|Posted on March 4, 2017 at 9:40 PM|
Every team has a location that fuels them to learn more about the history as well as why there is so much paranormal activity inside one building. For our team Everyday-Legacy Paranormal, that location is the former Hillside Baptist Church, formally known as the Forum Theater to the team. For myself I had the pleasure of investigating here as a paying guest with a team from St Joe, MO who was visting the site from a invitation by the owners. I was hooked from that night forward...
Going back to the begining, the church was built in the early 1920's and was lef by their first pastor Ernest for a few years. Ernest wanted to leave but was denied and was instead given a secretary and took on a higher role among a pastors group in the city. Not long after taking the head of this all pastors group, Ernst left the Hillside Church and moved on out of state. From then on the church took on several pastors and staff as well as building onto the church that included classrooms. In th 1950's the church suffered a fire inside the main sanctuary in which the church had to move their services to the Crown Uptown Theater, which is where they held Sunday services for one year. Over time the church started to change and soon the congregation moved out leaving the church vacant for several years.
New owners Grant and Janet in the early 2000's took over the task of a building in dispare, needless to say it needed a lot of work. A huge basement, two floors, and another section built on that had classrooms. It was a huge undertaking that they felt they had to do and they put their hearts into everything. Rebuilding the main sancutary in include a larger stage and taking out the choir loft. The many hallways an stairwells were changed and repainted and decorated with authentic materials that included chandeliers and other peices of furniture. It was while the building was under construction that Grant and Janet knew something was off inside what they were hoping to be a new theater in Wichita.
They started to witness shadows, giggles, strange noises, growling, voices, music and objects being moved on them. After an incident in the pastors study that involed the door almost injurying Grant while he was working in the room, they decided they needed to reach out to someone. They were able to contact an investigator in Wichita by the name of Brendon Brannan who had his eye on the old church for a while. Brendan went in to investigate with his team along with Grant and Janet. That night gave them everything they had hoped for and maybe more then they asked for. Brendon was able to see a shadow figure stare at him from the other side of a door in the basement, gave chase but found no one around. As he explained he could see the figure turn and run away like a person, which made him run after it. Later that evening the group was heading to the office spaces in the basement. As they opened the door to the office, a loud female scream exploded within the office room, so loud and so close that Brendan explained that it was if she was standing in the doorway screaming. The scream was recorded on audio devices on all 3 levels of the building.
As time moved on Brendan became a member of Everyday-Legacy Paranormal, which I became a member as well in 2009. Since 2008 our team has experienced so many strange and amazing things inside this building with hours of evidence to prove. So many stories included within our team that I could write page after page here. I will tell you a couple of stories though.
During my first investigation with ELP at the old church, I brought my wife Nicole so she could see and experience her first "ghost hunt." The night was going well with a few unexplained footsteps and doors opening with no one there. During a rotation where my wife and I were sitting up in the choir loft, we found ourselves relaxing a bit and just taking in how big the sanctuary is and watching the upper deck for any movement. While sitting there you can easily see two doors, one on either side of the loft. With Nicole sitting on my left, from the corner of my eyes I could see a figure come around and through the doorway and walk towards us. I turn and click on my flashlight thinking I was going to see someone standing there next to Nicole. I saw no one standing there so I turned off my flashlight and went back to watching forward. It was about the that Nicole burries her face into my left arm shaking her head and saying "no, no, no, no..." Unable to calm her, we said good night to the group and headed home. Finally sitting in front of our home she was able to calm down enough to say, "soon as you turned off your flashlight, I head and felt the breath of a male voice saying Hello to me..." It shook her up, but that only ignited the passion in her to learn more. Now, after we told Jeremiah about what happened to Nicole in the choir loft, he stopped us and said that the samething happened to him while sitting in the loft once. He explained that it happened one other time before we ever met. He was sitting in the loft and everything was quite, he was just sitting there watching and looking around. Then all of a sudden a voice whispers in his ear "Hello" which startled Jeremiah so much he jumps over the row of seats in front of him and he almost falls over the railings.
The team held many public events there and I even took guests from the Wichita Ghost Tour inside and almost every time we went in, someone would walk away with a story of something that they saw, heard, and witnessed in front of them. I have many more stories like I said and maybe I'll return to this site later to tell you more.
Grant and Janet ran the Forum Theater inside the old church for a few years before selling the building and property back to a new type of church and congregation, marking the end of our time investigating there. The church has reached out to us to ask about our findings but no agreement has been made to allow us back in.