CASE: Rice's Landing Fire Hall & Foundry
INVESTIGATION DATE: 7/12/14
INVESTIGATORS PRESENT: Melanie, Chris, Dave, Nina, Jo, Chris S, Mike, Ann-Marie (guest)
LUNAR CONDITIONS: Moon 100% full (Super Moon)
SOLAR CONDITIONS: Solar X-rays (active), Geomagnetic field (quiet)
ABOUT THE LOCATION:
Rice's Landing Pennsylvania is located on the Monongahela River, approximately 60 miles south of Pittsburgh, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. The town was established by John Rice in 1786 on land that had been visited by General George Washington in 1755. Officially incorporated in 1903, Rice's Landing was a bustling, prosperous town and was regarding by frontier settlers as the "Gateway to Western Pennsylvania". The town, which was in the heart of the steel industry and had many coal mines, became a important contributor to WWII. The W.A Young & Sons Foundry and Machine Shop, which was built by Walter Young in 1900, was critical to those contributions as it produced a variety of items for the war effort. Later in the 20th century, the history of Rice's Landing was altered by a much more sinister event. In the fall of 1973, the disappearance of a young girl turned this small rural town upside down. On October 7, the body of 8 year old Debbie Makel, who had been sexually assaulted and strangled, was found by members of a search party, buried under a brush pile in a wooded area only 500 yards from her home. A manhunt for the brazen killer ensued but the person responsible was never identified or captured.
The town of Rice's Landing also has quite a haunted history and paranormal activity has been reported in several of the town's locations, including the Rice's Landing Fire Hall and the W.A Young & Sons Foundry. The fire hall was command central for law enforcement and the search efforts in the Debbie Makel case. One known death occurred in the fire hall itself when a fire fighter named Walter Toland was killed in a tragic accident in 1943. Toland had jumped on the side of a fire truck that was heading out on a call when he was crushed between the truck and a wall as the truck back out of the garage. His spirit is reported to be haunting the building, as well as those of two former fire chiefs, Harold (Hawkey) Kline and his son Murray Kline. The foundry, which was in operation until 1965, was left as it stood and is still intact today, with machines and tools dating back to 1870. Some believe that the spirit of Walter Young is present in the foundry to this day, along with those of several other people. Reports of paranormal activity also mention former foundry caretaker George Kelly and two children named Isabel and Jacob.
* Melanie, Jo, and Nina felt a strong presence in the upstairs banquet hall. A CCTV camera located in the area experienced some unexplained interference at that precise time and Melanie and Nina both had temporary issues taking photographs with two different cameras.
* Melanie saw an unexplained dark shadow moving in the banquet hall. A short time later, Jo saw a similar shadow near the ceiling.
* Melanie, Jo, and Nina heard various unexplained sounds in the banquet hall.
* Unexplained EMF spikes up to 0.6mg were measured by the Mel Meter in the banquet hall and ambulance bay.
* Mike, Chris S, and Ann Marie heard unexplained sounds coming from the kitchen area of the banquet hall.
* K2 randomly spiked to red in the banquet hall.
* Upon returning to the banquet hall later in the evening, Melanie, Nina, and Jo continued to feel some sort of energy presence that caused extreme chills. Chris S, who was also present, felt something similar and also experienced a temporary headache.
* Chris and Mike felt an unexplained cold spot on their legs in the main garage of the fire hall. This incident was accompanied by a 5 degree temperature drop that occurred over a period of approximately 10 seconds. There was no breeze or other condition present to explain this drop in temperature.
* Mike heard what sounded like distant human conversation while in the fire hall's old garage.
* Mike saw a shadow move across the ceiling in the main garage of the fire hall.
* Mike saw shadows on the loft in the foundry on multiple occasions.
* Several unexplained noises were heard by multiple investigators in the foundry. Jo asked George Kelly to respond with a creaking sound if he was with them on the lower level of the foundry and distinct creaking was immediately heard by several investigators. When George Kelly was asked to confirm with a second creak, it occurred again and seemed much closer.
* Chris, Chris S, Mike and Ann Marie heard what sounded like distinct footsteps above them while on the lower level of the foundry.
* Mike's video camera inexplicably powered off in the foundry.
* Ann Marie felt a cold spot and unexplained static electricity on her arm on the lower level of the foundry.
* Unexplained EMF spikes up to 4.0mg were measured with the Mel Meter on the upper level of the foundry.
* Chris and Mike felt an unexplained tapping on their legs on the lower level of the foundry.
VIDEO CLIP 1 This video clip was captured on one of our infrared CCTV cameras, which was located in the banquet hall on the second floor of the Rice's Landing Fire Hall. While it shows only a moment of electrical interference affecting the camera, this interference happened at precisely the time all three investigators present began to feel what they believed may have been some sort of energy or presence in the area where the camera was positioned. The video clip actually shows Melanie reacting to what investigators were feeling and walking toward the camera and the area from where the energy source originated. This was the only time during the entire investigation that any of our CCTV cameras showed any sign of interference.
Our first trip to Rice's Landing Pennsylvania included an investigation of two separate locations within the town, the Rice's Landing Fire Hall and the W.A Young & Sons Foundry and Machine Shop. The Fire Hall was definitely the more active of the two buildings on this particular night, though personal experiences were had in both locations.
As for tangible evidence, we did capture a piece of video that we felt was intriguing enough to post in this case file. While the video shows nothing more than an incident of what we believe to be some sort of electrical interference with one of our CCTV cameras, it does up back a personal experience that was had by three different investigators and strengthen the validity of what investigators were feeling at the time it occurred. The video and myriad of personal experiences produced during this investigation are certainly not enough to conclude that the locations investigated are paranormally active. However, the results of our investigation coupled with the seemingly credible accounts of activity provided by several people associated with the locations have definitely put the town of Rice's Landing on our must return list.