Duffy's Cut Investigation
Location: Duffy's Cut, Malvern, PA
Date: May 5, 2005
Moon Phase: Waning crescent, almost new moon
Weather: Partly cloudy, 60 degrees
Solar Weather: Unknown
Investigators present: Hillary M., Paul M., John M., guest investigators Bill, Earl, and Bob
Equipment: Olympus C-3000 digital camera, Extech EMF meter, Olympus DS-1 Digital Voice Recorder, Extech IR thermometer, Olympus D-370 digital camera, two Sony camcorders with nightshot and IR extenders.
History: In 1835, 57 Irish young men whom had just immigrated to the United States were hired to complete a section of the railroad in Malvern, PA. The railroad had to find a way to span a small, but deep valley in the area. Instead of building an expensive bridge, they decided to fill in a section of the valley to support the tracks. This section became known as Duffy's Cut. However, before the young men could complete the span, they became victims of the local cholera epidemic. All 57 men died…but did they all die of cholera? Or were some of them the victims of the fear and ignorance suffered by Irish immigrants at that time? Cholera does not have a 100% mortality rate. Were some of the men murdered to stop the spread of the disease? Historical records do not answer this question, but they do tell us that they were buried in a mass grave, near the tracks, by the local blacksmith.
Since then, this valley has been avoided by the residents of Malvern. At one time it was known locally as "Dead Horse Hollow", and many passers-by told stories of seeing firey figures dancing in these woods. The valley was rumored to be haunted. A few years ago, the land around this valley was developed into several new houses. Several homeowners have been experiencing strange activity such as seeing apparitions looking in their windows. Most people believe that this could be due to the 57 poor souls dumped in the mass grave nearby.
A few years ago, Immaculata University history professors Bill Watson and John Ahtes began research on the Duffy's Cut story. It wasn't long before they were obsessed with finding the mass burial site and giving these young men a proper burial on hallowed soil. Two summers ago, due to our experience with paleontological digs, Paul and I were fortunate enough to become involved with the search for the grave. Since then, the Duffy's Cut team has had environmental engineers and experts with ground-penetrating radar in to survey the land, but still, the exact site of the mass grave has not been located.
Since the haunting of this area has become such a big part of the story, we decided to try an investigation there, just to see what we'd get, and to see if the spirits of the young men would be willing to answer some of our many questions. This was the first investigation for Bill, Earl, and Bob, but they did a great job and jumped right in with asking questions during the recording sessions. Hopefully, this will be the first of many investigations of the Duffy's Cut site.
More information on Duffy's Cut can be found through the following link:
Investigation: Paul, John, and I arrived at about 7:30, and took the short hike into the woods to wait for the rest of the team. At 7:45, I began scanning for EMF variations, and got two outside the square, knee-high wall that serves as a monument and possible grave marker. The first one was 2.2, and the second one was 2.8, but I was unable to trace them to anything.
Bill, Bob and Earl arrived a few minutes later. I gave the EMF detector to Earl and explained how to use it. We were standing at the Northeast corner of the marker when I handed it to him, and almost immediately, he began to get an anomalous reading about chest-high. The reading varied between 3.0-4.6 for about two minutes. We could not trace the reading to anything below, above, or to either side of where Earl was standing. Paul took a picture and got a bright orb right behind Earl, then the reading dropped back down below 1.0. We did not get any further anomalous EMF readings that night, but a few minutes later, Paul's new camera batteries died. When I took a picture, I got a bright orb over his head.
At 8:15 p.m., we sat down for our first recording session. We recorded until 9:30 p.m. in four different sessions. During this time, we got several moving and colored orbs. Several times we caught orbs behind Bill and Earl on two or more cameras from two or more vantage points. At one point, I felt very strongly that someone was standing right behind me in the woods. I turned around and took a picture and got a moving orb!
Near the end of the investigation, all the male investigators heard a voice from up the tracks. I was the only one who did not hear this voice, but I did pick it up on my audio recorder. A few minutes later, we all felt very strongly that there were several men near us, checking us out. Was this the Duffy's Cut crew? The feeling lasted about five minutes, but once a train passed, it was gone. At this time, we decided to wrap up the investigation.
Conclusion: We were at the Duffy's Cut site for less than 2 hours, and still got several photographic anomalies. Unfortunately, we did not get anything on infrared video. Everyone involved did get the strong feeling that the young Irish workers were there with us though, for a short time. Once we analyzed the voice that was heard coming from somewhere up the tracks, we found that it sounded like a male saying "Help Me". Two hours of investigating is not enough time to determine if a site is actually haunted, but we are definitely intrigued and hope to investigate Duffy's Cut again soon.
Please note that this site is on private property. The Duffy's Cut team obtained special permission to be there.
Special thanks to the entire Duffy's Cut team for allowing the PRSNA to investigate this site.
Submitted by Hillary Murdoch