Is Ogden’s historic Browning Mansion home to more than just neighborhoods?
Ogden — Jake Cox and Jackie Loveland aren’t the type to think their house is haunted.
“I’m quite skeptical,” Cox smiled from his front room, where a Ouija board sat motionless on the coffee table.
The couple moved into the historic John M. Browning Mansion, 505 27y Street, in March 2018 and they have been the proud caretakers ever since.
Originally constructed in 1899 and completed in 1900, the house served as the family home of famed firearms designer John Moses Browning, from January 23, 1855, to November. 26, 1926).
“Where I’m standing, the Utah State Pistol — (Browning’s M1911 Automatic Pistol) — could have been invented right here in this room,” Loveland said as she pointed to a third-floor bedroom that she said was once Browning’s workshop. “When he worked from home, he was here.”
Cox and Loveland even created a non-profit organization to raise money to fund renovations and restoration with the eventual plan to open a museum.
“We’re not trying to be another (John M. Browning Firearms Museum),” Loveland said. “We want to be kind of on the other side of the coin as far as the Browning family and the Browning family and kind of the history of Ogden in general.”
Unexplained feelings and events
Although Loveland likes the idea of “metaphorical ghosts,” she said she never saw an actual ghost in the five years the couple spent there.
However, that didn’t mean she didn’t feel something strange about the house – from the inexplicably confusing third floor to the basement, which featured a hidden brick space of unknown origin or purpose extending an indefinite length beneath it. the home.
“This is scary,” Loveland said while standing in the boiler room. “I guess you could say the basement is scarier than the rest of the house.”
There were also several noises in the house that the couple couldn’t quite explain as being caused by their cats.
“There were times, and often times, that I heard footsteps on the third floor,” Cox said.
Earlier in the month, Cox heard a door slam without explanation.
“I had headphones on but I could still hear it, like a door closing,” Cox said. “And everyone was upstairs, and there was no one else up here, so it was kind of weird.”
Even stranger was the time the couple heard a loud crash in their third-floor podcast recording studio, an area where their cats are never allowed.
They got out of bed to find that the large microphone that had been firmly fixed on a weighted pedestal had somehow fallen off the table.
“It fell to the floor and went back under the table and I had no idea,” Loveland said. “It wasn’t weirdly balanced or anything like that, risky.”
Loveland also noted that there are some stories of possible hauntings in the history of the 123-year-old house, which also once served as a YWCA home.
A woman recently toured the house and said she lived there in 1953, she said.
“It would have been right in the early days when they were setting up emergency housing for girls,” Loveland said. “She told us a story that she came home one night and went to bed. She was exhausted, lying on the bed. She said she felt like she was lying on her side with her arm outstretched and she felt a woman’s hand holding hers.
With questions about the noises and mysterious feelings at the house, Cox and Loveland agreed to let KSL and the Western Association for Paranormal Science (WASP Utah) investigate the property.
Stephanie Black Cowan, a psychic who is part of the group, gave an initial tour of the house and tapped the letters “LRY” in the basement boiler room, which she interpreted as Leroy or Larry.
According to the John Moses Browning family tree, Austin Leroy Browning was the son of John Moses Browning who died as a young child in 1883.
Cowan also felt there was a fire in multiple places in the house, which Loveland confirmed had occurred earlier in the house’s history.
In addition, she picked up what she described as a “very strong, protective masculine” energy in the second-floor bedroom, similar to the energy that Loveland said provides “a quiet feeling of protection, security, and just peace.”
Armed with this information, Chris Harmon and WASP Utah investigators entered the home to see what they could discover using a variety of different devices meant to make it easier to communicate with any potential energies or spirits in the home (see WASP Utah video here).
Using a light-sensing camera — capable of identifying shapes in a field of projected light rays — the team discovered figures in the basement.
One of the characters in the boiler room area appears to interact with the investigators by pointing to a light.
Near the entrance to the basement crawl space, the crew spotted another figure who appeared to be responding intelligently.
“Can you wave your left hand?” Detective Sam Arkey instructed as he held the SLS camera. “Here it is – the left hand!”
Both Arkie and Harmon seemed surprised that the character was able to communicate with them.
“It was right hand, waving, left hand, waving,” Arkie said.
Harmon said he eventually had to leave the area when nothing felt right and he felt a sharp sensation around his left shoulder.
The crew in particular seemed to have a more intelligent interaction in the second floor bedroom.
There, the REM pod — which can emit sounds and light when it detects powerful energy nearby or touching it — began violently exploding after being placed on the bed, as did another device that supposedly shoots light in the direction of nearby energy.
Cowan noticed that the devices seemed to activate when male investigators entered the room, which she thought coincided with the male protective energy she felt.
“The minute you came in, Andrew (Adams), he immediately felt a little uncomfortable,” Cowan said. “(He) didn’t like having men in his room.”
Investigators attempted to contact John Moses Browning directly, as a “portal” device supposedly designed to allow spirits to communicate through him began speaking with some clear answers.
“Mr. Browning?” Kwan called into the dark bedroom.
“Yes,” the device seemed to reply.
In addition, investigators detected what they described as “gunshot” sounds coming through the gate device, which seemed unusually related to the house where a famous firearms designer worked.
After a lengthy interrogation session, Kwan asked: “Mr. Browning, do you want us to leave?” and the gate device answered clearly: “Yes.”
“We definitely got something very interesting in that room,” Harmon told Loveland.
Loveland, who remains a skeptic much like her husband, said she believes the residual energies can exist anywhere.
She hoped that if there were any members of the Browning family who still resided in the house or visited occasionally, they would know that the house was loved by its current owners.
“Are they OK with us being here, what we’re doing — that’s something I’d like to know,” Loveland said. “I think everyone makes their mark.”