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 033

Ballard Building II

November 19, 2011

Pocahontas, Virginia


Rodney Shortridge, Aaron Shortridge, Mike Brown, Matt O’Quin, Dave Horn, Michele Crigger & Kim Long

     On November 19, 2011 the BDPS team investigated the Ballard Building for a second time located in Pocahontas, Virginia. I would like to take this moment to thank Tom Childress and the Pocahontas Historical Society for giving us permission to investigate such a historical site once more. We decided because of the very cold weather, the size of the building, and along with not having electric power in the building we would investigate this historical building with one team investigating within 1 hour to 1 ½ hour rotations. This was for the safety of the team from the bitter cold. Due to the cold weather we were unable to use our Infra-red cameras and handheld digital camcorders. We were able to use our DVR’s (digital voice recorders) along with our digital still photographic cameras. We started our investigation around 7:00 p.m. with a walking tour of the main floor of the doctor’s office and moved upstairs to the second floor of the apartment. That was given by me to members of our team who weren’t with us at the first investigation. We started our set up around 8:00 p.m. We then proceeded to our investigation soon after dividing into two different teams. Team 1 consisted of me and Kim Long; Team 2 consisted of Dave Horn and Michele Crigger. Due to his duties as an officer of the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Department Mike Brown had to leave the investigation early. My son Aaron Shortridge became ill and was not able to continue the investigation. Each team investigated each floor of the building. We finished our investigation around 2:00 a.m. the following morning. This was a great experience and very helpful in our constant training. This investigation had many challenges to overcome. With the dedication of this team we were able to meet those challenges and have a successful investigation.


  • (4) DVR’s (Digital Voice Recorders)

  • (0) Microcassette Recorders

  • (0) Zero Lux low lever IR (infra-red) cameras (Note: unable to use due to the cold weather)

  • (0) Panasonic handheld camcorder (Note: unable to use due to the cold weather)

  • (0) Sony handheld camcorder (Note: unable to use due to the cold weather)

  • (3) Kodak digital cameras

  • (0) Fuji digital camera

  • (1) Canon digital camera

  • (0) Samsung digital cameras

  • (0) Motion diction IR (infra-red) Field video/camera

  • (1) K2 Meters

  • (1) EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) Meter

  • (1) Laser Thermometers


We placed (1) DVR (Digital Voice Recorder) in each of the areas of the property that from our last investigation provided some unexplained activity; including the doctor’s office first floor, the apartment living room second floor, the room next to the kitchen in the apartment second floor, and one was carried around during the investigation by each team member during their 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 no reports of activity at this location only reported claims was unexplained evidence that we (BDPS) collected at our last investigation in May 1, 2010. That concluded there was medium paranormal activity due to the evidence at that time, which led to the Pocahontas Historical Society asking BDPS to do another investigation of the Ballard Building.

Ballard Building


Pocahontas Virginia


History Review by Dave Horn


The Ballard Building was built in the early 1920’s for the purposes of housing the First Bank of Pocahontas.  In 1928 the CEO of the bank extorted enough funds from the bank to collapse the institution entirely.

Isaac T (of the “Hitmen”) was a major investor and stock holder of the failed bank.  The building was transferred to Isaac during the downfall of the bank.  He was also a major stockholder and owner of the Bank of Bramwell.  His name is listed on the deed.

The building was sold to Dr. Alexander and Dr. Straump.  The deed listed a ‘No Use for Banking Institution’ clause, stating that this building could never be utilized for the purposes of a financial institution or bank of any sorts.  (The ruling on this deed still stands true today that no property owner can utilize the premises as any type of financial, banking or Holdings Company.)  The doctors set up their practice and became the only local/town physicians.  Shortly after establishing themselves, the doctors entered into a relationship with the Pocahontas Fuel Company and became ‘the company doctors.’  This was the place that all injured miners were brought to.  During the “black gold” boom of the Pocahontas coal mine the building was practically never closed as it was a never ending process of attending to the sick and injured.

The building and practice was transferred to Dr. Ballard (a well known and respected local physician and the building’s namesake) who maintained his medical practice in the bottom portion of the building and utilized the upper half as his apartment/home.

After Dr. Ballard passed away the building remained unoccupied and unused for a number of years.  A Charles Gilmoore purchased the building and was the last owner before the Pocahontas Historical Society took over.  Now the building stands empty all but for the medical equipment that Dr. Ballard left behind.  It is a peek into the past and a sight that is reminiscent of a cliché ‘ghost town’ building.

The building does have a dark history attached to it.  After the years of Dr. Ballard’s practice when the upper levels were rented out as apartments, there were rumors that the building was used as a studio/set for ‘snuff-films’ (aka violent pornographic films).  Some alleged victims have filed documentation with the police department to give plausibility to this story.  It has also been noted by the Tazewell county Sheriff’s office that an investigation surrounding children performing sex acts with animals was indeed carried out.  From my understanding no conviction was ever made, thus the person responsible for the heinous acts of forcing children to perform in bestiality/pornographic films still remains a free man to this day.

Personal Experiences:

There were no personal experiences to report.


Photo evidence: There was one photo of an unexplained light source.

Video evidence: (Note: unable to use due to the cold weather)

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)

There were no EVP’s to report during this investigation.


     We have come to the conclusion that the Ballard Building at this time had no evidence of paranormal activity accept for one photo that could not be explained this 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.


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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


Michele Crigger

Case Manager


Robyn Dalton

Case Manager Assistant