Shepherd & Schaller Sporting Goods
Investigators Blaschka, Coscio and Spialek of the WPRS (Wisconsin Paranormal Research Society) were contacted by D.J. Slater of the Wausau Daily Herald concerning continued reports of unexplained activity at Shepherd and Schaller Sporting Goods. Shepherd & Schaller is currently located at 324 Scott Street in Wausau, Wisconsin. Research tells us that the building was built in 1880 and opened originally as Gustav Kishel General Merchandise. The building is also the former site of the first JC Penney’s in Wausau (also the first store east of the Mississippi) and longtime home of the Wausau Pilot which operated there from 1893 to 1941. JC Penney’s moved from the site in 1956. Shepherd and Schaller opened their second store at the site in 1961. Blaschka was asked by the owner and Slater to perform an investigation at Shepherd & Schaller’s business site to verify the paranormal activity that is occurring there. The WPRS agreed and decided to investigate the site again. The first investigation was conducted by the WPRS on October 31, 2002. This investigation took place on October 27th, 2009. Our contact at the business site was the owner Robb Shepherd.
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY THAT WAS REPORTED
A recorded interview session was conducted on October 27th, 2009 at the business site with our contact Robb Shepherd. Mr. Shepherd relayed the following possible paranormal activity to investigators Blaschka, Coscio and Spialek. Also some of the information was relayed to our group from our earlier investigation in 2002. Some of the earlier information was relayed to us incorrectly and has now been updated. Most of the activity listed has occurred in the building from the 1970’s to present day.
1. Strong feelings of a friendly presence. Workers often feel that the presence is watchful of their work quality.
2. Workers at the site named the possible presence “Eddy” who was a former maintenance worker when JC Penney’s occupied the site. However, Eddy is not the actual name of that former employee.
3. Lights in the upstairs stockroom turn on and off by unseen hands.
4. One worker reported that two separate chunks of plaster flew off the wall at her while she was ascending the attic area also known as Eddy’s room.
5. While working alone in the building an employee had left an open can of soda on a shelf in the basement area. When the worker returned he found that at least a third of the soda had been poured out of the can on the shelf. The can was never moved from its original position.
6. Two pet dogs were in the store one evening when one of them wandered off. Later the owner of the dog went to find it. It eventually was found in the former ballet room. The dog appeared to be very frightened by something unknown.
7. Door alarm is often set off with no apparent explanation.
8. One employee on several occasions was throwing empty merchandise boxes into an adjacent stairwell that leads from the basement area. A few minutes later when that employee went back to stack the boxes they were found already stacked by unseen hands.
9. During the 1970’s two employees were stacking several hundred boxes of cross country boots in the stockroom. Suddenly they heard an unknown voice and felt compelled to leave; suddenly all of the boxes were thrown violently through the stockroom as they left.
10. On a few occasions in the later added addition to the building, hats would fly from a hat rack without the aid of hands.
11. Several years ago a psychic visited the site and reported that she felt a very strong presence in the Northwest end of the store.
INVESTIGATION RESULTS AND CONCLUSION
The investigation of Shepherd and Schaller took place on October 27th, 2009 from approximately 6PM to 10PM. Investigators Blaschka, Coscio and Spialek were present. During the investigation dozens of digital photos were shot in all areas of the building. No unexplainable anomalies were captured on film. Several temperature readings were obtained in all areas of the building. Readings ranged from 68 to 70 degrees F on the main level, 66 to 71 degrees F in the basement level, and 53 to 67 degrees F in the various upper levels of the building. The entire building was scanned with EMF meters in an attempt to obtain baseline readings of the site. EMF readings in the basement level were on average between 3mg. and 7mg. with higher readings of 15mg. to 20mg. in the boiler room area, readings of 2mg. to 6mg. on the main level and lower readings in the upper levels of 1mg. to 2 mg with exception to the bike room which had high readings of 25mg. to 35mg. All of these EMF readings were static in nature and none were obtained during the walk through that we felt were possibly paranormal in nature. Also the structure was scanned with a Geiger counter to look for anomalous radiation. The readings averaged within the norm for most typical buildings of similar age. During the investigation we conducted sessions of audio recordings in all of the areas with no paranormal anomalies. One EVP session was conducted by Coscio in the attic area (also known as Eddy’s room) with no anomalous results. We set up a trigger experiment in the basement area where boxes were stacked on several occasions with no explanation. We threw boxes in a scattered position in the area in question. During that experiment we decided to monitor the area from both access points with a digital night shot DVR camera system and monitor it remotely from another area to see if the boxes would become stacked during our vigil. The boxes never moved from the position we placed them in but we did experience substantial camera interference during the vigil which we were unable to correct. About 1 ½ hours into the vigil our cameras became unexplainably unplugged. This researcher could not find a reasonable explanation as to how those cameras became unplugged as a researcher was present at all times in the area. However it is possible that someone inadvertently dislodged the wires but it is not probable. In conclusion the WPRS did not find any extreme paranormal evidence to ascertain whether Shepherd and Schaller Sporting Goods may be truly experiencing genuine paranormal activity. While it is noted that several credible witnesses have experienced what they believe to be paranormal activity none of our instruments or observations found any strong evidence of such during this visit. The incident concerning the camera wires becoming unplugged was unusual but not compelling enough evidence to say the site is truly haunted. The interference during the video monitoring was most likely due to magnetic field disruption from the boiler area which is near were most of our camera wires were placed. The boiler area had very high EMF readings which could reasonably account for this disruption in transmission. Subsequently the camera system was field tested after the investigation and no issues were found with the operation of that system. It is possible that we may revisit the site in the future at Shepherd and Schaller’s request to further investigate.
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