Up for a ghost hunt? Team to host investigation at historic Butler County home

The Doty Homestead contained many pioneer-era items including dolls, furniture and clothing items which members of the Spiritual Realm Paranormal Investigators hope will draw the spirits out during their July 13 programs. CONTRIBUTED
The Doty Homestead contained many pioneer-era items including dolls, furniture and clothing items which members of the Spiritual Realm Paranormal Investigators hope will draw the spirits out during their July 13 programs. CONTRIBUTED

The Oxford Museum Association will host a visit by the Spiritual Realm Paranormal Investigators for two programs the evening in July 13 at the Doty House with an explanation of the equipment they use and an effort to contact any spirits in the house, the barn or the nearby Pioneer Cemetery.

“One of our former interns came to us with the idea and I thought it sounded interesting,” said Michael Case, the director of the museum association. “It should bring people who do not usually come to our properties, younger people as well.”

Called “Haunted History,” the program will be offered twice that evening—6 to 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. The earlier time will admit those 12 and over but the later one is for those 18 and older.

They will start with a bit of history of the property and those who lived there and then explain the equipment they use to communicate with the deceased. Then, they will use it to attempt to communicate with the long-dead residents of the property.

Participants will be divided into four groups who will go to four defined areas and then rotate through the four. Areas of focus will be the Doty House, the cellar of the house, the barn and the Pioneer Cemetery a little way up Brown Road.

Case said the Oxford Twp. Police Department is being notified that people will be walking on the road between the house and cemetery.

Tickets are $12 a person.

Ashlee Welborn is a member of Spiritual Realm Paranormal Investigators and serves as public relations and marketing manager for the group. She said the Doty House trip will be their first official event, although they have been there several times with Case and feel the program will be successful that night.

She said members of the group have been there at least four times, once since she joined them.

“We talked about approaching (Case) but he called before we could call him,” Welborn said. “We have been to DeWitt (Cabin) as well.”

Welborn said the group was co-founded by Ashlee St. Denis, a psychic medium in Cincinnati, Welborn said “can send and receive messages to the other side. She is sort of our beacon.”

She recognizes many are skeptical of what they do but said they have specific equipment aimed at communicating with spirits and see it as scientific research.

“We do not fabricate evidence. We go in with a scientific point of view,” she said. “Most of the time, it’s people reaching out to us. The Doty House has had good activity every time but did not identify anybody. We definitely reach people every time, always confirmed people associated with the house.”

Among the equipment they use are a static infrared camera, mag lights, an ovilus, Rempod and a “spirit box.”

Their mag lights, she said, are the twist kind which they turn off just at the point of lighting so a spirit can make it light. The ovilus is “phonetic generator with a 400-word database” which senses vibrations to convert into words.

The rempod is a “proximity sensor” which lights and beeps when the box is touched.

“We use that a lot,” Welborn said. “It sits on a chair and goes off. Somebody has to be touching it.”

The spirit box sweeps rapidly through AM radio traffic too fast to hear anything from the radio.

“If there is a voice, you know it is not from the radio,” she said.

She said their last visit to the Doty House brought the spirit of a boy aged 10-15 who liked music. She said they believe spirits sometimes attach to items that meant something to them in life, rather than a specific place. Since the Oxford Museum Association has collected many period pieces not originally part of the house or barn, they may be contacting spirits there with items on the property, rather than the house itself.

The house contained various dresses, including a wedding dress, and dolls and other items such as the loom which may hold such connections.

Welborn has designed a t-shirt participants can buy with an outline of the Doty House and the words, “I survived the Doty Homestead Haunted Tour.”

Proceeds will be divided between the Spiritual Realm Paranormal Investigators and the museum association.

Case and the SRPI are hoping to repeat the program in early September and again in October, near Halloween.

“We’re really, really excited about it. I hope there’s lots of involvement. I hope it will pique curiosity enough, but not be as scary as sitting in a dark room, like we do,” Welborn said. “I’m ready for it.”

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