I've never thought much about reports of ghosts and hauntings. I tend to treat reports of haunted places the way I would a report of a hornets' nest nearby that I can't see. If ghosts are there, keep moving; if I don't bother them, they probably won't bother me.
Patch has been working on a series about haunted venues in the Chicago area. As part of the series, I followed a paranormal investigative team that was studying the Country House Restaurant in Clarendon Hills.
From 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. last Saturday morning, I followed the investigative team as they recorded parts of the building with specialized cameras, asked questions of whatever entities might be there and set up audio recorders to pick up anything we couldn't hear with the naked ear.
The team from All City Paranormal would sift through the hours of footage that was recorded in order to isolate any messages or images that would provide information on the reported existence of a spirit at the Country House.
Last night, I listened to the first of the recordings.
At one point that night, Lisa Jahnke, one of the lead investigators, stayed on the second floor to take photographs in the dark, while the rest of team moved to the first floor. She told me many of the images she's gotten during their investigations have been obtained this way. I stayed with her to videotape her working.
The audio recording in this story was made during that time period, but I cannot be sure of the exact moment the team's recorders picked up this audio. I have matched up the audio to video I shot around that time in the room, but do not believe I have on video the exact moment the audio was recorded.
On the audio recording, you can hear Lisa saying, "I'm going to take a couple of pictures ... in this room." Everything after that, specifically the loud whisper on the recording, has been identified as electronic voice phenomena (EVP). It has been determined that the whisper did not come from anyone in the room or anyone on the investigative team.
Although people always have reported that the ghost they see at the Country House is a female, the voice on this recording sounds like a male to me. I'm not going to write here what I think the voice is saying; I'll let you listen to the recording to make up your own mind. I have, however, included what I and the other journalists thought among the poll choices below, as well as what several team members at All City Paranormal think. Give it a listen, and let us know in the comments what you hear.
*Note: The video being shown and the audio recording are not in sync. The video and audio were recorded on two different pieces of equipment. It was necessary to edit them together during the production process.
*Editor's Note: This opinion piece was part of a series originally published in October of 2011. This particular article was published originally on October 18, 2011. In the spirit (pun intended) of the season, we are re-running the series every day this week for those who might have missed it. This recording is not in the finished piece, which is scheduled to run on Friday this week.