Who, or what, still calls the Hanchett-Bartlett museum home?

Print Article

WIPIT paranormal investigator Chris Yancey uses small green lights to attempt catching evidence in the basement of the Hanchett-Bartlett Homestead.

If the walls of the beautiful Hanchett-Bartlett Homestead could talk, they would have many tales to share. One special group that recently visited yearned to hear them — straight from the source.

A paranormal investigation of the large two-story 1857 limestone home, located at 2149 St. Lawrence Ave., took place on July 26 as a fundraiser for the Beloit Historical Society. Two groups of locals were able to go inside and seek evidence.

“We thought it would be really interesting to see if we could capture some evidence of activity while promoting an interest in history at the same time,” said board member Jennifer Scott.

James Hanchett, a contractor and dam builder, constructed the Hanchett-Bartlett homestead in 1857. The home is made of locally quarried limestone, and Hanchett lived there with his wife and 10 children.

The Herrick Bartlett family moved into the home in 1901. Over 60 years later it was donated to the Beloit Historical Society for preservation. Since that time the home has been cared for as a museum.

Last year a medium, Amber Hawkinson, did a walk through at the Hanchett-Bartlett homestead. She claimed to sense spirits not only in the home, but also outside near the barn.

Recurrent stories of ghosts also piqued the curiosity of historical society board members, pushing them toward really trying to find out if something, or someone, still calls the residence home.

“The ghost hunt is a way to raise funds and show people that history can be fun and interesting,” Beloit Historical Society Director Paul Kerr told the Beloit Daily News. “One of the stories about the Hanchett-Bartlett house is that there is a lady in the dining room who moves things around.”

Docents say they have also heard voices and the sound of children playing in the home when nobody else is there. School kids taking tours have also claimed to see a phantom cat in the upstairs windows.

Although Hawkinson’s reading was shared last fall, this July marked the first time members of the public were invited to seek their own evidence of paranormal activity after-hours at the homestead.

Findings from the paranormal investigation will be revealed on Oct. 24 from 6-9 p.m. during a dinner at the Lincoln Center. Tickets are $40 for the general public to attend.

“I know people are anxious to find out what happened,” said Beloit Historical Society board member Mike King. “Can you imagine seeing that house for the first time in the dark?”

Although many participants at the investigation were “first timers” willing to brave the dark hallways and cavernous basement, The Wisconsin and Illinois Paranormal Investigation Team (WIPIT) were on hand to help.

Based out of Ordfordville, the group brought a handful of researchers to share theories on ghostly activity and teach about the large variety of equipment used during paranormal investigations.

“When our team goes to a location, we are not there to debunk claims of activity,” said WIPIT founder Laura Baker. “We are trying to see if the claims happen while we are there.”

Baker, her husband Mitch, and their crew prepared for the day’s event by wiring cameras and audio equipment to capture footage at the home. They also placed motion detectors in places like the cupola.

A 360-degree evidence collection method is used by WIPIT, meaning that the equipment is deliberately placed in a way which lends itself to cross referencing during film and audio review.

“There is a lot to sort through when doing evidence review and we want to eliminate any kind of contamination,” Baker said. “For this investigation we have about 80 hours of footage.”

WIPIT got down to business at 7 p.m. on July 26, when a group of enthusiastic visitors arrived. The amateurs were briefed on paranormal investigation etiquette and then invited to walk through the home while carrying audio recorders and other devices.

“I really thought that it would be worthwhile to go into the house with these tools to see if we could capture evidence,” King said of the decision to pursue a full paranormal investigation at the homestead.

While the popularity of “ghost hunting” television shows has exploded, Baker said visitors at the Hanchett-Bartlett event were able to see what it is really like to be a paranormal investigator — without any frills or fancy editing.

According to individuals who attended the ghost hunting event, there seemed to be something strange happening at the home at times...but community members will have to attend the reveal dinner to find out the details.

“Sometimes you don’t catch any evidence on an investigation, but when I took a group into the house, we did have a potential personal experience that may have been caught on one of the recorders,” Baker said. “I think the house might have some real surprises.”

For more information on the Beloit Historical Society, visit www.beloithistoricalsociety.com. WIPIT can be contacted by visiting www.wisconsinpit.org or ‘liking’ their page on Facebook.

The Hanchett-Bartlett Homestead, 2149 St. Lawrence Ave., is rumored to have ghostly activity taking place. 

Print Article

Read More News

Johnson returns to London to drum up support for Brexit deal


October 18, 2019 at 5:59 am | LONDON (AP) — After winning the backing of European Union leaders for his new Brexit deal , Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in London Friday looking to secure enough support to get the deal through ...


Read More

Manpower: 3Q Earnings Snapshot


October 18, 2019 at 5:56 am | MILWAUKEE (AP) _ ManpowerGroup Inc. (MAN) on Friday reported third-quarter profit of $146.1 million. The Milwaukee-based company said it had net income of $2.42 per share. Earnings, adjusted for ...


Read More

Whistleblower Alleges Medicare Fraud At Iconic Seattle-Based Health Plan


October 18, 2019 at 6:50 am | Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected nonprofit health insurance plans, is accused of bilking Medicare out of millions of dollars in a federal whistleblow...


Read More

In Hamburg, ‘Gesundheit’ Means More Than A Wish For Good Health


October 18, 2019 at 6:50 am | KHN correspondent Shefali Luthra reported this story from Germany as a 2019 Arthur F. Burns Fellow. HAMBURG, Germany — Researchers around the world hail Germany for its robust health care system:...


Read More

Contact Us

(608) 365-8811
149 State Street
Beloit, WI 53511

©2019 Beloit Daily News Terms of Use Privacy Policy