Tinley Park, IL Business Investigation

     In early June of 2013 the Will County Ghost Hunters Society was contacted by a small business owner (Misty) in Tinley Park, Illinois regarding the paranormal activity she, her staff, and customers were experiencing in her shop over the past several years.   Over the fourteen years of being in business in the same building, unusual things have happened, but nothing alarming or threatening. Doors would lock by themselves, people have felt a presence in the room with them, unexplained smells, and on at least one occasion someone was touch by unseen hands. However, one day Misty went to the upstairs storage room get four glass jars that had decorative rocks in them. After getting up to the storage area, she decided not to take them down. She went back down stairs, and a short time later heard a loud crash from the upstairs. She went upstairs to find three of the four glass jars broken on the floor, some distance from the shelf that they were stored on. They were several pounds each and could not have just fell or slide of the shelf. This is when Misty decided to call the Will County Ghost Hunters Society and ask us for our assistance.

History of Property

     The building is on property that is part of the Herman Stoeckman (pronounced Steckman) subdivision that was recorded on 15 November 1895.  The subdivision consisted of 8 fifty foot wide lots, plus a narrower thirty-three foot wide lot that was intended to be one-half of the right of way.

     It is possible that one or more homes that formerly were part of this Stoeckman subdivision may have existed on-site prior to the 1895 subdivision.  Further research would be required to determine this.  However, it is most likely that the homes in this subdivision were built around or after the 1895 date.

     There were, at one time, at least 3 houses that were built in this small subdivision – From North to South: the building property; Frederick Schmiedeknecht home; Walter Bruning home (only garage remains) – each home tended to have more than one lot associated with the main dwelling. The original house, the current building was by far the smallest and narrowest of the three known dwellings.

     The early owner of the property was named Bormet (first names escape me at this time).  The longtime owner/occupant was Guido Dini.  Mr. Dini at one time ran an ice house in Tinley Park and delivered ice for ice boxes, etc. in the days before electric refrigerators and freezers.  He later (1920s) opened an ice cream parlor in the Andres Block building (the same location most recently occupied by Sam & Jake’s Ice Cream Parlor).  Subsequently, he took over a restaurant and bar located across the street where the Citibank building is now located.  He sold the business to Reno Corsi who continued to operate the restaurant and bar at that location until the mid-1950s when the Tinley Park Savings and Loan building was built (now Citibank).  Reno Corsi relocated to a new location on Cicero Avenue in Alsip and operated there for many years.  The home of the town’s namesake and first station agent for the Bremen Station (now Tinley Park) of the Chicago Rock Island and Pacific Rail Road, Samuel Tinley, Sr.  To the west of the building, on the corner at an earlier time was a small meat market run by Jacob Muff who resided in the adjacent former Tinley home.  The meat market existed at this location until about 1900.

     There is a folk tale that the Bormet-Dini house had previously existed elsewhere in the area and was moved to that location.  However, we have been unable to substantiate that rumor.   Moving buildings was not uncommon in the earlier years of Tinley Park, so this contention is not without possibility.

    From about 1987 the house served as an antique store P&R Antiques.

     In 1993, the building was expanded to the south and west of the original house to its current size and configuration.

     As to the rest of the block…

      The Schmiedeknecht home was demolished in the 1960s for a fast food restaurant.  The original name escapes me at this time, but was later known for a number of years as Jumbo’s Hot Dogs.  Sometime after Jumbo’s closed it became home to Mickey’s Gyros.  As you know, Mickey’s replaced its earlier building with the current structure.  

     The Bruning-Rockrohr home was moved in the late 1960s to a location in Hazel Crest off Kedzie Avenue and still exists.  A newer garage that was associated with the home still remains on the site. Later it served as combination service garage and office for several small used car lots.

The Investigation

     On the evening of June 15, 2013 the WCGHS made our way to the down town business district of Tinley Park, Illinois.  The team consisted of Dan Jungles, Brian Brozovich, Christine Randall, Paul Schmidt and Rich Johnson.   Misty greeted us at the door and invited us into the shop.  There were four individuals on the main floor of the establishment.  We were shown around and told about the activity the various areas. The main floor is where a presence has been felt and an individual has been touched. The door leading into the other portion of the building is where according to Misty has locked on its own on several occasions.  We were then shown the basement and the area where unusual smells are often detected.  Some people have an uneasy feeling when down there.  We were shown other areas of the building where nothing unusual has been reported. And finally taken to the upstairs storage area where the glass jars where broken.  Misty showed us the one remaining jar that was not broken and where the broken ones landed.  We went down to the main floor and the owner and her companions left for the evening.

     The team determined that the best location to use as our base for the investigation was an office that was centrally located in the building and did not have any report activity.  We decided to use four of our IR cameras on this investigation.  We placed the cameras in the following locations; two were set up on the main floor of the establishment where a presence is felt and an individual has reported being touched. Another camera was set up in the basement focusing on the area where the unusual smells are noticed. And the fourth camera was set up in the upstairs storage area where the glass jars were broken.  The team took the base line EMF, Temperature, Negative Ion, and Geiger readings. There were no areas that had high readings or that raised alarm for concern.

     The team began our investigation on the main floor of the buildings.  Rich was on his first investigation with the WCGHS and we were explaining how we conduct our investigation. One of the most important things that we told Rich is that when taking still photos to always take 3 consecutive photos from the same angle and as quickly as possible. The reasoning behind this is because if something appears in one photo there will be two other photos to compare it to, and possibly explain it as something naturally occurring.  We took numerous still photos, and then began our EVP session. There was a few times when we heard some noises that we could not pin point.  There were several racks and shelving units that were close together on the main floor. It may be possible for someone who was walking through them to mistake a gentle brush from the rack or shelf for someone touching them. There were no fluctuations or anything unusual detected with any of our meters.

    We made our way to the basement to investigate the unusual smells and uneasiness felt down there. After walking around the basement for a while we did detect an unpleasant smell coming from the floor drain. Is it possible that this is the source of the smell? The basement was dark and possibly contributing to the uneasy feeling that some people have had when down there. After taking numerous reading and photos, we began to conduct an EVP session.  One of the EMF detectors started to go off. Christine and Brian started talking about it the possibility of someone having an electronic device (phone, ect.) that may set it off.  Brain says, “I don’t have anything on me.”  Christine says, “Phone, I just wanna make sure this thing, wait.” Brain says, ”I have a phone.”  Christine replies, “Okay, then that’s it then.”  Then, an unexplainable voice says, “Hey whatcha got?”  Then Brian clears his throat and Christine says, “Yea..I got this working.”

http://www.theghostpage.com/Attic Door_Basement_Hey_Whatcha_Got.wav

    Shortly after this Christine says the question, “And how did you pick Tinley Park to move to?” About ten seconds passes and a ping is heard. Christine says, “Was that one of your guys?” Dan says, “What?”  Christine replies, “I don’t know I just heard” Dan says, ”What noise?” Christine says, ”It seemed like it was by Paul.” Everyone was sitting or still during this EVP session, we could not determine what made the noise. Nothing else was noteworthy from the basement.

http://www.theghostpage.com/Attic Door_Basement_Y_Move_TinleyPark_Noise.wav

     We took a short break and proceed to the upstairs storage area where the glass jars were reportedly broken.  The broken jars were still in the trashcan and the one unbroken one was still on the shelf.  We experienced with the one unbroken one, included shaking the shelving unit and seeing how much force it took to make the jars move. The jar weighed several pounds and was not easily moved. It would take considerable force to move it, and nothing on the surrounding shelving was disturbed.  It should be noted that these glass jars were the heaviest items on the shelving and where not near the edge.  We took readings, and multiple photos.  There was a lightning storm that had moved in during the course of our investigation, and it seemed to be interfering with our EMF detectors.  We decided to conduct an EVP session using a ghost box. Christine asks, “Can you tell me how many fingers I’m holding up?”  A spirit replies, “Ten.”  The number is incorrect, but it was an intelligent response to the question being asked.

http://www.theghostpage.com/Attic Door_Upstairs_GB_CanUTellMeHowManyFingers_Ten.wav

    Next, Dan asks, “Can you tell us what your name is?” There is a brief pause; a burst of energy (static) and then the response come through, “Carl.”

http://www.theghostpage.com/Attic Door_Upstairs_GB_CanUTellWhatUrNameIs_Carl.wav

     Finally Dan asks,”Are you angry?” The ghost box cycles through and the response, “I’m angry” is heard.

http://www.theghostpage.com/Attic Door_Upstairs_GB_R_U_Angry_ImAngry.wav

     The WCGHS then decided to conclude our investigation. The equipment was taken down and the owner Misty was notified that we were done. She came back and saw us out, then locked the store up.

The Review

     In the days that followed the DVR cameras were reviewed and did not show any signs of paranormal activity.  The audio recordings were also reviewed and the previous EVPs were found. There was one photo that was unusual. It was taken on the main floor of the business early on in our investigation. The photo appeared during the first of a series of three photos in a mirror.  The photos were taken in the general direction, but not into the mirror.  An individual appears in the first of the photos in the mirror. The person appears to be wearing a vest.  No one was wearing a vest on the investigation. Everyone was wearing a black shirt. In the second photo the back of Christine’s backside is shown. Finally in the third no one was in the photo. It was not thought to be paranormal, because it was too clear. However the “vest” made us wonder who it could be. The figure was determined to possibly be Rich. A photo of Rich was taken and photo shopped in. It was an exact match. We believe that the way that the IR lights from the camera made the shelves of his shirt appear to be a different color than the rest of his shirt.

First Photo in series. The figure is seen in the mirror.

Second Photo in the series. Figure is gone, Christine's backside can be seen.

Third Photo in the series. No one can been seen.

Photo of Rich added next to the mirror for comparison.

The Image of Rich is transposed on top of the image in the mirror. It is a match.

     We believe that with the investigation that we conducted shows that there is activity in the Tinley Park business. We do not believe it is threatening in nature, but would like to be acknowledged.  There was intelligent interaction between the WCGHS members and the spirits. We would love to investigate this location again and hope to further document the paranormal activity here.