DES MOINES - On May 2, 2009, Mid-Iowa Paranormal came back to investigate the American Theatre in Cherokee after having great experiences from the last investigation almost a year ago on June 20, 2008. Mid-Iowa Paranormal, founded by Robert Sinclair, has been the first paranormal investigations team to investigate the building.
The American Theatre was built in 1920 by Barry Sisk and Walter James, but they ran out of finances before being able to open the building. In 1923, Dale Goldie purchased the building from a sheriff's auction and opened the theatre in 1925. His wife, Hazel worked in the ticket booth for the majority of her life. The basement of the building was used to store civil defense supplies, and those supplies are still there in entirety in large barrels.
The first investigation produced some significant evidence that the team had hoped to attempt to mimic and debunk, but on the second investigation, were unsuccessful in doing so. During the first investigation, many EVP's or Electronic Voice Phenomena were captured on digital recorders. Many of these disembodied voices were in response to questions or stimulation by the team members, which often times suggests an intelligent haunting. After the investigation, Mid-Iowa Paranormal team members concluded that most of the activity was centered around a woman.
At the time, Mid-Iowa Paranormal had no female team members, so the female voices caught on the digital recorders are very legitimate. The team never determines the activity level of a building until completing at least two successful investigations, therefore after experiencing so much paranormal activity during the first investigation it was imperative to return to validate or debunk the evidence previously collected.
After the second investigation, many EVP's were also captured that had not been captured during the first investigation. After analyzing the evidence, the team deducted that the disembodied voices captured during the second investigation were not necessarily in response to questions or stimulation by the team members, which often suggests a residual haunting. Residual hauntings are the result of spirits basically replaying some significant moment in history whereas intelligent hauntings suggest that spirits are knowledgeable of the presence of people and can interact with them through noises, voices, or physical actions such as producing a cold spot or actually touching a person.
After performing both investigations, the team members put together all collected evidence and personal experiences from both investigations to determine that the American Theatre does have some paranormal activity whether it be intelligent or residual.
The building is not dangerous or harmful in anyway. The team hopes to return in the future to conduct another investigation at some point. For complete case reports for the first and second investigation check out the team website HYPERLINK "http://www.mid-iowaparanormal.com" www.mid-iowaparanormal.com.
The team wishes to thank the city of Cherokee and Linda McClaren, along with the rest of the staff at the American Theatre, for letting us conduct both investigations.