Elk's Club #248 - 414 Scott Street - Wausau, Wisconsin
MAY 25, 2002 1st INVESTIGATION
Investigator Roll was contacted by Scott Fritsche after giving a talk to a group. Mr. Fritsche asked Investigator Roll if the WPRS would be interested in investigating the Elk'sClub, of which he is employed. The Elk’s Lodge officially formed in Wausau on December 19th, 1892. The Clarke House was originally built in 1875. The first Elk’s Lodge wasin the old J.C.Clarke house which was located on the same site of the current lodge. The Elk’s acquired the home in 1914. The Clarke House was razed to make way for anew Elk’s Lodge. It was constructed on the same site as the Clarke home in downtown Wausau and was completed in 1923.
THE FIRST ELK’S LODGE IN WAUSAU
THE CURRENT ELK’S LODGE BUILT IN 1923
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY THAT WAS REPORTED
An interview with Mr. Fritsche, and other members of the Elk's Club, was conducted on May 17th, 2002. During the interview, Mr. Fritsche mentioned a number of paranormal experiences he had.
•Six months prior to our interview, on a Sunday evening, Mr. Fritsche had locked up the building and was working in his office. As he worked late into the evening, he was overcome with a sense of
'foreboding'. He stated that he felt like an authority figure was reprimanding him. Yet no sound could be heard.
•The Lodge Historian had an experience in the bowling alley, which is located in the basement. He clearly heard furniture being moved in the banquet hall, which is located directly above the alley. When
he went to check the room, there was no one to be found and the furniture was untouched.
•People who work in the Lodge tell the newer workers that "if you hear footsteps directly behind you while working in the 2nd floor ballroom. Don't worry, he's okay."
•One of the members exited the 1st floor bathroom and entered the lobby in July of 1998. He felt a force trying to push or lift him into the air from behind, as he walked to the banquet room. His feet never
left the ground.
•People have often told Mr. Fritsche that they are very often drawn to the main hall's mirror. The mirror is placed directly over the mantle of the hall's fireplace.
The investigation started at 9:05pm on May 25th, 2002. Investigators Roll, Blaschka and Ludwig were present. The average temperature of the interior of the building was 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Many
rolls of 35mm color film were taken of the interior of the 1st and 2nd floors of the building. EMF readings were taken on the 1st and 2nd floors as well. The readings were widely varied. The Night shot
video camera was used in the bar in conjunction with an EMF meter. A second camera filmed the lobby and monitored the temperature in the room. Filming started at 9:32pm and ended at 11:20pm
EVP recording was done in the bar as well.
The WPRS ended the investigation at 1:00am. After analysis of video and audio tape and review of the pictures taken of the Elk's Club, we found that we had inconclusive evidence of paranormal activity.
The Night Shot camera picked up an orb at midnight, but this could be attributed to the air flow created by the air conditioning system. EVP was inconclusive due to the air conditioning noises as well as
the refrigeration system in the bar. It is possible that we may revisit the site in the future at Mr. Fritsche's request.
AUGUST 5, 2013 2nd INVESTIGATION
The Wausau Paranormal Research Society approached the Elk’s Lodge Exalted Ruler, Kevin McCarthy in regards to allowing our group access to the lodge in order to perform an investigation of the site. The WPRS has not had the opportunity to perform an investigation there since 2002. Over the past 11 years the WPRS has had many improvements and additions of equipment and technology. We felt that these changes may allow for our group to detect paranormal activity present at the site that we may have been unable to detect with the technology used in 2002. Mr. McCarthy approached the Elk’s Lodge Board to ask permission for us to investigate. A vote was conducted regarding the request and the majority was in favor.
An investigation date of August 5, 2013 was chosen. The lodge wishes for us to debunk some of the activity as well as validate some of the claims. The information gained by the investigation will be reviewed with the board.
Paranormal Activity Reported
Activity occurring in the lodge to date includes the following:
· A former lodge manager had locked up the building and was working in his office. As he worked late into the evening, he was overcome with a sense of 'foreboding'. He stated that he felt like an authority figure was reprimanding him. Yet no audible sound could be heard.
· A former lodge historian had an experience while in the bowling alley, which is located in the basement. He clearly heard furniture being moved, the clanking of silverware and noises associated with a party in the banquet hall, which is located directly above the alley. When he went to check the banquet hall no one was present and the furniture was untouched.
· People who work at the Elk’s, tell the newer workers that "if you hear footsteps directly behind you while working in the 2nd floor ballroom, don't be worried, he's okay."
· One of the members exited the 1st floor bathroom and entered the lobby area. He felt the sensation of a force trying to push or lift him into the air from behind as he walked toward the banquet room. However his feet never physically left the ground.
· People have stated that they are drawn to the main hall's mirror. The mirror is placed directly over the mantle of the lodge fireplace on the second floor.
· An apparition of a man in a 1940’s style white suit is sometimes seen in the first floor bar demanding service.
· Cold spots are also reported near the fireplace area.
· Poker hands have been found in the past placed on a table in the basement with no explanation as to who placed them there. The area that is adjacent was once known as the poker room.
· The apparition of a woman in a brides dress has been seen near the dressing room that is adjacent to the lobby area outside the ballroom. Some have also witnessed the apparition’s reflection in the mirror located in that room.
The WPRS investigated the lodge on Monday August 5th, 2013 from approximately 8PM to 2AM. Investigators Blaschka, Beaudry, Duginski, A. Blaschka, Spialek, Williams and Boller were present.
Basic equipment used during the investigation included traditional digital cameras, digital voice recorders, Tri Field Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) meters, a four channel DVR camera system, K-2 meter, Infrared and Full Spectrum cameras, laser grid, REM Pod, motion detectors, Ovilus, vibration sensors and infrared/ambient thermal probes. We placed our DVR cameras in the areas of the building that have reported the highest amount of activity.
Camera #1 was placed in the lower level bar area. We set up a table near the old poker room and placed various poker hands on the table. We also set a number wheel on that table and set the wheel to 7 in hopes that something may move it during the night. This camera was to monitor any changes in the placement of those cards or the wheel.
Camera #2 was placed in the third floor women’s bathroom changing area. We directed the view of the camera toward the sitting area off the ballroom.
Camera #3 was placed by the second floor lobby mirror. The camera was trained toward the guest lobby area so that we could monitor any changes or movement in this area.
Camera #4 was placed in the banquet area to monitor any changes in the environment.
We began by taking a tour of the building. Duginski sketched a map of the building layout for recording our measurements. EMF and temperature measurements were taken. Also many infrared and full spectrum photographs were taken in various areas inside the building. Several standard digital photographs were taken throughout as a comparison standard.
The first floor had temperatures between 73 and 78 degrees, with EMF readings between 0.3 and 4.0 Milligauss. The second floor had temperatures between 72 and 81 degrees, with EMF readings between 0.4 and 4.0 Milligauss. The third floor temperatures were between 70 and 77 degrees with EMF readings between 0.0 and 1.0 Milligauss. The fourth floor area commonly referred to as “Charlie’s Heaven” had temperature readings between 70 and 71 degrees with no measurable EMF readings. There were no Geiger readings measured during the evening. During the collection of our base line readings we found no anomalous EMF or temperature variances that could be considered paranormal in nature.
After our base readings were collected we formed a group of investigators to perform EVP sessions in the lower bar, the third floor sitting area and in the upstairs storage area (Charlie’s Heaven). One investigator always stayed behind to monitor the DVR system for any activity as we had started recording footage prior to our EVP sessions. We switched out the camera monitoring person during each EVP session and only one session was conducted at a time to avoid the chance of noise contamination. Upon later review of our EVP evidence we found only one recording that may have produced evidence of paranormal activity. During our session conducted in the lower bar we captured an EVP twice stating what sounds like, “Randy” or “Randall”. This occurred around 1:05AM and was not heard by anyone during the recording session. It is interesting to note that we had just asked whatever may be present in the room to tell us its name. Approximately five seconds prior to us asking that question we received what appears to be an answer. Fifteen seconds later we captured the same name stated again but a bit louder this time.
We took several hundred photographs throughout the lodge and upon their review we found three questionable pictures. Two of them have an “orb” present and both were taken in the banquet area. The other photograph was captured facing the main lobby from the banquet area. In the far upper right side of the photograph a strange unexplained light can be seen.
ORB CAPTURED IN THE 2ND FLOOR BANQUET AREA
ANOTHER ORB CAPTURED IN THE BANQUET AREA
UNEXPLAINED LIGHT IN THE LOBBY AREA
Upon review of our DVR footage we captured two pieces of footage on the third floor near the area at the top of the staircase. Two unexplainable bursts of light can be seen about one second apart from each other. This anomaly occurred around 12:30 AM. About one hour later again an orb that seems to cast its own light travels from the ballroom area across the lobby area and vanishes.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Upon review and consideration of all the evidence collected we are unable to confirm or deny that the Elk’s Lodge has been experiencing paranormal activity. Many credible members of the club have had personal experiences over the many decades that the club has been in existence. Some of these experiences can be explained through reasonable means but others have no explanation. The evidence we captured on August 5th seems to point at some possible paranormal activity. The EVP that was captured in the basement bar area we are unable to explain reasonably. The bursts of energy captured on our DVR camera system and the light moving from the ballroom to the lobby are unusual and I am not able to explain definitively what may have caused this. The photos that we took that captured orbs and a bright light may just simply be dust in the air and/or light refraction. For now the stories and personal accounts will remain a mystery. We thank the lodge for their trust in our group and hope to investigate the site again in the spring of 2014.
MARCH 29, 2014 INVESTIGATION
We returned once again to the Elk’s Lodge #248 in Wausau, Wisconsin to conduct another evening investigation of the site. Present at this investigation was Blaschka, A. Blaschka, Williams, Spialek, Beaudry, Von Gnechten and Shaw. We began our investigation at 8:00PM. The building was not cleared of public until midnight so we concentrated our efforts in areas that were not occupied. The investigation ended at 3:00 AM.
Further Paranormal Activity Reported
New activity occurring in the lodge to date includes the following:
· A longtime lodge employee shared her experience that had occurred about one year ago. While descending the Westside staircase that leads to the lower bar the employee stated that she came face to face with a man ascending the staircase as she rounded the corner of the stairs. She described this man as being about 6 foot tall and wearing a black suit. As fast as she had encountered the entity it had disappeared.
· Several lodge members reported to us that a few weeks prior to our investigation they had been working near the ballroom area and had heard what sounded like the doors on either side of the stage had been slammed several times. Upon inspection of the area they found nothing out of place.
Basic equipment used during the investigation included traditional digital cameras, digital voice recorders, Tri Field Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) meters, a four channel DVR camera system, Infrared and Full Spectrum cameras, laser grids, REM Pod, Ovilus, and infrared/ambient thermal probes. We placed our DVR cameras in the areas of the building that have reported the highest amount of activity.
Camera #1 was placed in the 2nd floor hallway. We chose this location due to the activity we experienced in that area during our last investigation.
Camera #2 was placed in the downstairs bar.
Camera #3 was placed in the main lobby area facing toward the bathrooms.
Camera #4 was placed in the ballroom facing the stage area.
We conducted several EVP sessions. Two of them were conducted in the lower bar area and one other was conducted in the ballroom. During those sessions we captured some EVP’s and one disembodied voice. During our second session in the lower bar Blaschka and Von Gnechten heard what sounded like the phrase “wow”. Thinking that team member Spialek had said this they asked her what she meant by that and she replied that she never said anything. This word was heard by the investigators ears as well as captured on our voice recorders. Upon review it is unclear if the word that is heard was wow or now.
A second EVP was also captured in the lower bar. On that recording a whistle can be heard. Like the previous recording it was also heard with the naked ear.
A third EVP was captured in the ballroom. During the recording you can hear what sounds like a male sigh or moan. This was not physically heard by the researchers during the session.
We also captured an anomaly on our infrared DVR system in the ballroom. At 1:15AM
an orb shaped object is seen moving slowly from the stage area directly toward the camera, stopping momentarily and hovering toward the top left of the frame, them disappearing. It is unclear whether this event was paranormal or just simply dust. However dust usually does not behave in this manner.
In conclusion we again feel that the Elks Lodge has been subject of some minor intermittent paranormal activity. We hope to continue our research of this site with the permission of the Elk’s Lodge.
JULY 3, 2015 INVESTIGATION
We returned again to the Elk’s Lodge #248 in Wausau, Wisconsin to conduct another evening investigation of the site. Present at this investigation was Blaschka, Williams, Spialek, Beaudry, and von Gnechten. We began our investigation at 7:00PM. The building was not cleared completely until 10:00 PM so we concentrated our efforts in areas that were not occupied. The investigation ended at 1:00 AM.
Further Paranormal Activity Reported
New activity occurring in the lodge to date includes the following:
• One of the lodge bartenders has seen what appears to be a woman in white during the past few months. She has been seen in the lower level bar area on two separate occasions.
Basic equipment used during the investigation included traditional digital cameras, digital voice recorders, Tri Field Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) meters, a four channel DVR camera system, Infrared and Full Spectrum cameras, and REM Pod. We placed our DVR cameras in the areas of the building that have reported the highest amount of activity recently.
Camera #1 was placed near the entry to the lower level bar area.
Camera #2 was placed on the staircase leading to the lower level bar.
Camera #3 was placed near the stage in the ballroom area.
Camera #4 was placed at the entry to the ballroom area.
We conducted several EVP sessions. One was conducted in the lower bar area, one was performed in the kitchen area and one other was conducted in the ballroom. During those sessions we did not capture any anomalies. We also did not capture any unexplained activity during the time that our DVR cameras were running.
One personal experience was realized during the evening. While Blaschka was sitting in the central command area on the main level of the club he saw what appeared to be a shadow near the staircase. The shadow resembled a human arm that crossed the bannister of the staircase. It was present for only a few seconds and we were unable to determine what caused the shadow.
In conclusion we again feel that the Elks Lodge has been subject of some minor intermittent paranormal activity. We hope to continue our research of this site with the permission of the Elk’s Lodge in the coming future.
JULY 2, 2016 INVESTIGATION
We once again returned to the Elk’s Lodge during its shutdown week to continue our paranormal research at that location. No new activity has been reported since our last visit.
We arrived at the site at approximately 7:00PM. During this visit we decided to try a new approach during the investigation. We made the decision to not use our DVR system but rather use a back to basics approach to our investigation for the evening. We started by taking a walk through of the property to make sure than no one was present in the building and to discuss what areas to focus on for the evening.
We officially began the investigation by taking many infrared and full spectrum photographs throughout the entire building. After reviewing them we found two pictures that we feel may be paranormal in nature. The first photo was taken on a storage area that is located in the ballroom area. It depicts two orbs in the
foreground. Orbs are thought to be the manifestation of spirit energy. Out of the dozens of photographs we took this was the only one that had orbs in it. The second photograph was taken from the ballroom area toward the lobby area. If you look at the photo you will see a couch with coffee table through the doorway to the right. On the couch an unidentified figure is seen on or in front of it. We are unable to explain what that image is.
After we were finished taking pictures we decided to do short 5 to 10 minute EVP sessions throughout the lodge. After each session we listened to all of our recordings immediately in order to see if we captured any responses. During one of those sessions at approximately 10:35pm we captured a unexplainable growl or groan in the first level basement bar area, nearer the bowling alley entrance side of the bar. We are unable to account for what may have caused this sound. During previous investigations it was not unusual for us to capture EVP’s in and around the bar area.
Around 10:45pm we were preparing to do an EVP session in the ballroom lobby area. While we were all discussing things we heard what sounded like a female whimper or whine. We investigated what may have caused the sound but were unable to explain the noise we heard.
At 10:50pm investigators Blaschka and von Gnechten were sitting in the 2nd floor lobby. Both of us heard footsteps coming down the main staircase. We went to see who was on the stairs but no one was present near the stairs.
At approximately 10:55pm investigator Sczygelski was in the back kitchen area were she observed a quarter sized ball of light move through that area. After a few seconds it dissipated.
Around 11:00pm investigator Blaschka was again sitting in the 2nd floor lobby area when he saw a dark shadow cast on the door frame leading into the Antler room. While observing the moving shadow Blaschka approached that area and asked who was there with no reply. After about 10 seconds the shadow dissipated and was gone. After this occurred we decided to place a REM Pod and motion detector in that room to see if any further activity would occur. We also placed vibration detectors on the staircase to alert us to any movement that would occur during the evening.
We ended our investigation around 3:30 am and did not experience any other activity during the remaining balance of the evening. It is interesting to note that all the activity occurred during a 45 minute span. Based on the activity and experiences we were party to, it is again safe to say that the lodge does have some sort of sporadic paranormal activity. We will most likely continue to do future investigations of the lodge when opportunity presents itself.
JULY 5, 2017 INVESTIGATION
We returned to the Elk’s Lodge during its shutdown week to continue our paranormal research at the location. We arrived at the site at approximately 6:00PM. We started by taking a walk through of the property with the Exhaulted Ruler to make sure that no one was present in the building and that all doors were open so we would have access to all areas of the lodge. We also discussed what areas to focus on for the evening and where camera placement would be for the night.
Prior to the ER leaving, one new story was learned that occurred back in the early spring of this year. A lodge member described a personal experience that occurred in the main lobby area. The story explained to us was the mirror image of what investigator von Gnechten and myself had experienced back in July 2016 by the Antleer Room. Every detail was exactly the same with the only exception being the time of the day that it occurred. What lends even more crediability to the experience is the fact that the Elk’s member that experienced it had no knowledge of our prior experience.
Once the ER left the building we began to set up our DVR cameras and system. We decided to place camera #1 on the third floor facing the Ballroom area. Camera #2 was placed at street level panning up toward the Antleer Room from the staircase. Camera #3 was placed on the second floor stairway landing panning down at the Antleer Room. Camera #4 was placed in the first floor lobby area facing toward the bar and Antleer Room entrance. We decided to focus on these areas due to the activity earlier described in the Antleer Room as well as the history of activity in the lobby and ballroom area.
Our newly developed Kinect Mapping system was set up in the Antleer Room in hopes of capturing any images of a presence there. Motion detectors were placed in both the North and South staircases. A Rem Pod was also placed on the sofa on the third floor in the ballroom lobby and another placed in the Antleer Room. Vibration sensors were placed on the sofa in the Ballroom lobby and one placed in the South side staircase.
Throughout the course of the evening we had little to no response from our monitoring devices. We detected no images on the Kinect system. We conducted three EVP sessions. One session was held in the Ballroom and Ballroom lobby area. The second session was held in the women’s dressing area directly off the lobby by the Ballroom. The third session was conducted in the basement bar area. We captured a recording in the women’s dressing area of possibly a female or child's voice. It is very hard to make out but it sounds possibly like it says “I really think I’m …. ……”. It was audibly heard by some of the investigators, making this a disembodied voice. Two other recordings were captured in the basement bar area. Both of these were heard audibly by investigators. During the session a door can be heard slamming and later a creaking floor sound coming from upstairs as if someone were walking around on the floor above us. No one was upstairs during this time.
Upon review of our DVR footage we captured a large orb that seems to move unnaturally toward the camera from the women’s dressing area that’s near the Ballroom. This orb was captured at approximately 10:19PM and no one was in the area at that time.
We ended our investigation around 2:30 AM and did not experience any other activity during the balance of the evening. We plan to again return next July during the shut down week to continue our research of the site.
*Any use or reproduction
of this documentation is prohibited without the sole
permission of Shawn Blaschka or the WPRS.