Jack Osbourne and Heather Taddy in Stephenson Bldg

“Stephenson Building” Portals to Hell

WWhat do you get when you take a suspicious-looking clown doll chained up in a box and put it in the same room with a bunch of other haunted objects?! My first investigation with the Portals to Hell crew! The 120-year-old Stephenson Building in Wymore, NE once operated as a dance hall, saloon, pool hall, and brothel. With extremely dark layers of history connected to the KKK, the activity was now spiraling out of control. The owner Brian and visitors have been negatively impacted by the activity, which they say has gone from residual to intelligent. Brian’s goal: To turn the building into a place for paranormal investigations while also using it as a place to house his massive oddities collection.

There were some details about the dark history excluded from the episode. There were underground tunnels leading to other buildings downtown.  In the 1910s men used the tunnels to get from their hotels to brothels in town without being seen, the same with alcohol during Prohibition days. There was a rail system through town so that boom brought deviant activity connected to the mob. The KKK held meetings in the building and held public lynchings in front of the building, while parades passed through. Yuk! Not only that but an orphan train used to pass through.  That’s enough darkness for one place.


Since the activity seems to be centered around the owner Brian, it’s very important to dive into his past. Is he using these objects in his investigations? Where do the objects come from and what is known about them? Have the objects been removed to see if activity decreases?  Since purchasing the place and completing renovations, there has been an uptick in activity. Why? The most recent addition to the oddities collection- a clown doll named Mr. Peasebottom which was made in a German concentration camp. A truly frightening sight with an even stranger background. An investigator included this clown in an EVP session and recorded some disturbing voices. Other activity: People have been pushed down the stairs, black orbs, shadow figures, loud footsteps, offensive EVPs, scratching, everything but biting.

We see common types of haunting with object attachment as residual energy trapped in a material that replays when conditions are right. Oftentimes, negative people can pour negativity into an object. The fact that these objects could be carrying negative energy in an already negative area could mean that they are contributing to the activity. The question is which objects? I’ve seen paranormal groups in the past purchase haunted objects off the internet and use them in their investigations without knowing what kind of doors they were opening. A past could be created for an object and passed down, often exaggerated. This could have been the case with a lot of the objects, but the fact that they used Mr. Peasebottom in an investigation and got the compelling EVP of a little boy clearly saying “I’m stuck in this box” is really startling. To me, if you notice an increase in activity after bringing in a certain object to your space, why would you then taunt it in an investigation, even after seeing that it caused negative things to happen? That’s what quite didn’t make sense for this case.

Psychic Sweep

Psychic Tyler Evans worked his magic in Psychometry and was able to dive into the history of some of the objects. This wasn’t included in the episode but when he pulled up and met us outside he showed us some things he wrote down on his notepad. He had the phrase “God is Dead” sprawled at the top of the page, “KKK” along with tons of other ideas that had popped into his head. While standing outside Stephenson he said that there was another way in the building and he picked up on the underground tunnels. There is nothing on the internet about this building, it has not been on TV before, and Tyler had no idea where he was going. During the sweep, he seemed to be getting hit with layers of history to where it was hard for him to focus. It was as if his mind was sweeping radio stations and he couldn’t stop blurting out statements. Tyler was hesitant to enter the room that was filled with a human-like clown doll and about 30 dolls huddled in a corner. He said that one of the dolls witnessed child abuse. In the prostitution room, he picked up on a woman having a miscarriage. There was so much information he was picking up on that I wished we could have looked into all of it.

The voice that I heard in that hallway was so real and startling, that it makes me want to go back and even spend the night in the building. Call me crazy but these insanely creepy historical buildings fascinate me to no end. The owner’s Brian and Jeremy were super nice people and even though their collection of objects was a bit overwhelming, it was pretty impressive. Overall, if you have unresolved trauma in your life it makes you vulnerable. Let this case reiterate that only enough negativity can fill one space until either something nasty happens, or the stages of oppression begins.