Chuck's Paranormal Adventures
Investigation #1 - Rose Hill Cemetery, (Matawan, NJ) -
Chuck's Note - As I write this blog about my investigation at Rose Hill, I have learned through some friends that a bunch of dumb kids have been partying in the back of the Cemetery and causing vandalism. I am absolutely disgusted by this. This happened at Rose Hill back in the 70's and was promptly cut off for visitation from the town. This cemetery is filled with history and to possibly have this place cut off again is unthinkable. Please, if you see anybody committing any acts of vandalism at any cemetery, please notify the police at once to put a stop to it.
As Halloween of 2013 was approaching, it was time to decide on a place to go to investigate. What better place to spend a few hours than one of New Jersey's alleged most haunted cemeteries, Rose Hill Cemetery in Matawan, New Jersey!
Rose Hill had been on my list of places to visit after I started investigating after reading many reports about paranormal activity taking place. The usual slew of items, EVP, chills, orbs, ectoplasm, people being touched, eerie feelings and dread. Not to mention that the victims of the the infamous 1916 Shark Attack in Matawan Creek are buried here (Lester Stillwell and Stanley Fisher). Besides trying to find the grave sites of Lester and Stanley, I also wanted to check out the mausoleum area which had been reported to be an eerie area as well.
Upon arriving at Rose Hill, one is greeted with the sign out front "No Trespassing". This sign had actually been a deterrent for me until hearing about a cemetery tour conducted in 2012 by Al Savolaine of the Matawan Historical Society. After the tour was over, he told the crowd that they were welcome to come back, the trespassing sign was not meant for them.
The signs were erected back in the mid-1970's, if I am not mistaken, as kids were going into the cemetery and vandalizing it by knocking down tombstones and desecrating the grounds. If there was anything that really got the hauntings to begin at Rose Hill, this certainly could have been a catalyst for it.
My friends Ian & Gabby had already visited the site several times and told me they saw people strolling about, people walking their dogs on the grounds. So based on this, I felt it was safe enough to go and that there would be no trouble in regards to visiting the cemetery. In fact, Ian & Gabby were imploring me to go as they told me about all the evidence they were getting at Rose Hill, in particular by Lester's tombstone.
It's very interesting as they felt nothing bad, though they said some of the grounds were a bit spooky. I watched a video on Youtube with a couple of young filmmakers visiting the cemetery a few years ago. Every time they approached Lester's grave, their batteries would drain out and eventually had to leave after they were on their last batteries. Lots of exciting potential here, I decided on Halloween that I would make my way over.
One story I have heard quite often is that is a little difficult to find Lester's grave site. Once you find it, they say that Stanley's is on top of a hill that overlooks the Stillwell family plots. Like he is still watching over young Lester like he tried to save him back in 1916 when the shark attack took place.
I first drove in and did a quick drive through around the cemetery to get a feel for the place. In the back of the cemetery, the road was narrow and not paying attention could have your car going downhill and plowing into some big tombstones. No place to go if a vehicle was coming from the opposite direction. I made my way around in a big circle and found a place to park just off the dirt road. Ironically, I was parked directly down hill from Lester's gravesite! Was I somehow guided to park there by the spirits who may have been expecting my arrival?
Nope! I was able to spot the plastic pumpkin that Ian & Gabby (along with some other assorted toys) that they brought to place by Lester's grave for Halloween! So they made my job a little easier! (note the arrow pointing to the plastic pumpkin)
I went up to the grave site and took some photos of Lester's grave and the surrounding area. Not only had Ian & Gabby brought some toys, but others had been left there over the years as well. A nice way to pay respects to a young boy who nobody could have ever imagined would be the victim of a shark attack so far inland from the ocean.
Here is a photo of how I set up my equipment. Rem Pod, Ovilux X with the Digital Text Display (DTD), K-2 meter, audio recorder and my camcorder.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, as I was setting up my equipment, I got my first EVP of the day. (Note: headphones are best for listening to EVP. Replayed twice at end with amplification and/or noise removal)
Rose Hill EVP #1 - As I am setting up the equipment, remaining silent, a faint voice is heard. After adding noise reduction to remove most of the airplane noise and amplified slightly, you can hear what sounds like somebody saying "Shaun wrote it." If that is what is being said, I have no idea who Shaun is and what it is he wrote.
Now where the investigation starts to get interesting. As I have set up everything, turned the camcorder on and started filming, I turn on the Ovilus X and I'm trying to place the DTD down on the Homer Simpson doll on the ground. I hear a slight buzzing and it turned out it was a bumble bee still alive behind the doll. Just then the Ovilus X says the phrase "For me" as I can read it off the DTD. As if Lester was asking if all the equipment I had just placed on and around his tombstone were for him! Just like the toys that had been left behind.
I was amazed at this response. A skeptic will say that was pure coincidence that this phrase came out and I have to agree this is possible. However, it is a 1 in 2048 chance of this phrase coming out as the first one right after I put all my equipment up. If you could show all this stuff to an 11 year old boy from 1916, he of course would be amazed and would surely ask if he could keep it. Only two more words came out of the Ovilus the rest of time I used it here and were simple words that may or may have not had any type of spiritual meaning.
A few minutes after this, I am asking if any of the spirits there would like to leave a message, something to let the outside world know that there is life after death. About 40 seconds after I ask this, I got an EVP response.
Rose Hill EVP #2 - In this clip you hear my question, but I cut out the 40 seconds of silence and skip over to the EVP of what sounds like somebody saying "Can't." Is he saying "can't" as in he can't leave a message or he can't talk about life after death? There have been many accounts of investigators asking about life after death (myself included) and some spirits won't talk about it like they are not allowed to.
Another interesting thing to note, as I was up behind the grave and taking photos, I noticed one thing that was very odd.
Did you notice? The only tombstone of the Stillwell group that had a mass of leaves behind it was Lester's. The other four have no leaf piles. With the exception of one of the plots to the left, you can clearly see that none of the big ones have no leaf piles either. Downhill, behind a whole group of trees. It's obvious the grounds keepers had not been around in a while. Not saying there is something paranormal behind this, but I just found it odd that only Lester's would have a pile propped up against his headstone, but not the others.
I then set up to do a P-SB7 spirit box session in front of Lester's grave, which I also filmed, not knowing what was going to transpire that would just totally blow me away.
First, I asked basic questions and then moved onto something that I knew was risky. There has been a debate for years now as to which type of shark entered Matawan Creek and attacked Lester, Stanley and a 3rd boy later on as the shark swam back up the creek towards Raritan Bay where it entered. A young Great White Shark had been the common theory as one was caught in Raritan Bay and allegedly had human remains in its stomach. However, over the years, there have those that rejected that and theorized that it was a Bull Shark that entered the creek. Initial salinity tests of the creek water were too low for that of a Great White to enter and survive for very long. A Bull Shark though, can survive in fresh water very easily. Though the level of salinity, it turns out, varies from low to high tide. So again the young Great White could have entered the water when the salinity was just high enough for it to thrive to make the attacks.
So I threw out the question to the spirit box, first I asked what type of fish was it that attacked everybody. I wanted to see if I could get an intelligent response. The risk is that by asking that type of question, a spirit could get upset with me trying to remind it of how it died so violently and tragically. Fortunately, nothing seemed upset by the question, though I did note the sound of a particular voice that came through and often!
Rose Hill GB #1 - After I ask the question of what type of fish attacked Lester, after a few voices come through, you hear what sounds like a young boy say "Yeah." Crystal clear, though not answering my question directly. Is this the voice of Lester?
Then came one of the most shocking moments I've had using the spirit box. In the following video clip that I have posted on Youtube, after hearing a couple of feint voices that sound like a young kids, I ask how many spirits are there with me and get the answer of two. I hear another voice that sounds like a young kid, so I ask Lester if he likes that Ian & Gabby bring him toys and the reply I get is amazing!
(Note: After the Lester bit on the video, the next part shows the replies I got up at Stanley Fishers grave, but I have more to note that leads up to that moment.)
I never would have expected a crystal clear reply of "Sure" from what sounds like an 11-12 year old boy. Now the skeptic out there will claim its nothing but coincidence. Sure it is, it happens all the time when you do a spirit box session in front of a young boys grave and a voice matching a young boy comes through the spirit box. Even though the P-SB7 is set on 250ms sweep rate and would have scanned through at least 4 different radio frequencies by the time the voice finished saying "Sure". Never mind too that it was a direct answer to my question.
Rose Hill GB #2 - After not getting anything else from whom I believed to be Lester, I'm just asking general questions. At the 3 second mark, you hear a voice say "See soldiers", which I did hear at the time. When I ask where, a reply comes "Right here!" I didn't hear that part at the time though!
Rose Hill GB #3 - After a couple of minutes of not much coming through the spirit box, I reiterate that this is a new way of communicating. The reply is of what sounds like a young boy saying "Yeah". As I note again I am hearing a young boy's voice there is a 2 voice reply that sounds like it is asking "What Chuck?"
Rose Hill GB #4 - Nearing the end of my session, you hear me saying " I'll tell you what Lester....". As I pause for a moment, you hear yet again what sounds like a young boy saying "Yeah" as if in response to me. Since I didn't have any toys to leave, I decided to leave him a quarter. Today a quarter is nothing, but to give a child a quarter back in 1916 would have been a big deal. So at the end of the clip after I thank him for trying to communicate, you hear a faint "yeah" in response.
Rose Hill GB #5 - Finishing off the session, I am doing my count to 5 before I shut off to give the spirits a chance to say goodbye, go back where they came from, etc etc. As I finish off by saying thank you, you hear a voice that sounds like it is saying very fast "Your welcome"! I end by acknowledging that I heard this.
As I started to pack up the equipment at Lester's gravesite so I could move on, I did catch 2 more EVPs.
Rose Hill EVP #3 - As I finish saying that I want to move on before it starts raining, there is a noticeable, yet very faint and muffled EVP. Replayed twice with noise reduction and amplified. Now it sounds like "Get out of here." This voice actually continued on for another 6-7 seconds, but was completely inaudible, even after some enhancements.
Then another amazing catch!
Rose Hill EVP #4 - You hear me say "Alright." as I have finished and am ready to move on. Just then this Class A EVP is captured. Clearly a voice saying "Lester"! Is this Lester saying his name to me before I leave?
Rose Hill EVP #5 - As I move down the hill towards the main road, I am filming with the camcorder when I stop to show where to park near Lester's gravesite. As I say I am not going to go in one particular direction because it is too close to the road, a voice says what sounds like "Better." Is it saying better because it agrees with my choice?
As I was making my way up towards the Fisher gravesite, there were a couple more EVP that were captured, but too faint to list here.
As I arrived at the Fisher gravesite, I set up the camcorder and audio recorder on the family marker and the RemPod by Stanley's grave.
As I was walking around on the leaves and setting up, within almost a two minute span I catch 3 move EVPs!
Rose Hill EVP #6 - This sounds like somebody saying "Get off of me!", mixed in with me walking on the leaves. That is why whenever I investigate at a cemetery, I am constantly saying out loud that I mean no disrespect if I accidentally walk on somebody's grave. Was that why a spirit here is telling me to get off of him?
Rose Hill EVP #7 - Approximately 19 seconds later, as I have stopped to do something, this EVP is captured. At first I thought it was saying "Stanley's Grave", but then it sounded totally different when I amplified the original recording and did some noise reduction. It's a voice alright, but no idea as to what it is saying to me.
Rose Hill EVP #8 - Then the third one comes out. This one sounds like somebody saying the name "Gladys".
Rose Hill EVP #9 - About 10 minutes later as I am getting myself set up to record a Spirit Box session, I am moving about when this voice tells me to "Get Back". Something there not wanting me to close to something?
I started a spirit box session and from the video clip above, you can see what happened at the Fisher gravesite with the word "Bull" coming out of left field when I was getting ready to do a "Roll Call" of the spirits there around me because it seemed like several voices were coming through. Then the reply "Don't ask me".
Well it did not stop there.
I continued to press on about the Bull as in Bull shark and got this amazing, intelligent response.
Rose Hill GB #6 - As I finish inquiring about the shark that killed Lester and Stanely, I get this smart ass response of, "You didn't know?"!!!! Of course I didn't know, otherwise I wouldn't have been asking! LOL
Then a whole flood of sounds like intelligent chatter is being directed at me.
Rose Hill GB #7 - This clip starts off with the same male voice saying "Wait for my.....(pause)" then something I cannot make out. I am hearing a female voice trying to come through and I ask who it is. I get a reply from a female voice that says what sounds like "Anna", followed 2 seconds later by a male voice saying..."Anna"! Then at the 16 second mark a female says the name "Debbie". The "Anna" voice replayed twice at the end.
Rose Hill GB #8 - This is a 20 second clip. I am asking about the female and at the 4 second mark you hear a female voice say what sounds like "Dave...calling Chuck." At 9 seconds you hear a voice say "Debbie" to which I heard at the time. At 14 seconds a female voice comes through and says "Chuck", I heard this too. After I comment on how I can hear them, a voice at the end says what sounds like, "A deaf....Chuck!" So in this 20 second span my name is said 3 times and somebody thinks I'm deaf. LOL. Hey its hard to understand what is being said live sometimes!
Rose Hill GB #9 - Just following that, another clip that is very intriguing. A voice says "Hello" to me in which I respond back. I ask if they are trapped at the cemetery and get an unusual bit of response. At the 5 second mark a voice says "No". Then at 6 seconds, you hear a voice say "shhhhhh" followed by a faint whispery voice that says "Fine" followed by a louder voice saying "Fine". Then at 10 seconds, you hear a male voice say very fast "Everything is alright." Then a young male says "Cheers". I heard the "shhhh" and asked if somebody was telling them not to tell me if they are trapped or not.
Listening back on this, to me its like somebody here is trying to tell others to be quiet. Funny how there is a whispered "Fine" which is repeated back right away. Like the 2nd spirit was being told how to reply to me. As if it was a 1930's gangster crime scene and all witnesses are telling the police they saw nothing, even though they were standing right there when somebody got gunned down in front of them. Completely subjective, its just how I feel here.
The last few minutes of the session had a few one-two word replies, but nothing really compelling. However, as I was packing up and getting ready to go towards another part of the cemetery, I got this amazing Class A+ EVP!
Rose Hill EVP #10 - It's been about 45 seconds since I said I was moving on and this deep, male voice says what clearly sounds like "They're not around!". Can't believe I did not hear this. Is he making reference to Lester and Stanley or other spirits? Is he talking about Ian & Gabby since they frequently investigate here? I have no idea, but it's a great EVP!
I then made my around towards the back where the mausoleums where located.
The doors to the mausoleums were gated, pad locked, well secure. It was definitely a creepy area. There were a couple of very faint EVPs picked up over here, but nothing that could be made out.
After about 10 minutes in this area, I felt a drop here and there, meaning the rain was coming so it was time to leave. I had to stop on the way back to my car to take a photo of this tombstone as it was very interesting to me.
The image of the angel here releasing what looks like a dove was very moving to me. Little did I know this spot where I would catch my last clear EVP of the day!
Rose Hill EVP #11 - This one sounds like a male voice saying either "Go way back" or "Hold me back". It's clearly a male voice talking as I am taking pictures here!
Ian & Gabby had told me I would not be disappointed by coming to Rose Hill Cemetery and I certainly wasn't based on the results I gathered this day. Far more so than I had anticipated. The Spirit Box responses at Lester's and Stanley's grave sites were beyond amazing. I'm making plans to come back here again in 2014, this time with Ian & Gabby to see what the three of us can catch!
Also as a side note, I am finding that since I have started learning Reiki and gaining my levels (I am currently a Level 3 as I write this), I notice that the quantity and quality of the evidence I have been gathering on my investigations as increased significantly. Reiki is a form or energy healing. Are the spirits honing in on my energy levels and is this why the evidence is getting better?