This past spring, the Chester County Paranormal Research Society asked for permission to investigate the valley at Duffy’s Cut. The Duffy’s Cut Project research team is deeply divided about the scientific validity of paranormal investigations—Frank Watson (along with John Ahtes, before his death) believes they are in conflict with his religious beliefs and status as a clergyman; Bill Watson remains agnostic about their validity; and Earl Schandelmeier prefers to keep an open mind about the known unknowns that lie beyond the purview of scientific fact—but after some debate they gave the go-ahead.
The CCPRS team brought with them an array of sophisticated ghost-busting equipment, including cameras equipped with motion sensors and night-vision capabilities, and several electromagnetic field meters. But the device that yielded the most startling results was something called a Frank’s Box, a device that scans the AM radio band and acts like a ouija board, purportedly enabling a two-way conversation between the living and the dead.
Duffy’s Cut Project team members Earl Schandelmeier and Robert Frank accompanied the investigators from CCPRS and both men agreed to ask questions out loud that only the 57 Irishmen could answer during sessions with the Frank’s Box. These attempts to communicate with the dead took place in three half-hour segments over the course of several hours. At first, there was not much response, but as the night wore on, things got interesting:
Question: Do you know Duffy?
Answer: Yeah, the devil.
Question: What about those homes up there?
Question: Are you with God?
Answer: No ... no ... abyss.
Listen for yourself. These purported exchanges with the dead at Duffy’s Cut are captured on sound files, which you can listen to below and at philadelphiaweekly.com/multimedia.
In June of 1832, the Irish migrant workers arrived at the docks of Philadelphia. Six weeks later, they would all be dead. History would blame cholera for their deaths, but in fact there is a lot about the historical record that doesn’t add up. A team of academic researchers known as the Duffy’s Cut Project suspects that the men were murdered to stem the spread of a cholera epidemic, then raging in Philadelphia and Chester County. And the researchers may well have discovered the forensic evidence to prove it.
Savage Love: Sondheim is solace