HAUNTINGS RESEARCH
The
                                                                                       Group

Date:  August 3 2002

Investigators:  Steve Dietrich, Anita Perron,
Dee Freedman, Lloyd S.

Equipment:     Nikon 995 Digital Camera /  35mm Canon Rebel G2000
2 Sony Night Vision Video Cams /  EMF
detector /
Flashlights / Micro-cassette recorder /
Optimus Cassette Recorder / External Mike / Compass

Weather:Clear, cool, approximately 65 degrees
 
  
Moon Phase:
THE INVESTIGATION

We converged on this small church and cemetery just before dusk. Although we had brought equipment with us we were primarily doing an assessment of the location to see if further research was justified. We set up some video cameras and a tape recorder with an external mike, then proceeded to settle down in front of the church and let the equipment run, while we had a chat and enjoyed our coffee.

After a while we approached the back of the cemetery to take a look around and see what was there and to perhaps read some of the very old grave markers. As we were standing at the back gate talking, we picked up an odor that smelled like most old sheds or basements do; a musty earthy smell. The odor lasted about 3 or 4 minutes. It was then that Anita and I felt a male presence around us, and although we don't rely on our 6th sense for factual research, we decided to go with it. It seems we were led through the gate and straight ahead until we got about 40 feet in front of an obviously modern shed. We felt that whoeever or whatever was leading us was trying to show us something. The following is what we interpreted as the information we were receiving. Please note that this is all speculation on our part and not fact:

~·A pulling by a male entity through the gates, as if we were supposed to follow him
~·Sensed that he was trying to show he was visiting someone, buried on non-consecrated ground
~·A man who was dressed in Quaker style clothing, was pure of heart and giving, however he visited the grave at night, so as to keep it a secret.
~·He was fond of whomever's grave he was visiting, but felt it would be frowned upon if known; hence the secrecy.
~·He was also a pillar of the community and influential and feared retribution if found out.

Following are the facts we uncovered, interestingly enough, a few days later, however this may be purely coincidental:

~·The section of grounds he led us to was not part of the original cemetery but a field and therefore not consecrated ground until the later 1900's.
~·There was an old structure which housed the horses etc. back in the 1800's that has since been torn down, where the men gathered to chat.

We were quite surprised, to say the least, when we played back our tape recordings. It seems we had a few responses.

Immediately after setting up the audio recorder, and while the tape was rolling,  I said to no one in particular "well ask some questions, see if we get anything".  Immediately after I said that there was a response which sounded like a male saying "who are you?". Immediately after that Anita asks the very same question. Her next question was "watcha doing?",  we got a reply which was a bit clearer. After she asked 'watcha doing?" we heard a week male voice say "praying". We have included the wave for your discretion and determination. Is it a voice from the past?

We had another response when Lloyd asked where a particular person was and the response was "I don't know", but the audio was so low and extremely hard to hear that we have not included it.

Director's Note: When taping EVP's, only a fresh tape opened in front of at least 2 other people is used and only one side recorded on so that the integrity of the tape remains intact and is not contamintated by possible 'bleed-through'. The ultimate tool is a digital recorder.

Cemetery III, Ontario

The history of the Little Church began in 1815 when the Bible Christian Church was founded. Although there was no specific building for worship at the time, by 1830 the Bible Christian Church boasted 6000 members, the church circuit covering more than 200 miles as far east as Cobourg and as far west as Whitby and the north lands above. When a circuit minister attended the village on Sundays however, services were usually held outdoors in the summer and various village buildings in the winter. In the late 1840's a piece of land was finally acquired from the corner of a village family farm (the land surrounding the church is still held by the original family) giving the small village their very own location to worship. The trustees for the new Little Church, procured the deed for the sum of £26. The church building itself was finally erected in 1855 and later enlarged in 1882 at a cost of $800.00. The funds were raised by the organization of a church dinner, which was attended by close to 500 people. Further renovations were made in 1928 when the church was raised to install a full basement beneath, which housed the new coal and wood furnace.

Although Little Church began as a sector of the Bible Christian Church, in 1884 Little Church became a Methodist church. By April 1925, the United Church of Canada was formed and Little Church then became a United Church.

There is an interesting factual story about the church's choirmaster and his daughters, which took place on the night of November 14, 1882.  The choirmaster and his two daughters sat down after choir practice to indulge in their usual after-practice cup of herb tea. Unbeknownst to them, belladonna had been gathered along with the herbs meant for the tea and unfortunately were not detected during its making or while it was being consumed. One daughter, Margaret age 26, died before morning and was followed only hours later by her father, William. The other daughter, Ida, survived the belladonna-laden tea only because she was never fond of the taste of the herb tea and drank very little of it. It was reported that the shock of losing her father and sister remained with her for life. Her life after the poisoning never really became any better. Ida married a man named John some years later and gave birth to a son. John however died not long after their marriage and her son was born badly deformed both mentally and physically and died at a young age. Ida herself died in 1899 and is buried in an unmarked grave in the cemetery. Her sister Margaret and her father are also buried in the cemetery, however a large obelisk marks their graves.

Another colourful resident of the village was an old man by the name John Van, who was strong in his convictions and liked to past the time in his later years sitting on his neighbour's porch drinking buttermilk and discussing world politics, religion and crops. John was determined to come back after his death to visit his home and so painted his gateposts bright red to direct him back after his death. Whether he made it back or not is unknown, but we'd like to think he did. He died at the age of 98 in 1910.

Dee Freedman
Hauntings Research Group © 2002 -2009
Little Church, Durham
Grave of William and Margaret
Old grave marker
Top:This is the original clip from the audio tape before we slowed it down.
Bottom: Slowed down version of the "praying" answer.
If you cannot hear it on this medium, you can double click the clips below and play it on Windows Media Player
original clip from Little Church Cemetery
original clip from Little Church Cemetery
Slowed down version of "praying"
Slowed down version of "praying"