Final Report & Analysis

Black Diamond Paranormal Society©

“We are the light that cuts the darkness. Therefore, when you see… truth must be honored.”

Final Report and Analysis

Case 028

Historical Molly Tynes Home / Stiltner Home

November 13, 2010

Tazewell, Virginia


Rodney Shortridge, Aaron Shortridge, Mike Brown, Matt O’Quin, Clayton Trout, Dr. Shari Stacy

Dave Horn, Michele Crigger


 (Guest) Jeff Vance

     On November 13, 2010 the BDPS team investigated the Historical Molly Tynes Home located in Tazewell, Virginia. I would like to take this moment to thank Mr. Roger Stiltner for giving us permission to investigate such a historical site. We decided because of the size of the home that each team would investigate separate areas of the property and structures simultaneously while one team would watch the camera monitors at our base within the home. We started our investigation around 6:00 p.m. with a walking tour of the house that was given by Mr. Stiltner. We started our set up around 7:00 p.m. We then proceeded to our investigation soon after dividing into teams. Team 1 consisted of me, Clayton Trout and Dr. Shari Stacy. Team 2 consisted of Mike Brown, Matt O’Quin and our newest member Michele Crigger. Team 3 consisted of Aaron Shortridge, Dave Horn and (Guest) Jeff Vance. Each team was placed in certain locations to investigate the home and property, with one team investigating the outside grounds near a huge tree that is rumored to be a place where a Union soldier was hanged, and one team monitoring our cameras back at base and another team investigated the inside of the home. Each team worked on a rotation changing their location about every 2 hours. We finished our investigation around 3:00 a.m. the following morning. This was a great experience and very helpful in our constant training.


  • (6) DVR’s (Digital Voice Recorders)
  • (1) Microcassette Recorder
  • (4) Zero Lux low lever IR (infra-red) cameras
  • (1) Panasonic handheld camcorder
  • (1) Sony handheld camcorder
  • (2) Kodak digital cameras
  • (0) Nikon camera
  • (1) Fuji digital camera
  • (1) Canon digital camera
  • (2) Samsung digital cameras
  • (0) Motion diction IR (infra-red) Field video/camera
  • (2) K2 Meters
  • (2) EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) Meter
  • (2) Laser Thermometers
  • (1) Frank’s Box
  • (1) Plasma Ball
  • (1) Power Mic

     We placed (1) DVR (Digital Voice Recorder) in each of the areas of the property with reports or claims of paranormal activity. This included the upstairs bedroom, downstairs bedroom, living room, dining room, Molly’s bedroom and the main entrance way. The IR Cameras were also placed in areas of reported activity. (1) IR camera was placed in the main entrance way to cover the stairs and the entrance way. (1) was placed in the upstairs bedroom. (1) was placed in Molly’s bedroom and (1) was placed in the living room. (1) Panasonic handheld camcorder was placed in the downstairs bedroom and (1) Sony handheld camcorder was carried around by me during the investigation. (1) Microcassette Recorder was carried by each team during the investigation. Also, each team carried along with them during their investigations one of the following: K2 Meter, EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) Meter or Laser Thermometer.


Reports & Claims:

     There have been reports of unexplained disembodied voices, apparitions, shadows, mists, lights, orbs.





Our Historian Dave Horn worked many long weeks and hours to find all the history of the Molly Tynes Home and Molly’s Famous Ride and these are his findings.

The Midnight Ride of Molly Tynes


Dave Horn


Black Diamond Paranormal Society had the honor of investigating the historical “Rocky Dell,” in Tazewell County VA, home of local Civil War heroin Molly Tynes.

Rocky Dell has an amazingly rich history surrounding the time period of the Civil War.  The home was constructed in 1860 and immediately occupied by Samuel and Frances Tynes.  Their son Achilles J. Tynes was away during the early 60’s due to his officer status (Captain) in the CSA Army.   Their daughter Mary Elizabeth (aka “Molly”) was away at Hollins College in Botetourt County, VA (near Roanoke).  Samuel’s wife Frances was elderly and ill.  Samuel himself was getting up there in age and seriously needed an extra hand on the farm.  So Molly rose to the call and came back home to take care of her mother and father.  However, nobody knew that a simple return home would change the pages of history and make her name live on in infamy.

In July of 1863, Colonial J.T. Toland of the 34th Ohio Infantry took command of a little more than 1,000 Federal soldiers, mobilized his unit and trekked from Huntington, WV to Jeffersonville, VA (current day Tazewell).  His orders were that of a ‘scorched earth’ scenario from Jeffersonville to Wytheville to Saltville.  Their main targets were the Confederate salt mines at Saltville (Smyth County), destroy the lead mines in Wythe County, and annihilate the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad lines at Wytheville.  With any of the 3 mission objectives complete, the Confederacy would have taken such a blow that the war would have almost immediately came to a standstill.  Without this geographically important bullet and munitions depot, the Rebels didn’t stand a chance.  This is where the “Ms. Molly” comes into the story.

After Colonial Toland set up camp in Ben Bolt (Jeffersonville) next to the Tynes’ farm, the Tynes’ family learned the details of the Federal Army’s plans for the mass mobilization that had invaded the area.  With the knowledge of what was about to unfold, Molly and her father decided that the impending invasion must be stopped at all costs.  Their only hope was Molly herself and her trusted horse ‘Fashion.’  So on the night of July 17, 1863, Molly and Fashion set forth on the most important journey of their lives.

Molly used the veil of the night to make her escape from the farm, turning in the direction of Burkes Garden and riding 40 miles through the mountainous wilderness to Wytheville.  During her ride she channeled Paul Revere as she valiantly screamed through the night her warning that ‘The Yankees are coming.’

According to oral tradition, upon receiving Molly’s message, locals immediately went to arms, banding together to form last minute militias and calling for Confederate reinforcements to defend the target areas. 

Due to Molly’s heroism, swift action and bravery, countless Confederate civilians were spared the destruction of their homes, farms and even their lives.  Not only did she save the locals from being taken off guard by Toland’s Army, she saved the railroad, salt mines and lead mines.   Also due to Molly’s advance notice, the people of Wytheville were prepared enough to set up sniping positions within their homes and from rooftops.  When the Federal Army finally made its way to Tazewell Street, Colonial Toland was immediately shot and killed by the forewarned townspeople.  This left his unit with no leader, thus the surviving members of his detachment were forced to retreat and escaped through the adjacent woods.

After Molly’s wild ride, she was regarded as a local hero.  However, since the time period still dictated that this was a ‘man’s world’ little was written about Molly during the time.  Most of what has been documented is just written recreations of the oral accounts and local legends of that fateful night.

While some details are unclear and others contested, the following are generally accepted amongst scholars and historical researchers to be the undeniable facts surrounding the incident in which Molly is infamous for:

  • July 17th, 1863 – Either Molly herself or her father Samuel overheard the local Federal Troops’ plans to invade Wytheville and Saltville
  • Molly did in fact ride to Wytheville
  • The townspeople of Wytheville were warned prior to the invasion due to written records from a local CSA detachment that states such
  • The home that B.D.P.S. investigated is the one and same known as ‘Rocky Dell’ (aka the Tynes farm)


No matter what the minor details were added or left out, the undeniable fact is Molly Tynes is a remarkable woman for her heroism and bravery.  No history report or summary can sum it up better than the song written about this historic event. 

(see attachments)


(Attachment – “Molly Tynes” taken from Hidden Histories of Tazewell County, VA)

(Attachment – “Molly Tynes and Her Ride” by Louise Leslie taken from The Heritage of Tazewell County, VA Volume II)

(Attachment  – written correspondence between Buford C. Tynes Esq.,  (nephew of Molly Tynes) and Mr. Matthew Page Andrews regarding the details of the account)

(Attachment – deed and property transfer, origination etc regarding Rocky Dell)


"The Thrilling Ride of Mollie Tynes"


In Tazewell County there's a name
Of a lovely girl unknown to fame,
A Virginia maiden whose career
Would rival that of Paul Revere.

Her home was known e'en then quite well,
Still bears the name of Rocky Dell,
Near Buckhorn, and her memory shines,
This country girl named Mollie Tynes.

Twas in the warlike days of '63,
And in the fair land of the free,
An invading Army came that way.
To Wytheville they would go next day,

To capture and destroy the mines,
But did not know of Mollie Tynes.
She heard that afternoon the plot
To burn the town and hold the spot.

And on to Saltville they would go.
The salt works there we needed so
For soldiers in the camps about
And thousands in the land throughout.

On Captain Perry's farm they'd camp.
Next morning they'd begin to tramp.
She learned the secret, and at night
She mounts her steed and starts her flight.

She leaves the slopes of Rocky Dell,
Out through Burkes Garden, famed as well,
On through the wilderness and the hills,
By rustling streams and water mills,

Her path grown o're with weeds and brush,
And on the twigs the mountain thrush.
She perched upon its roost while bear

Were strolling through the forest there.

And other beasts that roamed the wood
And prowled around in search of food
Would hear the sound as in her flight
The bounding steed dashed in the night.

The briars pricked the horse's flesh.
The maiden's dress they would enmesh.
But on a worthy mission bent,
Her patriot heart thrilled as she went.

O'er hill and forests fast she rode
Until within the town she strode,
Exhausted from her perilous ride
And dangers on the mountain side,

Where crags and boulders oft would slow
Her progress as she'd onward go.
At dawning she beheld the lights,
Her friends still sleeping in the night.

They heard the gallop of the steed
While riding through at such speed,
And warning cry of rider's voice,
Which left for them but one wise choice,

To quickly rise and then make haste,
To foil the enemy in the chase,
The signal heard to arm for war,
A foe approaching from afar.

As rapid marching brought them near,
The hearts of mothers quaked with fear,
Fled to the hills in great alarm
With babes and children in their arms.

The men went forth as ne're before,
With musket fire and cannon roar.
For war to them was something new,
But the foe had met his Waterloo.

They turned to go another way,
As on their backs the guns did play.
For victory perched with Wytheville's men,
And Mollie Tynes was heroine then.

A tablet to her valor stands,
And sometimes now when martial bands
Are stepping out on dress parade,
They pass it with uncovered head.







Personal Experiences:


Rodney Shortridge

While investigating the upstairs bedroom along with Clayton Trout and Dr. Shari Stacy I felt something brush throw my hair. Clayton and I check the area to which I was standing to check for spider webs, cob webs, any bugs that may have fallen into my hair and we could not find anything to explain the occurrence.

Later that night while watching the monitors with Clayton and Shari I stated having this enormous feeling of doing harm and violence to Clayton, Shari and to all my team mates to the point it was causing me so much discomfort and the feeling of losing control I immediately left the house and went to my truck to clear my head and try to figure out what was happening to me. Why would I have the thoughts in my mind to harm these people that are my friends that mean the world to me? I love these people like family but the images in my head of doing unspeakable harm to them was so strong that it was making me start questioning my own judgment in my thinking. After about 40 minutes my head was clearer but I still had this sense of something trying to control my thoughts. I rejoined the investigation and within the hour the feelings of rage were running through my mind like all the things throughout my life that had upset me came back in a flood of emotions and anger. Once again I left the investigation to go get away from the house to clear my thoughts. I began to realize that something in the house was trying to influence my thoughts to the point of causing me so much pain. So after about an hour I regained my thoughts and made the decision that it would be best that I try not stay in the house for a long period of time for the safety of the team and myself. After the investigation for the next 3 days I felt this rage and anger towards everyone. I tried to seclude myself from the people that were around me for fear of losing control to the rage that was building inside me. But as quickly as the rage and the evil thoughts that were running through my mind they seemed to vanish. I don’t have an explanation for this. Was it a demon, evil spirit, or something else? We might not ever know but speaking with the team about this I found out that three others on my team seem to have experiences of their own. One member was deeply depressed after the investigation for 3 days, another member had an experience at their home when they returned from this investigation and another member said their personality seemed changed to the point that their partner even noticed odd things about them and it lasted for 3 days. This investigation added more questions than answers because it affected so many of my team and me in ways that is almost impossible to put into words.



Photo evidence: There are photos with unexplained orbs and unexplained lights.

Video evidence: An unexplained light on the bed in the upstairs room, along with an object that hovers near Dr. Stacy’s head.

Note:  BDPS does not support the idea of orbs as evidence of the paranormal because most orbs can be explained away as dust, bugs, rain, mist, fog, etc. There are cases that the orbs we photograph seem to move with some type of intelligent intent. We post these photos because we feel that there needs to be more investigation into the Orb Phenomenon and we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss this phenomenon without further investigation and explanation. So we show these photos in an attempt to add another piece to the puzzle and leave this decision up to you to accept or dismiss orbs as evidence. It is also my opinion to show all evidence so we all can learn from what might be an area of the paranormal that may be getting over looked by researchers.

EVP’s (Electronic Voice Phenomenon)

We heard the following EVP’s (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) and unexplained noises on our DVR’s (Digital Voice Recorders) & Microcassette Recorder:

Dining Room:

  • Unexplained Noise
  • Unexplained Voice (GO)
  • Unexplained Moan
  • Unexplained Whisper (That's ______) inaudible.

Master Bedroom Upstairs:

  • Unexplained Whisper
  • Unexplained Knock & Whisper (Guess who)
  • Unexplained Whistling
  • Unexplained Noise
  • Unexplained Female Voice Whispering (Hanna ----- Hanna)
  • From Frank's Box Unexplained Voice (Turkey)
  • Unexplained Female Humming
  • Unexplained Footsteps
  • Unexplained Male Voice Whispering (No) & Unexplained Noise after EVP

Molly’s Bedroom:

  • Unexplained Male Voice Whispering (Oh my God ----- Oh my God)
  • Unexplained Childs Voice (Daddy)




     We have come to the conclusion that the Historical Molly Tynes Home has paranormal activity in the form of EVP’s, unexplained photographic orbs, unexplained lights, audio and video evidence which showed an unexplained white mass, and unexplained formation of lights or orbs and personal experiences that helped us to determine our conclusion.

           I look forward to our next investigation. If anyone would like for us to do a paranormal investigation of their home, business, church, property or a family cemetery please contact us. If you would just like to speak with us about any paranormal activity you may be having we would love to hear from you. No problem is too small. We would be honored to help and we do not charge for our services. Contact BDPS to set up a time and place for us to discuss your paranormal questions and or problems.

            I feel honored to be working with such a great team. Without the team’s hard work and professionalism BDPS would not be what it has become today.


*Check out our Website:

I would like to thank all of the BDPS members for all their hard work. To all of our clients, a special ‘thank you’ for giving us the opportunity to be able to come in and help to the best of our abilities. I know with the team that I have formed we will have exciting investigations in the future. I would like to let everyone know that our members have become more to me than just investigators, they have become my family. Without them BDPS would not be possible. Just like a family we sometimes agree and sometimes we don’t agree but each and every member of BDPS is very special to me. Thanks guys, you all are the best!!!

     I hope everyone enjoys the photos and the analysis sheet along with the new video we are providing. Also we will have our EVP’s, photos and any video evidence on the website for everyone to view and listen to. You can judge for yourself. If anyone has any questions or comments we would love to hear from you. Let us know what you think.

Thank you,

Rodney Shortridge

Founder/Lead Investigator

Black Diamond Paranormal Society


Heather Lamantia

Case Manager