Hoffman Hall - Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin
On June 11, 2011 WPRS conducted a paranormal investigation of Hoffman Hall after receiving reports of ghostly activity. Investigators present for this investigation were K.J., Shawn Blaschka, Betsy Duginski, Anji Spialek, Sharon Williams, Bill Beaudry, and Shannon Thomas. Investigators arrived at approximately 9:00 PM and were met by client representative Nate Gilbert and Shawn Redman.
Nate and Shawn led the WPRS team on a tour of the facility. Investigators were shown several places where paranormal activity had been reported in the past. During this introduction there were several personal experiences; these will be listed in the personal experiences section of this report.
Upon completion of the walk through investigators began setting up equipment and drawing a sketch of the facility. Four static IR (infrared) cameras were placed at strategic locations throughout the facility. A monitoring station was set up in the lobby area where cameras would be monitored and notes taken.
Throughout the evening and morning hours EVP sessions were conducted by all investigators. IR cameras were monitored, and EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) readings were taken. A thermal probe was used to note room temperatures.
During an EVP session Sharon asked a question as to whether or not the ghost living there wanted to be seen and/or heard. There was an EVP response of “NO” heard during review. This “NO” response was not heard during the investigation. This session was being conducted in the mezzanine section of the swimming pool area.
During an EVP session conducted by Betsy and K.J. an unexplainable bright white light would appear near a window in the west wall. This light would only flash for a very brief moment and was gone again. This happened about 4 times. This EVP session was being conducted in the basement haunted house area. A light would sometimes flash from the prison, but was ruled out as a possible cause. Traffic also passed on a road near the window, but headlights were also ruled out as cause. Barges on the river often use very high powered spot lights to aid in navigation. The West channel of the Mississippi River, however, was way out of range to be a cause for this light. It should be noted that later in the evening, when all members were gathered in the lounge area, a flash of light was seen on the same west facing wall, and upstairs in the lounge area. This light was also unexplainable.
There were no other EVP anomalies noted.
Two of the four IR cameras showed anomalies. Cameras 2 and 4. Camera 2 was near the ladies bathroom facing straight across the pool mezzanine area. This camera completely blacks out at approximately 6:37:26 AM. During this blackout the EXIT sign on the other side of the mezzanine is still visible eliminating equipment malfunction.
From 6:37:26 AM until 6:37:28 AM, immediately after the blackout, camera 4 shows an intense white light almost creating a whitewash of the camera. This camera was located on the top deck of the pool mezzanine area facing to the south east corner of the pool. This light very rapidly dissipates into the east end of the south wall. The light is also noticeable on camera 2 for only a very brief moment. There are no explanations for either of these anomalies.
Camera 4 has many orbs between 4:17 AM and 4:21 AM. Most of these are believed to be dust.
During a walking EVP session K.J. and Shawn were in the basement in the haunted house area. While using an EMF detector K.J. gets three very high rapid spikes. Shawn also hears the pitch increase and sees the needle spike. This high EMF was not able to be recreated after many attempts. Shortly after the spikes K.J. had a personal experience noted in Personal Experience section of this report.
Only a few minutes after the first series of spikes, K.J. again gets three spikes on the EMF detector further down the hallway. Again the spikes were unable to be recreated.
Although personal experiences are NOT considered evidence, due to lack of being verified by another, they are still noted. The first personal experience occurred during the walk through in the pool mezzanine area. As the team and clients were near the center of the mezzanine area Shawn turned to look at the doorway near the stairwell. He saw what appeared to be a white image, from torso up, peak out around the doorway in the short hallway between the mezzanine and stairwell landing. The image peaked out and hid again behind the doorway. Shawn later stood in the same place he had been standing and directed K.J. to where he had seen the image. K.J. was not able to hide his body as there was no room in this hallway where he could not be seen by Shawn. The image therefore had to be partially inside the wall in order not to be seen by Shawn.
The second personal experience was also seen by Shawn, and again in the pool mezzanine area. As the team was walking in the mezzanine Shawn looked down toward the deep end of the pool. He saw what he described as a shoe box size distortion. This distortion was transparent and appeared to be similar to heat rising from a fire or hot road surface. The distortion was on the far side of the pool, right alongside the pool. It moved parallel to the pools edge toward the shallow end of the pool. It appeared to move a distance of about 10 feet and disappeared.
A third personal experience occurred when Anji and Shannon were walking across the gym heading toward the lobby area. Anji saw a man of average height, dressed in dark clothing (possibly a work jacket,) as he headed from the office area of the gym to the kitchen. This was a full body apparition and was very detailed as opposed to just a shadow.
When K.J. and Shawn were conducting walking EVP and EMF sessions in the haunted house area, K.J. had the first of two EMF spikes. As K.J. turned to look down the hallway a shadow moved across the hallway, coming from the wall, and moved into the maintenance closet. K.J. and Shawn immediately went to the janitor’s closet but found no one there. The shadow moved smoothly and somewhat rapidly with a hunched over profile.
Personal experiences are not given the same merit as evidence. However, personal experiences of the WPRS team are still given consideration when determining if a location is haunted or not. Based on the evidence obtained, and personal experiences of the WPRS team, it is in the opinion of the WPRS that Hoffman Hall is most certainly an active haunted location.