An Investigation of the Paranormal at the Museum

Oct 31 2013

For many, thinking about ghosts and spiritual entities isn’t just a seasonal thing, it is a year-round activity. This past summer we were contacted by Ron Hilgers and Bradley Maurer who wanted to conduct a paranormal investigation at the Museum.

For three hours, starting at 9pm, Director of Education and Public Programs, Jennifer Patton, led them and their team of investigators around our galleries, offices, and storage spaces, to see what they could find. During the investigation, nothing came close to leaving a streak of white in Jennifer’s hair, but by the end of the night, there were definitely some moments that had no rational explanation. How did a stationary video camera turn off on its own when fresh batteries were just put in? Was it just coincidence that a voice from a spirit box immediately responded to our questions of what year it was?

This past month, the Museum staff finally listened to the audio recordings Ron and Bradley had analyzed and it seems that Fraunces Tavern holds a fair amount of paranormal activity within its walls. Although not apparent to the human eye or ear, the investigation captured some intriguing EVPs and mysterious EMF readings.

So why would a place like Fraunces Tavern hold this kind of phenomena? When it comes to older buildings, Ron believes that more paranormal activity are likely to occur due to their history over time. For Fraunces Tavern specifically, the EVPs suggest that 54 Pearl Street is a place that entities enjoyed visiting during their lifetime and either left a residual presence or is still a present entity that responded directly to our questions. Ron, who has been investigating the paranormal for over 20 years, is very interested in coming back to do further investigation in the Long Room. We’re excited to find out what else could be revealed during their next visit!

You be the judge of whether or not ghosts or spirits of the past linger in the Museum.

Are you dead or alive?


What year is it? (Jennifer says that she heard the response more clearly when she was there that night than in this clip.)


I kill. I pray.


A clip not from the spirit box. When questioning the paranormal, it was dead silent. But when we listened to the audio afterwards, there’s tapping that we definitely didn’t make or hear ourselves. What do you think we heard?


Another clip not from the spirit box, asking about the British occupation in the city. Quietly, somebody or something says, “It was awful…” 


The man walking through the gallery is an investigator. As soon as he leaves the empty gallery, the lights go out without any explanation and come back on a couple minutes later.


Ron Hilgers can be contacted at