Archive | February, 2018

Preliminary Investigation of the Cokedale Mining Museum

24 Feb

Background and Description of Premises

On the evening of February 9, 2018, Light in the Dark Paranormal (LIDP) investigated the Cokedale Mining Museum. LIDP is a paranormal investigative group consisting of Louise Bosche and Paul and Adrian Hill. Also present was David Harris, Director of the Museum, and several citizens of the town and employees of government agencies located in the building. Cokedale’s a small historic mining town of just over 100 happy souls just west of Trinidad, Colorado.

The Museum itself, also housing the administrative offices of the town and a small post office, was formerly the Mercantile Exchange, a  busy place for coal miners and coke processors to come when they were actively employed in the company town back at the turn of the century. The building is reputed to be haunted by these and other individuals associated with the Exchange “back in the day.”

LIDP conducted a short investigation lasting about two hours, beginning roughly 7:30 p.m. The group started after a brief introduction to paranormal events by Paul Hill (PH) and historic background given by David Harris (DH). The weather that night was cold (20’s) and dry, with the wind eventually blowing from 5 to 10 mph, then calming. The heat was turned off in the museum and the electricity was left on with the lights at low levels. The heat and lights were left on in the offices.

The equipment used in this mini-investigation was minimal, including 2 small maglite flashlights, a hand-held digital recorder, a pocket video camcorder, a still camera, and ordinary compass. LIDP also refers to itself as humanly sensitive to varying degrees, and claims that they would be able to detect the presence of phenomena without hardware if it was present.

Evidence was collected and recorded by LIDP in the 2 hour period of the investigation. PH quickly eliminated the influence of geomagnetic fluctuations caused by geologic events (at least for that night) by the use of his compass which showed no irregularities (the region has been shaken by small quakes caused by fracking, an ongoing mining practice). In the 2 flashlight sessions conducted by Adrian Hill (AH) and Louise Bosche (LB), both audio and visual evidence was captured. Possible visual evidence was also obtained from still photographs taken by AH in the basement, and audio evidence was recorded by LB during her EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) recording done in the kitchen. Video was shot randomly and during the flashlight sessions by PH.

The Museum is a large barn-like building, housing the Museum, offices and auxillary rooms. The main level has a wood floor with peaked roof above, including glassed-in display cases of tools and other artifacts used by the miners, plus life-sized displays including figurines and furniture of the rooms lived in by their families. The upper level accessed by a wooden staircase is a loft-like affair, perhaps 15′ wide and surrounding and overlooking the main level below. Finally the full basement ran the entire length and width of the building, and was constructed of stone and concrete. It was used for storage, and had much misc. equipment and articles from different eras stored there. There was also a set of large wooden doors used for a walk-out to the exterior of the building. Parts of the main and upper levels also contained old equipment and some present-day furniture, including a large iron wheel-driven freight elevator that led to the top floor used when the building was still a miner’s store.

The ends of the rectangular structure were fronted on one end by double-doors that were the main entrance to the museum, including a side exit/entrance accessed by the public. The other end of the building was the rear which contained the Post Office and administrative offices of the city, including a small front office with counter for public access and the City Council chambers. There was also a large room converted to a kitchen. The atmosphere in these areas was heated, but felt “heavy” by anyone with any degree of sensitivity. Paranormal activity apparently was quite common as reported in these areas.

Handwritten accounts by witnesses long familiar with the museum were submitted to PH at the end of the investigation in a sealed envelope. These were not read at the time and shall remain anonymous for now, but suffice it to say that they helped corroborate the findings of LIDP, especially the stories of of a little girl.

Before the investigation began, a tour of the building was provided by DH, which LIDP was seeing for the first time. He provided historic background during his tour and pointed out some large mining equipment that is still on the floor and hanging on the walls of the main level. Many framed photos of the miners and their families were also apparent.

The Evidence

EVP’s / Digital Audio Recordings

In the kitchen toward the end of the investigation, LB and AH tried to record any EVP’s (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) on the digital recorder. At first there was nothing, but both noticed that someone was playing with the unit while it was still being hand-held. A flashlight was set on the counter, but never touched. The women asked if anyone would turn on the flash, but apparently only the recorder was being manipulated by someone else. That pattern repeated itself for about 10 min., and the session was ended.

When LB listened to the recorder at home a few days later, she heard a squeaky toy and a young child giggling, apparently picked-up in the kitchen when it was being manipulated. Unfortunately, we cannot playback these sounds for you as the unit was new and the recording was accidentally erased during the upload process.

PH can tell you that two of the written accounts by prior witnesses mention a little girl seen or heard. One wrote: ” . . . she has heard a young girl laughing or giggling in now what is the church yard.” The other account wrote of “a small child in a white dress with ringlets” who was killed at the Mercantile in an accident decades ago. In any case, LB states she was unaware of the little girl written about when she first listened to the digital recording.

Flashlight Sessions / YouTube Clips

Earlier in the investigation, LB and AH set up two Maglite flashlights on a table in the rear of the upper level. The idea was to get any ghosts to communicate with the operators by turning the flashlights on for “yes,” twice for “no,” etc. At the very least the light could be on or off when speaking. The investigators have never been able to activate the lights in non-paranormal environments (actively tested), and only in paranormal active settings when they do.

On the first occasion the flashlights were set up and the building lights were turned off with PH, DH, and the rest of the group standing in back. Numerous creaks and groans were heard and recorded from the building itself (paranormal?), but the flashlights remained dark while they were “spoken” to.

(View all YouTube videos below)

The sounds recorded during this first session are worth posting and listening to on YouTube, as is most of the session. Shortly thereafter, PH felt that the best place to setup the flashlights was on a table with a green tablecloth on the mail level toward the front of the building. He was correct. Both flashlights activated themselves in response to questioning by PH, LB, and AH (the observers took basically the same positions behind the table). The rest is self explanatory, and was video-recorded by PH. This session can be viewed below.

The second video can be regarded as solid evidence of paranormal activity; the first possibly since the flashlights weren’t activated by themselves, but noises were heard in the background. This could have been the wind hitting the building, or it may have been signs of paranormal activity.

(View all YouTube videos below)

Random Clip / YouTube

The third video posted to YouTube ( https:// ) shows a short clip shot from the upper level, randomly filmed. Its only about 34 seconds long, but about 23 seconds-in the video shows what turns about to be a large wire cutter apparently self-illuminating with an iridescent bluish hue. The light on the object lasts only 1/30 of a second, equal to one frame of video. Less than 1/2 of a second later, it shows a dimmer afterimage of the same object. Look for the flashes of light in the lower right of the video, and the unit lit up on the LR of the still photo.

The observations on the full motion video are in real time and first appear to be some kind of glitch. When slowed down to 20% of real time (slow motion) and with the scene captured as a still photo, one can see the object illuminated quite clearly. There are no shadows or diffused light on or around the object as one would expect from someone shining a light on it, or taking a photograph with a still camera and flash. The self-illumination perfectly follows only the outlines of the object. The only person we know of that had a still camera with flash (AH) attests that she did not photograph the object.

Did someone else who was not part of LIDP but among the other participants take a flash photo of the wire cutter at the same time PH was shooting the video? Again, that theory still does not fit the apparent self-illumination of only that object and nothing else around it.

(View all YouTube videos below)

Basement Orbs

PH, AH and several members of the group went down into the basement toward the end of the investigation. The large room has been described earlier in this report. While basements could be stuffy, with excessive dust and/or humidity, it was not. On the contrary, the basement was dry and the air was very breathable. AH took several still photos of the room. After reviewing these in-camera, she discovered “orbs” in many of the pictures.

Orbs are very controversial in paranormal circles. Even believers can be skeptics when it comes to orbs, thinking that they may be drops of moisture or dust particles on the lens or in the air. This would not be uncommon in a full basement where the ambient temperature, humidity, etc. would certainly be different from the upper levels.

LIDP will let the reader be the judge. The investigators can tell you that they have never seen so many orbs as in one of the photos. If paranormal, they are said to be precursors of fully-formed ghosts– death forms that float and are spherical, but do so intelligently– not just “blowing in the wind.”


All of the LIDP investigators have not yet seen the random video, but this author feels that its the most important evidence recorded if its what he thinks it is. Any entity able to energize a large man-made object, even for a very short time, is powerful. The phenomenon is akin to energizing a flashlight to communicate, but much greater. There may be a rational explanation, but if you try and debunk it and strip away all of the normal, you end up with . . .

LB’s EVP, even though it was lost, would have been the next most significant, leaving the flashlight session with the lights going on and off representing honest communication from the ghosts present as the next most significant. This was personally witnessed by the observers. We just don’t know who and how many ghosts activated the flashlights. This could have come from the little girl, who didn’t appear hesitant to reveal herself. Could have come from anyone, however. The first YouTube video having only the sounds of the building present is a bit suspect because of the wind at the time.

Finally AH’s still photos of orbs in the basement can be debunked because of the different environment. Dust and or moisture may have indeed caused the phenomenon. Then again since the air felt normal and not dusty, the existence of orbs, especially so many, may have been paranormal.

One final comment: this author feels that the presence of so many genuine artifacts in the Museum may be causing spiritual attachments to those objects used by the miners of old, and could account for some or all of the phenomena.

Suggestion: that another major investigation be done at the Museum. The presence of “civilian” observers went very well the first time, and could be a source of future donations to the Museum. However one more major investigation should be done solo. More equipment would be brought-in, and the time span would probably last until dawn. As always, no attempt would be made to banish the ghosts to the “Other Side.” This notion no longer has traction among serious paranormal investigators.

Thank you for your support, and if the reader has any questions, feel free to comment below or use the Contact Us link above for complete privacy.

Paul Hill, co-founder
Light in the Dark Paranormal
February 25, 2018



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