Stacey S. Manning

The Kentucky Standard


"If you believe in ghosts, proof isn’t necessary. If you don’t believe in ghosts, proof doesn’t matter." Certified Ghost Hunter Patti Starr



It wasn’t long after Ed and Phyllis O’Daniel bought their pre-Civil War home in Bloomfield they started experiencing things they could not explain. From the sound of children’s laughter when none were around to chairs that mysteriously move from one room to another, the O’Daniels did not know what was causing the unexplained events in their home.


While they have never felt threatened by any of the mysterious happenings, the two wanted to get to the bottom of it and called in a certified ghost hunter to take a look around. Patti Starr, a certified ghost hunter from Lexington, came to Nelson County on a cool afternoon in October to take a look around. Starr is the former Patti Acord and once served locally as the manager of the Old Talbott Tavern.


Arriving in Bloomfield just after lunch, Starr brought along her husband Chuck and several pieces of equipment to aid in the investigation. The Starrs were joined in the kitchen of the old home by the O’Daniels, their cousin Pam Lisi, a cat and a dog. I followed close behind with my camera and notebook.


Starr began the afternoon by talking to the O’Daniels about previous ghost hunts she had done. She shared with them photos of ghost orbs and talked to them about sounds she has recorded at other hunts. The O’Daniels smiled as Starr talked. They were already familiar with her work because they had clicked through numerous pages of her web site,


After getting acquainted with one another Starr prepared for the hunt. Using an EMF meter, Starr walked through the house checking for excess energy that may be given off of electrical plugs or lights. The EMF meter measured electrical currents and the magnetic field from man-made objects, Starr said. "There is not too much going on here. Actually there is hardly any," she said. "Wow. This is great. There is not going to be any interference."


After walking through each room of the house, Starr was ready to begin her investigation. Starr strapped a wired microphone to the lapel of her vest and dropped an attached mini tape recorder into her pocket. Starr then picked up a Tri-Field Natural EM meter and walked to the back part of the house. The first part of the house Starr visited is believed to be the former office of Dr. James R. Hughes a one-time owner of the house. The meter picked up a couple of good readings, Starr said. Standing in a hallway as the meter sounded off and on in the bathroom, Starr spoke to the spirits with whom she was trying to contact. "The reason we are here is to prove you exist," she said.


Starr said she gets just as good – and sometimes even better – hunts during the day as she does at night. Around 3 pm and 3 am is when she gets the best paranormal results, she said.


Moving upstairs, she was drawn into the former slave quarters of the home. Starr used a digital camera to take several pictures. Standing on one side of a door in the slave quarters that opens and closes on its own, Starr snapped several photos as Ed O’Daniel stood by the doorway. Starr squealed in delight as she snapped photo after photo in which ghost orbs appeared around Ed O’Daniel.


Ed O’Daniel eventually moved away from the door and met me in a far corner of the room. As the two of us started talking about the history of the house, Chuck Starr pointed a night vision video camera toward us. "Don’t’ move," he said. With a piece of paper in one hand and his eye on a display monitor, Chuck Starr told the two of us several ghost orbs were passing between us during our interview.


After taking a break to eat, Starr picked up her investigation again, this time using two brass dowsing rods. The rods are about an 1/8 inch thick, 24 inches long with a six inch handle. The tips of the rods are dipped in white so they can be seen if they move in the dark.


With the rods in her hand, Starr closed her eyes, "I’m just going to go where it leads me," she said. Starr started with the dowsing rods at the top of the staircase in the house. She was immediately drawn through a bedroom and back into the slave quarters. Starr closed her eyes as she made contact. "Are you an adult?" she asked. A rod moved up and down signifying a yes. "Are you a man?" she asked. The answer was no. After repeating several questions with yes and no answers, Starr told the group she had made contact with a woman between the age of 40 and 50 who used to live in the house. After several attempts, Starr announced she had lost contact with the woman.

With one of the rods in her hand, Starr tried again. This time she made contact with a 5-year –old girl. Using yes and no questions, Starr said the little girl liked the house and she liked the people who lived there. "Are you happy?" she asked. The rod responded with a yes. "Are there more children here?" she asked. The rods moved to indicate a big yes.


Starr said the little girl told her there were five children in the house. After asking several more yes and no questions, Starr said the girl had died when the house was being constructed. The little girl told her she was the daughter of one of the men building the house and she fell from a second-story porch and died. The rods repeatedly drew Starr to the porch. "Do you like playing on the balcony?" she asked. The rods indicated a yes.


Since the O’Daniels are renovating the house, Starr looked down at some boards that were torn away from the floor. "Are you concerned because they are changing it?" she asked. Again, the answer was yes. After talking to the O’Daneils, Starr explained to the young spirit the O’Daniels were going to make the porch an enclosed sun room which would be a safer place for the children to play. "Do you feel safe now?" she asked. The rods responded again with a yes. Slowly, Starr lost contact with the little girl.

Shaking her hands and taking a deep breath, Starr put down the rod. Starr began asking the group questions about what had happened. "Sometimes when I dowse I hardly remember anything afterwards," she said.


The contact confirmed the sound of laughter the O’Daniels had heard before, Ed and Phyllis both agreed. "It makes me more of a believer," Ed O’Daniel said when the hunt was over. "I guess it really confirmed it," he said.


Several days after the ghost hunt Starr contacted me via email with three unexplained recordings she picked up during her investigation. The most prominent sound occurred on the balcony when Starr was making contact with the little girl.


Starr asked the group if anyone felt a name for the little girl. We responded with three names – Sarah, Laura and Anna. Starr asked the little girl if any of those three names were hers. The rod indicated no. However on the tape recording, immediately following the three names said in unison, an unexplained voice that is not of anyone in the room whispers over everyone talking and says, "My name is Laura."




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Patti Starr, Certified Ghost Hunter

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