Archive for Friday, July 24, 2009

Paranormal investigators coming to KU’s Sigma Nu house Saturday night

Sigma Nu house at 1501 Sigma Nu Place.

Sigma Nu house at 1501 Sigma Nu Place.

July 24, 2009


Starting Saturday night at a Kansas University fraternity house, Bill Joeckel will attempt to solve a mystery that has haunted his curiosity for five years.

The Osawatomie man knows the legend behind Virginia — a ghost rumored to haunt the Sigma Nu house — has been the focus of speculation and chilling accounts from fraternity brothers for decades.

Joeckel and a team of paranormal investigators will work throughout the night searching for clues in the house at 1501 Sigma Nu Place, which is northwest of the KU campus.

“We try to figure out: How can we explain it on a scientific basis?” said the information technology recruiter, who searches for ghosts and paranormal activity as a hobby.

According to a legend that has never been documented, the house has long been rumored to be home to Virginia, the mistress and a servant of Gov. Walter Stubbs, who lived in the house. Stubbs was governor from 1909 to 1913.

According to the story, when Mrs. Stubbs found out about the affair, she became jealous, and the mistress hanged herself at the house in 1911. Virginia is rumored to haunt the fraternity.

International ghost hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren investigated the Sigma Nu house in 1999, and Lorraine Warren had said “there’s a good chance” the building was haunted.

Fraternity brothers have passed down stories throughout the years, and chapter members invited Joeckel’s group — which includes members of Kansas City Paranormal Studies and Elite Paranormal of Kansas City — in to investigate.

“I’m just more curious than anything. I’d like to see if there is anything actually going on,” said Piper sophomore James Asherman, the Sigma Nu chapter’s historian.

The investigators have searched various buildings in the Kansas City and northeast Kansas area. Joeckel said the team includes a psychic and a quantum physicist.

They use scientific equipment to take measurements and readings in the house. Team members will take physiological readings of the psychic as she moves through the house to see if her heart rate jumps, for instance, when she claims to be interacting with something spiritual or supernatural.

In about 90 percent of the cases, the team is able to find a logical explanation on why someone was spooked. Air leaking through a vent, for example, could cause a creepy noise in a house, Joeckel said. But a few times, he said, they picked up stuff they couldn’t explain.

So that keeps them going — even though people might refer to them as “whack jobs,” he said.

“That’s why we don’t do stuff the way people used to do it,” and try to gather as much scientific data as possible, Joeckel said.

The group also includes people of different religious backgrounds, he said, who will meet for several days after their investigation, examine the data and try to reach a conclusion.

“If we can expose or bring the truth to life after death,” Joeckel said, “it might make people who are dying not as scared if they know there’s something on the other side for sure.”


BigPrune 8 years, 11 months ago

Was this story created to discredit the governor at the time due to his support of Teddy Roosevelt for president or some other power struggle power play of the day? I wonder where the mistress is buried? Could someone exhume the body to see if there are enough bones left to see if her neck was broken? Then again, she could've strangled herself. More than likely there wouldn't be any remains at all. Are there any obituaries or burial records from that time period? You would think there were. Was Virginia a popular name at that time? Has anyone tried to find out who this "Virginia" is?

According to the Social Security Administration out of 1000 most popular names, in the 1880's "Virginia" was listed as 101 (0.2106%) most popular name between Amelia at 100 and Mildred at 102. That would put her at 32 years of age if she was born in 1880. In the 1890's "Virginia" gained in popularity listed at 87 (0.2492) most popular between Lydia #86 and Olive #88. In the 1900-1910 time period, Virginia does even better and is listed as #53 (0.4682%). In 1910-1920 time period, Virginia is ranked #10 most popular!

I have a hunch this is a made up story to discredit the governor just because they used a very popular name for the mistress. Just a hunch.

EdenPrairie87 8 years, 11 months ago

From the history that I have learned about Gov. Stubbs and Virginia, Stubbs came home one day from Topeka and found Virginia--his 17-year-old assistant--hanging from the rafters in his house. She is reportedly buried--probably cremated--in the wall of the first floor fireplace. A plague on the fireplace is dated April 22, 1911 and reads: "The world of strife shut out, the world of love shut in."

Also, her full name appears to be Virginia Rackham-Stubbs--the governor adopted her as a stepdaughter--and she was from Pittsburg, Kansas.

yellowhouse 8 years, 11 months ago

My friends neighbor has a ghost. They even picked up this strange voice on a simple hand held voice recorder placed in the room. We have no idea what he is trying to say.... Here is the link if you want to listen.

mdrndgtl 8 years, 11 months ago

Could they grab my bra while they are over there? Thanks.

somebodynew 8 years, 11 months ago

mdrndgtl - ALL I can say to that is LMAO.!!!!! That is a winner in my book.

Keith 8 years, 11 months ago

"EdenPrairie87 (Anonymous) says…

A plague on the fireplace..."

A plague on both your fireplaces.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 8 years, 11 months ago

"They use scientific equipment to take measurements and readings in the house."

Ghosts don't believe in science.

EdenPrairie87 8 years, 11 months ago


Whoops. That should say "plaque".

Those darn ghosts are changing the comments.

BigPrune 8 years, 11 months ago

A plaque and a tragic story ending of a taboo relationship to scare the new recruits right before they lock them in a room and make them listen to hours upon hours upon hours of Jefferson Starship's "They built this city."

Could you imagine the torture?

SpeedRacer 8 years, 11 months ago

The print article said Ghost hunters, and it wasn't until I was almost through it that I realized it wasn't the TV show. Glad the on-line story was modified.

spym00se 8 years, 11 months ago

Probably should have published this story after they investigated because now you take the chance of the site being contaminated by someone who wants to be funny.

kmcd028 8 years, 11 months ago

Husband belonged to Sigma Nu and had one odd experience late at night on the stairwell. Virginia apparently hung herself in the 3rd story ballroom which is now divided into rooms.

kujayhawk 8 years, 11 months ago

Mrs Stubbs found out about the affair and became jealous, so the mistress hanged herself? Or did Mrs Stubbs help the mistress "hang herself?"

SofaKing 8 years, 11 months ago

Was Governor Stubbs on the Registered Sex Offenders list?

StephanieD123 8 years, 11 months ago

Nobody investigated the hanging?!! They bury her in the walls!!!! Did the Virgina girl even exist??? Makes for an interesting story!!! Someone, a ghost hunter, will waste a lot of money tearing the beautiful place apart searching for remains. Again, a waste of time and crazy!

StephanieD123 8 years, 11 months ago

beobachter- sounds like the kegger has come and gone! I think you missed it! Not too late to have another tho! LOL!

Paranormal_Is 8 years, 11 months ago

Lawrence used to be such a great town, full of accepting people who supported views and beliefs of different people.

For those of you who did not actually read the article or look up any information on either of the investigative groups mentioned in the article, you should realize that they do not charge for their services, and they almost always work overnight for investigations, in addition to their day jobs. To say they are not contributing in the workforce or to society is very lofty. While you are experiencing self congratulatory dreams for your contributions, they are staying awake all night on top of their day jobs, life responsibilities and daily activities to help people in need.

And yes, there are people who need this kind of help, whether they are truly experiencing paranormal activity or have very active imaginations, these groups service a purpose to ease worries and fears, whether rational or irrational.

jonas_opines 8 years, 11 months ago

"Lawrence used to be such a great town, full of accepting people who supported views and beliefs of different people."

Those other people were always there, you just hadn't had the (mis?)fortune to have encountered them. mwahaha

Commenting has been disabled for this item.