The Belvidere Mansion
Investigators: Christy, Roger, Anita, Melven, Chicky, Steph & Chris
Equipment used: DVR, (5) IR video cameras, personal audio recorders, digital cameras and various EMF meters
Special Thanks to the Roger's Historical Society for allowing our group to investigate the Belvidere Mansion! To view their website and learn more about them, please visit: Rogers County Historical Society.
Below is our video documentary of our investigation in 2007.
The Belvidere Mansion was built in 1907 by John M. Bayless and is on the National Register of Historical places. Mr. Bayless was born in 1851 in Green County Tennessee but moved to Cassville with his family where he became an adult while working on his parent's farm. He left Cassville to attend college at Hiawassee College of Tennessee and graduated in 1875. He then returned that same year back to home to Cassville with 40 cents in his possession. Two years later in 1877 he married Francis J. McCarey and shortly afterwards in 1878, a daughter was born and they named her Francis. Sadly Ms. Bayless died 1 year after their marriage. Then another year later in 1879, Mr. Bayless met and married Mary Stubblefield and they had a total of 7 children from 1880-1895. All survived to adulthood except for one daughter named Gracie who tragically died on March 21, 1881 when she accidentally fell into a fire pit when she was only 8 months old.
seemed well until September 11th 1913 when the family learned about the death of their daughter and sister Bland, who committed suicide by hanging in her Kansas City home. The Cassville Republican Newspaper reported the events of her death taken from the Kansas City Journal Newspaper and reported...
Bland Martin was found dead Thursday evening at her home in Kansas City. Suspended from a curtain rod in a doorway by a piece of clothesline, the body of Ms. Bland Bayless-Martin, wife of William Farris Martin, an insurance man, was found late yesterday afternoon by her husband when he returned to their home on the 2nd floor of their apartment house at 1606 E.33rd St. The cause of the suicide is
unknown. Mrs. Charles C. Martin, mother-on-law of the unfortunate woman said, "Last night a sudden fit of insanity must have of lead the young wife to kill herself. She was at my home yesterday and several times complained of a pain in the back of her neck," the elder Mrs. Martin said, "I thought nothing of it at the time but now I believe she must have suffered some sort of temporary derangement. She and my son were happily married and were building a new home in Morningside Park. I know of no cause for her to take her own life."
William Farris Martin, 31 years old, has an office in the Waltham building. It was his custom to telephone his wife just before he started home for supper. He did this about 5:00pm yesterday but the call was unanswered. Thinking that his wife had left their flat for a few moments, he went directly home. Entering his apartment and going into the dining room he was startled to find his wife's body. Immediately he called for help. The woman was released from the cord and the frantic husband then endeavored to bring her back to life and would not leave the body until coroner Carlinsky told him there was no hope that Ms. Martin could be revived.
In 1928, just 15 years after Bland's death, Ms. Bayless died and with all the Bayless children now grown and married, the Belvidere Mansion remained empty for a few years until the 1930's when it was privately purchased and used for apartment units up until the 1960's. By this time the Belvidere Mansion had become neglected and began showing signs of it's age, shown through the run down conditions of its owner and occupants throughout the years. It was then that the Roger's historical society purchased the Belvidere Mansion to restore it's beauty and to preserve it's historical value and heritage. Today the Mansion is still owned by the Roger's historical society and has been given back its luxurious stance within the community.
So why would the Belvidere Mansion be haunted? Many visitors and employees who have been in the mansion have witnessed seeing the ghost of Mr. Bayless and his daughter Bland. One of these employees namED Ruth calls herself the "Ghost Teller for the Mansion." Ruth has stated hearing the voice of a woman throughout
the mansion and has stated that her grandson was up there one day with her and witnessed a woman who talked to him which fit the description of Bland. Ruth also told us there was a visitor that came to the mansion for a tour and after walking into the mansion, she asked who the gentleman was outside on the porch. Baffled by whom this woman was talking about (since there was no one that they knew of sitting outside on the porch), they inquired about her encounter. The woman stated that a man was sitting outside on the porch and as she approached, he said hello and said that he was happy with the way the house looked and
was being cared for. After being shown a picture of John Bayless, the woman in amazement stated that that was the man she had seen sitting outside on the porch. Ruth also said that guests have witnessed the voice of a woman talking to them, one time in particular was when a male guest was up in Bland's old room (shown in the picture to the right ) and he audibly heard, "Who are you?" Needless to say the man left the room and refused to go back in.
Her little body was laid to rest at the old Stubblefield Cemetery in Cassville, Missouri and her inscription reads, "Grace Bayless, daughter of J.M. and M.M. Bayless. Here our little one lies, sleeping in death's long dreamless rest. Eyes though closed on Earth are now open in Heaven.
Mr. Bayless was a banker and though his own company circa 1902, built in Claremore a 3-story opera house, the Sequoyah hotel an athletic building with an indoor swimming pool and then finally the Belvidere Mansion in 1907 for his family. However, only the Belvidere Mansion remains today. Many of the materials used to build the Belvidere Mansion were brought into Claremore from the 1904 St. Louis World fair. Mr. Bayless moved his family from Cassville to Claremore, Oklahoma to live in the Belvidere, however sadly, Mr. Bayless died on June 2nd 1907 on the operating table for appendicitis, just 6 months before the family was due to move into the mansion. Times were hard for the family, however Ms. Bayless and her children moved into the mansion after his death where the children grew into adulthood and married all
Intrigued not only by the history of the Belvidere Mansion and the Bayless Family, but also by the possibility of experiencing paranormal activity, our group set out to investigate. Does the ghost of Mr. Bayless really remain at the mansion? Does he stick around to see how his home is being cared for? Does Bland remain at the mansion and if so why? Does she hope she can possibly relive her life differently? These are just some of the questions that our group wanted to find out so we set out to investigate the Belvidere Mansion for ourselves.
The team arrived at the Mansion around 8pm and began our walk-thru with our audio recorders running. After we did the walk-thru and learned the layout of the mansion, we began getting ready for our investigation. While setting up equipment and getting interior shots, Christy witnessed a shadowy figure standing beside her near the stairwell. Later on while investigating the 2nd floor, a few of the investigators witnessed shadowy type figures passing through the hallway and into a couple of the different bedrooms. Throughout the investigation a few of our investigators heard audible voices, but all in the forms of whispers.
While our group was on break, a strange phenomenon was witnessed by two of our group members who were along one side of the house. They noticed a light come on in the second story window of the mansion and then after a few seconds it
went off. The two investigator's thought that the team had finished break and had started the investigation without them, however when they came around the corner they saw several of the members were still sitting on the porch. Upon talking about what had happened, we all knew that no one was upstairs in the house when the event occurred and we also knew that all lights were off in the house with the exception of the kitchen light which was right by the porch where members were stationed outside on break. After reviewing the video we took discussing this event, we were talking about the different types of hauntings and ended up recording an EVP of what sounds to be a man saying, "Like Me." Several other EVPs were recorded during the investigation, especially in Bland's room when we were doing a sit-down. Light footsteps were heard as well as strange knocks and then Anita and Christy heard the voice of a woman and little girl and then later on when we reviewed over the audio we got an EVP of 2 voices. One saying, "Grace?" (1st voice) then "Right here" (2nd voice). Below is the video recreation of the light incident
Upon the end of our investigation, our group felt that the Belvidere Mansion did have spirit activity and was possibly haunted by Bland and Mr. Bayless. We came to this conclusion after the experiences our group had there, the information our psychic's received and then by the recorded evidence that we obtained.
Psychic Investigator’s Comments
I had previously investigated the Belvidere Mansion a few years back so I knew what I could expect, however I can say that I was more impressed by this investigation and I feel that more vital data was collected. I did pick up again on Bland and felt the burn of the rope around my neck as well as one of the other investigators in our team. I also picked up on her intense sadness and depression I'm pretty sure that was split
over from years ago. I did feel something a bit different about her though this time rather than the last time. This time I felt like she was trying to reach out for help as if she wasn't happy with her current circumstances and she had grown tired of her wait and time here. I did feel like she was ready to move on. I didn't quite pick up on Mr. Bayless as strongly as I did Bland however I do feel like Mr. Bayless was there as well and I do feel like he is very protective of the house. I could not determine whether Mr. Bayless stayed in the home on a constant basis, however I do know that he still visits the mansion. I did pick up on the 3 children again playing marbles in the floor. These were the same children that I had picked up on the time I investigated the mansion before. I do believe that these children are quite possibly residual as I could not pick up on any other communication with them other than seeing them play the marble game. The Belvidere Mansion however has a sad feel to it which seems to be spiritually embedded in it's walls. I do think there is a haunting going on however and it is a good little place to investigate if you are looking for a true paranormal experience.
There were 6 EVPs that was recorded during this investigation and 0 sound clips.
There were no photos and 1 video clip that reveals an evp.