Taphephobia is the fear of being buried alive. Some people took this fear to the grave with them, literally. Blog “This Week in Weird” goes into detail of this fear, so prevalent in 18th and 19th century that some people actually put windows into their burial chambers. This article follows the story of Timothy Clark Smith and his tomb with a view.


By: Jesse Jokela – Historical Researcher and Investigator

DTU is taking a break for the Holidays…


~ The DTU Family

UPDATE! And an Old Article Revisited.

Hello, minions (ahem) I mean followers of our team’s blog! For those that have been wondering about us, we are still here and investigating. This summer has been very hectic in each members personal life. Team leader Karen (Me!) has graduated college and is now in the process of filling out graduate school applications and studying to take the dreaded GRE. It’s a hard and very expensive test.
But to answer your questions, YES we did go to Summerwind and YES it was amazing. The drive was about 5 hours and it was quite an experience getting to investigate with another group and see how other peoples techniques and equipment stacked up against our own. We met some great people and it was fun camping out. (Mosquitoes not so much fun.) Unfortunately, no personal experiences were had and no EVP’s were caught. However, if you ever get the opportunity to check out Summerwind, I highly recommend you do so. While the jury is still out if there is paranormal activity there, the ruins of what used to be the mansion are worth exploring. Also… beware of BATS! William and I were assaulted by a flying bat. (The mammal not a bat of the baseball variety.)
Speaking of William and Summerwind, let’s revisit an article he wrote about its history.

Summerwind was a large estate in Northern Wisconsin built
in 1916 on the shore of West Bay Lake. It’s original owner was
Robert P. Lamont who used the mansion as a getaway during
his years working in the Hoover administration. Unfortunately
for Mr. Lamont not all the time he spent there was entirely calm.
One evening Lamont spotted what he thought was an intruder in the
kitchen. He took a pistol he had at hand and fired several rounds
at the supposed intruder. His bullets, however, only struck the
door frame to the basement door as there was no actual intruder.

Years later, after the Lamont’s had sold the property and several
others had owned it and not occupied it the Hinshaw family finally
bought the property and took up residence. What they experienced
went far beyond just seeing a figure. They saw shadows, heard voices
and saw the apparition of a woman float past a set of french
doors in the house.

Then things in the house started to do things on their own. Appliances
would break and then fix themselves before a repairman could
arrive to take a look. Windows would open and close themselves
at all hours of the day and night. Doors that they knew had been closed
would open themselves. The house had a profound impact on the life
of the Hinshaw family for many years after.

There is much more to tell about the mysterious Summerwind Mansion
but I don’t have the space to cover all of it here. The sad part of
all of this to me is that the house itself no longer stands so we
will never be able to investigate such an intriguing place and
see for ourselves if the stories are true.


…DTU will be going up to Summerwind to meet with other teams and investigate the notoriously haunted ruins. CAN’T WAIT!

For those who liked to be creeped out…

Are you looking to experience ghoulish hauntings from the comfort of your own home? Are you fascinated by real life tales of things that go bump in the night? Do you have a slight obsession with hearing the crack of a spine?….a book spine that is! Avid reader and blogger Catherine Kovach has compiled and reviewed some of the greatest works of nonfiction ghost stories, from “The Amityville Horror” to “The Demonologist” and so much more! If you’re looking for a good read and an even better scare this list is for you!


By: Jesse Jokela – Historical Researcher and Investigator


Closure. Curiosity. Proof. Confirmation. These are things I was searching for when I decided to join DTU. It had turned into a decision that I wish I would have made sooner in my life. It was the year 2002 when I welcomed my beautiful first baby boy into the world at the young age of 21. Life was great, I was finally given the greatest gift God could give anyone… a human life. What was short lived happiness turned into helplessness, sadness, confusion, and anger. “My son has what?” I asked the doctor. He repeated, “SMA.” It stands for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. After I had heard this news at his 5 month check up, the rest of what was coming out of the doctors mouth was a complete blur. All I remember asking is, “He’s going to live… right?” The doctor didn’t hesitate with his answer. “No.” You will be lucky to get 2 years but most pass around 6 months of age. We took him home, we told our family. I quit my job. The next few days were silence and shock. We did give Christian the best life we could, filled with lots of love. I never left his side. In June of 2003, Christian wasn’t doing great. His breathing became labored, and he looked tired. The night of the 25th, his stats weren’t good. I told him it was okay to go home to God. He died peacefully in my arms. The look in his eyes was one I will never forget. They read, “Mom, why aren’t you helping me?” After months passing and going through each stage of losing someone, I started questioning God and Heaven. Did it even exist? Was I lying to Christian? Will I ever see him again? Did any type of after life exist? I guess I will never know, right? Well 13 years later, I have finally made my decision to set out to see if I can find any proof of the afterlife. Joining DTU was a blessing I have learned so much while making friends along the way. The best part is, on this journey of mine I get to help others. I now have 4 beautiful, healthy children and cannot wait for this next chapter in my life.

By: Rachel Andrea – Lead Investigator

Past Life Regression

The concept of reincarnation stirs many people’s emotions. Whether one believes in a higher power that rules over an afterlife kingdom or perhaps you believe that a person is reborn in a new life until their spirit attains some sort of enlightenment, the idea of a soul being placed in a new body after death is a strong idea. In this discussion a very interesting subsect is past life regression. This is especially fascinating when it comes to children.
One could easily make the argument that if a person, an adult, were to give details of a dead person’s life, it’s likely they could’ve had an opportunity to find out the information. On the other hand what can one say when at their very earliest stages of being able to communicate, a child begins telling of past experiences of life, and more frighteningly, death? Not only just seemingly random ideas but such detailed descriptions that the past life can actually be identified? Often in these cases not only will the child know impossible information but they seemingly resemble the person whose life they seem to be recalling. Such observations makes the argument against the idea a little more difficult.
One Dr. Ian Stevenson studied many possible cases of past life regression in children, nearly 2500 in total. Of those cases, nearly half (1200), in Dr. Stevenson’s opinion could be objectively validated. In his forty years of research one must consider that he built quite an adequate concept of what to look for in avoiding possible hoaxes.
If we were to put aside our personal feelings and look at his evidence objectively, it would be difficult to deny that this is a legitimate phenomenon that we must continue to observe and study. These occurrences could hold the answer to whether life after death is not only plausible but real. I can tell you, as a paranormal investigator such proof would help to validate what we look for in each investigation.

By: William Cleveland – Investigator

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