In early 2013, Johnsdale Paranormal Group was invited to investigate the notorious paranormal claims of the First Avenue music venue in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. On the day of our investigation, we arrived at the location early in the afternoon to meet Art Director, Kristin Backman and her friend Paul, to take a tour and get acquainted with the building layout. At one point during the tour, Kristin was leading us into the basement of First Avenue, which has numerous claims of paranormal activity. She lead the way down the stairs, followed by Justin, Brian, and William. Adam and Paul were the last two to enter the stairwell to the basement. As Adam got about half way down the first flight of stairs, he felt a sharp poke in the middle of his back. He turned around expecting that Paul would be right behind him, however, Paul was still at the top of the stairs. Adam decided not to mention this personal experience at the time it happened. He waited until the end of the tour to share his experience with the rest of us, at which time, Paul explained that he had also experienced the same thing as he was about half way down the first flight of stairs to the basement.
Upon arriving back at First Avenue later that night for our investigation, we spent a good deal of time talking with certain employees about the personal experiences that they have had at the location. There were many stories of strange occurrences, but one that stuck with us throughout the night was from a gentleman who had been working at the club for a while. He told us about one night that he and a few other co-workers had stayed at First Avenue after closing up the building for the night. They had decided to sit around one of the tables on the upper level, overlooking the stage and floor area of the venue. After about an hour or so of talking and drinks, they were feeling pretty brave so they decided to try and provoke a spirit into doing something that would scare them. After approximately fifteen to twenty minutes of provoking, they noticed a red balloon floating over by the women's restroom. They watched as the balloon slowly made its way around the curved wall of the upper level toward the table they were sitting at. He explained that they initially thought that the heating vents were simply pushing the balloon along the wall, so the group continued to joke with each other about it. Then, the balloon suddenly stopped its progression along the wall and started floating across the room directly toward the table they were sitting at. He said that they watched in silence as the balloon slowly made its way toward them, as if it were being lead by someone with a string attached to it. The balloon came to rest, hovering directly over the center of the table they were sitting at. After about a minute, the balloon resumed its flight out over the show floor and up into the ceiling out of sight. The group of co-workers left the building immediately.
One of the more commonly known claims of activity involves people seeing the apparition of a young woman in a green jacket. Many believe that a young woman hung herself in one of stalls of the women's restroom back in the 1940's while the location operated as a Greyhound Bus Station. It is said that she was awaiting the return of her fiancé from World War II, and when he did not arrive on the bus with the other servicemen she became distraught. It is believed that her grief caused her to take her own life. At one point while Justin and Adam were in the restroom, we captured a female voice saying "Justin" on our digital audio recorder.
During our investigation, we spent time in various areas of the building conducting EVP sessions and doing sweeps with the K2 meters. At one point, Adam and Justin had met up with Brian and William on the upper level- near the main bar area overlooking the stage and show floor. We exchanged brief conversation about some odd hits that we had received on the K2 meters from down in the basement. Right after our conversation, you can hear a whispered voice say the phrase, "We're Dead". This EVP was captured on our IR camera, and can be viewed at the bottom of the page.
Later in the night, we all decided to go to the upper level and try to recreate the story about the balloon that we had been told earlier. We sat around one of the tables and began to provoke, much like the group of co-workers had done. After about twenty to thirty minutes, we had not seemed to evoke a response from any of the spirits that were supposedly still lingering at the location, so we began to pack up our equipment and end our investigation. However, when we reviewed the audio during our provoking session, the recorder in the Record Room seemed to pick up a voice that says the phrase, "Watch it". You can hear the audio clip at the bottom of the page.