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On Thanksgiving Day, 1922 a tragedy happen in the small town of Grand Haven, MI. On this evening, in this beautiful home, Peter Koopman murdered his wife Kate. The coroner's report said that she was killed by a bullet to the back, at close range. She was found the next morning, sitting on the landing of the steps with her elbows on her knees, her face in her hands. Her death was believed to be almost instantaneous.
After a report came in to the Grand Haven City Police Department by Peter's lawyer, Charles E. Misner, that something wasn't right at the home. Mr. Misner had arrived that morning to escort Peter to court, to face charges of violation of prohibition. Two police officers were sent to check things out. The officers looked through a window and saw Kate Koopman sitting motionless on the steps. The two officers were Officer Lawrence DeWitt and Lt. Clyde Koopman, YES, Kate's son.
Peter had been seen in several places in town on that evening, in a drunken stupor. He showed up on the steps of a friends home to ask for a place to sleep for the night. After finding a gun on him, his friends wife refused him entry to their home. She later reported that he had said to her “Maybe I shot someone already and I may make it someone else”. His friend did however allow Peter to sleep it off, in the barn that night. The local stable boy reported that Peter had asked him to go to his home and check on his wife. Peter told the young man that something didn’t feel right and he was worried. The stable boy agreed to check. It was cold that night and the stable boy wanted to go home. He walked close enough to see that there were lights on in the Koopman home, then he returned to Peter and told him everything was okay, even though he never actually went up to the house.
Peter was eventually convicted of a lesser charge, and he never admitted to killing Kate. They said that he fired two (2) shots, one that killed Kate and another that went into the wall, in front of her.
Today, it's believed that Kate still resides here. Linda, the owner of this shop, has owned the building for 18 years. Linda believes that Kate is upset, possibly because Peter never admitted that he killed her. Our investigations seem to suggest that there may be two other unseen residents as well. We have found EVP’s that sound like a man and a child as well.
There has been numerous things that happen here almost daily. It is believed that Kate will mess with things when she wants to be noticed. Employees will shut and lock things up at night, with everything in its place, ready for the next days business. When they open in the morning, they have found all of the shoes turned around, dozens of them, in their places – facing backwards. There is a radio that seems to turn on by itself, frequently. Another time when the owner arrived one morning, she found that all of the formal gowns had been taken from their display racks and draped over the balcony bannister. The children's clothes are often found on the floor. Employees and guests have all reported strange noises or smells of perfume. Reports of hearing voices and of having their hair touched are also common.
The cleaning lady, Dorothy, claimed to experience several strange happenings while she worked at night. Once while she was upstairs, all of the clothing began to move. She was always finding “bobby pins” laying around everywhere. Another time, while she was in the kitchen area, she smelled a scent, as if someone had just finished baking. The last straw for Dorothy was the night she locked the door and started to work. A while later, she heard footsteps in the home. She went to see who was there, and found no one else around. She went back to the door and found that it was now unlocked. Dorothy will not work at night, or alone, anymore.
The next chapter...
This was our third investigation for the owner of Second Impression Consignment Shop. We always enjoy investigating here because there is an excitement about this place. We manage to debunk quite a lot of the things we find, yet we never are able to figure out everything we find here. We brought our equipment in, and set it up in several areas that we had deemed “active” from our past investigations, then began recording. Attending this investigation were Senior Members Bill, Connie, Lindsey, Danielle, and Justin.
Things were quiet as we set up our equipment. Until about 40 minutes into the investigation when we did a reenactment of the murder of Kate Koopman. During the reenactment we had two of our investigators (Lindsey & Justin) upstairs in the Master Bedroom portraying Kate and Peter. We also had one investigator (Bill) following them with a camera. We took an educated guess on the events that led up to Kate’s murder and had them begin to argue about drinking, booze, and Peter going to court. Finally, the investigator playing “Kate Koopman” stormed out of the bedroom and down the stairs. She sat down at the bottom of the stairs, where it is reported that Kate's body was found. Our investigator/actor representing “Peter Koopman”, soon followed after her. He stood at the landing partway down the steps and proceeded to do a “mock shooting”. He then walked past “Kate”, and out the front door leaving her on the steps to die. While “Peter” was outside, we had a few minutes of total silence. After those few moments of quiet, we began an EVP session. We then had “Peter” reenter the home, and we continued with a little more EVP time.
Suddenly things began to happen. During this time of silence, one of our investigators was sitting with a Mel-meter, downstairs near the area where Kate was found by the front door. While watching the device during the “silent time” after the reenactment, there was a temperature fluctuation of about 20 degrees within seconds. Some theories suggest that major temperature fluctuations in a short period of time can be an indicator of paranormal activity. Just after this investigator gets done explaining the temperature fluctuation, there was a laugh caught on a few different recording devices that where in the area. But not all of them. Not one of the investigators responded to this at the time, because they did not hear it. Things were beginning to get really interesting.
At another point during the night, everybody was upstairs in the main living area. They all heard a whisper during their conversation. It was originally thought that this was one of the investigators. After reviewing the video and audio recordings, we discovered the event was unexplainable. This event is on audio and video, and it is clearly visible that it is not any of the investigators. There was another time during the night, also in the living area, when it sounds like the same voice had again whispered. At first it was thought to be the same investigator, and again the audio and video show it is not. One of the video recordings shows the investigator from the front, and she is not speaking at all. During our past investigations we have captured several EVP's in this area.
Then, we had two separate events of investigators being touched, within a few minutes of each other. It is interesting that these two investigators are the same two who did the reenactment. The first event occurred upstairs. Danielle, Justin, Lindsey, and Connie were sitting and / or standing in various places in the living area. It went from complete silence to Justin jumping back away from the rack he was standing next to. He stated that it felt like someone had just lightly touched his back. We checked the area where he was standing for an obvious cause. Justin was facing a clothing rack, leaning against it when this event happened. There was nothing behind him that could have touched him.
The second event occurred a few minutes later, after Lindsey went downstairs to see where Bill was. When she found him in the nanny's room, they began investigating the main floor. Bill was carrying a camera around with him, when the two of them heard a noise coming from the Nanny's room. They went into that room to investigate the sound, Bill went in first with Lindsey following. Suddenly Lindsey jumped in front of him, and told Bill that it felt like she was just grabbed by the back of the neck. This event was very startling and unsettling to her, she had an urgent feeling to get out of there, so they went upstairs. Bill then had Justin bring the equipment he was using and return to the main floor with him. They did an EVP session. During this time, Justin thought he heard a laugh, through the headphones which he had attached to a recorder. While they guys were downstairs, and Justin experienced this, the girls were upstairs and Connie thought she had heard a laugh as well. We thought this little tidbit was interesting because one did not know about the others experience at that time. We were not able to capture these laughs on any of our equipment either.
We had hoped that recreating Kate's murder would work as a trigger for possible activity. We did not realize the level of activity we would experience. There were several things that happened throughout the night, some we caught on recordings, some we experienced or felt with no real evidence. We are very cautious about throwing out the word “haunted” for any location. It takes a lot for us to say a place is “haunted”. Judging from the level of activity we have recorded at Second Impression, we can't think of another word to accurately describe this place. The owner of this shop has already agreed to have us back again, so this story will continue!
We don't bust ghost, we research them!
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