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Bates County Museum of Pioneer History
Bates County Museum of Pioneer History
on Monday 13 July 2009
by chris author list
in SMGw Investigations > Historical Site Investigations
attached file download attachment





















The Bates County Museum of Pioneer History is located in the middle of historic Butler Mo. This building was erected in 1894 as the official Bates Co. jail and Sheriff’s residence. In 1961 the Bates Co Historical Society purchased the building for $2.00 and transformed it into the historical musuem.

The Bates County Museum of Pioneer History Paranormal Investigation
April 11th and April 17th 2009
Location: Bates County Museum of Pioneer History
Butler, Mo.



April 11th 2009
Time investigation started: 7:00pm
Time investigation ended: 12:30am
Weather: Cool, Dry, Clear, and Calm
Investigators: Bobby Blue, Christine Blue, Sherry Laughlin, Diane Bartels, Jim Laughlin
Equipment used: 2 EMF detectors, 4 digital voice recorders, 2 stationary surveillance cameras, 1 Hi-8, 1 mini DV,

Background Info: The building, our team investigated these nights, was erected in 1894 as the official Bates Co. Jail and Sheriff’s residence. There are four levels to this building, with an addition that was constructed sometime in the early 1900’s. During the time as the county jail, there were two legal hangings carried out. Scaffolding was build on the side of the facility and the prisoners’ were escorted out of the 3rd floor window to fulfill their sentence. Documents and pictures of these hangings are now displayed in the new Bates Co. Museum.

In 1961 The Bates County Historical Society purchased the building for $2.00. New basement stairs were built and the facility was refurbished for the use of a public museum. The facility was from then on known as the Bates Co Museum of Pioneer History.

In 2007 the facility was closed to the public due to some structural concerns. A new facility was attained and most of the museum contents were moved there. The BCMPH building is now being used for additional storage for this Bates Co Historical Society.

As Show Me Ghosts West investigated numerous facilities in the Bates Co. area the subject of an investigation at the museum would come up by interested parties. After meeting with the Curator of the museum, Nita Thompson, it was discovered that she had allowed another paranormal group to investigate other facilities and was very open to allowing us access. We also discovered a kindred spirit, with Nita’s daughter Diane. Diane is a paranormal enthusiast. Diane has worked closely with her mother in this facility as well and the new museum. Diane and Nita each expressed their experiences while working in both of these museum facilities, which they considered to be unexplainable by conventional means. To put it into our words, Para-Normal.


Nita’s’ most distinctive personal account happened in the winter of 1998. The museum was closed to the public for the winter months; as it was too expensive to heat such a massive and old building. Nita, while sitting in her office, with the office door closed, head someone knock on the office door. She got up, went to the door, opened it and no one was there. She double checked the museum entrance door and it was still locked. She then closed her office door and went back to her desk. Again, just as she sat down she heard a knock at the office door. She described it as a knock, knock, knock. Being rather cold from opening the office door already, Nita stood up and said “It’s too cold to be playing games, I’m not going to answer the door.” She then sat down and went back to her work. She never heard the knocking again.

Diane’s most distinctive personal account in this facility occurred in year 2000. During the Christmas season the museum opens for a walking tour that coincides with the festivities that occur on the town square. Diane’s’ job this evening was to greet the people and start them on their tour. She then would stand in the ‘music room’ and wait for more guests. Early on in the evening she noticed a quaint older women sitting at one of the pianos in the music room. She remembers smiling and acknowledging the older women with a head nod, but was rather busy with the entire groups of people coming through. She stated the old woman acknowledged her with a nod back, and then sat there for most of the evening. Then she just disappeared. Later that night Diane asked the other tour guides if they had seen this woman. She described her in detail but no one else had seen this older woman at any point during the evening.






The Investigation: Our initial investigation on the 11th of April focused on the music room, office and jail cell area. Although we did investigate the entire building, we had stationary camera set up in the three areas of interest. Starting from the second floor we took base temperature and EMF readings throughout the facility. There were several places that had a high EMF reading, but upon further investigation we found the electrical sources for these reading. During our time on the 3rd floor, in the old Sheriff’s residence area, we started getting unusual orb activity thru the mini DV and digital cameras. Upon review we did discover numerous colorful orbs and what appears to be an arc of orbs over investigator Chris’s head. The arc of orbs appeared during an EVP session.

Moving through the facility with our equipment we could not attain orb footage like we had on the 3rd floor. What we noticed is that the 3rd floor was mostly cleared of museum artifacts and was pretty clean. However the attic and basement, which still housed numerous artifacts and lots of dust, did not produce the orbs.

This team spends approximately 5 hours in the facility on the 11th of April.






April 17th 2009
Time investigation started: 7:00pm
Time investigation ended: 12:30am
Weather: Cool, Dry, Clear, and Calm
Investigators: Bobby Blue, Christine Blue, Diane Bartels,



The Investigation: After review of the evidence captured on the April 11th investigation, we decided to go back to clarify some pictures and questionable things discovered. We had really only expected to be there for a short time, however we got caught up in the building and it’s history. We ended up being there for another 5 ½ hours. We investigated with EMF, Digital sound recorders and mini DV’s. It was during the 11 o’clock hour, we were on the third floor, and we had just finished doing a ‘separate’ investigation, where each member took a room and just stood and monitored it. The ‘feeling’ was more unsettling than anything. We were standing together in the hallway with two staircases, one goes up to the attic and one goes down to the office. Diane and Chris both heard a knock, then another. It appeared to be coming from downstairs by the office. We stood our ground and asked for more. We got it. Several knocks in succession, coming from the downstairs foyer. We decided to go on down to find where the knocking was coming from. At the bottom of the stairs is the foyer and office door. Upon reaching this floor the EMF detector spiked from .1 (Gause) to 2.1. When we left the foyer into the music room the EMF dropped off to .1. When we went into the office it also dropped back off to .1. Immediately after we returned to the foyer, the EMF was back to .1. We could not explain the EMF spike or the knocking. But we did capture this on mini DV.

SMGw has really enjoyed investigating this old facility. We made new friends and SMGw members. We attained more orb footage, sound and video to share with like minded people. We are just truly pleased with the entire experience.

An additional happy note: We have been granted permission to investigate the new Bates County Museum. This facility has much history to it and numerous ghosts’ stories. So stay tuned….

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