Home       The Team       About       Email       Gallery       Links
FAQ              Glossary

Orviss Incidents 11-08
By John Causey, Investigation Coordinator



On November 8th, we arrived in Calvert and at the Orviss location for my first time there and I made a general sweep of the location with the rest of the group. I noticed only one thing out of sorts and that was when I stood at the open area of the fence that surrounds the burial vault. I could reach in past the opening and the air inside was noticeably cooler. I stepped inside the fenced in area and felt cooler all over. The air also had a light, energized feel to it that I can only compare to the air inside a large computer server room. I took only about twenty photos of the site and surrounding woods and had a digital audio recorder going while touring the site.

When I later reviewed the evidence I found in one picture I had taken of the woods surrounding the Orviss site a blue flash/glow. I immediately marked it off as a flash reflection on a shiny object. At this point a wanted to go back to the site and confirm the temperature difference I felt walking through the fence opening at the front of the Orviss vault and locate and confirm what caused the blue glow in the picture.

I gathered up an indoor/outdoor digital thermometer set that is sold by Radio Shack that reads the temperature down to the tenths of a degree and wireless transmits that information to an indoor receiving unit that reads the indoor temperature. On the indoor unit it displays both temperatures side by side. I checked these units all week with them both side by side and across the room from each other. Side by side they displayed the exact same (73.1 F / 73.1 F). Across the room from one another they would sometimes vary (74.2 F / 74.4). Outside with one near a cement structure and the other six foot away it again displayed some variance (68.3 F / 68.6 F).

I spoke to Casey during the work week about me wanting to use instruments to confirm the temperature difference and she told me that every time she goes to the Orviss location the feel she gets inside the fenced in area is different. I acknowledged her and said I still wanted to try and document the difference if there was one to measure.

On November 15th of 2008 I went back to the Orviss location with Casey Unger and we brought all of our instruments. I also brought old school stuff for finding changes in nature. One item being a compass. In the past when I have noticed oddities in an area (strange electric feel, pressure change in your ears, light headedness, etc) I have noticed the compass’ direction is also sometimes altered.

I first set up the indoor digital thermometer unit about a foot and a half to two feet outside the fence opening and then the outdoor unit about the same distance on the inside of the fence in area. Both were attached to a wooden stake and were about two feet off the ground. For over an hour the temperature for both units was exactly the same down to tenths of a degree. As dusk approached the Tri-Field Meter that was set up away from where we were moving about and near the area where the “Children Left” EVP was captured started sounding off high spikes detecting Natural EM. Shortly after that Casey and I were out trying to find the source of what caused the glow/flash in the picture. All around that area and around the tree seen in the picture where we saw the blue glow we looked and could not find any trash or anything else that could reflect light.

837hrs – 11/15/2008 - We went further north from the tree where the flash originated (appears to have) and discovered a fenced in burial plot that appeared to be empty of any head stones (John Singleton’s Site). Casey walked around to one side because she noticed what looked like a piece of a very small headstone sticking out of the ground. During the week prior she was telling me that she had once had a strange dream of seeing people burying a little girl near the Orviss site. Where in the thick woods she had pointed when describing what see saw as the location of this burial in the dream is where we had now found this family plot. This is also near the area of the blue flash. Then both Casey and I noticed a full headstone that was covered partially by a tree. We photographed the headstone and the entire fenced in plot and then tried to read the stone. It reads “John Singleton”, “C.S.A.” (Confederate States of America), and some information about his unit and which state he represented. It does not give any date information at all.When Casey cleared the plant growth and opened the gate to this fenced in plot my ears rang like there was a sudden change of atmospheric pressure. After checking the stone marker for information finding the Singleton information I took out by compass and held it in front of me to find Magnetic North. After doing so I extended my hand holding the compass inside the fenced in plot and the compass marker rotated about twenty degrees to the east finding a new bearing North. I photographed this finding. While in this area of the woods we both noted that we felt hot and both were sweating. Casey even commented that she was thinking of taking off her sweat jacket because she was warm. I found this odd since she is half my weight or less. I thought I was getting hot because of my weight and being out of shape (it’s been a long time since the Army!). It was also odd because it was in the mid-forties (degrees F).

1846 hrs – 11/15/2008 - Casey also took me east of the Singleton site to an site (Harrell site) with a headstone that I couldn’t read then, but later I found it reads “James A Harrell Co B 18 Tex Cav”. In this fenced plot area there is only this one headstone present. It is northeast of the Orviss vault. Headstone photographed.

1951 hrs – 11/15/2008- We then went back to the Orviss site which is South of the Singleton site I checked my digital static thermometers and found the temperature inside the Orviss fenced in site was warmer than the outside area by one degree. I photographed this finding and the temperature readings for two more times this night. The temperatures and times were as follows.

1951 hrs 47.5F 46.6F

2038 hrs 46.0F 45.1F

2141 hrs 44.6F 43.5F

Before leaving I placed the units next to one another and they leveled out to the exact number down to the tenths of a degree.

I took 253 pictures the night of November 15th covering every angle and inch of the Orviss vault and the nearby areas seen from the Orviss site. Using an extendable mono-pod I was able to set my camera to “timer” and extend the camera into the caskets, into the ceiling, behind the door, under the shelves, and up on top of the building. I tried in over thirty pictures to reproduce the flash or glow that I caught on the eighth of November without luck. And as noted above the area was searched thoroughly by both Casey and I. The temperature differences and compass changes were witnessed by Casey Unger and the two members of another paranormal group.

At present I have discovered no reason for the compass actions. The fence was checked with the compass and not found to be magnetic. The difference in temperature was the second unexplained occurrence. It was not close enough radiate heat from the stone and the building is only struck by the sun around noon day. If the building had been the reason for the difference in temp then it would have been one degree off from the beginning and not over an hour later. At first the two units were reading exactly the same temps down to the tenths of a degree. The glowing blue spot in the photo can not be explained.

2031 hrs- 11/15/2008- While standing at the rear of the Orviss vault Casey and I were talking about the history of Sterling Cemetery and our speculations as to why there were what appears to be children’s coffins present in the vault when the couple was listed as not having heirs. I then heard static noise come from the digital recorder in my pocket like a radio breaking squelch and found that the “play” button had been pushed. I switched it back to record and then noticed that my digital camera had a light flashing. I checked it and found that the record button had been pushed and it had been recording video for an unknown amount of time. Later I checked the video and found over three minutes had been recorded and during this video recording you couldn’t see anything for most of it length but the audio was clear. I heard during this recording where my digital recorder flips over to play and then after setting it back to record I can hear me when I notice the camera light blinking and find the camera recording.

Fact: My camera is a HP Photosmart M415 which has a recessed video record button that is very, very hard (almost impossible) to accidentally activate. (If you have one gave it try!)Oddly enough, my Olympus VN-3100PC digital recorder also has a recessed play button but no where near as hard to activate as the camera’s and it was in my pocket with a remote mic receiver plugged into it. The receiver unit may have tumbled around and hit the play key, but I was standing still. Plus, as far as the camera goes it was attached to a mono-pod out in front of me and there was no objects within five to six feet of me for that camera to bump into.

No further audio or video (to include still shot digital) evidence was found.

Personal experiences:

(1) While walking past the metal bench that is grown over by the tree I felt something make contact and rub across my head. Casey was behind me and saw nothing. As soon as it happen I swept the area above my head to clear away what I thought was a limb hitting my hat and head. When my hand never contacted a limb or anything else I looked up and just saw sky. Unknown what bumped the top of my head. Earlier Casey was standing in the same area and asked me what I said when I hadn’t said anything. She said she heard someone speak.

(2) 2221hrs – 11/15/2008- I was taken pictures with my digital camera on the extended pole in the Orviss vault. I pushed the camera’s timer and quickly moved the camera into position. Right before the camera took a picture of the inside of the small metal (child’s?) casket I saw what looked like a weaker camera flash to my right that startled me (like that of a disposable camera). I had believed that both members of the other group had gone with Casey to the site some 100 to 150 ft south of the vault but when I saw the flash I immediately said something like “Hey, didn’t know you were there” or the likes thinking one of them had stayed. I didn’t get an answer and I still had the spots in my eyes from the flash I saw to my right so I walked around to the west side of the vault and looked around the woods and the area but I saw no one. Then I noticed what looked like some fog in the trees and the temperature felt like it increased where I was standing. It changed to the point that my glasses started to fog up and I realized the “fog” I was seeing was on my glasses. Within ten or so minutes I no longer saw the fog that was on my glasses and the temperature seemed to return to normal. During this time I checked the static digital thermometers (both) in the front of the vault and they had an increase of .5 degrees. They then went back to where they were (1 degree different from each other). The three came back from the south (Cincinnati Gate site – named after the maker of the gate and fence) site and as they approached I was still believing one was in the woods to the north and was surprised to see all three come from the south area and state they had been there the whole time. Explanation, none. Maybe something wanted me to stay away from the child’s casket? So I will.

Graves that were found that are not listed in Robertson County Cemetery website for this area.

James A Harrell

Kate May Wynn (wife of S H Wynn)

Columbus L Smith

Minnie Cox Nash

John Singleton


I don’t have the answers, which is why I am interested in the field of investigating unexplained occurrences. When I figure it all out I will be a much wiser man.