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 035

WBF White & Son’s Building

April 14, 2012

Richlands, Virginia


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

     On April 14, 2012 the BDPS team investigated the WBF White & Son’s Building located in Richlands, Virginia. I would like to take this moment to thank Mr. & Mrs. Lawson for giving us permission to investigate this historical building. We decided because of the size of the building that we would do the investigation with three teams. I would watch the monitors and be a float to help out each team during the investigation while the other teams conducted the investigation throughout the building. We started our investigation around 7:00 p.m. We were given a walking tour of the building a few weeks before the investigation by the Lawson’s. We started our set up around 7:30 p.m. We then proceeded to our investigation after dividing up into three teams. Team one was Mike and Matt, team two which consisted of Michele and Kim, team three included Dave and Clayton. I watched the monitors while the teams investigated. Each team investigated a different floor of the building. Team one started on the second floor, team two worked the basement, and team three investigated the first floor moving throughout the building. We worked on a rotation changing our 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.


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

  • (0) Microcassette Recorders

  • (4) Zero Lux low lever IR (infra-red) cameras

  • (1) Panasonic handheld camcorder

  • (0) Sony handheld camcorder

  • (3) Kodak digital cameras

  • (1) Nikon camera

  • (0) Fuji digital camera

  • (1) Canon digital camera

  • (1) Samsung digital cameras

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

  • (1) K2 Meters

  • (1) EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) Meter

  • (1) Laser Thermometers

  • (0) Franks Box

  • (1) Motion sensor

     We placed (1) DVR (Digital Voice Recorder) in each of the areas of the property with reports or claims of paranormal activity; which included the first floor by the elevator, basement, second floor main room, second floor office room, second floor by the apartment rooms and one was carried by the team throughout the investigation. (2) IR cameras were placed on the first floor and (2) were placed on the second floor. (1) Panasonic handheld camcorder was placed in the hallway on the second floor by the apartments. We placed a motion sensor on the steps leading to the second floor. Also, we carried along with us during the investigation one of the following: K2 Meter, EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) Meter or Laser Thermometer.

Reports & Claims:

Client claims of hearing unexplained footsteps while working in the basement when no one is there, unexplained footsteps on stairway.

Historical information was provided by BDPS Historian Dave Horn.


DATE: 4-14-12


History & Background


Dave Horn


The W.B.F. White and Sons hardware store at the corner of Second Street and Railroad Avenue, Richlands Virginia was established in 1892.


*As listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, W.B.F. White & Sons is:

“Property that is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history.”  And “…Property embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction or represents the work of a master, or possesses high artistic values, or represents a significant and distinguishable entity whose components lack individual distinction.”[1]


The name W.B.F. White & Sons has stood at the corner of Second Street & Railroad Avenue for over a century, thus establishing it as one of Richlands’ oldest and most recognizable landmarks within the town.  The current adjacent parking lot was a former saloon that was operated by Ike Greenberg which also housed apartments mainly utilized as semi-permanent prostitute housing.  Original Apartments are also located on the 2nd floor of the W.B.F. White & Sons building. 


Currently the W.B.F. White & Sons building houses a cabinetry and woodworking business.


This report lists some basic histories and descriptions of this property and the town of Richlands and is a topical outline of significant points of interest throughout its existence. 


April 14, 2012

  • < > name Richlands evolved from the land grant of 1785 from Patrick Henry, then governor of Virginia, to a John Fowler for a tract of two hundred acres extending from Lake Park (Lick Lot then) to Doran. The grant described the land location as “in the rich lands on both sides of the Upper Fork of the Clinch River.” As pronounced in that document, both words were and are accented equally Rich-lands. Historian Bickley commented that Richlands was “…noted for its fine lands. It is a pretty place, and desirable.”  


    • < > the 1890’s touted to speculators and investors as the “Pittsburg of the South,” Richlands began with promises for riches and success. The Clinch Valley Coal and Iron Company, a conglomerate of seven companies, purchased extensive holdings in the valley. Historian William Pendleton estimated the Richlands area as measuring two by four miles with five thousand acres of “very valuable land.” Clinch Valley Coal and Iron properties extended through the outlying territories of Indian Creek, Middle Creek, Town Hill Creek, Swords Creek, Dumps Creek, Weaver’s Creek, and Big Creek. The company in turn leased these properties to various people. 


      • < > structures of those early boom years remain:

        The first bank, in 1890 and in 1891, remains on the corner of Front Street and Suffolk The bank sat directly across from another landmark, the company office building that later became Dr. William’s residence.

      • The third remaining building is the W.B.F. White Sons hardware store at of Second Street and Avenue, established

      • < > saloons operated in the town and outlying communities.

        Among the nine attributed to the town.

      • one, managed by Jake of Front Street and Norfolk Avenue where Easley’s stood;

      • a second, where the Dalton on Street, possibly within the

      •  the third, by Greenberg, stood to W. B. F. White and Son

      • < > fourth, operated by Ike Litchenstein, was on the site of the Rexall Drug Store at the corner of Front Street and Railroad Avenue;

        the fifth saloon on Railroad Avenue, run Greenberg, stood behind what later was Rexall

      • the sixth one, operated by Henry was located in the building on Suffolk Avenue

      • the seventh run by Cotter Lazarus, was situated on Second Street the W.B.F. hardware store and Hurst-Scott Funeral Home

      • the one, operated J. E. Lester, stood in the Brick Yard near the

      • And last the basement bar, operated by Bill Estes, in the Hotel Richlands.

      • A local minister stated that six saloons on (Front Street) dispensed liquor and advised women and men to avoid those places.



      • < > on horseback or muleback, the rowdy and often inebriated rider would take his mount and himself through the saloon doors.

        The streets were not safe; and killings were not rare.

      • Legal and special volunteer attempted to the town from and

      • The shameful lynching black men occurred a mob police.


      • < > Sheffey, the Methodist circuit-riding minister about whom Jess Carr wrote the book: The Saint of the Wilderness.< > more than one instance, Sheffey called the town’s attentions to its shortcomings. Sheffey supposedly brought the local option to vote and helped defeat those candidates who supported the sale of liquor.

        BEE’s NEST IN SALOON/BROTHEL HOUSE At another time when Brother Sheffey visited Richlands, the open obscenity, many taverns, and more drunks shocked Sheffey. Walking through the business area one day, he stopped by a house (probably on the east end of Richlands), listening through the open window to laughter and loud male voices within. When a dust-covered miner walked by, Sheffey inquired as to the nature of the business in the house and learned it was a house of ill repute. Retreating through an alleyway, he recognized three boys he had seen earlier in an orchard. He offered them a half dollar if they would bring him the object at which the boys had been throwing rocks that morning. They agreed and in due time produced the object, plugged with a corncob and wrapped in a sack. Moving under the open window of the bordello, Sheffey hurled the object inside. Seeing it burst, he reached up and pulled down the window with great force. As he left the premises, he heard male and female cries of pain and agony as the live hornet’s nest did its work.



      Wolfe, Carol, and Gaybnelle Thompson. "Richlands, Virginia." Tazewell County Historical                        Society. Web. 06 Apr. 2012. <,_virginia>.

      Leslie, Louise. Tazewell County. Johnson City, TN: Overmountain, 1995. Print.

      Mullins, Dr. Terry W., ed. Hidden Histories of Tazewell County, Virginia. 1st ed. Charleston,        WV: Quarrier, 2010. Print.


      Personal Experiences:

      WBF White & Son’s Building Investigation Case: 035

      Dave Horns Personal Experience:

      During initial walk through and setup

      • Fire/extreme smoke smell in hallway of apartment area

      • Black figure walked through plastic sheeting of doorway in last apartment walked through and moved sheeting

      • Door slammed in face

      During Investigation



      • Heard sliding and “thump”

      • Got darker

      • Felt watched

      • Saw lights

      • PC turned on by itself


      Photo evidence: There was no photographic evidence.

      Video evidence: No video evidence.

      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:

      First Floor:

      • Unexplained Breath 1st floor by elevator

      • Unexplained Whisper (Love you) by elevator

      • Unexplained Whisper (Yes) 1st Floor by elevator

      Second Floor:

      • Unexplained whisper (Jesus)

      • Unexplained 1st (Knock) 2nd Floor Mid section

      • Unexplained 2nd (Knock) 2nd Floor Mid section

      • Unexplained 3rd (Knock) 2nd Floor Mid section

      • Unexplained Breath 2nd Floor Mid section

      • Unexplained Low Whisper possible (Help Me) 2nd Floor Mid section

      • Unexplained Noise 2nd Floor Mid section

      • Unexplained Noise Sounds Like a Footstep 2nd Floor

      • Unexplained Two Loud Knocks 2nd Floor

      • Unexplained Voice Inaudible 2nd Floor Hallway by apartments

      • Unexplained Whimper 2nd Floor Hallway by apartments

      • Unexplained Whisper 2nd Floor Hallway by apartments

      • Unexplained whisper (Hi) 2nd Floor Mid section

      Second Floor (Mike Brown’s DVR located in an office room):

      • Unexplained cord noise

      • Unexplained whispering (Help me, Help me)


           We have come to the conclusion that the WBF White & Son’s Building has low paranormal activity. We were able to capture a few EVP’s, which helped us to determine our conclusion. We feel that this maybe very low residual energy. We were unable to obtain enough hard evidence to back all the claims of the client.    

                 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


      Michele Crigger

      Case Manager



      [1]Taken from  United States Department of the Interior National Park Service for historic site# VDHR#148-5014