The Spaulding House Antique Shop - Janesville, WI

Date: April 26, 2003
Location: Janesville, WI
Investigators: Jennifer Lauer, Amanda Otto, Joella Herrington, Mark LaVallee, Bernie Fullington
Equipment Used: Tri-Field Natural EMF Meter, Analog EMF Gauss Meter, 3 Video recorders with Night vision, 3 camera video recording survellience equipment, (3) 35 mm cameras, Digital audio recorder, Audio enhancing devices, Non-contact Thermal Scanner, Motion Detection Devices
Film Speed: 400 ASA
# Rolls Taken: 6 Rolls of 24 Exposure
Moon Phase: Full
Start Time: 8:00 p.m.
End Time: 12:30 a.m.
Temperature: 74.3 deg. F
Humidity: 34%


I received several e-mails regarding this very old Antique Shop. Several reports of paranormal activity taking place here peaked my interest and so I went to the Antique shop to ask the employee's about what they thought about the charges of reported paranormal activity. Each of the employees's agreed that something strange was consistently going on there. So many occurrences have happened in the past that the employee's began keeping a journal of reported happenings. Just some of the reports include...a customer witnessing a woman in 1800's clothing walking into the green room upstairs...the scent of fresh baked bread coming from what use to be the kitchen area of the house...the heat repeatedly being turned up in the ladies room...employee's close up for the night, driving down the driveway only to look up to find the light's upstairs being turned back on...whispering in customer's ears...and the reports go on and on.


The house was built in 1870 by Joseph and Lydia Spaulding. Mr. Spaulding was a prominent citizen in the Rock County area from the spring of 1837 to his death in 1877. Joseph Spaulding died in the house on August 12, 1877.


The body of Andrew Alger was discovered on the Spaulding property in the woods on July 5, 1855. This murder was one of the first ever documented in Rock County. Andrew Alger was a 60-year-old lumberman from Johnson Creek. He was married with a family. Alger was on his way back from a successful sales trip in Beloit. Alger had $600.00, his buggy with a horse and a pocket watch all from which he got from the lumber sale.

On Saturday June 16, 1855 Alger was traveling up Milton Avenue towards Jefferson when he picked up a hitchhiker named David Mayberry. They traveled up Milton Avenue for a short while as they approached the point between Highways 14 and 26 (right next to the Spaulding Woods) Mayberry stood up and attacked Alger with a hatchet. Mayberry struck Alger in the forehead, back and left side. Alger tried to defend himself with his only weapon, his pocketknife but Mayberry snatched it out of Alger's hand and slit his throat from ear to ear.

Mayberry then dragged Algers dying body to the nearby Spaulding Woods. He then napped by the body until nightfall. Mayberry then took Alger's clothes and all his belongings, got into the buggy and traveled down Milton Avenue to Rockford. While in Rockford talking to friends, Mayberry hinted at what he had done to acquire his money and carriage.

Later on when Alger's body was discovered, Mayberry's friends implicated him in the murder. Mayberry was arrested and brought back to Rock County for trial. Mayberry claimed he was innocent.

David Mayberry's trial began on July 10, 1855. The trial took 3 days and it took the jury 20 minutes to find Mayberry guilty of murder.

The Courtroom was filled with spectators and a crowd formed outside. After the verdict was given, the judge dismissed the jury and turned Mayberry over to the Sheriff. The police then led him out of the courthouse, down the steps to the jail. The crowd then began to throw rocks and stones at the jailhouse, trying to get in. The crowd insisted that they turn Mayberry over to them. The Mayor, the Attorneys and other prominent members of the court tried to calm the crowd down, but they continued to wield rocks and stones breaking the glass of the jail windows. It wasn't until later that night that the crowd slowly went away.

At 8:30 am the next day, Mayberry was brought from the jail back to the courthouse for sentencing. As Judge Doolittle gave out the sentencing, another crowd formed outside on the lawn. Twice the crowd tried breaking into the courthouse with a battering ram.

At about 2:00 pm, when the crowd seemed to disburse, Mayberry was escorted out toward the jail. The crowd came back and they surrounded Mayberry and the police that was escorting him out. Overwhelmed by the people, the police couldn't keep the crowd away. Mayberry was then in the hands of the people.

He tried to fight back, but was then hit in the head with a stone. He fell to his knees and kept repeating "Lord Have Mercy".

As he was struggling to get away, a rope was thrown around his neck and he was lifted high into a tree. The knot of the rope caught Mayberry under his chin so they let him down, adjusted the knot, and then they lifted him high into the air to his death.

Police cut down Mayberry's body the next day. A juror member cut down the tree. The branch which Mayberry was hung, was cut off and given to the Wisconsin Historical Society as a reminder of Rock County justice.


Upon arriving at the house, we began talking to the owners and interviewing the employee's writing down their individual statements. We did an initial evaluation of the house and began setting up our 3 camera monitoring system. Without fail, the video on each camera would flicker and roll without cause during monitoring. When checking the system at another location later, we found that the system was functioning properly. We set up 2 video cameras with night vision in a couple of the rooms and let them run. At one point during our investigation, our Gauss meter spiked near a table in the downstairs dining area. When one of the investigators took a photo of the meter, it stopped immediately.

One very promising point in the evening happened, of course, after our film and video was all used up and our group was getting tired. (Murphy's Law) The group was in the dining room doing an EVP session and the room was very quiet. The owner, Tom and I were standing near the outer counter about 5 feet away from each other. We were both watching the EVP session going on in the other room when all of a sudden we both hear a woman's disembodied voice saying, "Go Away". He looked at me and I looked at him and we both said, "Did you hear that?" None of the other people in the group heard it. I told them all to stop what they were doing and rewind the audiotape to see if it picked it up...It didn't.

In the past I have never been asked to leave an investigation, especially by the ghost itself...but we thought we had enough for one night and we would leave it at that.


It is on a very rare occasion that I will admit that I believe a location to be truly haunted. I can honestly say that I DO believe the Spaulding House Antique Shop to be haunted!! I believe that Lydia Spaulding is just one of the ghosts linked to the Spaulding House. I think there are others as well, without having experienced them, I am uncertain to whom they may be. As Joseph did die in the home, it is speculated that he is one of the many ghosts that haunt this two story Antique Shop.

- Investigation Report written by Jennifer Lauer


Reports of paranormal occurances by the staff and patrons of the Spaulding House.

There has been so much activity happen in this place that the employee's decided to keep a journal and write down anything strange that happens. The following comments were made by the staff or patrons of the store over a years time:

November 2002
Smelled cigar smoke in 1st upstairs bedroom.

November 27, 2002
Two cards were left on the tables, one in red room, one in green room. Diane had closed Wednesday evening; cards were not there. Tom/Chris had moved an item into the store on the 26th but only went as far as the front desk. One of the cards had an inscription about "missing your TLC!".

December 2002
Came to work Saturday A.M.--Lights were ON in 1st "Christmas" room. Dianne swears all were off when she left Friday night.

December 2002
Bow with bell on front door crunched into ball, stuffed in corner behind pictures/prints. We hung it on kitchen/office door. Hasn't moved since.

December 12, 2002
I smelled fresh baked bread baking while working at the front desk. The smell was evident all afternoon. (I had worked in the back in the morning). LC & Trae also smelled thefresh baking bread.
Other notes:The center far light is turned off many times (on average of 3 times per week) when I go to shut the lights off at night.

January 7, 2003
Jim Sherman left house at 2300 hours, as going down Milton Ave. towards I-90, noticed some lights were on upstairs; came back to house, went to 2nd floor. Christmas room end of the fan light, shelf light and 2 Xmas tree lights were on (verified w/ Diane M. next day that ALL were turned off earlier in evening). While Jim was upstairs, front door alarm activated and remained on for about 10 minutes (very noisy!)
(note): front door security alarm went off numeroustimes during Shari's employ. Also: Several months ago, customers upstairs SAW profile of a woman in Victorian dress crossing hall into Christmas room--came downstairs frightened, and reported incident.

January 13, 2003

Di & KJ both smelled STRONG cigar smoke at the checkout desk-3p.m. Very strong-no customers in store.

January 12, 2003
Brought in an old picture of 4 girls-then following happened; in the morning after opening, papers/files flew off the front desk as I turned to set down the magnifying glass. Spoke to Lydia asking her "What was the problem?" Of course she didn't answer.

January 12, 2003
Drawer was $6.30 over. Tom had asked her to put the money in the till!

January 25, 2003
Found "Happy Anniversary" to husband card w/o envelope on table-when is Spaulding's anniversary?

April 9th, 2003
For the second time, the stereo has "clicked" itself on! This happened again today after it had been off for at least 30 minutes to listen to the T.V. about the war.

May 2, 2003
A woman came down from upstairs and her husband asked why she didn't stay up there very long. She commented that she developed "goose bumps" and didn't feel like she should stay up there.

May 14, 2003
Jennifer from the Paranormal group came in to pick up additional brochures for the weekend. While talking with her, someone "banged" some dishes. Checked w/ Terry and Doreen in the back along with Tom. They had all been in back and there weren't any customers in the store. Jennifer and I both acknowledged the banging of the dishes as she had asked if there were customers.

May 18, 2003
It started by the baby crib where I felt a little pressure on my hand. Later, the pressure continued and I started to notice my arm a little in front of me, as if a child was holding my hand and leading me.
-Heather Stanhousky

May 18, 2003
Upstairs is a very negative feeling room where there is a female presence-definite feeling of older woman; also Christmas room has less negative feeling but not as great. Received names--Stella or Sylvia or a name with S or L. Feel like it's an aunt or mother-in-law feeling. Received an impression of a foreman named Big Mack. Lydia watches over and appreciates all the effort. Big Mack guides reconstruction.
-B. Bloom

June 16, 2003
Couple came down from primitives room and asked if we have ghosts. Told him yes, with no further explanations. He was down near the floor to pick up a stoneware crock. Said it sounded like someone was rattling glasses or dishes around right near him. Said he heard it as clear as can be. He said he wasn't frightened at all, even sounded a bit disappointed he didn't see anything.

June 20, 2003
Approximately 6 p.m. at closing-time, I went up to turn out the lights. As I was about to turn off the fan, I heard a clattering sound like glass being stacked together coming from the back room area. It sounded like someone doing dishes. I did not see or feel anything else present.
-Marlene Churchill

August 26, 2003
Catherine Schauf of Janesville came in with her mother and brother the previous day, when upstairs in the back room was being pushed out of the area. Cold hand on the shoulder. When going upstairs felt cold--kept turning around to see who was behind her. Went back upstairs but didn't feel anything. She did see mist going from the red fireplace room through the green and up the stairs while I was writing.

August 26, 2003 - 12:30 p.m.
Cheryl De Nobile up in back room while looking in the open closet had someone breathe hot air on her neck. No one else was around her. Her boyfriend was in another room. There was also a noise when the breath occurred. *Note* Both of these individuals have had other spirits visit them at other times in other places.

September 9, 2003
This was the first time I had ever been to the SP House and I had on idea about any of the haunting stories. When I walked upstairs, I felt nothing until I walked into the Christmas room to the left, when I walked in that room, I felt that their was something else in the room with me even though I was by myself. My stomach kinda turned and my neck tightened up and my hands became sweaty. It creeped my out and I had to leave the room right away. I wasn't scared but I defintely knew that there was something in that room. -A feeling of being watched from outside windows.

September 6, 2003
A man came down from upstairs and commented about the house and the fact that you could "feel the ghosts". I asked him what he meant by the statement with his reply being, "I went to open a closet door and someone told me not to open it." "I left it closed."

September 10, 2003
A woman approached the counter and commented on the "energy" on the stairs...that the hair on her arm stood up.

October 7, 2003
With a customer, we checked a set of 10 napkins for a price tag. There wasn't one, so I went to check with Terry on a price. He brought the 777 book out and we went back to the entrance room where the napkins were. There, bright as ever, was a red price tag on the end of one napkin. However, both the customer and myself checked ALL napkins, unfolded and refolded and put back and NEVER saw a price tag on any of the napkins, let alone the last one put back in place.

October 20, 2003
In last stall of ladies room-- water in sink started running like someone was washing hands. I looked under doors for feet-saw none. No door opened to let "someone" out. No one in bathroom with me. Also, NO WATER IN SINK like it had been used.

October 18, 2003
I went downstairs to look for something and while down there, heard footsteps on steps, thought it was Trae-called to him but no one answered. Came upstairs--Trae was just coming in front door after bringing our flag in.

October 18, 2003
Cigar smoke in men's room in early A.M. Marlene could also smell it later on by front counter. -Trae

November 3, 2003
Lee said her friend asked if house was haunted- her friend said she and 2 friends were in small back room and heard "get out"--all 3 heard it and left.

November 2, 2003
Came through the kichen door to open the store and heard a "loud" BANG. No one else in store and nothing had fallen. Terry had heard the same thing Friday evening upon leaving.

November 7, 2003
Around 4 p.m. when customers came in the security alarm at the door went off. The two customers shopped and left and the alarm was silent until after they left. The alarm then sounded 5 more times. (once when another customer came through). I asked Lydia not to "sound the alarm". All was quiet for a 1/2 hour when it sounded again. Called Terry out from the back to witness. Went off 3 additional times within the next 1/2 hour.

November 8, 2003
Visiting this great store, walking through the upstairs my friend and I were in the front room, she asked if I heard that. I asked "what?"..the cat? When we asked the front desk lady if they owned a cat or had a pet cat she said, "no, we don't have a pet cat!" We will be back.
-G. M. Leoi

November 11, 2003
After turning on upstairs lights to open store and while talking (saying good morning to Lydia and all), someone rang a bell 3 times as I neared the steps to go back downstairs.
*Same day around 5:15 p.m., I was behind the counter and heard a small child say, "mommie". I thought that Vickie(the owner)and Lauren(Vickie's daughter)were coming through the outer door and in. But, alas, it wasn't them. In fact, there wasn't anyone! Maybe someone is trying to connect with me as I talk to them every day!

November 13, 2003
When returning downstairs from turning on lights, the security fence sounded one time. Only went off Lydia was downstairs and letting me know.

November 21, 2003
I was at front desk all alone and radio came on all by itself. I forgot to turn it on at all. About 2:30 p.m. it came on to classical station. I told Doreen and Terry about it. He changed station later.

November 21, 2003 - 4:30 p.m.,
I realized the radio was not playing. No one had touched it.

December 2, 2003
Jim drove past house after closing and all lights were out. Tom came back to the house after that and the Xmas lights and upstairs back room lights were on.

December 9 & 10, 2003
Both mornings after turning on lights and Xmas music, the alarm at the door went off for 10 seconds. Only happened the one time during the day.

December 23, 2003 - 5:35 p.m.
Went around counter to close door and heard water running in the womens bathroom. As soon as I turned the lights on it stopped. (Maybe it was the fan motor?)

January 25, 2004
When turning on lights upstairs--in the back room, I heard footsteps above me. Sent Terry upstairs when he came in an hour later and he heard the same.