A former orphanage, now a private school, the McClelland School in Pueblo, CO. is a beautiful, atmospheric building which
exudes character and charm. I had investigated the school before, when working for another research group in Colorado, and
experienced some intriguing phenomena...for example, a book somehow fell to the floor in a closed room on an empty floor,
"falling" several feet outwards from the shelf and several feet to the side as well! Needless to say, I jumped at the
opportunity to go back.
We were fortunate enough to be joined on this investigation by our friends and colleagues from Colorado Paranormal
Research, a professional and motivated investigative team which covers Northern Colorado. The school is sufficiently large
to cope with big research teams, and even with a crew of sixteen people we weren't able to cover all of the property.
On arrival at dusk, we were met by the delightful Mrs. Gail Purcell, the office manager, and the principal, Mr. Ed Mercer.
A number of other McClelland staff and family members joined our team for the overnight investigation, and we were given a
friendly and courteous reception throughout. A guided tour was conducted for those members who were new to the school, before
we unloaded our equipment and began to set everything up for the night.
Everything was calm and tranquil for the majority of the night , up until midnight, at least. As the evening wore on,
unusual events did begin to take place.
Throughout the night, batteries in various devices were draining at an astonishing rate. Voice recorders, cameras, and
flashlights were losing power in a fraction of the usual time - and all batteries were factory-new when placed at the start
of the evening. It is a well-documented observation that paranormal phenomena is often accompanied by accelerated
battery drainage. One theory suggests that the phenomena is using the stored electrical capacitance to manifest itself - a
theory which has yet to be satisfactorily proven or disproven.
One standard operating procedure we use is to "go dark" at regular intervals. This means that we position observers at
strategic locations throughout the building and then bring down the lighting and maintain absolute silence for a given period
of time. We exercised this technique several times at McClelland, focusing our attention on each floor and also on the master
staircase. Two observers on different teams heard footsteps ascending the stairs, followed by a "swishing" noise that both
observers independantly described as sounding like that of a dress. One of the observers also witnessed a shadow, which she
states was "human shaped and sized", on the master staircase, at the top floor level. This was accompanied by the swishing
EMF, thermal, and radiation levels were unremarkable throughout the night. I had much the same experience last
time I investigated the school...momentary EMF spikes turned out, on further investigation, to be attributable to fluorescent
lighting on the floor below, or other mundane explanations.
Footsteps were heard throughout the building at various times during the night. However, it proved impossible for us
to localize them to one specific place. An unusual camera malfunction occurred downstairs in the basement, when a digital
camera (which has previously performed flawlessly) began to flip backwards through the recently-taken photographs while nobody
was operating the controls.
Nothing unusual showed up on our photographic media that night, either still, digital, or motion cameras. My colleague
Jessica Martin, who specializes in the recording of EVP, did record an interesting EVP at one point, which you can find elsewhere
on this page. Rest assured that the voice which can be heard answering her was not heard by anybody present at the time...
We packed up our equipment and headed home just before daybreak. I found out later that a staff member reported hearing
what she thought were childrens' footsteps, following the team out as we exited the building. Once again, the McClelland school
(and its fantastic staff) did not disappoint.
- Richard Estep, Director