Initial Report: Nov 03 - Brian Shoulta Cocoa Beach Home Investigation November 16, 2003
I arrived at Peggy around 2:30 in the afternoon. Her husband, met me outside and escorted me into the residence. After introductions, I started taking note of the environment. The condo was nicely decorated and well kept up. The air conditioning was on, but the inside temperature was comfortable; not too hot, nor too cool. Peggy and Howard signed the release forms and we decided to talk in the family room area. I brought along my tape recorder because I knew there would be many stories to share and didn’t want to miss anything as well as hope for some EVP’s. After a few false starts with the recorder, it was finally up and running. It is important to note there were no other witnesses in the following stories to corroborate or deny these events.
Peggy started out by saying that their condo was not the only place where there have been occurrences with who she believed was her first husband’s spirit, Edward, but that her late husband’s activity happened around other family members as well, regardless of location. Edward had told her a week before he died that if there was any way he could that he would come back and protect her after he died. The first sign of after life activity happened at the hospital where Edward died of lung cancer in 1990. Their younger son had just arrived at the hospital room when the older son announced that “dad just died at 8:00”. The younger son promptly responded that no their father must have died exactly at 7:41 because the clock light in his van flashed three times at 7:41. Sure enough, the death certificate stated the time of death to be 7:41.
All that night and into the morning, Peggy felt Edward’s presence in the room she was staying in at her daughter-in-law house. During Peggy’s stay at the hospital, she had lost 3 gold bracelets. They felt certain the bracelets had been stolen by someone at the hospital. To be sure, Peggy had called her daughter-in-law the night Edward died to see if Debbie could find them in with her belongs. But, Debbie reported back that the gold bracelets weren’t to be found. The morning after Edward’s death Peggy went into her suitcase and there neatly lined in her suitcase were the 3 gold bracelets that were missing. Curious, Peggy asked Debbie if she had found them because there they were in her suitcase this morning. Debbie turned right around and wouldn’t even face Peggy because she hadn’t found the bracelets and was speechless. Peggy said Debbie couldn’t even talk about the incident for 5 years.
Other strange occurrences happened shortly after Edward’s death. While still alive, Edward didn’t like the radio on so often and would play jokes on Peggy turning the radio off while she was listening to it. Between the time of death and the funeral, Peggy again felt his presence but voiced concern to Edward stating that she didn’t want him to appear to her, but he could play any other tricks on her that he wanted. No apparition appeared, but instead, the radio she was listening to turned off. Not to be deterred, Peggy turned the radio back on only to have it shut off again shortly later. She stood back and demanded Ed to leave the radio on. That was it for now. But, Edward wasn’t finished. Returning to her house after the funeral, she found the radio playing…in the off position. The night of the funeral, Peggy was in bed when the doorknob to her bedroom turned to the right and then snapped back to the left. Peggy said the first time this happened she was scared out of her wits not knowing what lied beyond the door (as the door was completely closed). This happened quite frequently between 4:30 in the morning and 5:30 when Ed typically got up for the day. Subsequent occurrences happened with the door open, but nobody on the other side of the door. Peggy even placed a penny on the doorknob to see what might happen to the penny. The doorknob would still turn, but the penny never fell to the floor until a visiting friend spoke badly about some of Ed’s personality traits. Peggy found the penny all the across the carpet from the doorknob. Peggy figures the doorknob instances were just that Ed stayed in the room all night and then left for the morning when he “got up” for the day!
Various stories attributed to Ed throughout the years after death are as follows:
· One time when making business decisions other than Ed would have agreed with, the covers to Peggy’s bed blew off and she heard a boatman’s whistle in her ear. Ed used the whistle in life to wake guests. Was he trying to “wake her up” to the business at hand?
· One and a half months before Howard and Peggy got married, Howard was at his apartment and the doorbell rang. When he answered the door, nobody was there. So, he went back to what he was doing and the doorbell rang again. Nobody there. Frustrated, he unhooked the doorbell. This stopped the doorbell from ringing, but instead the microwave starting beeping. He walked in the kitchen, turned on the lights, and found all his cabinet doors were open. He shut off the microwave and thought this was a sign that Ed had accepted him (the open cabinets meant he was open to Howard?).
· Car’s headlights continually being on even though they were turned off. Car’s radio cutting off and back on.
· Banging on the wall behind Peggy’s bed, rapping on the bedroom door, knocking behind the shower.
· A fellow Peggy was dating was over. He gave her 3 kisses on the cheek and the tongue and grooved boarded walls cracked all the way around a 30’ by 40’ foot room. The fellow was so scared he got up and left immediately. A sign he wasn’t the right one?
· Their daughter-in-law was pregnant and a week before Ed passed away Ed had predicted they would have a boy. Ed said they should name him Hunter. In mid October that same year, Peggy was thinking about Ed and talking with him when the thought came to her that the baby would be born on All Saints Day, November 1st. She relayed this to her daughter-in-law. The expecting mother said there was no way she would last that long. She did last that long…Hunter was born on November 1st. The night Hunter was born the daughter-in-law complained about all the footsteps she heard walking around on the floor above her. The nurse said that was impossible because it was just a storage closet up there.
· Clock alarms going off between 4:30 and 5:30 in the morning when they weren’t set. After a visit with Howard’s son, the son reported the radio alarm in the room Peggy and Howard had stayed in went off. He went to turn it off and found the clock unplugged (no batteries). As soon as he told his wife about the radio clock going off, their microwave started beeping.
· Clocks stopping at 7:41, time of death.
· Once while in New Jersey, Howard’s car was broken into but his car alarm didn’t go off. The police called his hotel room at 2:30 in the morning with the news. The next morning as they were leaving their room, they hear the car alarm go off when nobody was around it. Ed playing his tricks?
· One day while Peggy was asleep upstairs with her granddaughter, she heard a bang downstairs. They were the only ones in the house. Upon investigation, Peggy found the child’s rocking chair upside down with the bottom railings leaning against a wall.
· A tin cup fell from a shelf for some time nightly at Peggy’s daughter-in-laws after Ed’s passing.
· Other moving objects such as wooden spoons, a glass, and a trash can at various locations.
· A toy spider “cried all night” with no batteries installed.
· At her son Steve’s house, they were lighting 5 candles, after the fourth was lit, Steve was out of matches and asked his wife Debbie to get him some more. Just then, the fifth candle lit on it’s own.
· A flashing light on a stove range where the light was burned out.
· An overhead light flashed off and then on every morning (this only occurred once a day in the morning)
· The power to a computer and printer was turned off, but the printer inexplicably turned on and printed a bunch of L’s (Laura? Who is a granddaughter), NA’s (nana is Peggy), a bunch of $ symbols (representing money spent, according to Peggy) and question marks.
· Peggy was involved in a court case and every time Ed’s name was mentioned the sound system blew.
· Rattling desk drawer handles.
· Many events with lights inexplicably turning off or on when they were already burned out. Or, the lights themselves blow out after a significant event.
· Radios turning on or off in family member’s vehicles.
· Cigarette butts littered on a close friend’s patio for several mornings after Ed’s death. They were picked up every morning only to have more cigarette butts reappear the next morning.
Some of the more recent events include their Halloween party. Rapping noises from the door to the guest bedroom scared the heck out of everyone. Nobody was in or around the room at the time. Peggy thought at first somebody was at the front door wondering why the doorbell wasn’t used. But, nobody was at the front door or up and down the walkway by the front door. Instead, on the bed in this room lied a cannon (which had moved from the shelf). The next morning a flower was present in the barrel of the cannon. On the third day, the cannon was back on the shelf, but the flower remained on the bedspread. In a separate occasion, the cannon also appeared on a package that was beside the bookcase by the bed. Another artifact that has moved around is a Buddha statue. The statue is located in the master bedroom on a shelf. The shelf is situated about 6 to 7 feet high along a diagonal wall that leads to the master bedroom. One day the Buddha sat on the floor between the shelf and the bathroom. The shelf itself was crooked along the wall as if somebody had ran into the shelf. I can attest, though, that neither Howard nor Peggy is tall enough to have run into the small shelf to send the Buddha down the hall. On another occasion, the Buddha was moved from the shelf onto the dresser. Edward owned both items since he was a little boy. Several other occasions were relayed about flowers being strewn down the hall and placed on bedspreads. On one Mother’s day, a bouquet of flowers her son had given her had a flower cut on the stem placed in front of the bouquet. Another flower from the same bouquet was found dead under a pillow. No one claims to have cut the one flower in front of the bouquet or placed a flower underneath the pillow.
On several occasions, they have returned from errands or trips to find lights on in the condo. They always turn all lights off when they leave. And, nobody has access to their condo that lives in the immediate area.
In October of 2002, they had hired a painter to do some painting inside the condo. The painter had gone to the patio for lunch. When he came in, he told them about how when he was going out onto the patio something had pulled so hard on his arm that he almost spilled his coke. The only other occurrence of physical contact or sightings was when one of Peggy’s sons, Steve, awoke at night to see a man standing in his bedroom doorway wearing hat with fishing lures attached. Steve jumped out of bed and grabbed his gun to confront the fellow only to find the figure was no longer there. When the son described what happened, Peggy asked him why he didn’t recognize his own father. Apparently, Ed wore this hat pretty regularly. At Steve’s house on a different occasion, Peggy heard a chain drag across the bed she was sleeping in. She never could figure that one out. In the same room, she also heard scraping sounds a couple of nights in a row. She couldn’t figure out where the noise was coming from until she noticed Ed’s aunt’s old desk in the room. She opened and closed the desk and it made the same scraping noise.
Another recent event involved a cabinet sitting on the patio outside that stored plastic forks, knives, and plates. One day they came home and there were plastic forks and knives strewn across their patio table and floor, some broken in half. The cabinet door was closed and the plastic plates that were right next to the forks and knives was untouched. A “big, fat” candle was also found sitting upside down.
Peggy indicated that some of Edward’s “visits” were accompanied by the smells of roses, cigarettes (Ed was a smoker), and the Scotch Ed drank. Neither Howard nor Peggy is on any medication that might explain the strange happenings. Alcohol was present at the Halloween party. The only time I got chills was when Peggy relayed the story about the plastic knives and forks. This occurred at 3:02 p.m. I didn’t attribute this to Edward, though, because the feeling did not linger on nor did I sense anything the rest of the visit. After about 1 ½ hours, Peggy had shared all she could remember about Ed’s visits these past 14 years.
It was time to tour the condo to take some video and pictures. From the entryway facing the back of the condo, the guest bedroom with the cannon and flowers is off to the right. I took pictures of the bedspread with the flower still on it as well as the cannon and the vase of flowers. I decided to leave the audio recorder next to the cannon in the hopes of picking up EVP’s or possibly movement of the cannon. Pictures and video was taken of every room in the condo, specifically in the locations of reported events (master bedroom, kitchen, family room (lights), dining room (lights), computer room, and the back patio. All video, digital pictures, and audio were unremarkable. Nothing unusual was found. Upon review of the Halloween pictures, I came across about 10 photos with possible orbs. Closer evaluation has eliminated all but 1 photo. The other photos have “halo” effect orbs which is quite normal in pictures. The one photo in question has been sent to FRPF in an email attachment for further review. The investigation ended approximately 3 hours after arrival at 5:30 p.m.
Purely from a concrete evidence perspective, one would think Peggy’s condo is no more haunted than any other family that has lost a loved one. The events they describe are more in line with messages from beyond that indicate our loved ones are still a part of our lives from a spiritual viewpoint. I think in many instances people disregard these events as coincidences or don’t even take note that something paranormal has occurred. Peggy’s faith and keen perception has allowed Ed’s messages to be received and retold with great detail. Unfortunately, nothing happened during the scientific evaluation to bring any conclusive evidence of spiritual presence at the condo. However, given the breadth of events and their continuity these 14 years, I am going to recommend a spiritual investigation to be held at the condo. Peggy has stated she is open to this.