Since its role in the 1935 shootout between the federal "G-men" and two members of the outlaw Barker-Karpis Gang, the quiet lakeside house once belonging to Carson Bradford in Ocklawaha, Florida, has been immersed in haunted speculation. Many in the local community and those who have been in the house have reported seeing an apparition and hearing voices and noises coming from the house where Kate "Ma" Barker and Fred Barker were killed in an epic gun battle on the morning of January 16th, 1935.
Now managed by the Friends of the Bradford-Ma Barker House, Inc., the house was relocated from the actual site of the shootout in 2016, but it appears that its haunted reputation was relocated as well. Due to the reported claims made by visitors, the Friends of the Bradford-Ma Barker House, Inc. allowed Soul Sisters Paranormal the honor of being the first paranormal group to officially investigate at this historic location.
The investigation was conducted in two parts. The first part of the investigation was specifically chosen to fall on the 84th anniversary of the shootout: January 16th, 2019. It was decided that cameras, audio recorders and trigger items would be left at the house on the evening of January 15th; that equipment was left to run alone in the house until 8am the morning of January 16th. After reviewing the evidence from that evening, there were several occurrences that we cannot explain.
For example, the EVP in Clip #1 was captured just as we were leaving the house and locking the door for the night. The recorder was in the back, upstairs bedroom and, as you hear us leave, the recorder picks up a whisper that we believe is saying "hey, come back".
Also captured during the night were two light anomalies that we cannot explain. Because we knew that we would not be staying in the house with the equipment, the day before we prerecorded questions on a voice recorder. We actually recorded 20 minutes of silence first to ensure that we had enough time to press play and then complete vacate the property. After the 20 minutes, 45 minutes of prerecorded questions began to play; when completed, the voice recorder shut itself off completely. Our thoughts in this experiment was to observe was to observe if we could get any response to our voices, even though we were not there. What we captured were two light anomalies that we cannot explain. The first (Clip #2), appeared after a question regarding "Ma" was asked, and it appears from the doorframe of the room in which "Ma" was believed to have slept. The second (Clip #3) appeared in the living room, and it too appears after a question was asked of "Ma". This house is completely isolated in the middle of 40 acres; there are no light sources anywhere near the house, there is no electricity in the house, and no one approached the house during the night. Additionally, these two light anomalies are the only two things that appeared on the cameras (of which we had 8 running) that night.
For most of the evening we also captured loud bangs and knocks that we cannot explain. Clip #4 are examples that were captured on one recorder over a 6 hour period that night. We also captured the sound of, what we believe is a chair moving (Clip #5), and also, what we believe are two EVPs of a male voice saying "get out" (Clips #6 and #7).
The second part of the investigation occurred a little over one week later on the night of January 26th. Investigators Kristy and Jenny spent 3 hours in the house during the evening, and we used several different types of equipment in an attempt to communicate with any entities that we believed were in the house. The first piece of equipment is called a Rempod, and it can detect energy changes and/or temperature changes in its surrounding environment depending on the settings that are programmed. Due to the fact that there is no power on in the house, the theory is that there should be no change in the energy levels and, therefore, the Rempod should not have alarmed in any way. Clip #8 is a brief montage of the Rempod activity that we captured that night, which seems to indicate that some source of energy was interacting with the machine.
Another piece of equipment that we used that night was called a Spirit Box. Essentially, this is a modified AM/FM radio that has the ability to very quickly scan through AM and FM frequencies. The theory is that spirits can use this device to communicate by speaking through the static/white noise as the radio moves rapidly from frequency to frequency. During the evening, we captured several phrases that were spoken through the radio that we cannot explain and that one would not expect to be heard. For example, we asked if any entity could say the name "Blackburn", which was the last name alias under which "Ma" and Fred Barker rented the house. We believe that Spirit Box did, in fact, say that word "Blackburn" during one of our sessions in the upstairs bedroom where Ma and Fred were killed. Clip #9 is a montage of the Spirit Box activity that we captured in the house that night.
In the early morning hours of January 16th, 1935, two of the most ruthless gangsters of the 1930s were gunned down when they refused to be taken alive by the FBI agents that surrounded their lake-side rental house. While the longest gun battle in FBI history culminated in the deaths of Kate "Ma" Barker and her son Fred, it also signaled the death knell of for the end of the "gangster era" as it was known. However, the quaint lakeside house which unceremoniously thrust into the national spotlight in 1935 may still be accommodating the spirits of outlaws, for it seems that they are quite content to remain in their final hideout in Ocklawaha, Florida.
You can watch the full video of our investigation by clicking here.
For more information on the history of the house, you can go to the Friends of the Bradford-Ma Barker House website by clicking here , or to see a brief history of the house itself, please click here.
We sincerely appreciate the Friends of the Bradford-Ma Barker House, Inc for allowing Soul Sisters Paranormal to be the first paranormal team to investigate at this historic location!