clicking sounds continued unabated. The employee with us had a strong feeling that court division #3 would be the most active throughout the night, so Richard went to sit inside for a while, with the lights out. When Richard came back out again (nothing had happened) the employee with us was a little agitated, she had developed a feeling of intense dread regarding courtroom 3 and said that she felt something malevolent was present in there and had wanted to hurt him. She strongly felt that nobody should re-enter room 3 alone.
We packed up our gear for the night at 5am. On checking the children's' toys used as control objects, we discovered that the dragon was leaning visibly to the right side. Both toys had been propped firmly against each other and had remained upright the whole night until then.
We thought we were through for the night, but the spooks were going to get the last laugh on us! The Baxters were using a brand-new black holdall to transport camera equipment in. When we went to pack up our equipment at the end of the night, they discovered chips of white paint inside the bag that had not been there at the start of the evening. On looking up, we were all surprised to see a child's hand print on the ceiling, right above their bag. The hand is about the size of a six-to-eight year-old child.
The areas covered were 2 courtrooms on the 2nd floor, the jury stairway between the 2nd and 3rd floors & the jury rooms that at one time were the location of the rooms used as housing for jurors who were involved in a trial.
The courtrooms on the 2nd floor were monitored throughout the night.
The temperature was normal and did not change throughout the night for any other reason than the outside temp was dropping (5-8 degrees)
EMF readings throughout the night were within normal background tolerance. ( 05-1milligaus)
*Note- There was one area in a courtroom on the 2nd floor that during the initial interview had very high EMF readings ( 5+milligaus)
There were no noticeable changes in video in any of the rooms being monitored.
Throughout the evening there were multiple witnesses to sounds coming from multiple parts of the building. Witness reports include: Doors slamming, paper rustling.
Control objects (Stuffed Owl & Dragon) were placed in the area where it has been reported that a child haunts. The items were initially placed on a counter in a jury room near a coffee pot and there was not activity. Later in the evening, the control objects were placed in the stairs where the boy is reported to play and several hours later it was discovered that one of the control objects (Dragon) had been moved slightly.
There were major unexplained equipment malfunctions in the jury rooms on the 3rd floor. Multiple cameras that are used on a daily basis would not function, one camera that was not connected to anything appeared to overheat. A camcorder in the one of the rooms was physically shut off (the switch was moved to the off position)
Sometime during the night it was noticed that in the area that there was reported activity of a child, a handprint on a ceiling and a possible fingerprint on a mirror were discovered.
The Rocky Mountain Paranormal returned to the Greeley court house in for a second all-night investigation.
Things started out quietly enough. We decided to base ourselves on the fourth floor this time (as opposed to the third floor last time) because the Baxters had witnessed some unusual activity up there. We were excited to hear from an employee that the ghost of a man in period costume had been seen this week, peering down through the
atria between floors. The same figure has also been spotted in the Ladies' restroom.
Shortly after. We had plenty of hands on our team this time, so were able to station equipment and observers on all floors (and also get a team up into the attic, intermittently). EMF readings were unremarkable pretty much everywhere, and remained so throughout the night.
We placed a number of control objects around the place. A had brought a crucifix that placed that on a table in the judges' chamber, on a piece of paper with an ink outline. The idea of control objects is to seal the room in which they are placed, to see if "something" moves them. I placed a stuffed Tigger at the foot of the haunted staircase and locked off a camera/remote monitor covering it. Norbert the Dragon took up residence at the judges' desk.
It was quiet for most of the night and into the early hours.Some humanoid shadows on the attic camera quickly turned out to be those of our observers, moving into position. As the morning wore on towards dawn,
several doors were heard to slam.
Also throughout the night a telephone (Old mechanical bell) was heard to ring. The team called all known phone numbers to the location, including fax machines but could not recreate the ringing sound.
Richard was covering the ground floor with Ginger at one point when Bryan phoned and said he was going down to see them. The elevator rumbled into life and opened at our floor - but nobody was in it. Everybody denied using the elevator, and all teams were in place at the time. It could be some form of mechanical or electrical fault, but according to the court employee the elevator has never moved between floors in this manner before without
somebody calling or riding it. Unusual noises continued until dawn, although with nothing like the frequency and intensity of our last visit. We called it a night at around 5 and began to pack away our gear.
None of the control objects had been touched at all (last time, two toys were pushed over). However, when we went to check the judges' chambers, we noticed that the judges' personal restroom door was wide open (it had been shut firmly before, and was so heavy that it required a lot of
pressure). The only way to unlatch this door is to turn a heavy handle. The door was standing wide open. We had definitely secured that door before
closing up the room. This, to my mind, falls into the category of "impressive but inconclusive".
The Court House has some interesting activity, which needs to be further investigated to determine its cause.
Other areas in the building should be monitored as well. .
Due to the size of the location it is impossible to monitor the area and have hard conclusions with one visit however the results that were collected are a great start to the documentation.
If we return a third time,a locked-off camera in the judges' chamber is in order.