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The Goldenrod Showboat (2015)

On November 7, 2015 TIP investigators Paul, Christine, Lesley, Tuesday, and our friend Shana, a volunteer caretaker of the Goldenrod, had the rather unique experience of investigating the over-100 year old Showboat the Goldenrod in Kampsville, Illinois. Goldenrod was the last showboat to work the Mississippi. Unlike paddle wheelers showboats did not move under their own power but were pushed by tugboats. They were basically floating theaters and did not have passenger rooms. The Goldenrod gave the start to such legendary performers as Red Skelton and Bob Hope. In July of 2015 flooding caused her to be moved slightly down river to protect her but instead resulted in the hull buckling and the possible end of the Goldenrod. She is said to be haunted by Captain Menke, his girlfriend Madge, and a young woman named Annie.

The boat’s caretakers informed us that the spirits are not happy with what’s happening to the Goldenrod with items being removed and the possible salvage of the whole boat. TIP considers itself extremely privileged to get the chance to be one of the last groups to investigate the Goldenrod. It’s hard to describe the feeling of coming around a corner on a country road and seeing the majestic boat. Even in old age she is beautiful and awe-inspiring. Due to the lack of power TIP did not bring any of our DVR cameras. We relied on recorders, EMF detectors, and hand held cameras. The boat did not have power, heat or bathroom facilities (don’t ask). After a tour of the boat we began our investigation in the auditorium area of the boat. Two of us left recorders running in the buffet area and the entry way which are said to be most active for EVPs. We were not disappointed as these yielded some of our best evidence of the night. (See EVP evidence page) While in the auditorium Lesley saw a plate size red light which is one of the common phenomena. We attempted to debunk it but could not locate any source for the light. During the evening we did hear many loud noises that could not be explained. We moved to the balcony area which is where the Captain’s table is located and the site of many previous paranormal experiences. We could not get real close to the Captain’s table due to obvious structural damage to the boat from the hull buckling. We took photographs and conducted an EVP session. We moved from the balcony to a “dance room” area with a piano that supposedly plays by itself. We conducted another EVP session. From the dance room we investigated the galley area and Christine, Paul, and Shana climbed through two trapdoors to reach the actual roof of the boat. What a fantastic experience to be on the roof of the Goldenrod. Similar to our investigation at Farrar the sky was full of stars and the Milky Way. You have not lived until you have seen the night sky the way it is meant to be seen with no light pollution. Due to the extreme cold we decided to conduct a ghost box session in the auditorium and then call it a night. Unfortunately we did not get any responses to the ghost box but Shana heard a voice as we were packing up. We all agreed it was a fantastic night and enjoyed the ferry ride on the way back to our hotel. We also enjoyed our traditional post investigation snack. EVP evidence from the evening is posted in the evidence section of the webpage.

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