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PRS checks in to haunted cabin in upstate S.C.

March 15th, 2021

Invisible footsteps. Lights turning on and off. Disembodied voices and moving objects. These are some of the experiences we had while staying in an upstate South Carolina cabin.

Known as the Shamrock House, the owner is very open about the fact that guests and visitors have been visited by “Nancy,” the cabins permanent occupant. The cabin has been featured in several online blogs, advertised as one of the spookiest AirBNB/VRBO rentals you can stay in.

Well, I figured, we’re in a pandemic. Why not scratch that ghost hunting itch and take a trip upstate? Besides, the tales about Shamrock reminded me of those old-fashioned ghost stories. And who doesn’t like those?

DAY ONE

Me, my dog Kennedy, and six other guest investigators checked in to the property in late February. I was raised in South Carolina, but even I wasn’t aware that it had mountains! The Shamrock is right in that northwest pocket, where the Appalachian Mountains graze the state. As you get closer to the property, the roads become more curvy. I do not envy anyone who has to regularly drive those roads at night. If you swerve your car just slightly, you could easily hit another vehicle coming from around the bend.

So after some slow driving, there she was. Some of the investigators were already there waiting. Once we unlocked the gate, we drove on in. Not only is the Shamrock House available for rent, but it also comes with two other cabins behind it. The cabins are a bit rustic. But you don’t come all the way out here just to sit inside. Well, unless you’re a paranormal investigator.

In most cases, we are crammed in to a location that we’re trying to investigate. This place was perfect. We divided up between cabins. We all had our own room, and still had space to spare. The other two cabins also came with living areas and bathrooms. The far back cabin also had a kitchen.

The Shamrock has all the basics. A kitchen, heat, showers, beds, satellite TV, a landline phone available for your use (cause there is ZERO cell service) and even DSL internet. Yes, DSL. However, I gotta say, I was able to regularly broadcast live videos of our investigation while we were there.

Now, we weren’t ONLY there to investigate. We also like getting together every so often. The six people came from all over. California, Wisconsin, Indiana, Utah and North Carolina. A few others were supposed to attend, but their flights were canceled due to the great snowstorm of February 2021.

We spent the first night getting accustomed to the place. The owner provided us with as much information as he could. He told us the legend of Nancy. He suggested we read the Guest Book. And we did. Numerous guests recorded their Nancy experiences. Nothing about the stories or eye witness accounts suggest that there’s anything harmful or too frightening on the property. And that’s A-OK with me. Like I said earlier, I love a good, old-fashioned ghost story. And like all old-fashioned ghost stories, the legend is usually born out of some tragedy. And Nancy’s alleged story is just that.

According to the owner, the story goes that Nancy was brought to the Shamrock House back in the 1920s to be the evening’s entertainment for the gentlemen staying there. She also brought a couple female friends to help her with this job. However, at some point in the evening, she began having second thoughts. Apparently, her father somehow discovered what she was doing and this sent Nancy in a panic. Her friends tried to talk her into staying. In a bewildered state (that’s my interpretation), Nancy locked herself in a bedroom upstairs and took an over-the-counter opiate and overdosed. It’s not known if it was accidental or deliberate. Some say Nancy is buried on the property. Who knows. Obviously, I have questions about the story. How did she suddenly realize that her father had found out what she was doing? This was the 1920s. Long before dads could send their daughters a text message through an iPhone, “stay right where you are, young lady! I’m coming to get you! You’re in biiiiiiiig trouble!” But I digress. This is a legend, after all. We’re not supposed to ask these types of questions!

Just one example of the many “Nancy” sightings logged by guests staying at the Shamrock House.

Now the history of the Shamrock is equally as fascinating. We didn’t have the time to do a full historical rundown like you typically see us do on “Paranormal State.” So please note, there are a lot of questions we don’t have the answers to. It’s possible that Lyndon Johnson visited the cabin while he was in the area campaigning for John F. Kennedy back in 1960. Johnson would become the vice president under Kennedy, until Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Now, I’m a huge presidential history buff, so aside from the ghost legends, I was equally excited to be staying at a cabin that was possibly visited by Johnson. A movie was shot there. What’s the name you ask? It’s um, ahem, “The Hills Have Thighs.” Apparently it’s supposed to be a campy redneck spoof. But it’s regularly confused with a softcore porn Cinemax movie by the same name.

So, after we toured the property, picked our rooms, traveled to town to get some local Hibachi (I don’t recommend the egg rolls), we began setting up for Dead Time (our minimal equipment spirit communication session). The group brought a lot of equipment. I think the only thing we didn’t have was a surveillance system. That said, I suggested we start the first night with an old fashioned spirit communication session. We turn off all the lights, light a few candles, place recorders in a couple areas, and we just sit back and ask questions. We chose the dining room to sit in.

Everything I’m about to tell you is purely subjective. In other words, it can’t be backed by science or data. We did capture and record some things, but I’m going to share our interpretation of our experiences.

At first we had to get used to the pops and cracks of the house as it settled. The Shamrock is going up into the mountains and it was still cold outside. I admit, the house certainly felt a little intimidating at night. It’s extremely dark. A few of us privately noted that we felt watched. At least two of us had the same experience in the daytime where we thought we saw someone sitting at the desk in the living room. It was just in the corner of our eye. Both of us thought it was one of the investigators, so we didn’t think anything of it. With my experience, the person stood up and I glanced over, only to see no one there. I then realized all the investigators were right in front of me. I didn’t think anything of it until someone else shared the same experience.

The Shamrock House. Living room area.

At night, the feelings of being watched intensified. We asked questions, and some group members, who claim to be a bit more empathic, agreed that it felt like whoever was there was upstairs, watching us from afar. We heard a few weird sounds. At one point, we heard talking that was just clear enough that it startled me. I didn’t think it was a ghost, however. I wondered if someone was outside. Perhaps word had gotten out that we were there and some local teenagers decided to walk around the property? We quickly checked outside, but there wasn’t anyone there. We resumed asking questions. We did ask if the spirit was named Nancy, but we were also open to the possibility that maybe the legend was wrong and the spirit had a different name. Perhaps Nancy wasn’t the only one there? Slowly, we started hearing sounds getting closer. Nothing that would make any of you jump at your computer screen reading this. I guess what I’m trying to say is, you had to be there to experience the creep factor. We all felt aware that there was something there, and there were too many little things happening for it all to be coincidence, we thought.

Towards the end of our questioning, I had a thought. To my knowledge, we were the first actual paranormal investigators to come on to the property to conduct an actual investigation. Although the Shamrock is open about its haunting, it doesn’t bill itself as a place for ghost hunters to come check out. Families stay there in the winter to go skiing nearby. In the summer, families come to take in the fresh air. In other words, it’s a vacation rental… that just happens to be haunted! So, my thought was, what if our presence was intimidating to Nancy? She’s used to people going about the property doing normal things, but here we were, sitting around a table with the lights off, with strange and bizarre, multi-colored devices. Speaking directly to her! Perhaps it was off putting?

We moved to the living room and sat around for a while. One of the investigators heard something scratch at the door. It was pretty noticeable. Our first thought was, “ooooh, was that Nancy?” But then it was followed by another, “was it a BEAR?!?” Again we all crowded around the windows. If a ghost was scratching the doors and walls, that was totally fine. But a bear? Hell naw! Thankfully, we didn’t spot any bears. After we all calmed down we realized that most of us had to walk outside to get to our sleeping destinations. Only two people were staying at the Shamrock that night. I won’t lie, many of us considered huddling up on the floor rather than walk out there.

We wrapped up our investigation just after midnight. After all, most of the investigators had traveled a long way. Everyone was tired. We all agreed, however, that it felt like something was there and that the next night would be more active. It was just a hunch.

The creepily beautiful wooden staircase going up to the bedrooms.

DAY TWO

After the investigation ended, Kennedy and I made our way to the “Honeymoon Suite.” It was 1am, and I took some time to unwind, thinking about the next days activities. We started off the second day regrouping at Shamrock. One of the investigators made breakfast. We took turns using the Internet to check in with our partners or family.

We checked in with the owner of the Shamrock, and decided to track down a potential lead. There was a local resident who apparently grew up at the Shamrock and had numerous experiences. We sent the woman messages and decided to eat somewhere close by. We found a locally owned restaurant just around the bend. The menu was limited, but I gotta say, the food was pretty darn good. We told the owner what we were in town for and his eyes lit up. He told us about the paranormal experiences he’s had in his own restaurant. I then asked him if he knew the woman we were trying to track down. He said he did and offered to give us her number. Alas, he didn’t have it. But he assured me she frequented his bar/restaurant so I wrote a message with my information and left it with the owner.

Once we got back to the house, we took some time to unwind. After the sun set, we began making preparations for Dead Time. We tried once again to hold a spirit communication session in the dining room. But it was much quieter. That feeling of being watched wasn’t as intense as the night before.

We decided that we’d finish the night taking turns in the cabin solo, or in teams of two. We each had about 15-20 minutes. The rest of us relaxed in the third cabin that had a living room and kitchen. The temperature was in the 20s that night. Thankfully, the back cabin was better insulated, so we were able to keep warm.

We did have a live feed going on the second night. We left it in the left-hand bedroom upstairs. No one really reported anything strange, but people definitely enjoyed watching.

When it was my turn, I opted to stay in the cabin solo. I gotta say, those intense feelings of being watched returned. It was always from upstairs. But nothing extraordinary happened. It was just quiet and eerie.

After we all had a turn in the cabin, we decided to call it a night. We were all a bit disappointed at the lack of activity. I think most of us had a fear that the third and final night would be even less remarkable. That was certainly a fear of mine. One of the investigators decided not to stay in the main cabin, so I offered to stay there, that way the other remaining investigator wouldn’t be completely alone. I took the main bedroom upstairs, along with Kennedy.

Kennedy and I sleeping in “Nancy’s Room.”

I woke up in the middle of the night, sometime around 4am. I’m not sure what exactly caused me to awaken, but I heard two distinct things. One were rodents. They were within the floorboards and walls. I used the bathroom, and that only seemed to agitate the rodents more. It’s as if they were squeeking at me to tell me to go back to bed. The other sound, however, was a bit unnerving. It sounded as if someone was walking around in the hallway just outside of my bedroom. The footsteps, like thuds, then entered the bedroom and went all the way to the foot of my bed. I laid there, staring at absolutely nothing, but it felt as though someone was standing right there. Kennedy didn’t growl. He just looked straight ahead as well. After another moment or two, the footstep thuds resumed, only this time going back out of the room.

I laid in bed for a while before I was able to fall back asleep. My ears and eyes were on high alert. I was as still as possible. Adrenaline was definitely keeping me wide awake. But after time passed and all was silent, my eyelids got heavier, and at some point I passed back into the dreamworld.

NIGHT THREE

We decided to take a day trip to visit the Stumphouse Tunnel, located about 30 minutes away from Shamrock. We originally planned an outting to check out the tunnel back in December, but since we were based in Columbia for an event at that time, the distance was too far away. Stumphouse is claimed to be haunted and we figured, why not?

We decided to run a live feed of the house while we were away. We set up the camera in the living room and left it broadcasting to my Facebook page. You can view the feed here.

Sadly, we didn’t capture any activity at the Stumphouse. Mainly because the part was crowded and there were people going in and out of the tunnel. If we had it to ourselves, that would’ve been a treat! I imagine it would be less crowded there as the sun went down, but we were on a schedule and had our own property to investigate later that night. We checked out a water fall that the restaurant owner from the previous day recommended, and it was well worth it.

Although we didn’t experience any activity, apparently viewers who watched our live feed did. Users claimed that they heard movement, like something – or someone – walking in the house. At another time, viewers heard what sounded like a broom falling. Then they claimed they saw one of the chairs rock. If you watch the Facebook Live stream with the comments, you’ll be able to easily see for yourself what they were experiencing. Or you can watch it without comments on our YouTube channel here.

Since it was the last night, I offered to cook for everyone. We took our time preparing to set up for the investigation. We had a meal, then played a really cool board game called “Paranormal Detectives.” It was difficult at first to learn how to play, but once we got the hang of it, boy was it a lot of fun.

There was also another reason for doing this. Perhaps Nancy or the other ghosts preferred their living guests to simply enjoy the property? Maybe they would get more comfortable with us if we just embedded ourselves there? After all, this is a technique we regularly executed during our case investigations. We’d live with the family for a few days or a week while we investigated. Often the most remarkable activity came when we were just hanging around. After all, the Guest Book is filled with Nancy sightings. And none of them were ghost hunting the property when they had their experiences.

Our goal seemed to have paid off, because our last night was by far the most active. While I was cooking, the power kept cutting off. This is something that people have experienced before. True, it’s an old cabin. I’m not claiming that it was without a doubt Nancy the ghost causing this, but the timing was rather strange. We’d laugh about the power cutting off and say things like, “what’s the matter Nancy? Don’t like the cooking?” Boom. The power would go out. This happened at least six times while dinner was being prepared. After dinner was done, the power never cut out. This never happened the other times we used the kitchen.

For Dead Time, we decided to try out the Gansfeld Experiment. The Gansfeld is a sensory deprivation technique we’ve used on paranormal investigations before. It wasn’t developed for paranormal investigation, but we’ve had a lot of success using it in the past. The user sits in a chair. There’s a red light directly in front of them. Their eyes are covered so they cannot see anything except for red coming through the cloth or white glasses covering their eyes. Lastly, they wear headphones and listen to white noise. The theory is that this technique allows the investigator to be more open to experiences. They may hear things through the white noise, or they may see different shapes materializing through the red glow. Sometimes, investigators feel as though something has touched them. Three of us volunteered. We allowed viewers to watch the stream, leaving the camera with those participating. We left an iPhone in the room and set it to FaceTime so we could watch in real-time. It was interesting, because there would be times we’d ask Nancy to walk closer to the Gansfeld user, and then a couple seconds later, the user would claim they felt as though someone was approaching them.

The team sat downstairs watching a live feed of participants trying the Gansfeld Experiment upstairs.

After we finished Gansfeld, we sat in the living room, with only the only light coming from the fire place. We broke out the EMF and K2 meters. We kept hearing strange sounds and distance voices. One of us asked Nancy if she was responsible for cutting off the power during dinner. We asked her to do it again if she was the one who caused it. Seconds later, we all noticed a flashing of light coming from upstairs. We looked up and saw that the bathroom light was turning on and off. I whispered to everyone, “don’t move!”

I grabbed my phone and hit record. We were able to get the lights turning on and off for a few seconds before it stopped.

And then there’s the matter with the K2. One guest investigator, Waleska, kept asking the spirit to move towards the device if the answer was yes, and to move away if the answer was no. I’ve played around with the K2 meter before but I’ve never seen it behave the way it did on this investigation. It would light up all the way to red and Waleska would thank the spirit and ask it/him/her to move away, and immediately, the lights would go out. It did this on command practically every time.

During an EVP session, some of the girls asked if there were any other spirits there. During playback, there’s an unidentified voice that says “Elizabeth.” We haven’t yet come to a consensus yet on whether we can truly rule out any of us saying it. There are also quite a few other oddities on our recorders that we plan to publish.

After the voices, K2s, and the lights turning on and off by themselves, most of the team was convinced we made contact with the otherworldly. We geared up for bed and everyone left the main cabin. Except myself, Kennedy and Waleska. Waleska slept on the couch, and Kennedy and I would once again take the upstairs. Excited over the abundance of strange happenings, Waleska and I were full of adrenaline and stayed up to talk a bit.

But then another odd thing happened.

One of the investigators brought these little balls. If you push on them or move them, they light up. We placed them around the house all weekend and never once had movement. A few minutes after everyone left, suddenly the balls lit up. They were placed right by the staircase going upstairs. Perhaps Nancy or whoever else was there wasn’t done with us yet? We stayed up until 4am talking, but finally the activity died down.

Somewhat hesitant, I made my way upstairs with Kennedy and we crashed hard.

OVERALL ASSESSMENT

All of us were sad to go. Three full days there and we still felt it was too short of a stay. No, Shamrock isn’t infamous like Trans Allegheny or West Virginia State Penitentiary, but it sure was active like those other famous places. At least for us. This trip really reignited our desire to seek out new locations that haven’t been fully excavated and, dare I say, exploited by other paranormal investigators. Who knows, perhaps a few years from now it’ll be featured on dozens of paranormal shows? Nancy will start wanting $5,000 a night for her appearance! I hope not. There’s a certain virgin-like innocence to Shamrock and that certainly adds to the allure. And spooky stuff aside, it’s also a beautiful vacation rental.

We have no evidence as of yet to support the legend that there really was a girl named Nancy who died there. But we haven’t dug hard enough yet. What we can say is that there are definitely some strange things happening at the Shamrock.

Obviously, for an investigator, we want to see lamps levitating around the rooms and full bodied apparitions. So what’s so exciting about lights being turned on by themselves, or voices, or footsteps? A lot, actually. Here we were, tucked in the mountains on a quiet property in the middle of winter, and we have all these little things happening. Call me crazy, but I feel this backs my theory that there may indeed be a ghost there, and she just isn’t used to paranormal investigators. Whatever (or whoever) they are, they are intelligent. They’ve been haunting the grounds for quite some time now. Like I said: a good, old-fashioned ghost story.

PRS hopes to return to Shamrock sometime in the future. If so, it would be nice just to kick back and embed ourselves further. Enjoy a little fishing, do some hiking, and at night, we hang out with Nancy as though she were an old friend.

blog written by PRS Director Ryan Buell.


BUT WAIT! THAT’S NOT ALL! To keep up with our ongoing analysis of The Shamrock House investigation, please visit the official PRS Bureau group here. We continue to post photos, videos, and discuss the case.

The Shamrock 2021 Investigation Team!