On September 22, 2009, Becky received an email from Dana Matson, Director of Sales at the Rock Island Arsenal Golf Club & Quarters One. She stated that she would like to speak to her about an event that they would like to hold over at Quarters One on the Arsenal Island. She asked Becky to give her a call so that she could discuss it with her. As Becky was gone on vacation for the next two weeks, it was October 15th before she was able to return her call. Dana explained that she would like our group to do a presentation during a dinner at the golf club and then include the guests in a mini investigation. They agreed that it might be easier to get accurate information if MVP was to go in and perform an investigation ahead of time. Dana gave her the name and number of George and Mike, historians on the island, and Becky made a call, arranging to meet Mike for more information. MVP was asked to do a presentation on Nov. 13, but as the investigation could not be arranged until Nov. 7, MVP did not feel that would give us enough time to accurately review any information we might gather during our investigation. We wanted to make sure we were thorough reviewing all of the evidence.
In 1869, Rodman envisioned a house ornate enough to entertain guests and designed so a family and visitors could comfortably live there. Quarters One was designed by General Thomas Jefferson Rodman and constructed during 1870-1871 and the residence was ready for occupancy in 1872. It served as the family home of the highest-ranking officer on the Arsenal and was the second-largest single family residence owned by the federal government, behind only the White House. Quarters One consists of over 20,000 square feet, and about 50 rooms. It has a full basement, three floors, and a watch tower. The first large gathering there was a funeral in 1871 for Gen. Thomas Rodman, then commander of the Rock Island Arsenal and original constructor of the home itself.
The home has hosted many important gatherings in its 137-year history. Kings and Queens slept there as well as U.S. President Taft in the making. So did Charles Lindbergh, soon after his historic solo trans-Atlantic.
Two years ago, the Army determined that Quarters One needed approximately $3 million in repairs and upgrades to bring it up to modern standards. Earlier this year, Maj. Gen. Robert M. Radin and his wife Sara moved out of Quarters One to Quarters Six, another historic residence on the Arsenal. Future uses for Quarters One are being considered.
On November 7th, MVP met with Dana and Mike at 7:00 to do a walk through and set up for the investigation. Members present at this investigation were Becky, Steph, Stephen, Diana, Sally, Amy, and two new members Jordan and Bob.
Mike took us all on the walk-thru, covering every part of Quarters One, minus the tower. We would like to thank him again for his informative and interesting knowledge about the history of the place, as well as the present happenings.
One current phenomenon mentioned by him was the turning on and off of lights while no one is at the home, as well as doors opening and shutting on their own. On one instance, all of the windows throughout the 2nd floor of the home opened simultaneously. Employees have seen shadows and shapes and there have been phantom smells of roses and cinnamon. A usually well-mannered dog refuses to enter a certain room. Maintenance workers refuse to enter a particular room in the basement. Drumming noises have been heard as well as disembodied voices. A Confederate soldier had been spotted numerous times outside, leaning next to the first tree on the right as you enter the home’s driveway.
A worker had committed suicide in the basement, a young girl may haunt the upper floors, and the old owners and boarders may continue to be here as well. We could tell we had our work cut out for us.
After the walk-thru the team stepped outside first and checked out the “soldier tree”, then made our way around the outside of the home, taking pictures of the home and surrounding areas. We then gathered together into the main hall and attempted the Singapore theory to stir up any activity in the house. The Singapore theory is when music of a certain time period is played relevant to the time period of the hauntings of the home. We played “Yankee Doodle” and a few military marches and afterwards, introduced ourselves and conducted an EVP session.
Bob and Steph set up a video camera in the Lindbergh bedroom on the second floor. We felt this room was the hottest spot in the house due to hearing of the past personal experiences there.
The group then split up, and the teams went on their separate ways. The teams had been pre-determined by the lead investigators, with re-organization of teams throughout the night so that everyone would have a chance to work together. One team, led by Stephanie, went into the basement and the other team, led by Becky, made their way to the second floor. We wanted a floor between teams in order to help avoid noise contamination.
Once we finished our floors, we regrouped and formed two different teams. This time Steph’s team investigated the third floor and the tower ending up in the Lindbergh room on the second floor, and Becky’s team stayed on the main floor. After thoroughly investigating our areas, we regrouped again and Steph took a team back down into the basement.
After several hours of investigating, the group decided to pack it up and call it a night. We thanked Dana for the incredible opportunity and made our way to our homes to sleep, excited to begin reviewing our video and audio recorders during the next few days.
The following experiences were reported by various members. Evidence is also included down below.
The whole team, including the historian Mike, smelled what seemed like a burning candle or kerosene during the walk-thru in one of the second floor back rooms. There were also black scorch marks on the grates of the fireplace in the room, which Mike stated had not been there before. The smell was quite strong and everyone smelled it. It then faded away within about five to ten minutes.
Steph, Jordan, and Sally all felt a strange sensation down in the basement while in the “meat preparation room”, after some strange noises were heard by all, including Stephen and Bob, outside of the room in the hallway. Jordan felt a sensation on her arm as if something was touching her, Steph then felt something lightly touching and moving her DVR recorder which was being held flat out in her palm, and then Sally felt something lightly touch her hair. All of these things happened about 2 to 3 minutes apart. The males in the room experienced nothing.
Steph had a personal experience in the basement, towards the end of the night. “Me and Stephen were alone in the “meat preparation room” in the side closet. We had shut the door and I was telling Stephen what I believed may have happened in the room. They were just feelings, but I described having a very strong sense that a woman had been sexually assaulted in there. All of sudden, my vision, directly in front of my face went black as if something was suddenly in front of my face and passed me by. It was black enough to block everything out and it seemed to come at me quickly then away and I flinched strongly and vocally reacted. I’m not sure what it was, but it startled me quite a lot, and left me with a really bad and disturbed feeling the rest of the night, that I could not shake.”
Becky stated during the walk through in the 2nd floor room next to the Lindbergh room, she smelled the scent of roses while standing next to the fireplace mantle. By the time she mentioned it out loud, the scent had gone. She also heard a whispering sound while on the second floor, but this was not captured on audio.
Diana had an experience she felt worth mentioning. There was one time in the main area by the front door, when it was just me, Becky and Dana, that I had some weird feelings, like maybe we were being watched and at one point Becky and Dana were sitting across from me and it was pretty dark and it seemed like all the sudden the room got brighter because I could see Becky and Dana better. It was weird!
Stephen states – “My personal experiences include seeing the shadow on the second floor near the Lindbergh bedroom. The shadow I saw was my height and moved to the left quickly, blocking out the white doorway frame as it moved into the Lindbergh room. Bob and I then chased it inside, but we did not see the shadow again. I also had my shirt sleeve tugged both in the Lindbergh room and in the basement. I also heard a young girl giggle on the main floor.”
He and Jordan both shared an experience in the basement. Jordan states… “Steve, Stephanie, Sally, Bob, and I were in the basement. We gathered in the old courtroom, then Steve and I went to place a recorder in the room next door. Steve placed a recorder on the table and just as we were about to leave, we heard a noise in the corner. We both turned around as fast as we could and saw that the farthest door on the old kitchen cabinets was wide open. Steve said “Did that just open?” I replied that I believed it had. Stephanie and I had just been in that room a few moments before and none of the cabinet doors were open. (Steph verifies this). We called in the rest of the group and tested the door to check if it had opened on its own. If it had opened on its own it would have slammed into the pipe behind it, but it hadn’t. It seemed that it had been stopped before hitting the pipe.” (Steve had this event caught on audio)
Bob reported the following. My flashlight kept coming on in my back pocket,it is a 3-led flashlight with a push button switch, I’ve tried numerous times to recreate what happened but am unable to do so-the light is either on or off and will not stay in halfway position.
***A few more things had happened during the investigation, but due to some guests being in the home while the team was investigating, we cannot put enough validity into these things, as we were not certain that we knew where these guests were at all times. All of the experiences listed above, with the exception of the smell of the candle burning and Becky smelling the roses, happened after everyone had left and MVP were left alone in the house with only Dana to investigate.
*Pictures are not proof of Paranormal Activity
We hope to investigate Quarters One again, as the history and sheer beauty of the home is enough to bring us back. We believe there might be something going on in the house but did not receive enough hard evidence yet to deem it haunted for sure. We are currently planning a return investigation, to further research our personal experiences and to attempt further validation of what we believe to be some valid and unexplained EVPs.