Paranormal investigation at Rock Island Arsenal

Published: Nov. 1, 2017 at 3:34 PM CDT
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It's the time of year when we celebrate things that go bump in the night. But imagine living with Halloween haunts year round. That's apparently what some military families had to put up with while living on the Rock Island Arsenal.

We went to Quarters One, where a group of paranormal investigators has been tracking unusual activity.

On a blustery fall day, the stone mansion known as Quarters One looks stark and ominous. But inside, the main floor is elegant and inviting. Built in 1871 by General Thomas J. Rodman, it's been home to dozens of commanding officers and their families, and a few uninvited guests.

"There are times when doors will open and close on their own, alarms on every floor will go off," said Sheila Schafer with Rock Island Paranormal.

We recently took a tour of the stately mansion, which has been empty since 2008. The recent commanding officers who lived here are the ones who started to notice unusual activity going on. They're the ones who called for help.

"In the time we've been here, we've captured a lot of things in here," added Schafer.

Rock island Paranormal was first called to investigate all the goings on several years ago.

"This is one of the most active in the house, this is the blue room on the third floor," said Schafer as she pointed to the room on a computer screen that is hooked up to cameras.

There are cameras all over the house, and that's where they have captured sound and movement on the second and third floors.and in the basement.

"We've captured video evidence of things walking around and things moving. We've got flashlights that turn off and on by themselves," she added.

Two commanding officers died in the home and in the early years, it was a place where incoming military would stay, but they don't have any records on them. That might explain the haunts, but if you think these paranormal investigators are ghost-busters, they'll tell you differently. They try to debunk the mystery and when they can't?

"How do I explain it? Well, I would have to say there's really no explanation," said Schafer.

When they're not trying to track the apparent afterlife you'll find club members cleaning up at the very cemeteries where they conduct some of their investigations. We caught up with them picking up trash and setting new headstones at City Cemetery in Davenport.

"So we do our investigations, but we try to give back to our community," said club member Nicole Conger. "And the easiest and best way for us as paranormal investigators, why not do a cemetery?"

Club members say they've all witnessed the same kind of strange experiences, and that's why they band together. Whether it's giving credence to ghost stories in a nearly 150-year-old mansion or bringing respect to the dead, it's what they say they love to do.

You could call them supernatural heroes, helping others rest in peace.

"Because you never know what you're going to walk into," Conger said.