A young couple asked us to try to determine the source of the strange activity inside their apartment.
RISEUP Investigators Present:
Geographical and Historical Data
The battleship Massachusetts whose permanent home is in Fall River, Ma.
The apartment is a "tenement-style" building in Fall River's south end. It is located a mere five minutes from
RISEUP's home base, so this would be a welcome change from our usual travel obligations. The area in which
the apartment is situated has a long history and this building fits comfortably into the earlier Greek-style
architecture of that particular neighborhood.
At the time of the establishment of the Plymouth Colony in 1620, the area what would one day become the
City of Fall River was inhabited by the Pokanoket Wampanoag tribe, headquartered at Mount Hope in what is now
Bristol, Rhode Island. The "falling" river that the name Fall River refers to is the Quequechan River (pronounced
"quick-a-shan" by locals) which flows through the city, dropping steeply into the bay. Quequechan is a
Wampanoag word believed to mean "Falling River" or "Leaping/Falling Waters." During the 1960s, Interstate 195
was constructed through the city along length of the Quequechan River. The portion west of Plymouth Avenue
was routed underground through a series of box culverts, while much of the eastern section "mill pond" was
filled in for the highway embankment. In 1653, Freetown was settled at Assonet Bay by members of the
Plymouth Colony, as part of Freeman's Purchase, which included the northern part of what is now Fall River. In
1683 Freetown was incorporated as a town within the colony. The southern part of what is now Fall River was
incorporated as the town of Tiverton as part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1694, a few years after the
merger with Plymouth Colony. In 1746, in the settlement of a colonial boundary dispute between Rhode Island
and Massachusetts, Tiverton was annexed to Rhode Island, along with Little Compton and what is now Newport
County, Rhode Island. The boundary was then placed approximately at what is now Columbia Street.
The early establishment of the textile industry in Fall River grew out of the developments made in nearby
Rhode Island beginning with Samuel Slater at Pawtucket in 1793. In 1811, Col. Joseph Durfee, the Revolutionary
War veteran and hero of the Battle of Freetown in 1778 built the Globe Manufactory (a spinning mill) at the
outlet of Cook Pond on Dwelly St. near what is now Globe Four Corners in the city's South End. (It was part of
Tiverton, Rhode Island at the time.) While Durfee's mill was never very successful, it marked the beginning of
the city's rise in the textile business. The real development of Fall River's industry, however, would occur along
the falling river from which it was named, about a mile north of Durfee's first mill. The Quequechan River, with
its eight falls, combined to make Fall River the best tidewater privilege in southern New England. It was perfect
for industrialization — big enough for profit and expansion, yet small enough to be developed by local capital
without interference from Boston.
By 1876, the city had 1/6th of all New England cotton capacity and one-half of all print cloth production.
"King Cotton" had definitely arrived. The "Spindle City" as it became known, was second in the world to only
This particular location had been the scene of a drug-related murder (date withheld), though the crime was
not committed in this particular apartment.
The primary concern of the couple was the appearance of "shadow figures" through the apartment. Often
times, these would be seen from various parts of the home moving across open doorways or darting in and out
The are also a number of claims about cabinet doors being opened and closed as well as appliances becoming
unplugged by themselves.
The full apparition of a small boy has been seen in the living room near the sofa (where Ken is sitting,
We entered the building at 6 pm and immediately began our equipment setup. IR stationary cameras were
placed in an office (where a computer is located and a shadow has been seen entering), the living room where
the apparition had been spotted, and the kitchen (below) where the couple has risen in the morning to find
cabinet doors opened.
We also learned that friends of the couple who had visited or been alone in the apartment, have also
witnessed the same type of phenomena they related to us. We asked to speak with one of the friends - a female
- and were told she would probably agree to do so at a future date.
The husband related stories to us that revolved around prior brushes with the paranormal in his youth. Some
of these were very profound and aroused our curiosity. One side room (below) houses a private tattoo studio, a
side occupation of the husband. There seemed to be no real preoccupation with the macabre in the displayed
samples, other than what would typically be offered in most ink parlors. This was important only in determining
if there was an elevated interest in the supernatural or the occult in this household.
Because of the relatively small size of the apartment, teams would work in tandem so as to not contaminate
the data gathered. The rest would either gather in the kitchen to watch the camera monitor or sit idly and
quietly in the living room with the occupants.
Tom and Shayna began the night by conducting an EVP session in the computer room. Tom positioned
himself on the floor in front of a closet door and Shayna took the swivel chair. This session did not produce any
tangible evidence audibly or visually.
While the investigators were inside, there was a loud bang from inside the bathroom which is adjacent to the
room they were sitting in. No source for the sound could be discerned after a lengthy check of the objects in and
around the room. It did sound as though a door had closed or was knocked on, but neither investigator nor the
person monitoring the session on the DVR in the kitchen - which is directly off the bathroom, saw anything out
of the ordinary, though everyone heard the sound. It was written off as nothing of particular interest beyond
Ken conducted an EVP session in the living room with David and the couple present, which took on a
demanding tone as it went on. Any entity present was challenged directly to show itself or to produce some
evidence of its presence. Ken was standing directly in front of a large fireplace with a wooden mantel. For all
intents and purposes, the fireplace was not functional, as the home had been divided into 3 apartments. When
asked for a sign, we received a very sharp, loud and distinct knock which was unmistakably that of an object
hitting wood. There were 4 people in the room at this time and all were quite surprised at the response. The
sound of this knock is not amplified in any way.
Audible knock on fireplace mantle.
Pursuing the possible presence of a legitimate phenomena, a repeat of the action was requested and once
again, more subtly this time at 0:07, another knock on the same mantle occurred.
There was no further repeat of this sound, the teams switched rooms and nothing out of the ordinary
occurred save for one final incident at the end of the evening.
While we were breaking down and packing our gear for the ride home, someone called out that the door Tom
had previously sat in front of during his computer room session had been found open. throughout the night, the
door was in full view of the IR stationary that was set up in that room. It remained in the closed position all
We entered the room and saw that indeed the door was open. We checked inside to eliminate the possibility
of a hole in the closet ceiling that might produce a draft that would blow the door open. The only reasonable
cause for it popping open might have been the thick housecoat that was hanging on the inside of the door,
Perhaps it was tight enough against the rest of the articles in there that it forced the door to open. Closing the
door, we found that upon latching, the coat would not have done this. We were also very much convinced the
door was latched shut all evening. Not reading too much into it - despite the unusual nature of the event - we
headed home and would begin our review the following morning, anticipating getting our answer because of the
camera trained on the door. We were quite excited at the potential of capturing something truly anomalous on
We ended up disappointed and quite shocked at what we found.
(Anatomy of a hoax)
The very nature of what we do always invites the possibility that something truly astounding will be
documented. More often that not, however, we come away with something less than that. This is an accepted
part of the process we go through and does not necessarily invalidate the claims we are presented with. The
relatively short window of opportunity we spend at a location pales in comparison with the time spent there by
its true inhabitants. Therefore we most likely will have a small sample on which to base a conclusion.
Sometimes, we do get lucky - other times, not. We try our best to explain this scenario to all clients and our
conclusions about the actual presence of phenomena that has been reported to us reflects that.
There are times as a group, we encounter individuals who are quite desperate for evidence that validates
their claims. This is more out of desire to prove to others - as well as themselves - that what they are
experiencing is tangible. Sometimes we will encounter someone who is less than satisfied with the lack of
evidence we might produce on a given night and may be quite dissatisfied with our conclusion. There are also
instances where our client may be very embarrassed that, despite our best efforts, we come up empty-handed
and assume some type of misplaced responsibility for it. Perhaps even going so far as to worry about us thinking
they made it all up.
It is true that at times people want to believe so badly that they misidentify normal events as being
paranormal. Some are so obsessed with the supernatural that their fondest hope is that their homes are playing
host to some form of mystical entity. Occasionally, there are a few who take things a bit too far. This was one
Upon review of the video, we clearly see the husband enter the room, take a quick peek at our camera, take
a robe off one door and then open the closet door. He then walked out of the room, returning when the call went
out that the door had been found open. The husband then stood there as we debated and inspected the door,
never uttering a word to us about his actions. Needless to say, our initial disappoint turned to anger and then
finally resignation that these sorts of things do happen.
The couple throughout the evening were extremely friendly, gracious and generous hosts, even going so far
as to order pizza for our crew. The claims were told with sincerity and we sensed a genuine anxiety on their part
as they were related to us. During the night, they expressed a small degree of frustration at the lack of any type
of overt phenomena in our presence. We did our best to dispel their concerns for our time spent there as we
conducted the investigation. At times there were apologetic at the reluctance of their "guests" to show
The motivation for this action can only be speculated on our part, but we do believe this might very well be a
case of a person desperately attempting to make it all "worth our while". Very telling was the husband's inquiries
after the incident as to what our IR cameras were and how they worked. It was clear then that he did not
understand their function and what they were capable of. This is one instance where the camera didn't lie.
We made the decision not to confront the couple about this as there was never any real need for a follow-up
to this case. If the husband did not act in concert with his wife, we did not wish to create a conflict between
them as she had already been quite compassionate towards us about the lack of activity. We simply chose to
take a higher road and not humiliate anyone, even though that easily could have happened to us had we not
caught everything on camera. If asked, we will not be returning.
In truth, we believe there is a real possibility their experiences are authentic and they need some outside
assistance, but this incident raised a real question in our minds as to the necessity of continuing as they had
previously expressed to us their intention to leave the apartment in the near future for better accommodations.
We chalked the incident up as a cautionary tale to other groups as well as ourselves and a reminder to be
thorough and diligent in reviewing evidence or accepting any as legitimate without covering all angles. We
remain pleased nonetheless that we did so in this case.