Next up on Supernatural Synchronicity Case Files, we are looking at voices on stairs and ironically or maybe in an act of synchronicity we have somewhat similar stories to share.
If you haven't already, check out Ashley's article The rude voice on the stairs. It is in this article that Ashley talks about a case where they seemingly captured a rude voice they didn't hear at the time. It is the typical thing people find and class as EVP - electronic voice phenomenon
At that point in time one of the team was carrying a camcorder, documenting our investigation. It would be this very camcorder that would later be the piece of technology that would be found to have captured the potentially crystal clear voice of someone on the stairs ahead of us that was by all accounts, never really there.
However, at the time when this occurred none of us heard the voice call us names and this is apparent as we did not really react in any form. The problem today is that the only clip that remains, is of the voice alone and shows us all behind the camera. So, we four that were there that night are unable to categorically prove that it was not us. Something which is often the case when it comes to such things as EVP captures.
When you read through Ashley's article, there is also a video showing the very experience he is talking about. He mentions that of course, one possibility is that it could be a very real person that they didn't know was there. It is something we can never dismiss meaning it kind of prevents us from declaring it as paranormal. It adds a small element of doubt. It is one of the problems with investigations I guess. We record things on digital recorders and video cameras, but we don't review them until days, weeks or even months later. It means when we do find something of interest, we can't necessarily go straight back to check it back and investigate it further.
When we look at typical EVPs that people capture, they tend to be these sort of long whispers. In the audio that Ashley is referring to, it is quite loud and you would think if there was a rude voice screaming at your on the stairs, wouldn't you hear it? It is one of those things that kind of just goes into that weird category that has possible explanations but you can't label it either way because you can't go back in time and revisit that night. I can't really offer much more of a commentary than that but it reminds me a lot of of my very own voice on the stairs.
It is an experience I have written about many times. I was doing an investigation at a place called Milanos Tavern. I have actually written about it in a lot more detail in Issue 30 of Haunted Magazine! It is a bistro/restaurant/function centre in a bayside suburb of Melbourne. Back in the 1800s, it was a hotel. It is one of those places that always end up on blogs and website as most haunted locations in Melbourne due to the attached local stories and myths. At the time, no one had ever actually investigated it.
Milanos Tavern was rumoured to be haunted by the spirit of a girl called Tilly. Tilly was said to have been raped and murdered in the 1920s. The myths reported on all these haunted websites said that Tilly was quite aggressive towards men but playful towards females. After arriving at the location and having dinner first, we spoke with the staff who talked about their experiences. They all seemed to know the story of Tilly well. They showed us around to all the areas they have had sightings and experiences. The security guard took us upstairs to the third level where this spirit of Tilly was said to be. Staff were even too scared to go up there at night to lock up the EFT machine because they felt Tilly was there. At the time, there were 3 males and 2 females present to do what was the first time anyone had investigated the property. The 2 males went over to the other end of the building and I and the other female investigator went to talk to Tilly. The rumours were that she liked females so we thought maybe we might be able to make contact. We sat on a stairway that leads to a small attic. I began asking questions. Suddenly I was stopped cold in my tracks. I heard a whisper in my right ear that said 'GET OUUUUUT'. It was almost like a Hollywood movie. I ran down those stairs so fast. When an angry male whispers in your ear to get out, I’m sorry but you get the hell out and that is what I did! My natural reaction was to flee. I went back a few minutes later of course, but the voice didn't return.
I am not usually the kind of person to present a video because I don't present evidence. In this case, I am publishing it to show you what happened on the night so we can talk about it a bit more. You see the voice was also captured on two video cameras and a digital recorder.
Given that the voice was caught both on two video cameras, a digital recorder and was heard by 2 people, I think we can agree that the voice was real and not a hallucination. Besides the 'it must be a ghost' explanation which I have been back and forward on, the only other option I saw didn't come to me until years later. It wasn't until someone commented on my video a few months ago with the theory the voice could have been planted using a timed recorder or some sort of device to play the voice that I had even thought about it. While it seemed unlikely, I also couldn't rule it out meaning the whole experience had to be looked at from a different perspective that I had missed.
There was no room for a person to be hiding in the attic. No one else was in the vicinity of the area which thankfully we had a DVR system set up which showed us where everyone was and everyone was accounted for. So we know that it wasn't a real person sneaking up on us or a voice travelling. But what if they were right and there was some sort of speaker set-up or two-way device that someone had planted? There was a security guard there that night that commented to me during an interview that he had heard an aggressive voice on those very stairs on many occasions. Security guards do have access to two way communication devices and it is not the first time a person has planted something at a location to make it look haunted. At this particular time, this was the very first time this location had ever been investigated. The stories about this place were local legends. It would often make the 'Top 10 most haunted location' lists in the newspapers. When you ask the staff about the hauntings, they are a wealth of information and seem to know all the myths quite intimately. Maybe there was a reputation to uphold?
What if though it wasn't about the reputation of the property. Say he did somehow plant a device to play this voice. If he did, I genuinely don't feel like it was because he was secretly sitting in his little office having a laugh at my reaction. (I am sure it would have looked hilarious BTW). During our talk, he went into lengthy detail about his own experiences and even felt like he had some sort of connection with this spirit of Tilly that the staff all talk about. He referred to her affectionately as 'My Tilly'. What always stuck with me was that he said at the time he often heard her growl get out at him when he was in the same area. In the weeks that followed my experience, I struggled a bit mentally with the thought that maybe I had that 'holy grail' kind of experience. I had only been investigating the paranormal at that kind of level for a year and I had the recordings and the experience that some investigators of decades have and will never get. Had I found everything that I was looking for? Did I hear a ghost?
I find with myself that I do get caught up in the moment. I am the very first to admit it. I don't feel like it is a bad thing because I enjoy what I do. I will never call something paranormal just because that is how I am, but if something happens and I don't know what it is, I can't help but get a little excited. It is a natural reaction for many that have a passion for the paranormal. It is when the dust settles and I have a level head that I can then properly go in and try to work out what went on. I always think back to that security guard. I think back to his comments. I think back to his connection with 'his Tilly'. Was he so desperate to be validated or to prove to us that she was there that he planted a voice for me to hear?
I returned to the location a couple of times and tried to recreate the voice or find a source. Of course, it never happened again. The security guard wasn't on duty on those occasions so was he the missing factor? I certainly would love to believe it is a disembodied voice, but I have never been able to commit to that explanation. In some ways, I feel like it is too good to be true. Especially when it comes to the paranormal we have been conditioned to believe that if it is too good to be true then it usually is. Maybe it is the rational side of me talking or maybe it is too close to home. When I said above the experience made me struggle a bit mentally, it made me think about death and the afterlife. You might think, 'but you investigate the paranormal!'. While this is true, I am not so sure what we communicate with is the spirits of the dead. If you read my blog you will know that I think we play a much larger role here than many believe. My own mortality is something I have confronted before and to be blunt, the thought of dying absolutely terrifies me. I guess I feel like I still have a lot of living to do. As paranormal investigators, it is very easy to become a little detached from the concept of death. This brought it front and centre for me and mentally it was difficult for me to process.
So no matter which explanation it does end up being, neither sit well with me. It has however highlighted my own bias in refusing to admit that something could be paranormal. If someone presents me with their own experience I believe them because they are confident in themselves in what they experienced. Yet I won't believe myself. Why is that? I need to do some deep soul searching when it comes to this experience as all these years later it still sits differently with me and even with bright flashing words on the screen in front of me showing what it says, I cannot fully admit that it could have been paranormal or something I don't understand. It is not from doubt of the night or the experience or even doubt within myself, it is based on my belief and issues I have with my own mortality that needs to be confronted. Maybe until I have done this, I will not be able to fully embrace and open myself up to that possible explanation? I know this sounds strange from someone who investigates the paranormal but I am being honest with you all. Death terrifies me.
When I compare my story to that of Ashley's our experiences are similar yet different. At the back of our minds, we cannot rule out that there was something very real and living at play, yet we don't have the luxury to go back in time to that moment to clarify it further. While I heard my voice in real-time, Ashley was not aware of the voice until they reviewed the footage. Ashley and his friend Kev were searching for an experience and they didn't necessarily get it in the way they thought they would. In my case, I had a very unexpected experience that shook me to my very core. Is this where I caution them and others ... be careful what you wish for? On one hand, I could have been deliberately deceived and made to look like a fool, or on the other hand, maybe I found everything I thought I was looking for and it terrified me.
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