Kilgore House

(University of Alabama)

October 7, 2009

Tuscaloosa, AL

7:00pm – 12:00pm























In 1890 the trustees of the Alabama Hospital for the Insane (now Bryce Mental Institution) authorized construction of a “commodious two story cottage for the Assistant Steward,” Charles C. Kilgore, at the edge of the hospital land adjacent to the University of Alabama’s campus cemetery. Kilgore had worked for the hospital since 1867 in various capacities and would oversee all “outdoor” hospital functions including agriculture, mining, and construction until his retirement in 1921. He was the father of seven children six by his first wife, Sarah, and the last, “Little Gibbie,” by his second wife, Elizabeth (“Gibbie”). When Kilgore’s brother died, Charles also took in his niece, Cora Kilgore, who was near in age to Little Gibbie. The two girls went to school at the Tuscaloosa College for Women, studying languages.

Little Gibbie Kilgore had just turned sixteen when she died of “the summer complaint” (dysentery) in July of 1901. With Gibbie gone and their older children moving out, the Kilgores began to offer room and board to male students at the University of Alabama in 1901. After Cora graduated in 1904 and began graduate work at the university, they offered the rooms to female co-eds, instead. From 1905 until 1907, co-eds lived in what was known as “Kilgore Ranch,” and generated quite a bit of envy from the co-eds not so lucky the ones relegated to live in “the Annex.” Annex girls took an oath: “Covet not thy Kilgore neighbor’s eatings, nor their dancing, nor their suitors, nor their walks, nor anything that is not thine own.” Kilgore Ranch girls were known for their pranks and their parties, which included fortune tellers and dancing. And a rumor once surfaced that they engaged in séances. They were supervised though apparently not too strictly by the first female faculty member of the University of Alabama, who lived with them.

The fun stopped at Kilgore in 1908, when Cora Kilgore died at age 20, for reasons not recorded. The Kilgores no longer opened their home to campus co-eds.

The Kilgores moved to downtown Tuscaloosa upon Charles Kilgore’s retirement, and the house remained a residence of Bryce Hospital employees for many decades until it finally was left empty and fell into dreadful disrepair. Bryce arranged an exchange of the property in 1976, and Kilgore House became a part of the University of Alabama campus now the oldest residence for UA co-eds still standing in Tuscaloosa. The university replaced the rotten siding with vinyl siding and shored up the porches, making the building usable again. It was, at some point, used for faculty housing.

In 1986, Alabama Heritage magazine was founded in Kilgore House in a single upstairs room. Today, the magazine operation takes up the entire house. Four full-time staff members are aided by a continual flow of students, assisting in business, marketing, and editorial functions. Kilgore once stood on a shady side road, surrounded largely by lush lawns. But since about 2005, constant construction has drastically altered the surrounding environment, placing the stately blue Queen Anne house on a main drive through the campus and encircled by buildings. The university also remodeled some interior spaces in Kilgore in 2007 and 2008.


No one considered investigating the phenomena until mid-September 2008 when in a single 24 hour period, three different employees experienced significant events. One, alone in the house on a Sunday morning, heard noises so unusual that she rapidly exited the house. That afternoon, another student was working alone in the house and heard footsteps move along the hall and through the door of the editor’s office, which was closed. On Monday morning, a long-term volunteer was stuffing envelopes in a downstairs office when she saw the apparition of an African American woman in a turban and work dress. She saw the same apparition eight times in four hours.

And so the investigations began first with audio recorders left in the locked and empty building at night. Footsteps, banging, doors closing, and metal latches being thrown convinced interested staff members to go further. Outside investigators joined in, and they eventually began to record voices voices speaking in direct response to questions asked by investigators. Two people have seen a black mist man sized in the kitchen. Photos have captured mists and the shadows of dogs in the upstairs hallway.

Investigations continue, and a thorough history of the house is being compiled. Four UA doctoral students have spent many hours in the house, compiling evidence, and little skepticism remains that Kilgore House is beyond the normal.


Digital cameras, Digital Voice Recorders, Sony Handycams with the Nightshot feature, EMF Meter, Infrared Digital Temperature Scanner, K2 meter, Extech Humidity and Temperature USB Datalogger RHT10, Zoom H2 Recorder, Zoom H4 Recorder


Taken with digital cameras.














Taken with Deep Infrared digital cameras.



Taken with Extech Humidity and Temperature USB Datalogger RHT10













Building E.M.F. Assessment:

The house is in good repair. It shows signs of old wiring mixed with new. Cleanliness of site is adequate for good health. No visible mold or mildew was seen on site.  It should be noted that sound travels very easily from the kitchen area to the front office (on the left as yu walk into building) as well as to the top of the stairs.  Also, the floor in the kitchen as well as the door (facing the kitchen window) vibrate as heavy trucks pass by.


Electrical Inspection:

Inspection of the electrical box at the back of the house showed adequate grounding.  The downstairs showed proper grounding of modern outlets with several 2 pronged outlets still in use..no active e.l.f. spikes were found around said outlets…The second floor housed 3 offices with two showing an open ground and one showing an open nuetral in the standard outlets. This floor also had several 2 pronged outlets still in use..no active e.l.f. spikes were found near these outlets either. The only place where elf was found to be in high enough doses to affect sensitive individuals was in the second floor office directly to the right as one comes up the stairs. Said room had a flourescent lighting system. The e.l.f. feild produced by the flourescent lighting system reached down to 3 feet above floor level. Every office had desktop computers producing moderate e.l.f. around the keyboards..


EVP Report:

The H4N was used for EVP collection during this investigation. Four sessions were recorded.

The first session has the voices of two investigators, vehicle noises and chatter from an adjoining office (where other investigators were conducting an EVP session) as well. No possible EVP was heard by this investigator on the recording.

The second session was a lights out session without asking questions.  David’s group conducted their EVP session at this time. The sounds of vehicles, police sirens and chatter froms David’s group can be heard in this recording. No possible Evp was heard on this recording.

The third session was conducted in two parts. The first part was in the storage room on first floor.  Two investigators are in the room.  The sounds heard on this recording were the voices of investigators in the storage room, chatter investigators in another office downstairs, David calling from upstairs, sirens and vehicle noises. No apparent Evp was heard at this time.  The second part of this session was done in the hallway where to H4N was put on the table next to the stairway.  Several possible instances were heard that may prove to be EVP. They consisted of clapping, tapping on the mic, and a faint (possible) whisper.  Said clips have been turned in for evaluation by the group leader.

The fourth session showed sounds of cars, a train, a clock ticking and several investigators voices. During set up, a voice that doesnt sound like anyone in the recording seems to hav said “take my bag off” when we were rearranging chairs before officially starting the session.  Also, an apparent answer to the question “Is there a kilgore in the house?” may have showed as a very deep but low “no”. Both of these file clips has been submitted to the group leader for comparison with other investigators EVP recordings.


Temperature Data Logger Report:

The datalogger was set in place at 8:14 p.m. in the kitchen on a tripod at approx 4 ft off the ground and was taken up at 10:28 p.m. No spikes are seen in temp during the investigation’s time frame. A gradual drop is seen suggestive of the normal temperature drop seen as night progresses.

Geo/Astral Report for 10/12/09:


Earthquake Data for North America 10/06/09-10/08/09 as of 11:21:00 CST:

10/08/2009 08:34:37 UTC

6.5, Santa Cruz Islands

10/07/2009 02:12:39 UTC
M 6.6, Santa Cruz Islands

10/07/2009 01:59:20 UTC
M 5.8, Santa Cruz Islands

10/06/2009 18:06:34 UTC

M 4.1, California-Nevada Border Region

Geomagnetic Storms:
Solar Radiation Storms:
Radio Blackouts:
Sun and Moon Data:

U.S. Naval Observatory
Astronomical Applications Department

Sun and Moon Data for One Day

The following information is provided for Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama (longitude W87.5, latitude N33.2):


7 October 2009        Central Daylight Time


Begin civil twilight       6:24 a.m.

Sunrise                    6:49 a.m.

Sun transit               12:38 p.m.

Sunset                     6:26 p.m.

End civil twilight         6:51 p.m.


Moonrise                   7:44 p.m. on preceding day

Moon transit               3:00 a.m.

Moonset                   10:22 a.m.

Moonrise                   8:31 p.m.

Moonset                   11:27 a.m. on following day

Phase of the Moon on 7 October: waning gibbous with 87% of the Moon’s visible disk illuminated.

Full Moon on 4 October 2009 at 1:10 a.m. Central Daylight Time.

Weather Report:
Mean Temperature 65 °F
Max Temperature 67 °F
Min Temperature 62 °F
Moisture: Dew Point 60 °F
Average Humidity 89
Maximum Humidity 93
Minimum Humidity 84

Precipitation 2.75 in
Month to date precipitation 5.11
Year to date precipitation 57.46

Sea Level Pressure:
Sea Level Pressure 30.09 in

Wind Speed 5 mph (NE)
Max Wind Speed 25 mph
Max Gust Speed 32 mph


Taken with Digital Voice Recorders