Do you believe in Ghosts? Paranormal team finds possible hints of spiritual activity at Legacy Museum

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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A night of mystery awaited Georgia Paranormal Investigators as they traveled through the quiet confinements of the LaGrange’s Legacy Museum on Main, but the evidence they gathered that night suggests that they might not have been alone.

Assisted by museum archivists Lewis Powell and Alex Hughes, the seven-member team toured the century-old building that has served as the museum since 1983.

The group’s interest was particularly targeted toward Fuller E. Callaway, Sr., who investigator Philip R. Wyatt claimed he had a premonition of prior to the groups’ visit to LaGrange.

Wyatt along with the other team members, Stephanie Elgaydi, Michelle Panyik, Gerry Tosone, Victoria Wolf, Lisa Schneur and her daughter, Anna Schnur, note themselves as sensitives, or individuals who are attuned to the energy of other people, and at times, entities, around them.

“I was in the shower when I had a premonition of Fuller … and he showed me a pinkie ring on his left hand,” Wyatt said. “Then, I started getting this feeling he was excited that there was someone he could [communicate with.]”

As Elgaydi prepared research for the group’s visit, she found a picture with Callaway sporting the ring. Hughes later revealed the ring in question had been given to Callaway by his mother on her deathbed.

Georgia Paranormal Investigator’s Philip R. Wyatt sets up a grid light in the Legacy Museum on Main’s basement. The piece of equipment goes off when it detects movement, physical or otherwise.

On three separate occasions, investigators received substantial activity from the office, which had a REM Pod, a device that measures temperature energy changes and vibrations, on the desk.

The group began to set up equipment around 8 p.m. Saturday night and conducted their investigation around 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

The library also received minor activity but investigators made no direct communication.

During each investigation, team members were asked to identify any sounds or movements they made in order to eliminate any outside noises that could deter from the investigation’s findings. Each investigator additionally was required to take another person with them each time they went to a room for accountability and signed medical forms beforehand.

During the initial interview in the museum’s conference room, investigators asked Callaway to come through and communicate with several equipment pieces: a radio frequency meter, a natural triField meter, a tribolic static detector meter, or a EMF, and a REM pod.

Wyatt, Powell and Hughes and the rest of the team attempted to make contact with Callaway, and when one piece of equipment indicated that an entity was present, Wyatt inquired if the entity was Callaway, but after several additional questions, it identified itself as a woman.

Hughes and Powell used their knowledge of the Callaway family to conclude that the entity they spoke to might be Olivia Phratt Jewel Cason, mother of Ida Jane Cason Callaway, the wife of Fuller E. Callaway, Sr. Hughes said to his knowledge she would not have worked in the building.

“She would have lived in the house close by at Hills and Dales with Ida and Fuller,” he said.

The group lost communication with the entity shortly after the interview but received contact from another entity through a spirit box session later that night.

The entity said the phrase “eight days” but gave no other indication of what it meant.

The area that ultimately received the most activity was Hughes’ office, where Callaway’s original desk sits. Investigators placed a cigar and bottle of prosecco on the desk prior to the investigation to draw Callaway in.

Georgia Paranormal Investigators Philip R. Wyatt, Gerry Tosone and Stephanie Elgaydi receive a history lesson from museum archivist Lewis Powell prior to their investigation for paranormal activity within the museum.

During this interview, the REM pod went off on Callaway’s desk twice in the room behind the conference room. Wyatt, Hughes and Powell returned a second time where an entity seemed to indicate it wanted to speak with Powell alone.

The team did a final interview at Callaway’s desk near the end of the investigation where Powell and Hughes communicated with an entity through the spirit box and REM pod. The REM pod went off several times during the nearly 30-minute interview and would stay on to the point where Powell had to physically try to turn it off. Eventually, Powell and Hughes prompted if the entity wanted them and investigator Elgaydi, who was filming the interaction, to leave, and the reading indicated yes.

Later, Elgaydi returned to the room to gather equipment but immediately turned around.

“I got this feeling of ‘I’m done with you, leave us alone,’” she said. “It wasn’t a mean sort of thing, it was more like, ‘enough, please.’”

Investigators would additionally investigate the building library, basement, third-floor archives room and records room. Investigators were headquartered on the museum’s first floor.

In July, the museum’s long-time school records clerk, Earnestine Smith, passed away suddenly. Staff members keep a picture of her in the library near where her office once was.

Wyatt nor any of the other investigators sensed her.

“She’s not here,” Wyatt indicated.

Other team members used a spirit box to make communication with what they believed was a five-year-old child on the third floor, but could not identify who it was or why it was there.

Georgia Paranormal Investigators were not the first group to grace the Legacy Museum in hopes of capturing glimpses of the unknown.

In January 2020, The Spirts of Lanier, a four-generation paranormal investigator group from Forsyth, conducted an investigation, Powell recalled.

“I look over and notice that the husband of our executive director keeps rubbing his neck,” Powell said.

“Eventually, the lead investigator notices as well and said, ‘they’re touching you, aren’t they?’ He has literally grown up in this building, so it’s interesting that they would focus on him, and throughout the rest of the investigation he continued to rub the back of his neck.”

Investigators additionally captured photos containing humanoid figures throughout the building, as well as what appeared to be children-like figures on a structured light sensor camera, Powell said.

Even before these investigations, the museum’s staff have reported their own experiences with what they’ve configured could be paranormal.

“When I first came in to set up my ghost tours in 2019 … the primary thing I was told [by staff] was that was that we had issues with our elevator,” Powell said. “The elevator would go up and down all the time, stop on a floor even when it’s not called and the bell will ding. I took it with a grain of salt … but as I started giving my tours … I would get to the part of the elevator and low and behold that elevator would ding.”

Powell was told that the entity behind the elevator issues was possibly Hatton Lovejoy, a business associate of the Callaway family.

Other incidents reported by staff include footsteps on the upper floors and on the replica of the Horace King Bridge on the first floor when no one else was in the building.

The building was originally constructed in the early 1900s as a bank and as office space for Callaway and his associates.

The team is currently reviewing hours of video footage and voice recordings captured that night, a process that could take several weeks, Wyatt said.

Georgia Paranormal Investigators sent the LDN its preliminary review on Tuesday and issued the following findings:

“After a preliminary evidence review, we were able to capture several videos of our equipment activating and showing intelligent responses to questions asked by investigators. Numerous male and female EVP voices were also captured on audio devices, which appear to be intelligent responses to conversations and inquiries,” the review said.

“A disembodied voice was captured on video audio in the basement in response to a question. Through our extensive experience in paranormal investigations, we believe the Legacy Museum and Archives Building have non-threatening friendly spirits either residing in or visit the location and that are willing to communicate.”