On October 15 members of Texoma Researchers Investigating Paranormal Phenomena (T.R.I.P.P.) set up for an investigation at The Parkway Grill. After roughly a month of analyzing the evidence, T.R.I.P.P. has come to a conclusion about the possibility of ghosts at the popular sports hang out.
The manager of a business in the same building took his own life in what now serves as the office of Parkway. Several employees had reported an uneasy feeling in the room, which prompted the investigation. There was also some curiosity among patrons and staff alike if some former employees and long time regulars who had passed away were still present.
In part one of the story, some circumstantial evidence leaned toward two of the people suspected of being there.
Two readings on the K2 meter could suggest that Kyle, a long time patron of the bar, still had a fondness for the Texas Longhorns and 40 Creek whiskey. There was also evidence gathered through a device called an Ovilus that could be related to some kind of financial situation. That would match up with suspensions surrounding the former manager.
There was also a hit on the K2 meter serving as an apparent response to the question, “Was this a happy place for you?” However, there was nothing specific in terms of identification. There was no response to questions from members of T.R.I.P.P. about a suicide or in relation to specific names.
T.R.I.P.P. hoped that audio and video evidence gathered during the investigation would provide something solid. While nothing came up on video, there were several possible pieces of audio evidence collected. Evidence that might mean the permanent guests at Parkway have nothing to do with Parkway.
It is believed that recording devices can pick up spirits trying to communicate even if they can’t be heard by ear. During investigations, paranormal researchers typically keep various audio recorders in the area of an investigation.
While trying to get some kind of response through either the K2 or the Ovilus, investigator Clint Lee asks, “Did you used to come here all the time?” The recorder placed on the bar picked up what sounds like the response “Yes sir”. A few seconds later, what sounds like another “yes sir” can be heard.
Added to the many references received through the Ovilus, the “yes sir” response further suggests some kind of connection to the military.
The Ovilus, a device containing a pre-programmed dictionary, is not endorsed by all paranormal investigators. However, T.R.I.P.P. has had some success with the device commonly known as a “ghost box”.
Investigator Traci Lynne Roberts told of one humorous moment with the Ovilus.
As the team sat in total darkness for an investigation of an old house, one team member turned on a light to check a piece of equipment. Investigators were unaware that the house was infested with roaches until the light came on and they ran everywhere. The roaches not only drew a gasp from team members, but also got a response of “roach” from the Ovilus.
(A good example of success with the Ovilus comes from an episode of Celebrity Ghost Hunt. Click here to watch.)
In theory, the Ovilus allows ghosts to select key words or phrases which then come through on a speaker. During the investigation several words that could be related to the military came through on the device, including the word “military” itself. Among other things heard were “military bereavement”, “sentry”, and “combat”.
The military references and apparent replies of “yes sir” might reflect part of the history of the city, long before The Parkway Grill opened it’s doors.
In 1917 Wichita Falls was chosen as the site for one of the first 31 United States Army Air Corp training camps, namely Call Field. With it’s location on modern day Southwest Parkway, The Parkway Grill likely sits on land that was part of that air base.
With the aircraft itself still in it’s infancy, even with men like aviation pioneer Ernest Hall as an instructor, training involved some trail and error. The duty was so dangerous the Army Air Corp sought out only unmarried volunteers to avoid the high risk of leaving a family without a husband or father.
In two years of operation, 34 pilots lost their lives during training exercises at Call Field. That was the smallest number of fatalities for any training center, but was actually more than the number of pilots from Call Field that died in combat.
Other evidence gathered is less specific, but still suggests that someone is trying to communicate.
At one point during the investigation a word came through on the Ovilus that Clint and investigator Kellie Morris agreed sounded like “help”. When the question was asked “Are you needing some help?”, an immediate response of “yes” can be heard on audio.
When asked “Is there anyone here that wants to talk to us?”, what sounds like another response of “yes” was picked up on audio. Another response of “yes” can be heard after the question “Were you a regular here?”
Two unusual occupancies were picked up on audio, though neither point to anything in the investigation.
While using the Ovilus, Clint had to stop at one point, saying, “It’s making my head hurt.” Audio picks up the word “hurt” just before he says that. There is no way to tell if the word was coincidence or if the two were somehow related.
Right before the Ovilus was brought out, a very loud and long noise that drowned out any other sounds or conversation was picked up on the audio recorder that was placed on the bar. The same noise at a considerably lesser volume was also picked up on the recorder used for these articles, which was four to five feet away from the bar at the time.
The loud noise may have been some piece of equipment in the bar, but does not come up in any other recordings and was not noticed by anyone in the room at the time.
Ultimately the members of T.R.I.P.P. declared the investigation inconclusive. While some evidence was gathered, there was not enough to confirm a haunting without further investigation.
T.R.I.P.P. co-founder Judy McCullogh expressed that while the evidence was inconclusive, personal opinion of the team members is that someone was trying to communicate with them.
“We feel something or someone was probably there,” McCullogh said, “but nothing really seemed to tie into the events that supposedly happened there with the shooting. Spirits are everywhere. Grocery stores, restaurants, ect. So the voices we think we actually heard could have been anyone, but no one seemed to give us a name.”
McCullough went on to say, “Had we got EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) without any contamination in the background, or EVP in another area without use of any device, then we could say for sure what we had is very valid. But without getting anything else on any recorder elsewhere, we can not say for certain that what was picked up on that one is real evidence.”
So, if you head down to The Parkway Grill for the Wichita Falls Wildcats post game festivities or to take in a Dallas Cowboys game, will you have one extra in your party?
Well, the jury is still officially out. If you do go, at least one long time and well loved patron would recommend you try the 40 Creek.