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On Saturday, 9/26/09, our paranormal group of five showed up early afternoon at the MARS building at 734 W. Historic Mitchell Street. The group consists of psychic Kath, our tech. guy Chris, Angie who is a natural with investigations, our newest member Sarah (an American Indian), and myself, Carol, a sensitive. We all bring are own uniqueness to the group. We were greeted by John Klein and two brothers, Matt and Brian Berg. John is the manager of the building and the two brothers helped design and build the haunted house sets.
HISTORY OF THE MARS BUILDING
The building dates to the late 1880s and has been home to several businesses in its 120+ years: a retail bedding and furniture store (1912), radio and electronics store (in the 1940s) and Mayor-Krom Clothing Store (1985). A doctor's office and dental clinic once occupied the second floor, as did several apartments from the 1900s through 1950s. Currently, there is a small business on the first floor. In August of 1993, then owner Jim Mars obtained a permit for a Halloween theme haunted house as the former apartments could not be rented. An idea to use it for storage did not materialize. WHAT happened in this building?
From talking with many people over the years, the story goes that on October 3, 1943, Mr. Jacob Milton lost his job, came home drunk and accidentally shot one of his children. Rather than face up to the consequences, he shot his wife, the rest of his children, and then committed suicide. Also killed was a babysitter who lived in the building.
Our group had a walk through of the haunted house with John and the two Berg brothers. They pointed out several areas that reportedly have activity in, including right off the main entrance, the autopsy room and the bathroom. Matt Berg does not like going past that room. Chris then set up his equipment of video cameras with DVR (digital voice recorder), and we turned on the EMF meters. From the entrance to the end we checked out everything, sometimes twice. A video cam was stationed in the bathroom and another spot. Two EVPS were recorded, both with a man's voice. It seems to be the sound of water splashing, perhaps with a shower curtain being pulled back in the tub. The words, "True, that's right." are very distinct and clear, and spoken with a very stern, forceful and no nonsense voice. The second recording one hears "I'll change and a few seconds later." "What?" "What?" Thirteen seconds later are two LOUD high pitched electrical noises that no one heard while recording was going on.
Sarah and Angie had their digital cameras on, and also ;used a thermometer and EMF meter. Carol took pictures using 35mm 400 speed film and had her EMF meter. Kath walked through several rooms and felt a man's presence almost immediately. She communicated with Mr. Milton, who claimed he could not pass over to the light, that he needed punishment and wouldn't be forgiven for what he did. Kath told him that God forgives, and that we weren't there to judge him, that he should be truly sorry for his actions. There was silence, then a loud rap underneath Kath's feet. Carol heard this as well.
Kath and Carol then explored further and were joined by Sarah and Angie in the haunted house "autopsy" room. Kath got a very strong feeling that Mrs. Milton was murdered in this room, formerly the kitchen area. The next room was the bathroom, complete with iron tub, sink and medicine cabinet. The average temperature in the place registered 71 to 73 degrees. Bathroom readings were from 63 to 80.5 degrees. The EMF meters registered in the middle of each meter, as they did in other spots. Again, everyone checked out the rest of the second floor including where the doctor and dental offices once were.
Kath and Carol had been in the bathroom area three times with nothing happening. The fourth time changed that. Just outside the bathroom, both touched the door frame separately and got feelings of death, like a little girl was murdered in the tub. Kath smelled blood so strongly that she almost got sick to her stomach. Carol told her to get out of the room to get some air, and Kath faintly heard this but she was transfixed to the spot. She had gone back in time to that day when Mr. Milton murdered his little girl in the bath tub. Carol again told her to leave the bathroom and she finally came out of her semi-trance. It took her awhile to compose herself.
We continued exploring the rooms and noticed the "Killer Clowns" area, then walked through other rooms. Carol was drawn to the bathroom, went back and took pictures. In the meantime, Kath walked about, and Chris and Carol joined her. Kath stopped dead in her tracks, telling us she felt a spider on her neck. Chris put his flashlight on and nothing was there. The next moment she felt a sharp pain near her neck area, like a stabbing. Was she reliving Mr. Milton in a fit of rage, grabbing for his wife's neck and stabbing her first before the final kill? A good possibility. Chris went to check on his video cams, Kath left rubbing her neck and Carol checked out other rooms.
Seconds later, Kath asked for Chris. Nothing. Sarah had joined Carol at this point when Carol's name was called out; Both went to meet up with Kath, who was standing by the "Killer Clown" chair. She said that a man was by her with his hands on her neck and she couldn't move. Only then did the EMF meters finally start flashing in the red zone. (The volume on the EMF meters were silenced upon the investigation as not to interfere with audio.) Carol told the man to leave Kath alone, that we weren't there to harm him, but talk and understand him. "Him" being Mr. Milton. Mr. Milton left, but the presence of two children were there. Immediately cold spots and the EMF meter flashing red again. The children ran around the legs of Kath, Sarah and Carol, playing ring around the rosy and wanted us to play hide and seek. The brother Mikey (about 5 or 6 years old) was with his little sister Carol who was four. They were very playful and enjoyed themselves but did not like the clowns painted on the walls or chair. When they left, the EMF meter stopped briefly until Sarah's spirit guide entered. Kath picked up that he had been a shaman, and of course the EMF light flashed.
Moving on, Kath talked to Angelina, the babysitter who lived in the building and killed by Mr. Milton. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She did pass on, going to the light. There was another Milton child shot, and little Mikey said he tried to run out the front door but never made it.
Kath, Carol and Angie heard other raps throughout the second floor and felt several cold spots.
At the end of the investigation, Kath talked with John and the two brothers about what happened, while the rest wrapped it up. Carol was again drawn back inside, and went with Matt Berg back to the "Killer Clown" area. The EMF meter flashed red steadily and a cold draft was felt by both. On the way out to the ticket booth, the meter again flashed steadily. One of the children was listening to the adults conversing.
With EVPs, many cold spots, EMF meters going off, knocking underfoot and other rapping noises, communicating with the dead and the fresh smell of blood in the haunted bathroom, thermometer variations, there is no doubt the MARS building is haunted.
In fact, a former female tenant by the name of Theresa Melokowski died in the front room apartment on May 27, 1910, so she says. This has yet to be verified. She also gets a kick out of Halloween, and laughs at the girls who scream, and the guys who act "macho" but are really scared. People have seen her on the tour as a shadow person or "gauzy." She said she has hidden work tools, and that the Berg brothers can find the missing hammer in the basement, which just may be haunted as well. Half a concrete floor, the other half dirt. Typical of a building from the 1880s. Was there a murder down there? Bodies buried? Perhaps a future investigation is in order.