October 23, 2013 - Whether you believe in paranormal activities or not, evidence of something has been recorded by audio and video at Canterbury Village.
The Motor City Ghost Hunters, a paranormal research group out of southeast Michigan, completed their third investigation of multiple buildings located on the thriving estate, its history dating back to the Great Depression.
From 8 p.m. until midnight in March, three teams of ghost hunters probed the Sweet Lane Fudge Shop, the Enchanted Cottage, the Clock Tower, the Fox and Hounds, Breads and Threads, and Uniquely Yours, now under the new name Ye Olde Book Shoppe.
"We initiated the conversation partially because there were weird things that were happening, which didn't really bother us. But then we had this little doll party and girls came, and somebody took a picture while they were there, and put in on their Facebook page and people began blowing up my Facebook page about the face in the window," Terry Sharp said, owner of the Enchanted Cottage business at Canterbury Village.
The 'face' said to show up in the picture of the girls and their dolls was not an actual person at the event. Someone tipped off the Motor City Ghost Hunters, and the research group contacted the shop owners for a third investigation of the multiple buildings.
Their findings reportedly gave the audience chills during a presentation at the Orion Township Public Library Tuesday, October 8.
Tim Woolworth, ghost hunter, presented 34 EVPs, what he termed as electronic voice phenomenons that were collected from building to building, room to room.
According to paranormal investigators, an EVP is a "disembodied voice" found on a recording after the fact—basically a sound that couldn't be heard during the investigation. They are categorized by strength, A, B, and C, with A being a clear word or phrase, and C more of an unidentifiable sound.
Sharp said shop owners and village employees have heard the stories for years and years.
"It can be really, really quiet around here sometimes. There can be some days in the winter when there is just nobody here, and you would hear what sounds like a child's voice calling. You go downstairs, and there's no one. A couple of times I actually went zipping around this cottage looking for this kid, but I heard it, and my daughter heard it, I know I heard a voice and heard a kid."
Sometimes Sharp heard "hello," other times just words, and some times she could hear children hopping down the steps.
Maybe it was the kid in the Facebook picture. Maybe it was Sarah, a 9-year-old girl said to have died on the Scripps property who reportedly resides in Ye Olde Book Shoppe.
Sharp used to own the Uniquely Yours business at the opposite end of her current store, which was purchased by Stephanie Brosch and converted into Ye Olde Booke Shoppe last May.
Previous investigations by the Motor City Ghost Hunters have suggested that Sarah remains in Ye Olde Book Shoppe because she likes cats and other animals, and Brosch has two cats in the shop.
"If you're upstairs she'll knock somewhere down here and you'll come down to try and figure out if someone's at the door, what's happening, and then she'll knock upstairs, and she just likes to seeing you kind of run back and forth," Brosch said.
Sometimes she can sit in the room when nobody is in the shop and says she can communicate with Sarah.
"I'll sit and talk to her and have things move. I'll be like 'oh my pen's over there', and then it will slightly flicker towards me," Brosch said. "I'm dead serious."
The ghost hunters did the same thing in the basement of Ye Olde Booke Shoppe.
A Youtube video that purports to be the ghost hunters communicating with Sarah can be found at http://www.motorcityghosthunters.com/canterburyvillage2013.html.
Three flashlights were set between the off and on settings and a K2 EMF Detector was used to pick up spikes in electromagnetic activity. As investigators sat in the basement of Ye Olde Book Shoppe, the flashlights went off on numerous occasions after asking the room questions about living in the bookshop.
According to the hunters, Sara does not wish to leave.
"From what they said, I definitely believe it, definitely believe it," Brosch said.
Sharp's experience of paranormal activity since moving her store to the Enchanted Cottage has diminished but Ye Olde Book Shoppe's has increased.
"We do not get as nearly as much here as we did down there," Terry said, "She still gets lots of things going on. I was talking to her a couple of months ago and I was standing by the door talking to her and she's got a book shelf maybe four feet away. I watched a book from the middle of the shelf fly off the shelf and land about three feet away, and I'm just like 'ummm'" Sharp said. "When we were down there we got voices occasionally. Sounds of children playing. We got bells all the time, but we didn't get actual things like that. She's getting that now."
"Apparently something I said or did made them unhappy. They let me know by taking a book and throwing it. It wasn't like a book falling. It was literally like someone took it and threw it," she said.
"We get a lot of knocking, we get a lot of walking, a lot of stuff gets moved around, we have two cats around here and they always seem to be playing with someone else. We have had shadow figures, voices, we've had it all," she continued.
At one point investigators were on the main level and in the basement of Ye Olde Book Shoppe when one investigator went downstairs to quiet the others. Upon walking down, she said she witnessed a doll swinging on its own very rapidly. Investigators tried to debunk this claim, by bumping into it on different angles with different forces, but they said they could not make the doll rotate as quickly as it had been before.
One of the EVP evidences recorded from that building asked if Sarah was in the building, and a voice recorded agrees stating very clearly "uh-huh."
"Sometimes you get full sentences but normally only a few words," Woolworth told the crowd at the library.
The clearest EVPs were recorded from the Fudge Shop, which predates the Scripp's Estate and originally was a firehouse.
Before the ghost hunters went in, several occurrences had been reported to Canterbury Village staff about the fudge shop.
One was of a well-dressed man – the dapper gentleman as the team later referred to him -- who would sit down in the serving area and then disappear.
Knocking would be heard from upstairs. Towel machines would dispense towels by themselves.
The owners reported that every time they were on the phone around 5:05 p.m. someone would try and dial out from the other line. The phone company was notified and had no explanation.
While nine EVPs are said to be recorded in the fudge shop, one seemingly addresses an investigator's question "Are you trying to reach the party line?"
Listening to the recording after the investigation, the team heard, "Must've been Thorpe."
The team reversed the previous saying to check for a different communication and found that "Must've been Thorpe" reversed is "Hello, you may reach us at."
A little anecdote arose out of this a couple weeks ago when Sharp and Woolworth chatted about their findings. Sharp said that a few weeks ago an older woman had entered the Enchanted Cottage wanting to see how it has developed since she last lived there in the 1940s with her husband.
Her husband was the second generation to work on the farm, and his family name was Thorpe.
Another investigator asked about the dapper old man who had been seen in the shop. A few moments later, a man's voice is heard saying, "Abandoned her." A few seconds later, a woman's or child's voice says, "night" the same time an audible knock is heard.
Two other investigators are in the middle of conducting a flashlight session when they heard a man's voice whisper "Get" and a few moments later say loudly "Out."
"Does that creep you out?" Woolworth asked the library audience. "Lucky we didn't hear that (then) or we would have left," he said.
All in all, the Motor City Ghost Hunters concluded that there are several benevolent spirits that are on the grounds minding their own business.
"We gave the shops collectively a five-star rating which is the highest we will give," Woolworth said. "Nearly everyone had an experience, be it witnessing evidence, having a feeling or sensation. We recorded several EVPs, and there was a plethora of interaction with our other equipment (ghost boxes, EMF meters, flashlights, Ovilus). We firmly believe that there is a presence of spirits among the grounds formerly known as Wildwood Farms."
For a complete list of evidence recorded and deciphered by the Motor City Ghost Hunters, visit http://www.motorcityghosthunters.com/canterburyvillage2013.html.