|U.S. Hotel, Plywood Incident|
|April 15, 2011|
|By Al Brindza|
On the evening of Friday April 15, 2011 the AMG (Allegheny Mountain Ghosthunters) had another scheduled ghost tour at the US Hotel. It was a small group and a few of the members were here several times before to do investigations. Just about everyone involved had a camera, camcorder, tape recorders or some other equipment to help in their quest to find some paranormal evidence. It didn't take long perhaps 20 minutes or so into the tour when the "Other Side" as we sometimes refer to them let their presences be known.
We were on the 2nd floor, investigator Bill Black and I had just left Room No.1 often referred to as the Hanging Room at the end of the hall. Jon was still behind talking with some other members of the tour as we made our way down the hallway towards our starting point. I was in the lead and to my left was another door leading to yet another hallway. As I started opening the door there was a loud crash and I felt something hit, putting pressure on the door. At this time of the evening it was semi-dark and flashlights were needed to move about. I had opened the door just wide enough to let myself slip through. I swear I heard a voice say "Get Out" as I shined my flashlight behind the door to see what was there. To my surprise it was a large sheet of plywood actually wedged in the crack of the hinged side of the door. Bill was behind me and we both just stared for a few seconds wondering how that happened and where did the plywood come from. By this time Jon arrived upon hearing the loud crash and like us wondered what had just happened.
We turned the hallway ceiling light on in front of Room No. 5 so we could see better. Upon closer examination we discovered that the sheet of ½" plywood approximately 4x8ft in size still had part of a window shutter attached to it and a number of 1-1/2" drywall screws sticking out through the wood every 8-12 inches or so apart all along its entire border. It was tightly wedged as I mentioned earlier and it took the effort of all 3 of us to remove and stand it up right. Still the question of where did it come from? Further examination showed that it was once attached to the window frame 4 ft. away to cover the huge window at the end of the hall. Not sure why the window was covered, for whatever reason the fact is the window was not open nor the glass broken, so a huge gust of wind could be ruled out, as one would first suspect to be the cause. The window still had 3 remaining shutters attached to it that were also in the closed position. Examination of the window frame indicated the screws were pulled out by force as seen by the damage we witnessed. Still the question remains, how and why did this heavy object come off the window and wedge itself 4ft. away in the doors small 1" hinge side opening as I just happend to be going through? What are the odds of that?
The three of us must have spent a good hour trying to figure this out. Try to picture this! If indeed the plywood was attached to the window frame as we suspect it had to fall straight down at least 2ft. to the floor, then move towards the door another 4ft and somehow turn itself on end to get a corner wedged above the bottom hinge level.
Now it gets interesting upon listening to our recorders at the time of the incident we picked up several EVPs one was a mans name. "Adam" another EVP said "Have respect for her" something to that effect part of the sentence was lost by our talking. A 3rd possible EVP came right after the name "Adam" The sentence started out as "Adam your going to ..someone." Not sure what the missing word or words are. My guess, "Adam you're going to hurt someone".
This incident still baffles us, it's one of those things where you have to be there and experience it. We ruled out the wind, especially since the window was not open nor the glass broken and three of the shutters were in tack. I thought of a change in building pressure as if someone might have opened an outside door, but ruled that out since the hallway fire doors were closed and the door in question had an open transom window above it that would neutralize any air difference in the hallway. One thing I forgot to mention early in the story before I tried to enter that hallway Jon had just come from that direction 5 mins. earlier and passed through that same doorway without any problems. In our favor though as investigators, we captured a few EVPs at the time of the incident.
In 2008 I captured on camera a "Shadow Man" type figure trying to materialize in that exact location. We also had an incident when one of out tour guests had her camera pushed in her face as she pointed it into Room No.5 again in the same location. Years ago within several feet of that location I captured a very clear EVP of an old man saying "To light a match" followed by a little boy mimicking what he said. "To light a match!" So, considering what evidence I mentioned above that occurred in that hallway it's very possible that the "Plywood Incident" may be tied to the paranormal. Yes, the US Hotel has quite a reputation as being haunted and our group continues to gather more and more evidence each time we visit .Would you be willing to spend a night there?
Note: The term "Plywood" was used in this article since most readers could relate to that. The correct name would be "OSB Board" for those people familiar with the building trade terms.