By SHERIDAN CYR
The Barnes Museum, the historic Southington homestead built in 1836 and home of the Bradley-Barnes family for 137 years, is keeping history alive—literally. After a recent visit from the Eastern Connecticut Paranormal Society, the team of investigators determined the museum is home to a number of spirits who have continued to roam the parameters long after death.
The three-person investigative team—a collaboration of Medium Chris O’Connor, lead investigator Dave Bray and Karuna Reiki practitioner Melissa Whited—presented their findings to a packed room at the Southington Public Library on April 18.
After staying overnight in the museum, the team had captured over 45 hours of evidence to review on multiple recording devices that they claim shows proof of paranormal activity.
A clear voice can be heard on one recording, and the team identified it as the voice of Bradley Barnes, grandson of the original home owners, Amon and Sylvia Barnes. One of the investigators can be heard asking, “Is Bradley here?” After several seconds of silence, the recording whispers, “I’m Bradley.”
Investigators said that, often times, paranormal activity—specifically responses—aren’t heard during the time of the recording but become clear when the recording is played back.
In another recording, one of the investigators heard a thump. He then asked out loud, “If that was you, can you make the noise again?” Just a few moments later, a clear “thump” can be heard in the playback.
Investigators also presented a video of what they called an “orb” that seemed to drift across the room. The camera was set up and left alone for the entire night. At one point, when reviewing the tape afterwards, investigator Bray noticed the orb. They discounted the idea that it could be a dust particle by comparing the visual.
Another recording was more difficult to translate to the investigators. In the attic, O’Connor asked, “Who is the male up here?” There was a two-syllable response that sounded somewhat similar to “Einstein,” but investigators could not decipher the noise.
“We concluded that there is a ton of residual energies in the Barnes Museum,” O’Connor said during the reveal. “They’ve been here through the years and are intelligent spirits.”
According to the Barnes Museum website, Bradley Barnes inherited the homestead of grandfather Amon in 1906. The entrepreneurial ventures started by Bradley’s grandfather and father, as well as his own investments, gave Bradley the title of the ‘richest man in Southington.’
Upon his death in 1973, Bradley willed his entire fortune away to friends and employees, as well as local schools, libraries and hospitals. He bequeathed his family homestead and all of its contents to the Town of Southington to be run under the direction of the board of directors of the Southington Public Library.
The Eastern Connecticut Paranormal Society requested to do an investigation on the homestead, knowing the building served as a historic preservation.
“Our goal is to assist clients through validation and education of what experiences they may be going through,” said O’Connor. “It is not our goal to dramatize or sensationalize the experiences, but to simply find the truth.”
For more information on the investigative team, visit easternctparanormal.com. For information on the Barnes Museum, visit thebarnesmuseum.weebly.com or call (860) 628-5426. The museum is located at 85 North Main St.
To comment on this story, contact staff writer Sheridan Cyr at SCyr@SouthingtonObserver.com.