ZELIENOPLE — The Kaufman House doesn't look haunted. It was built in 1903 and suffered a fire in 2011. It got a facelift under current owner Pat Boylan. There are no bats in the windows, no creaking door hinges. The only spooky element is the fact it has a four-year-old interior and a 116-year-old shell.
But self-described psychic sisters Suzanne and Jean Vincent said they were disturbed when they visited Thursday night. They said they've felt energies since they first stopped in the Kaufman House years ago.
“I used to see spirits all the time,” Suzanne said. “Checking things out. Making sure things were OK.”
“It's all loving and happy,” Jean added.
The Vincents are known as mediums, paranormal researchers and psychic criminal profilers. When they were in Zelienople years ago, Suzanne sensed she needed to go deeper into the Kaufman House.
“She was very bothered,” recalled Spring Street Café owner Mary Hess, who organized Thursday night's ghost tour with the sisters.
The tour began and ended at Spring Street Café. The heart of it took place in the Kaufman House, where visitors were encouraged to use spirit boxes, dowsing rods, EVP monitors, phones and cameras. The Vincents brought their own tools. A bouncy ball made the list. Jean explained she sensed the spirits of children during her last visit.
Those on the tour joined it for a variety of reasons. Walter Scott, a retired mechanical engineer from Zelienople, said he's interested in the scientific aspect.
“I'm very interested in physics,” Scott explained. “(The field's) becoming almost
While touring the basement floor of the house, Suzanne told visitors she identified four spirits:
- John, a former innkeeper, was stocky and definitely liked his food.
- Henry was watchful. His mission, according to Suzanne, was to keep the house safe.
- George, tall and dark, brought a strange energy for many visitors, especially when they walked through the back corner of the basement. Suzanne reported George died from injuries he sustained in a brawl. He was angry, according to the sisters, but not dangerous.
“Somebody beat him,” Suzanne told ghost seekers. “He's very angry about things.”
- The only female presence she felt was Myrtle: A former housekeeper, Myrtle was concerned no one was keeping order in the house. The continuing renovations didn't meet her standards.
Chelsea Mars, the great-granddaughter of former Kaufman House workers, tried to connect with spirits via dowsing rods.
“I could feel it all the way up in my arms,” she told her group of onlookers.
Joe assisted the sisters in their investigation. He provided ghost seekers with opportunities to ask questions of any present spirits. Joe cautioned that a ghost who was a liar in real life would be a bigger liar in death.
“Never ask them what it's like on the other side,” he advised. “They don't know. They haven't been there yet.”
The tour ended at the Spring Street Café with hors d'oeuvres and an analysis of the tour. Many people reported they felt something in the house. Scott didn't see anything himself, but enjoyed the adventure. Though they feel fine-tuned to spirits, the Vincent sisters believe everyone has a little medium in them. They encouraged seekers to try to feel the energies in the house.
“We're just helpers,” Jean said. “We're just helpers to the other side.”