Korner's Folly has some otherworldly tenants.
The self-billed Strangest House in the World was officially declared haunted by the Southern Paranormal and Anomaly Research Society at a news conference Wednesday, the News & Recod of Greensboro reported.
The organization's Carolinas chapter in May investigated the 19th century Kernersville home of artist and interior decorator Jule Gilmer Korner (pronounced Kerner). The recordings they made revealed several disembodied voices and some mysterious specks of light.
"When you look at the evidence, there may be 1,000 ways to debunk it," said investigator Deonna Kelli Sayed. "And that's OK. You don't have to believe in any of it if you don't want to. But ... the evidence we have, we can't really offer you an explanation for it."
SPARS is a family member of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS), best known for being featured on the Syfy series "Ghost Hunters." The show stars Rhode Island plumbers and ghost hunters Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson. The Carolinas chapter has roughly 30 members, including about a half-dozen in the Triad.
Sixteen SPARS members came together for the Korner's Folly investigation over Memorial Day weekend, bringing with them infrared cameras, digital thermometers, tape recorders and electromagnetic field detectors.
Among the findings revealed Tuesday were the sound of a little girl saying "peek-a-boo;" some wailing noises recorded at the site of the outhouse; and a woman saying "Anne" in response to a SPARS member asking, "Can you tell us your name?"
The group also showed video clips of what looked like dots of light flying across a room.
"Stuff like this, someone might say, 'Oh it's a bug or a moth,"' said SPARS investigator Iris Carter. "But the pattern and the way it goes across is a clue in determining whether it's dust or a bug."
"Yeah, you constantly see dust," Sayed added. "We see bugs, and it's quite clear what they are. This, it just seemed too 'intelligent."'
Korner started building the home in 1878 and completed it in 1880. But he kept refurbishing, until the place had seven levels, 15 fireplaces and 22 rooms.
"It's a house with a lot of historic value," Carter said. "And I felt that if someone put so much time and effort and energy into their home, there had to be a lot of stories about it. Whether or not we found anything was a side issue to the fact that it was a great place to conduct experiments."
Bruce Frankel, executive director of the nonprofit organization that oversees the house, was presented with a framed certificate Wednesday proclaiming the home's haunted status. The SPARS findings will be a good draw for visitors, he said, and he plans on sharing them with the public later this month.
Polly Wolfe, the 85-year-old granddaughter of Korner, said that as a little girl she would always joke it was haunted, but had never sensed any ghostly activity herself. She was excited about the findings.
"My granddaddy, he would be thrilled to death to know this was haunted," she said. "He always liked things that were out of the ordinary."