While performing public investigations at the Paine House in Coventry, R.I. we were asked by one of the directors
there if we could contact some family members and address their concerns over a piece of property they had
inherited from their late parents. We performed a walk-through of the house and an detached barn on the site
and scheduled an investigation, the purpose of which would be to document any potential spirit energies that
might still be present regardless of their nature. We would be assisted by TAPS Home Team members Christine
Downes and Joe Chin.
RISEUP Investigators Present: Ken DeCosta
Geographical and Historical Data
The house was built in 1873 with the barn construction preceding that date in 1867. The land currently
attached to the house has diminished over time and with surrounding development. It was formerly a working
farm built and operated by a family named Campbell. A pig pen that is attached to the basement foundation is
one of the few remnants of its earlier use. The animals could access the cellar for warmth during the coldest days
and seek shade during the warmest.
The barn also has a loft area (below) which is currently used for stage and still contains many personal
possessions of its former inhabitants kept there for safe keeping and a link to its past. The roof is in remarkable
shape, as is the best of the structure and is free of any breach from water, insects or vermin. Replacement or
reconstruction of the building is minimal at best with the last significant renovations coming in the 1970s to brace
the floor of the loft. The condition for a building this age is impeccable.
A cellar once used for storing preserves still exists below the first floor. Currently, it is employed as a small
storage area and contains the original windows from the home. The foundation is constructed from granite
(probably excavated on-site) and mortar. A spinster aunt of the surviving children once died as the result of a
spider bite here in the 1940s. She eventually contracted a staph infection which claimed her life.
The town of West Warwick was incorporated in 1913, meaning this particular property was once considered
part of Warwick and the name of the street - Washington - was most likely called something else before that date.
This makes research a bit more difficult, but hardly impossible. With that incorporation, West Warwick is the
youngest town in the state of Rhode Island. The town split because local Democratic politicians wanted to
consolidate their power and isolate their section of town from the Republican-dominated farmland in the east.
The property was eventually purchased by the parents of the family hosting us. Their father passed in 2001
and their mother earlier in 2011. Both parents were of strong Irish descent.
As stated, this was not our usual approach to claims of paranormal activity as there were no existing reports
from the home. While we don't embrace the approach of 'ghost hunters' looking for evidence where it may not
exist, we were anxious to help with this situation if nothing else than to dissuade the family from embracing what
may be nothing more a collective wish-fulfillment by the surviving children of the couple who most recently owned
the property. Essentially, they wanted to know if either of their parents were still present. We agreed to take this
on because of our relationship with their cousin, one of the directors at Paine House and because we felt this may
facilitate the need for closure for them. Christine and Joe were briefed on the situation and agreed to sync their
own approaches and intentions to mirror ours.
Our decision based on what we felt we needed to accomplish was to break up the investigators in two groups
and alternate sessions in the house and barn separate from each other. We chose to run recording equipment
constantly in the home as it seemed to be a safe bet that it would be the epicenter of activity. Ken and Dave
DeCosta headed up the first group there.
Ken conducted an EVP session inside a parlor where keeping with Irish tradition, bodies of deceased family
members were routinely viewed before burial while David monitored environmental and atmospheric readings.
Ken also conducted another solo session inside a first floor bedroom that was set aside for gravely ill family
members who would eventually expire in the room. It was related to us that at least 3 family members had taken
their final breaths here. The sessions alternated between silent vigils and more interactive methods. The family,
along with Christine and Joe would join us a bit later in the night. We experienced nothing anomalous even after
allowing the surviving members to ask questions relative to their family situation. Likewise, all other audio and
video recordings did not yield any positive results.
Earlier in the evening, the sessions inside the barn proved to resemble something less than the quiet
experienced inside the home. In the loft, during a routine conversation amongst the investigators, the sound of a
woman singing at 0:08 was captured on a digital recorder. The clip has been filtered to eliminate a significant
amount of "hiss".
The barn on the property was also used as a workshop for the man of the house as he loved to putter around
with projects and repairs. Ken addressed the gentleman on that topic and we may have discovered it was not
quite the place of refuge as one may have been led to believe.
"No" at 0:05
The most intriguing episode of the evening happened in the loft as well. While conducting an EVP session with
members of the family present and requesting some manner of confirmation of a presence with us, investigators
heard the clear sound of a clock chiming four times. This is when things got extremely interesting. It was by this
time 10:45 pm, so the notion of a nearby church bell tower being the cause did not factor into what was heard.
There were no observations of religious holidays, no local emergencies and no late night civic functions going on
in the town and four chimes obviously did not correspond to time keeping at such a late hour. Most churches that
still maintain this practice these days suspend the tolling of bells at 6-7 pm. The sound brought an immediate and
emotional response from the family members however as they stated beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was
the sound of clock chimes and in particular, the exact sound one particular clock made that was located in the
house and was a familiar tone to them while growing up there. The are now all in their 40s and 50s and all agree
on what they heard audibly inside the loft. It took some time for at least two female family members to compose
themselves after hearing the chimes. The sound did not repeat and taking a leap of faith one has to at least
entertain the notion that it was a sign - audibly - of something very recognizable to those who called the property
their home growing up.
What is even more bizarre about this incident is that the clock is no longer in the house but sits in the home of
one of the daughters that was present for this investigation.
More interesting is they seem to build in intensity as bells 3 & 4 are louder than the other three as if the sound
is passing by us. The chimes sounds have been moderately amplified at the same levels to help convey this event.
Later, the entire group assembled in the barn cellar where the letters from Maggie Taylor were found. While
conducting an EVP session a series of knocks or possible footsteps were recorded originating from the first floor
above us. Everyone on the property at the time was accounted for and within sight. After the initial knocking, two
investigators went up stairs to determine the cause of the sound and returned with no explanation. These sounds
disappeared as quickly as they began and yet another check upstairs by Dave DeCosta during the session while
we continued to ask questions proved no one was upstairs and there was no rational reason for the knocks. Dave
saw or heard nothing on the first floor or in the loft to explain these sounds.
At this same point in time, Joe Chin believes he sees light coming through the cracks of the ceiling being blocked
out and at least two other people heard footsteps in that same time frame. It was originally thought people from
the house had stopped inside the barn, but this was proven not to be the case.
As the questioning about the letters and the identity of the woman who wrote them continued, a digital
recorder captured a female voice in between our questions that appeared to be reaching out to us in a friendly
manner. A close listen also seems to suggest the presence of a brogue that might indicate it is spoken by
someone of Irish descent. At the end of the clip another investigator knocks on the closed barn door to let us
know he is joining us.
The final piece of evidential data is an EVP recorded while directly addressing Margaret (or "Maggie) and
asking for a better indication of her presence. We receive a raspy response and we cannot agree on what is said
Raspy female response
The investigation ended at approximately 1:30 am
Occasionally, we undertake an investigation that surprises us. The RISEUP method is always to approach each
case as objective observers and to display no bias toward belief or skepticism. In this particular instance, we were
doing only what we can call a favor for someone who has been extremely supportive and welcoming of us since
we've known them. We believed that in showing no evidence of a haunting or spiritual residue on the property it
might help with the healing process.
In all honesty, we would have preferred that to what actually transpired. We did not know how the family
would receive this information. Whether it would bring them comfort or raise even more questions and elevate
their grief. It was, in short, a risky proposition.
Are the voices we recorded those of family members whop have passed or those of the souls who lived here
more than one hundred years ago? That cannot be answered with true certainty. Perhaps both? No one can say so
with any certainty and we did our best not to lead the family in any particular direction. It is best they realize that
there are still questions to be asked and we did not come here to prove or disprove the notion that spirits of the
deceased still remain on this property. With the evidence presented to them, it is truly up to them.