Music & more Arts Academy definitive word MORE!
PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION # 1.
Noriko Meguro, well known and accomplished pianist, a client and friend long standing, emailed me about her piano teaching classroom which is in a back room behind the stage at the Music and More Arts Academy , located in the DeWitt Government center in Auburn California . Having taught there for over 10 years, strange feelings and occurrences have happened to and around her over the years, but for her and others, they now seem to be occurring more and more often. This is not only from her perspective, but from stories repeated by guests to the facility. She told us that one day she heard a violin playing when she was preparing to close up the building for the night. When she looked around for whoever was playing there was no one in the building. When pressed she thought the music she heard emitting from the strings of the violin could have been Bach. Spooky for sure, but she also stated to us that that when she is in the auditorium she feels like she is being watched. Kay Coder, Director of the School stated that several years ago the entry doors on both sides of the auditorium at one point recently rattled like someone was trying to open them and also when that stopped, the front doors sounded like someone was trying to get into the locked building. They called the police who responded immediately. Law enforcement could find no one in the area. We were told that sounds were sometimes emitting from the upstairs projection room when no one is in it, like things being moved about, and two people talked of a cold breeze blowing past them in that room. An associate of the building was to tell of a can of soda once flying off a piano with no hands near it. No earthly hands anyway. Others spoke of strange sounds, lights going off and on by themselves and even more strange sights and feelings. Of course there could be logical explanations for many of these things, such as the lights going off and on by themselves could be a short in the wiring or some other electrical malfunction. But after inquiring about it, we were told that avenue had been explored and there was nothing wrong with the electricity in the building. Hum! This clearly needed exploring, but because this is such a large compound, consisting of many buildings, hallways and businesses, we made the decision to restrict our investigation to the Music & More Arts Academy part of the building, which would include the upstairs projection room, the auditorium or theatre, the stage area and behind the stage, and Noriko’s classroom which is also behind the stage area. We would explore the rest of the facility at another time.
In order to understand what we were up against better, we asked Robert Reppert, investigative reporter and owner of Gold Rush Ghosts International Paranormal Investigations to give us a brief history of the DeWitt Government center. According to his notes: “Prior to the acquisition of the land for the hospital, the land was mainly used for fruit orchards and pasture for livestock. This continued until the 1930s when the markets dried up and the land was abandoned. This offered up this property to the government for a cheap price for the land needed to build a state of the art medical facility, one large enough to handle the wounded from World War Two. The hospital was actually opened in February 1944 and included surgical, trauma, neurological, and mental wards. Later in 1944 a dental ward was added to treat soldiers as well as local people. At its peak the hospital held 2,310 patients.
The hospital was deemed surplus in December of 1945 and was sold to the state in June of 1946 with the stipulation that it was to be operated as a mental health institution for the next 25 years as part of the sale. The state of California operated the mental hospital, sometimes over capacity, until 1972 when it was turned over to Placer County as a government center at no cost to the county. Currently there are two buildings on the site that are declared national landmarks, and they are the Church and the theater with plans to make some of the other wards landmarks in the future.”
The Music and More Arts Academy is located at 11596 D. Avenue in Auburn , Ca. on land that was originally owned by Alexander Pike Bell, an old gold rush miner. Auburn Historian Michael Coder told us, “The foundation of Alexander Pike Bell’s house is just a few blocks from this site. It is said that in the1850’s- 1860’s, he would leave his house pushing a wheelbarrow and go digging in the ½ mile radius from his house. He discovered gold under the Music and More Arts Academy and other buildings.” Pike, the old miner died in 1865 in his little home. We wondered if he would be one of the entities we would encounter on our investigation.
We asked Coder if he would share with us more of the history of the site. He told us he is currently in the process of writing a book on this part of the country as well as the gold rush era featuring Alexander Pike Bell the working title being EASY COME EASY GO. Coder stated to us, confirming much of Reppert’s investigation, “The theatre, which is now a part of the DeWitt Center , was originally part of a U.S. Army hospital named DeWitt Army Hospital , which was dedicated on April 3, 1943 as a military hospital to serve the wounded soldiers from the European Theater and Pacific Theater. It was used for a little over two years until the end of the wars wish Germany and Japan . The hospital had 1700 beds and was a small self-contained “city” with its’ own recreation, theatre,” (upstairs projection room as well) “church, sewage and water treatment plant. Several Hollywood stars visited DeWitt Hospital and presented USO shows during this time including Bob Hope, Hedy Lamarr, and even Max Baer, the boxer was at the hospital. Surface tunnels interconnected all the “wards” so the patients could wheel chair from one end of the complex to the other without ever going outside. The little theater was a popular place to come for the wounded soldiers to see movies and live entertainment.”
According to Coder, “After the war ended, the Federal Government sold the hospital to the State of California and it transitioned into a mental hospital in 1950 until the 1980’s. In 1972, the State of California sold the complex to Placer County , which has utilized it for county government buildings and subcontracted buildings to the private sector.”
Somewhere in the 1990’s the county was petitioned to allow the little theater, with its red velvet audience chairs, to be run as a movie house, using the above projection room to show movies on the screen. In 2001 Coder and his wife Kay took over the theater part of the building we are now concentrating on. The Coder’s set about renovating and during that time found some old artifacts from the 1940’s-80’s. such as Lucky Strike cigarette packages, coins, and etc. as they cleaned up the building. Rumor had it years ago when renovating the area which was used as a mental facility, a note was found in the wall, which had been carefully folded and crammed between two bricks. Chills went up my spine when I heard about this. The note said “ HELP” I was told. We wondered what types of ‘therapy’ were used over the years, or medications on the patients. But of course I have to get back to the project at hand now, as we would explore that part of the building at another time. As Michael Coder told us more about the Music and More Arts Academy , “We eventually removed the old 35mm. projectors in the projection room and changed the theatre to live performances.”
Interesting history of course. But Michael Coder had reservations about talking about the possibility of ghosts hanging around. “I have had strange feelings as one does in old buildings, but I don’t know about there being any ghosts.” he told us. “I have not seen any.”
Well, that is good enough for us, as we at Gold Rush Ghosts International Paranormal Investigations and our television show Investigating The Unknown (Channel 17 out of Sacramento, 8:00 PM the second Wed. night of every month) are only after truth, not sensationalism or craziness which is the hallmark of so many paranormal groups and television shows. We are not scripted, and we are a scientifically oriented organization, and have only found anything even possibly paranormal in about one in every five investigations we go out on. In fact, we generally demand more proof than a few strange occurrences as this one offered. Had it not been for Noriko and our faith in her standard for truth and honesty, we would have likely passed on this investigation. Wind can make doors creek. But the sounds of violins to our logical Noriko? This needed explaining.
It was a clear sunny California April Sunday when we drove to the building. Included on this investigation with us this day would be owner/operator of Gold Rush Ghosts International Investigations, Robert Reppert, Celebrities Psychic and Life Coach to the stars Nancy Bradley, and heading the Investigation would be seasoned investigator Wayne Peterson, who comes with a long history of military no nonsense confidence and straight to the point honesty. Along and also long time investigators would be Bob King on electrical and equipment with Reppert, Judy Cooper, Elizabeth Harrison, Danielle Carpenter, Cindy Wingard, and Nancy’s second in charge Cat Noble and their guest Ron Williams from the television show UFO Connection. First to arrive was Reppert and Bradley with King and Cooper, followed by Noble and Williams in their car, and they all began to set up equipment for exploring the facility that housed the projection room, the seated theatre area, the stage, behind the stage, and the classrooms, especially that of Noriko Meguro. After climbing the narrow stairs to the site, Bradley immediately picked up ancient paranormal energy in the old projection room, and she felt someone push her toward the windows where the cameras would have been. The air smelled of old beer and stale whiskey, perhaps other alcohol. She heard three entities willing to give her their names, all from the 40’s and 50’s, at that site, the names being: Charlie, Milton, and Arnie. Someone from the other side shouted to her “ROBERT” or “ROBERTS” and she was careful to write all the names down. The air was heavy and hard to breathe, and she was anxious for the rest of the crew to come and take photos in this upstairs part of the building which overlooks the auditorium and stage. The heaviness of this area would eventually be felt by most of the crew who because of the energy, did not wish to spend a lot of time in this upstairs part of the building as it was uncomfortable to those who are sensitive to such things. To explain, sometimes such energy is formed because a site is congested, old, dusty, an enclosed small space. In this case it was clear that there were entities still in this part of the building, old section, dusty and stuffy, and the small space had allowed for a lot of spirit and spirit imprint activity to accumulate in a room of about 120sq feet. We would now have to decide which of this energy was simply an IMPRINT of when these people of old were there (energy measured in time, the person long gone) and how many actual entities were still about (We knew of at least four, seeing as how they were willing to give Bradley their names.) For seasoned professionals such as we are, it was easy to determine one type of energy from another, and announced both present. Photos were taken and meter readings for cold and heat, they ranged from 66 to 78deg.
It is pretty much our policy as investigators to go into a supposed haunted site without too much information about who, what, where or history, and each investigator go their own way or with just one other investigator so that all areas are covered. As everyone went to the equipment stall and took the investigative tools they wanted, and those with cameras secured them around their necks and fingers, we all went our separate ways to get back together later to compare notes.
From the notes of the expert heading this Investigation WAYNE PETERSON: “It was my job to conduct the interviews and get the background on the building which took up a good portion of my time. I interviewed Mike Coder, Historian and owner of the Music & More Arts Academy , his wife Kay, Noriko, and the crew members who had gotten a few impressions prior to their major run-through of the building. That said, and done, using the thermal reader I did find cool spots on a few of the seats in the front row of the auditorium. The moment we closed the doors to the auditorium I instantly got a chill and the hair stood out on my neck. It felt like a cold breeze passed over me. I also got anxiety when I entered Noriko’s room behind the stage. Perhaps because of the rush, I did not feel anything in the projector room and Cindy will give you some of the meter readings we got.”
Next to report in after the investigation was CINDY WINGARD, who often partners with Peterson on investigations as they compliment each others energies. Wingard is more the ‘earth mother’ type with a psychic gift reeling in, Peterson a Truthsayer of heavy male energy. “I had a heavy feeling in my chest when I was at the top of the stairs to and in the projector room.” Wingard told us. “I found it hard to breath. I captured an orb on the stairs and got the name of a decedent called Marilyn. I feel that she had tripped or fallen down those stairs at one point, and that she was handicapped in some way, not sure if it was mental or physically. As I proceeded to the auditorium, there was much activity of a paranormal nature that it just made me happy, like a party atmosphere. There was a high energy and festive feeling. I was able to secure several good orbs of spirits on film and during the time I was taking pictures I saw an orb on the screen of my camera but I could not capture it on film, it (the deceased person) was moving too fast. As most know, orbs are the aura of the deceased. One taking photos must be very careful that what they think is a real spirit orb is not dust on a lens or water etc. These were clearly spirits.
“When Wayne and I were being filmed with our meters in the auditorium in the front of the seats on the left hand side of the building (looking down from the stage) the temperature dropped tremendously. I became physically very cold. In fact my hands and arms were like ice and Wayne said the temperature dropped to 49deg on his meter. Both of us had goose bumps and the hair stood up on our arms and neck. (As you all know, spirits do not have blood in their bodies, therefore they are much colder than a living person. When in the presence of spirits the temperature drops considerably depending on the amount of entities you are dealing with or encountering.) “This being in the middle of the day, and time being a restriction, it would be interesting to return and do a more thorough investigation” Wingard said.
From the notes of investigator CATHERINE NOBLE, who is a teacher by trade, and one not fooled by imagination. She is a no-nonsense type of person, an intellect of high integrity. From what she was able to assess, “When I approached the utilitarian, nondescript building, there was a feeling of familiarity. My father was in the Air Force, and I spend many hours of my childhood on military bases. I took a quick tour of the building and grabbed the FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red) camera, and I ascended the steep stairs that led to the projection room and looked around, and I noticed the air felt dense. I circled the room with the FLIR, looking at the temperature reading and searching for abnormalities but found no significant readings. As I left the room and stood at the top of the stairs, the word “liquor” came to me very clearly. It seemed to come from a distant space, perhaps the 1940’s or 50’s. It was a tough time those years, certainly if those that were working this upstairs part of the building could sneak in a bottle or two it would be understandable.
“I put it out of my mind as I then entered the theater-this time armed with an EMF meter as well as the FLIR. The EMF meter indicated high readings around the power boxes backstage, but that needed to be discarded as this is typical and not paranormal. Once again, there were no significant readings from either tool as I weaved in and out of the rooms, avoiding the racks of costumes and stage props. I made my way back to the audience area of the theater, where I positioned myself in one of the original red, cushioned velvet-covered seats. Immediately, I could sense the bustling activity and happy excitement that would have been typical in a theatre, which after I learned the history of the building, realized especially one with the history that this one has. It appeared to be, at the time and space that I came into from the other side, a happy place.”
From the notes of investigator JUDY COOPER, who is the groups resident Healer energy, who easily brings in spirits in need of soft energy, “Soon as I sat down in the back row in the theatre seats I saw a mentally ill man sit in the seat right in front of me. He had dark hair and had bad teeth and was also missing a couple of teeth. He had a real big smile on his face and looked at me as if to say ‘hi’. He seemed really happy to be there. As I was sitting there I felt someone right behind me. (This would soon be confirmed by photographs that accompany this article). I could not see who it was but there was definitely a presence there. Right about then Danielle said she saw someone pacing back and forth in the row right behind me and took a photograph and did get this spirit’s orb on film. I had really strong senses of something in the projector room and behind the stage.
“As I approached the projection room, the energy was extremely heavy and it was hard to take a deep breath. I went back downstairs and walked behind the stage, entering Noriko’s classroom. Once there I felt tingly and my heart started pounding as if I was having high anxiety. We clearly need more time in this building.” Strange to note something that Cooper was unaware of when she encountered the mentally challenged spirit. Martin Ramirez, a resident mental patient for the final 15 years of his life (1895 -1963) and who has become a famous 20th century visual artist, known worldwide, has many of his paintings reflecting the stage proscenium of the theatre where Cooper was sitting.
From the notes of investigator DANIELLE CARPENTER, “Most of my investigation was centered in the theater.” Danielle possesses a great psychic gift trained by Bradley personally, and so it is always interesting to see what happened and transpired on her watch. She continued. “I very much enjoyed sitting in the back of the theater. I sensed a gentleman walking back and forth behind me and across the back of the theater. At one point I though I saw the entity behind Judy, so I took the first picture you see and the others to follow that are the orbs (spirit aura) of the man. The picture right behind Judy and Bob’s head was taken at the same time Judy mentioned she thought someone was standing right behind her. The bright orb in the front of them was also interesting as, both Judy and I felt the energy of another person that was more high energy.” It was my guess that this high energy person was that of Martin Ramirez who gravitated to Coopers healing energy.
Danielle continued. “As for the rest of the theater, I felt like it was a good place to be at all times considering it’s past. It was where many found solace. I also got the name of Gale Nightingale?... as well as a woman with a bun in her hair and in costume dancing around. I also wrote down that children were in the building at some point and there is a little boy that likes continuously likes hanging around there.” (Spirits come and go ~ sometimes you will pick one up, and next time they have moved on. It is an elusive business ghost busting!) Danielle continued “The upstairs projection room was extremely high energy. I immediately saw three men in period outfits of argyle vests, pants, newspaper boy type garb. They also were constantly working up there, but they made it enjoyable in their own way. I got the impression that at one time there were bottles of hard liquor lying around on the floor. I also felt like somewhere there was shoveling of coal or something into a hot stove; fire, to keep the place warm. Hard work.”
From the notes of investigator and photographer ELIZABETH HARRISON, who produces our television show Investigating the Unknown, “We arrived and started taking pictures outside the theatre. Once inside we went up to the stairs to the Projection room which had an off feeling. Danielle, Cat and I were all in the projection room at the same time. The air seemed really heavy up there and we compared notes, giving our feelings on the room. We then all went our separate ways, exploring other parts of the building. In the theatre I did not get much at first but during Wayne’s interviews I was sitting with the spirit wands which were not very active at first, but then started to point at me and then at the chair two over from me. I brought out the infra red meter to check out the chair two over, which started registering at first at 67.8 (no one had been in the chair). The air seemed to get cooler and the meter started to drop down to 54.8 then to 51.4. Shortly after the meter was back to the 67.8 where it started. I then went to the back of the stage and into Noriko’s classroom, where I got various pictures one of which appears to be a colored orb. At first I thought it could be just a kickback from the flash – however, there were two pictures taken, one right after the other, and the colored orb showed up in a different location the second time, which was certain to prove paranormal activity.”
“The other part of the investigation was the hall/tunnel to the different wards/sections when it was a hospital and the energy over in the one section I was in was extremely heavy which I had confirmed by Nancy when she had gone over to see. It was a nice confirmation for me. I recognize that we will be exploring this part of the building at another time, but the energy and photos showed extreme paranormal activity there.”
From the perspective of BOB KING, Technical expert and expert in electrical equipment, advisor and consultant in charge of equipment placement and set-up for this investigation, as well as using his talents as assistant camera man for Reppert stated he did not personally zero in on any paranormal activity, leaving that to the other crew members as he was too busy with the job at hand.
From the impressions and sightings of the Celebrities Psychic/ Life Coach NANCY BRADLEY, one of the top ten psychics in the world, “The impressions and sightings for me in the entry to this part of the building of the De Witt Center was quite impressive, with entities mulling about, seeming busy, not paying attention to us at all, meaning we were dealing with spirit imprints from several decades. I started my notes there and then went to the left and up the stairs to the projection room, down again to the theatre and then behind the stage and to Noriko Meguro’s classroom. The energy was strongest, coldest, more personally chilling, and highest in the upstairs projection room and as before mentioned four entities gave me their names. I was able to see one clearly, and he had a large mouth with big teeth smiling at me. Seemed an okay sort, blondish hair, tall, and I kept thing that with any luck we would like in the future to leave our camera equipment running there over-night at some point to zero in clearly and see who and what transpires. With an investigation of only two hours for this amount of space, what would prove to be acknowledged and provable is quite impressive, but just the tip of the iceberg that we could have uncovered (pun intended) had we been given more time. However, it is clear that this part of the building holds energy from the 40’s on, and upstairs concentrates on the elder energies, although there are some childish impressions of a more current fun type situation that crops up there also from spot to spot, not quite as heavy, but clearly, again, spotty in nature. The names that came to me are above in this article. As I exited the projection room, I felt as if someone was pushing me down the stairs, kind of in a prankish way, and I stumbled slightly as I caught my footing and asked them to stop. To that there was a snicker and light ‘ha’, and then the energy dissipated.
“When entering the theatre, it was clear that there were imprints as well as spirits. They were most interested in connecting with Cooper and Carpenter’s energy, so knowing that being in good hands, I walked onto and then behind the stage. Having been a professional dancer in my younger years, I am familiar with old theaters and the feelings of a stage. Most of them have a distant feeling of someone watching and following you as you walk onto and behind the stage, over the years there has been so much artistic charged energy in these areas. On this stage, however, it was very strong and consistent, as if you were sandwiched between many performers. Behind the stage the spirit activity seemed to be concerned with dressing and undressing and moving costumes around, not something that was of much interest to me, so I bypassed it to go directly into Noriko’s classroom. And that is where the activity really exploded.
“There was a man in spirit in her classroom who was of German heritage, and he spoke very fast in German and very loud. He was angry, and I watched him bang his fist on the piano. It is clear that spirits (and also imprints) cannot harm you or anything you have, (regardless of what you read and see on some television shows) so his temper tantrum taken out on Noriko’s lovely piano meant nothing to me except noting that he was a perfectionist, and wanted us out of there. I was in a mood to play a few chords on the piano, my not being an expert pianist of any sort, to see if I could annoy him further, but my sights were drawn to the window in her studio where I saw a man looking in from outside. Recognizing the entity as a spirit, I invited him in, and he did come in, right through the window. He had with him a brown dog, rather large, mixed breed, and it followed him happily as he went through the window, through Noriko’s classroom and to the stage area. It was the last I saw of him. There is a clear Japanese atmosphere in her classroom also, a feeling of warmth and softness which is her heritage, and I then saw the presence of a short Japanese woman, about 35 years of age. I was unable to make contact with her, but my impression is she was just observing, enjoying. There was another man I clearly saw in the room that had his shoe in his hand as if he was going to hit me with it or throw it. He did not seem to be mentally stable, but again, spirits cannot hurt you, so I calmed him as best I could, and walked away. It was an interesting part of the building, mixing energies, annoying, softness, mixed company and time-frames, compassion, softness, anger, and confusion combined with the spirit holding his one shoe over his head which showed fear.
“And then without warning or hesitation, the energy changed drastically in the classroom, as lovely voices could be heard, the piano being played and children playing, dancing around. I would remember to suggest that Noriko light a candle when she first goes into her classroom, or bring in a sage plant which will neutralize the energy. It was a very interesting room, and one we would like to explore further.”
From Gold Rush Ghosts Owner ROBERT REPPERT
“Upon arriving at the site one can surely see that it is a government built complex and that the construction was around the 1940s. The theater and church are placed in the front of the complex with barracks in rows behind. My main role was to record the interviews and oversee the set-up of equipment so my experiences were compacted to watching our cameras and remote gear. Our new remote temperature and motion sensors were deployed in the auditorium as well as the projection room upstairs. The temperature sensor, in the projection room, relayed a changing from 65-76 and back a couple of times during the monitoring but the motion detector did not go off. The sensors in the auditorium also provided a temperature variance but not as extreme as the projection room. It mainly ranged from 58-70 and bounced between them. When I inquired about any cooling systems being on I was informed that with the theater being idle that day that it would not be cost effective to have it on. With the system being off there should have been no reason for this amount of change in temperature.”
GUEST investigator RON WILLIAMS from the TV SHOW UFO CONNECTION: “At first I felt nothing at all in the building. I just went around helping Robert with the equipment and placing cameras where they could be best utilized. But when I was rolling up the cable in the back I thought I heard an exhale over my right shoulder close to my ear. I turned to see if anyone else was right behind me but the closest persons were fifteen feet away, so I knew it was not them. For a moment I thought it might have been me exhaling. So I exhaled a couple of times, but it did not sound the same.” Again someone UNSEEN took advantage of playing a prank on one of our investigators, this one as he was busy wrapping up cables.
It was a strange encounter and Ron told Robert and I about it immediately after it happened.
We never did encounter gold miner Pike Bell ! Guess he got all the gold he wanted!
HOWEVER, the final Goosebumps appeared to Noriko and all of us when we were told of an incident that happened twice to the last person to recently leave the building at night. The man had carefully turned off all the lights in the building before locking up securely. After getting into his car and driving off, looking over his shoulder at the building, be noticed the lights to Noriko’s classroom come back on through the back window of his car as he drove away. Obviously someone ELSE is teaching piano lessons in her classroom when she is not there. Someone from the ‘other side’. PHOTO: Nancy Bradley with Noriko Meguro & “Gismo”.
Yup! This building needs further exploring, and we will hopefully be going back. You will be able to see the running footage of this first investigation on our show INVESTIGATING THE UNKNOWN WITH GOLD RUSH GHOSTS INTERNATIONAL, which runs the 2nd Wed. night of each month at 8:00 pm California time on Channel 17. To get your name on our list of people to notify of show material simply go to: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact you about when this particular investigation will run. This is one you should not miss.
PHOTO OF: GOLD RUSH GHOSTS INTERNATIONAL PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS CREW from the television show INVESTIGATING THE UNKNOWN WITH GOLD RUSH GHOSTS is: In the photo below you will meet our Investigators: L to R: Cat Noble, Judy Cooper, Nancy Bradley, Liz Harrison, and Robert Reppert. L to R. top Wayne Peterson, Bob King, Laura Martucci, Geri & Tom Soley and Danielle Carpenter. In front is our star investigator who is BAILEY, our Spirit finding dog. He works for cookies! (Camera shy this time: Tyson Sheedy and Cindy Wingard.)
To report possible ghostly activity please go to: WWW.GOLDRUSHGHOSTS.COM
For piano lesson information with Noriko Meguro, please go to:
Also see: "THE TOP TEN MOST HAUNTED, SCARIEST PLACES IN THE WORLD" http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/toptenhaunted/hauntedworld/
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