The Octagon House - Fond du Lac, WI

Octagon_House.jpgDate: October 31, 2005

Location: 276 Linden Street, Fond du Lac,WI

Investigators: Walt Baker, Jennifer Lauer, Kathy Santini-Richardson, Dave Schumacher. and Deb Skinvik

Equipment Used:
• 8 infrared cameras
• Lorex L124A-81 4 channel DVR with 80GB hard drive
• Fuji finepix S7000 digital camera
• Radio Shack boundary condenser microphone (omni directional) 33-3022
• Panasonic RR-US360 digital recorder
• Sony TCM-200DV cassette recorder
• Non-contact IR thermal probe scanner
• Tri-field natural EMF meter (x2)
• Tri-field meter (x2)
• Temperature gauge (x2)
• EMF gauss meter (x2)
• Radio frequency counter
• Hall Effect Gauss meter from Integrity Design and Research Corporation (IDR-309). A bare probe was used with the gauss meter. The bandwidth of the bare probe is 68Hz at 3dB.
• Sper Scientific Electromagnetic Field Test 840025 EMF meter. Bandwidth is 30 to 400Hz with 4% accuracy at 50Hz/60Hz. Data is displayed as mG.
• Air ion Counter. Positive and negative ion counts are displayed as ions/cm3.
• Sony Digital Handycam DCR-TRV19 NTSC with night shot.
• All sound data was digitized and processed using Acid Music 4.0 and Audio Cleaning Lab 3.0. Potential EVPs were analyzed using Goldwave and Raven software.
• Go!Motion Vernier ultrasound motion detector with supplied Logger Lite v1.3 software.

Direct Environmental Acquisition Data logging system (D.E.A.D.)
• Triaxial ELF magnetic field meter with pc interface. The meter has a bandwidth of 30Hz to 2000Hz and an accuracy of +/- 3% at 50Hz/60Hz and +/-5% at 40 to 200Hz. Data was logged using the supplied software.
• HOBO Temperature data logger from Onset Computer Corporation with data logging and archiving ability. Software provided by Onset Computer Corporation was used for data logging and archiving.
• GM-10 radiation detector from Black Cat Systems with pc interface. The Radiation Acquisition and Display (RAD) Software was used to log and archive the data. Radiation detected includes alpha, beta, and gamma/x-ray. Data is displayed as counts per minute (cpm).
• Panasonic Toughbook CF-45 laptop computer.
• Tri-field natural EMF meter modified to be data logged by the HOBO data logger.

All equipment was calibrated and tested prior to use according to manufacture specifications.


The Southern Wisconsin Paranormal Research Group (S.W.P.R.G.) was invited by the Sunny 97 radio station in Fond du Lac to do a live on air investigation of the Octagon House. The SWPRG was to work with internationally known and respected medium and author, Scott Christiansen. The owner and many others have reported various paranormal experiences in the building throughout the years.

The Octagon House (a.k.a. 'Orson Squire Fowler' Home) was built in 1856 and the architect was inspired by The Milton House located in Milton, WI. The house was originally built as an Indian fort and was eventually home to one of Fond du Lac's first mayors. The house has an extensive history and was part of the Underground Railroad at one time. The building consists of twelve rooms, 9 passageways, a carriage house, and a hand-dug underground tunnel that leads from the house to the carriage house.

We arrived the night before (October 30th, 2005), took a tour of the house, and then set up all equipment. Surveillance cameras were placed throughout the house. The D.E.A.D. system was set up and run in the second floor hideaway, the main floor kitchen, and the hand dug underground tunnel that goes from the house to the carriage house. Ion counts, gauss meter readings, and radio frequency analysis was done on all floors and outside of the house. Various data sweeps were done throughout the house for EMF, natural EMF, and temperature. Investigator personal observations were recorded. EVP sessions were conducted in the second floor hide-away and the underground tunnel. The ultrasound motion detector was used in the second floor hideaway and the underground tunnel.

Scott Christiansen walked throughout the locations and reported his thoughts to one of the investigators.



There were two anomalies detected on video. One was a light anomaly in the underground tunnel . The other was unexplained camera movement in one of the second floor rooms . This camera was in the same general location that one of the owners reported mysterious object movement.

Nothing of note was seen in any of the pictures.

Ion counts ranged between 400 to 700 negative and positive ions/cm3. These counts are well within the normal range.

Gauss meter (GMF)
Gauss meter readings of 400 to 600mG were recorded throughout various locations in the house. Normal readings are within the same range.

There were various EMF 'spikes' of 10 to 50mG at various locations throughout the house. However, they could be tracked to a normal source such as electrical outlets and speakers that were found in the floor in one location.

Temperature Scans
There was nothing to note for the ambient temperature readings taken at any of the locations.

Radio Frequency Analyzer
A few frequencies were detected but there was no any one more dominant than another. There were cell phone towers in the area, cordless telephones in the house, and the radio transmission equipment that the people from the radio station were using.

Investigator observations
One investigator did have an interesting experience while conducting a session with Scott Christiansen. During the session, the investigator asked Scott to ask the entity that he had contacted to touch her so she would know that he was there. Scott said that the entity told him that he wouldn't touch her because even if he did that she wouldn't believe him. She asked a few more times and finally the entity told Scott that he had touched her ear before and she hadn't noticed. The investigator was somewhat taken back by that comment because she did feel as if someone had touched the top of her ear and ran their finger down to her ear lobe a few minutes before but she thought it was nothing.

Scott detected the presence of two slaves. One in the second floor hideaway ('Jeb' a 23 year old male) and one under the stairs in the underground tunnel ('Roy' a 8 year old boy).

Ultrasound motion detector
The graph below shows a session in the second floor hideaway when Dave Schumacher had asked Scott to instruct the entity to move so we could detect him with the motion detector. Scott could not see the computer screen and he told me when the entity had moved. The arrow indicates when Scott had said that the entity had moved. The motion detector seems to have detected something changing its' position very slightly.


The next graph shows one example from a session when the motion detector was run in the underground tunnel. This is another location where Scott had detected the presence of an entity. This data was collected when two investigators were watching the tunnel and Scott was not present. There was a small boy that was related to the owner of the house that came down to see what we were doing. We asked him to try to entice the entity to move. There was a small change in position detected by the motion detector. This happened three times.


We then asked the boy who was with us to go over to the exact spot where Scott had said the entity was present. Once the boy was over there, the movement in position was no longer detected as seen in the graph below.


It should also be noted that this is the same area where the light anomaly was captured on the DVR system and there were 'spikes' in EMF and natural EMF and a drop in radiation.

This is the first time that the ultrasound motion detector was utilized on an investigation. While the data is interesting, it is preliminary and inconclusive at this time. Some of the data could simply be 'noise.' This experiment should be repeated and data collected in areas where a presence has been detected/seen and in areas where there has never been a presence detected.

No EVPs were recorded. There were some possibilities but there is no way to rule out that they were not due to natural sounds because of all the people in the house and the radio equipment that was present for the broadcast of the show.

D.E.A.D. system

Second Floor Hideaway

There was a gradual increase in the x-axis EMF. There were a few 'spikes' in the natural EMF and a correlating increase and decrease in the temperature and humidity, which was due to Scott entering the room, remaining still for a few minutes, and then leaving the room.



There was nothing of note in any of the data from the kitchen.

Underground Tunnel
There were three pieces of data that were interesting: 1) at 8:53:39am there was a drop in radiation from 19cpm to 6cpm; 2) a 6.1mG 'spike' in EMF followed this at 8:54:51am: and 3) there was a 6.3uT 'spike' in the natural EMF at 9:00:40am. Again, this is where Scott had detected the presence of the entity called Roy.



Example of pulses in the magnetic field
There were pulses in the EMF every 6 to 8 seconds in the example seen below. These pulses are interesting because of their low frequency (.125Hz to .16Hz) and amplitude (approximately .3mG or 30nT). This has been noted in other investigations of 'haunted' locations (Braithwaite and Townsend, 2005). Other research has implicated that low frequencies (like those of brain activity from 0.5 to 40Hz) are important for triggering neurophysiological shifts and invoking experiences in individuals (Bell et al.,1992; Bell et al., 1994; Randall and Randall, 1991; Persinger and Koren, 2001). These fields are also in the range of naturally produced geomagnetic fields that have been implicated in reports of anomalous activity (Persinger et al., 1973; Persinger and Koren, 2001; Roll and Persinger, 2001). In addition, magnetic field variability in the 11 to 15nT range has been detected in locations where people have reported paranormal activity (Wiseman et al., 2002; Wiseman et al., 2003). Even though the pulses are created from the 60Hz field, it could be detected by a natural EMF meter (or DC magnetometer) and by the brain as a change in the static field (Braithwaite and Townsend, 2005). Even though AC fields are not complex magnetic fields, they can be complex in the fact that they vary in time and amplitude.




Even though some interesting data was collected during this investigation, no definite conclusions can be reached because of the many uncontrolled variables (ie: many people coming in and out if the location, the radio broadcast, and the broadcast equipment). It would be beneficial to redo the investigation under more stringently controlled conditions.


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Bell, G. B., Marino, A. A, & Chesson, A L. (1994). Frequency-specific responses in the human brain caused by electromagnetic-fields. Journal of Neuro Sciences, 123, 26-32.

Braithwaite, J. J. & Townsend, M. (2005). Sleeping with the entity A quantitative magnetic investigation of an English castle's reputedly 'haunted' bedroom. European Journal of Parapsychology, 20, 65-78.

Persinger, M. A, Ludwig, H. W., & Ossenkopp, K. P. (1973). Psychophysiological
effects of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields: A review. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 36, 1131-1159.

Persinger, M. A, & Koren, S. A (2001). Predicting the characteristics of haunt phe-nomena from geomagnetic factors and brain sensitivity: Evidence from field and experimental studies. In J. Houran & R. Lange (Eds.), Hauntings and poltergeists: Multidisciplinary perspectives (pp. 179-194.). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc.

Randall, W., & Randall, S. (1991). The solar wind and hallucinations - a possible rela-tion to magnetic disturbances. Bioelectromagnetics, 12, 67-70.

Roll, W. G., & Persinger, M. A (2001). Investigations of poltergeists and haunts: A re-
view and interpretation. In J. Houran & R. Lange (Eds.), Hauntings and poltergeists: Multidisciplinary perspectives (pp. 123-163). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc.

Wiseman, R., Watt, c., Greening, E., Stevens, P., & O'Keeffe, C. (2002). An investigation into the alleged haunting of Hampton Court Palace. Psychological variables and magnetic fields. Journal of Parapsychology, 66,387-408.

Wiseman, R., Watt, c., Stevens, P., Greening, E., & O'Keeffe, C. (2003). An investigation
into alleged 'hauntings'. British Journal of Psychology, 94,195-211

Investigation report written by Dave Schumacher

Other photos from the Live Broadcast

Octagon_LiveBroadcast_2.jpg Octagon_LiveBroadcast_3.jpg