Holly Springs Paranormal Investigations
Kudzu Paranormal is a paranormal investigation group founded in 2017. Our goal is to research and investigate in Holly Springs, Mississippi and the surrounding area and towns to attempt to scientifically address paranormal activity. Follow us on our adventures!
Sandy Buford Founder and Lead Investigator Megan Wolfe Ghost Magnet and Investigator Alexa Ashmead Historian Phillip Knecht Historian and Investigator Clay Moore Skeptic
Davis House, at Strawberry Plains (January 21, 2017)
Research and History:
Unless otherwise stated, the main source of these notes come from: McAlexander, Hubert H. Strawberry Plains Audubon Center. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2008. Print.
The Davis House:
1851- Built by Ebenezer Nelms Davis. The plantation was named “Strawberry Plains” by his second wife Martha Greenlee Davis (McAlexander, 29).
1863- The house was burned in retaliation for Martha Davis killing a Union soldier.
1867- The family went into deeper debt restoring their house so they could live in it again. The restoration was described as:
“All windows and most doors were replaced, but neither the front nor back porticos were rebuilt. The hall was left with bare brick walls, along one of which ran a crude set of steps to the second floor. Only the two rooms to the east of the hall on both floors were plastered and finished. The front room on the east became the parlor, furnished with a carpet, a hanging lamp, and the furniture saved from the fire. This patched-together structure would house the Davises for another hundred years” (McAlexander, 76).
This same year, the Davis family declared bankruptcy. Their relative George J. Finley bought Strawberry Plains plantation. The Finley family allowed the Davis family to continue to farm. The Finleys gave the Davises access to 640 acres but kept 320 acres for themselves.
1875- The Davis family bought back 640 acres from the Finleys.
1927- John Presley Davis sold the rest of Strawberry Plains to the Finleys. Martha Moseley was allowed a lifetime tenancy and a small portion of land to rent. She stayed in the house and it was said that “In the 1960’s, the parlor presented merely a much worn version of the way it had looked in 1867” (McAlexander, 111).
1964- Martha Moseley moved out of the Davis House and into town.
1971- Restoration on the Davis House was started by Margaret and John Shackelford.
1998- Given over to Strawberry Plains Audubon Center.
1863- Martha Davis shot and killed a Union Soldier in the smoke house (not the Davis house) a Union officer came and said she was in the right. Unfortunately, a few months later the Davis family was punished by Union soldiers. They came and burned the house until “only the charred walls were left standing” (McAlexander, 70).
1870’s – Susan Stephenson and her unborn child were killed. Zeek’s descendants say that her “husband” (man she was married off to in 1867) beat her to death because he was jealous of her continual and loving relationship with Eben Davis, Jr.
Pictures from the Investigation (Courtesy of Megan Wolfe):
The mini swamp behind the Davis Mansion was our first stop before going into the house. Well built wildlife viewing bridges and walkways made it easy to maneuver while watching the sky for severe thunderstorms that were to hit Holly Springs later that evening.
After unloading equipment and sleeping bags, we set up our ‘headquarters’ in the 1970’s addition to the house, better known as the den. Then began our initial new equipment training and see what the GoPro with IR and Full Spectrum light would do.
We did a full sweep of the Davis House to get temperature readings and just to get a feel for the different rooms including 2 parlors with some “original to the house” pieces of furniture, back porch with full bird viewing windows, formal dining room, massive staircase, a large stair landing, 4 full bedrooms and 3 ensuite baths. Lots and lots of 19th century period antiques, all room appropriate, and amazing period artwork as well. John J. Audubon prints adorn the home.
This particular night became more of a field day than a ghost hunt. No video activity captured, no footsteps, no cold spots. We did capture a little audio evidence upstairs on our SB-7 Spirit Box. It continually said one of our investigator’s names and we caught a female voice EVP saying “one” right after an investigator says “one”. The strangest feeling room to all of us was the “Baby Room” upstairs where there is an antique crib and double bed. Just felt a little heavier in there.
Our engineer investigator has discovered many ways to get K-2 and Mel Meters to react to cell phones. He had a few good laughs before letting us all in on the joke after we became excited to see lights blinking and sounding off. After we beat the crap out of him, the storm began with spooky lightening and thunder as you see in haunted house movies. The ghosts were few, the hunting was such a great experience, and the friends were even better.
Graceland Too (April 22nd, 2017)
Research and History:
1853: House is built by James McKinney
1857-1866: House is owned by Edward Frank
1866-1889: House is owned by John H. Record
1889: House is purchased by Needham T. Bryant (1852-1937) and his wife Jennie A. Bryant (d. 1913). The home is owned by the Bryant family for the next 85 years, during which time the house was called “Bryant House”
1974-1980: House is owned by Charles Corey Sr. (1923-2002)
1980-1986: House is owned by Charles N. Dean Jr. (1927-1983)
1986: House is purchased by Paul MacLeod (d. 2014)
Beginning in 1991, Paul MacLeod began calling this house “Graceland Too”, and along with his son, Elvis Aron Presley MacLeod, filled the house with pictures and other items associated with Elvis Presley. The house was open to the public, 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. For 25 years, the house was visited by tens of thousands of visitors, many from local colleges and universities, though MacLeod also had a large national and international following. MacLeod soon became known as the “World’s Greatest Elvis Presley Fan”. In his later years, MacLeod became somewhat eccentric, creating a prison yard in his backyard (to mimic a scene from Jail House Rock) and painted his house several strange shades of color, including blue and pink.
July 2015: Deaths of Dwight David Taylor Jr. and Paul MacLeod (see below)
January-May 2015: The contents of the house are sold at auction. Several pieces are saved by the Friends of Graceland Too and are eventually returned to the house.
December 2015-Present: House is purchased by Geoff and Marie Underwood, who begin much-needed restoration on the house.
Murders and Deaths:
July 15, 2014: Owner Paul MacLeod opens the door to a local man, Dwight David Taylor Jr. According to MacLeod, Taylor attempted to force his way inside the house. MacLeod shot Taylor once, who died inside the door of the main hallway. MacLeod was never charged with the death of Taylor.
July 17, 2014: Paul MacLeod is found dead sitting on his front porch. It was later determined that MacLeod died of natural causes.
Pictures from the Investigation (Courtesy of Megan Wolfe):
We began our investigation by setting up our equipment throughout the house. In the Record Room, a Motion Detector was set up. A MEL Meter and flashlight was set up on the mantle of the Portrait Room, while a REM Pod was placed in a corner of the same room. In the Shrine Room, the camera and a Laser Grid (for shadow detection) were set up. Phillip Knecht used two K2 Meters throughout the night.
We began the actual investigation together in the Portrait Room. This was also the room where most of the activity occurred throughout the night. At first, there was little activity in the Portrait Room. However, on three occasions, we had left the room, only for the MEL Meter to activate in our absence. The activity ceased as soon as we returned to the room (see Videos # 1 and # 2 below).
The greatest spike in activity occurred when both the MEL Meter and both handheld K2 Meters registered activity. All three devices spiked for several seconds, and the MEL Meter registered 14.8 Miliguass, which is very high. Immediately after the equipment activity, all three of us had severe chills for several seconds (see Video # 3).
In the main hallway, Phillip and Megan experienced more chills, following by the most unusual and inexplicable incident of the night: a loud sound began playing throughout the house for several seconds. By consensus, we agreed that the sound was coming from the alarm system on the nearby wall. However, the alarm system has been deactivated for over two years, and there was no power going into the system.
We conducted several spirit box sessions in the Portrait Room. These sessions resulted in several interesting results, including hearing all three of the investigator’s names (see Video # 4). Two EVPs were picked up on the Spirit Box, and one very strong and loud (though completely inaudible to all three investigators) EVP, which says “Babalu”, is heard on both the audio and video recording (See Video # 5).
The night ended in amazement of the level and type of activity, and the house and all three investigators were blessed before leaving.
Recording 1 (Spirit Box):
Sandy: “Do you live here?”
Spirit Box: “I’m dead.”
Recording 2 (Spirit Box):
Spirit Box: “Please! Leave!”
Phillip: “Did it just say leave?”
Recording 3 (Spirit Box)
Sandy: “How many, how many are here?”
Spirit Box: “Eight.”
Megan: “Is that eight?”
Spirit Box: “Turn it off!”
Spirit Box: “Come back.”
Recording 4 (E.V.P.)
E.V.P.: “Don’t Let Them See Me.”
Recording 5 (E.V.P.)
E.V.P.: “Phillip, it’s just Phillip.”
Video Recording 1:
This is the first time the MEL Meter began activating when we were outside the room, but stopped once we reentered.
Video Recording 2:
This is the second time the MEL Meter began activating when we were outside the room, but stopped once we reentered. “We have ourselves a ghost hunt!”
Video Recording 3:
The most activity we saw that night. Both the MEL Meter and both K2 Meters had a sudden burst of activity, followed by an intense chill effect for several seconds.
Video Recording 4:
Spirit Box session. At the end, the Spirit Box inexplicably fails.
Video Recording 5:
The strongest and most distinct E.V.P. of the night. A voice which seems to say “Babalu”, at 0.16. This was recorded on both video and audio.