Working for Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, New Jersey provided me with a unique opportunity this past July. Because they were looking for me to run a different kind of summer camp than the usual, I suggested a paranormal investigating camp for high school students. This camp would be held in a classroom and focus on the techniques and technology we use as well as examining haunted locations in New Jersey, legends and folklore, as well as famous cases throughout history. Well, no paranormal seminar could be complete without some actual investigating field work. We were allowed to check out two spots, both deemed “creepy” by some of the people who work on campus. While it was an amazing opportunity to be able to do something that no one else had done, our best results were found right in our very own classroom.
There is hardly anything online about Brookdale being haunted. Nothing to suggest that the property or buildings ever witnessed the death of anyone. There have been paranormal-themed events over the years, but only celebrity ghost hunters giving lectures in the theater. The college was built in the 1960’s (we were allowed into one of the oldest buildings, a former lecture hall) and although it is impossible to rule out no one ever dying on the property, I had no reason to believe that we would find anything on our week-long investigations. I assumed I would run the SB-7 Spirit Box in the classroom to get the students used to hearing the static noise and trying to teach them that any potential responses from ghosts can often be heard in between the different layers of static and white noise. But this would happen without getting any responses. We would then wander around campus with our gear, again, not finding anything. This camp was only going to be about the experience, and getting a chance to go hands-on with equipment that none of the participants had ever worked with. We ended up getting a little more than we bargained for.
Sure enough, when we conducted SB-7 sessions in the classroom, clear words were coming through. Only a few students had seen one of these devices in action on TV, but the rest were taken aback. As we began to ask questions, names started to come through. The first was “Lester”, and later a “Joe” and a “Peter”. These names would remain with us all week when we would ask for them over the SB-7. The first and only thing I could think of regarding their identities would be they were stable-hands or workers during the old Thompson Estate days from the late 1800’s. The land was owned by a wealthy family who bred and raced horses. The college sits were the stables and additional farmlands were, known as Brookdale Farms way back when. The main mansion is on the bordering property, Thompson Park, currently owned and maintained by the Monmouth County Park System. While the land could have been settled by Indians or settlers in New Jersey’s Colonial Era, or could have any number of uses unknown to history, it is still my opinion that the spirits we contacted during that week were workers from the Thompson Estate.
Raw Video Footage with Explanations
The next two videos to be posted here were shot after the camp had ended, when my assistant Patrick and I decided to do some additional investigating. The following paragraphs include time-stamped responses to make identification easier in case you want to give them a listen on our Ghosts on the Coast YouTube video channel. Both were shot in our classroom located in the MAC building. The exact location will remain anonymous.
First Video: 1) At 1:11 after I ask if there are any spirits in the room with us the response is, “No”, and seconds later an unintelligible response in the same voice when I ask another question. 2) After 1:31 what sounds like the name “Franklin”. 3) After 2:55 what sounds like “Oh yeah” or a two-syllable response. 4) An unintelligible response after 3:03. 5) “For real” after 3:12. 6) An unintelligible response after 4:20. 7) At around the 4:50 mark it starts to get chilly where we were standing and when we ask if it was making us cold it responded with, “No”. 8) A female voice says “Christian” after 5:19. 9) There were some more potential scattered responses in addition to the ones we marked.
Second Video: 1) After 0:50 when I ask, “Is anyone who worked at the Thompson Estate here?” the response is a clear “Estate”. 2) After 1:24 a voice says “a ghost” when we asked if someone tapped Patrick on the top of the head seconds earlier. 3) The word “me” at 1:46 and unintelligible at 1:49. 4) Possibly “school” around 2:00. 5) A full sentence starting at 2:20 that sounds like “Do your homework, kid”. 6) After 3:06 the word “idiot”. 7) Unintelligible after 3:35 and “prevent” or “prevented” after 3:40. 8) There might be a scream at the 3:55 mark. 9) At 4:01 Patrick asks, “How many spirits are with us?” and the response is “five” and more possible responses follow right after. 10) The name “Tom” at 5:23 after Patrick asks, “Is there someone next to me? Because I’m cold.”. 11) After 5:51 it says “I was”. 12) What sounds like “idiot” again at 6:21. 13) Unintelligible female voice after 7:04. 14) Possibly “goodbye” after 7:31 when we were saying goodbye to the spirits.
We also had a chance to check out other locations in the MAC and ATEC buildings. Because they were during the actual camp, there is no video footage. In one of the buildings which is now empty except for some desks, while running the SB-7, we did hear a desk drawer slam shut. This occurred when everyone was standing together, and there was no one else in the room at that particular time. There was even a chair that moved slightly on its own, but we cannot rule out a vibration or draft causing the movement. We also had more responses, but nothing too important to note.
Is the Brookdale campus haunted? I am not sure I can answer that without more time investigating, something which might not happen for a while, if at all. Even though we got responses and had experiences, I am still more inclined to chalk them up to us opening a type of portal which is known to happen (you can read through the paranormal section on this blog for more examples) when running the SB-7 for extended amounts of time and asking for spirit responses. No paranormal occurrences happened when the device was not running. Could the ghosts always be there and they just finally had a medium to communicate? Or were they called to us by using the device? It is impossible to know at this time. However, I cannot rule anything out because we did indeed have some incredible spirit responses and the land itself has history.
Lastly, it is important to note how the complexion of our humble classroom changed in the mere few days we were investigating in there. In addition to the SB-7, we also attempted to do a wine glass séance, as part of a fact-or fiction lesson on 1890’s spiritualism. When we began the camp on Monday, it was a just a regular room with a normal atmosphere. But by late Tuesday into Wednesday, there was a noticeable change. Even the students could tell. It began to feel like other locations I have investigated which I deemed to be haunted. There was an energy there that became thicker with each day and more investigating. This certainly falls in line with my earlier thoughts about some kind of portal being opened as a result of our inquisitiveness. When Patrick and I returned to the classroom the following week for a Civil War camp, the energy was gone and everything was back to normal. Nothing shocks me anymore, but I was pleasantly surprised at what we did encounter in our week investigating Brookdale Community College. It was much more than I ever thought we would find. What do you think?