By: Lauren Delgado
Members of Emerald Coast Paranormal Concepts brought back the audio and video they analyzed to give the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce an idea of the possible spirits at the Russ House.
In addition to the audio files posted on www.jcfloridan.com, investigators Tracy and Susan Todd played additional audio files for Art Kimbrough, chamber president and CEO, and Mary Pettis, chamber executive vice president.
The files contained indistinguishable speech that had either a male or female sound to them. In one incident, the voice seemed to respond to Susan’s question of whether the spirits wanted the group to leave.
“I can pick up the rhythm of the sound, but I can’t distinguish it,” Kimbrough said after listening to one such recording.
Some of the audio files contained suspect sounds. The investigators asked Kimbrough and Pettis if the sounds came from any of the house’s electronics. Neither Kimbrough nor Pettis could think of anything.
One of the sounds was a sound like gunshots or cannon from the upstairs kitchen. The other sounded like sniffing or scraping near the recorder. Tracy said the scraping sound was heard on two separate recorders. When timed to the video camera also in the room, none of the room’s occupants had moved.
The video files showed some strange occurrences. One file showed the upstairs bathroom door opening on its own. An investigator shut the door soon after, testing it to ensure the bolt had caught. Tracy said after the cameras had been turned off for the group to pack up, the door had opened again.
Another clip showed two black shadows fly up from the staircase. The house was completely empty at the time, said Tracy.
The final clip shows this reporter near the backstairs of the house when strange noises were heard coming from the room containing the downstairs bathrooms and elevator.
The team does not believe the voices they caught on tape are from Joseph Russ. They believe there are two separate entities, a man and a woman, who peaceably live with the folks at the Russ House. To be sure, the group wants to come back to the Russ House with a more tailored investigation.
Tracy believes the man is from the Civil War period and wants to bring some items from that time period to the next investigation. The group also wants to set up their base inside and bring a select number of people. Tracy said he was excited to come back.
“Every time I left this room, I had to come back to this room,” Tracy said, indicating the ballroom.
Kimbrough said the group was welcome to explore the house some more. He said several other ghost hunting groups have called inquiring about the house since the investigation. If interest continues, the chamber may begin charging admission for paranormal investigators.
“We’re still building the story,” Kimbrough said.