Once a family business, and always a thriving one, North Country Brewing Company has always brought a lifeblood to the small town of Slippery Rock. Currently, this successful and popular brewery produces their own beer and brings customers back by means of great food and new beers. In its infancy, the building housed a plethora of different business ventures. The structure changed faced with each transition but structurally, and architecturally, remained steady. Today, visitors can step back through time and get a feel for what the original building was like through the 1800’s. The current brewery boasts original wooden structure and even a beam that was razed from the barn which once sat in that very location. Many employees and visitors claim that the property doesn’t just come with an old fashion feel, but rather there seems to be something, or someone, that has stuck around from the past to enjoy the spirits of the bar and the guests of their old business. Some visitors come for the great food, drinks, and atmosphere; others come to experience something a little out of this world.
The first building that stood on the land that North Country Brewing currently owns was built in 1805 by Peter Uber who constructed a fairly simple house and barn in Slippery Rock, PA. This combination originally served as Peter’s family home but quickly transitioned into an inn and bar to increase the homestead’s income. By 1835, Peter’s son, William Henry Harrison Uber served as the main bartender and began to have more input and ownership in the inn itself.
Around this same time, the father-son duo deconstructed the barn and salvaged the material to add to the storefront of the inn. With this addition, they began constructing cabinets and furniture to add to their income and diversify their business. As the Civil War spun out of control during the 1860’s, the cabinet and furniture shop quickly, and easily, transitioned into a coffin making shop.
As the only next natural progression, in the Ubers’ minds, the pair continued to expand their business and soon opened “Uber & Sons – Undertakers and Furniture Dealers.” Especially with the destruction of the Civil War, their various businesses all thrived.
Peter passed away not soon after the Civil War ended but William brought his own son, Carrol, into the family business. The building continued to grow with their success and by the 1920’s Carrol took full control of the diverse business. At this point, the building was finally complete and expanded to its current size and design.
To continue the family business, Carrol passed down the prosperous business to his son Elton North Uber. Elton finally closed up the funeral parlor portion of the building and business in 1974 but continued on as a full-fledged furniture maker. The building and business closed in 1994 as Elton retired ending a long line of interesting and unique family businesses.
Bob and Jodi McCafferty were exploring local options to begin their brewery business. Around 1998, they came across the dilapidated storefront and purchased the building on the spot. The pair renovated the entire building utilizing only local materials. They also used any and all salvageable materials from the original building and leftovers on site. Seven years later, in 2005, the McCafferty’s opened up North Country Brewing Company.
The brewing and locale flourished with the support received from the community and nearby areas. Since first opening their doors, the brewery has brewed over 100 different types of beers, and the number is still growing to this day.
While North Country Brewing Company is still growing in both popularity and recognition, the owners have stayed true to their local roots and have not expanded or outgrown the original Uber & Sons storefront and building. The original wooden beams from the barn are still in place and can be seen when visiting, and every square foot of the building is a true historic display of the past which comes to life and really makes visitors feel as though they are stepping back in time to the 1800’s.
North Country Brewing has seen its fair share of change and diversity in its lifetime. With each change there seemed to be a sort of footprint left behind. Whether the grisly deaths of the Civil War played more of a role or the simple fact that the location was essentially a family business for a shade less than 200 years, the structure that currently houses the popular brewery seems to have a significant amount of leftover energy from the past.
There have been footsteps and orb activity reported and recorded on the second floor. The office and hallway are the two predominant locations for these other worldly phenomena. There is actual video evidence of orbs appearing in the office and slowly moving down the hallway disappearing around the corner. This occurrence has been reported by employees typically after hours as they are closing up for the night. The footsteps have been more difficult to put an ear to but they sound as though they trace the same path as the orbs, moving from the office and traipsing down the hallway. The most common explanation is the presence of Peter or William Uber looking over the building from their grave. The identity is unknown, and no name has been recorded.
On the main floor, doors have been said to creak open slowly only to slam shut suddenly. This seems to be an attention-grabbing technique as the bartenders and waiters have tried to ignore it. The more they ignore the entity, the more frequent the activity becomes. Upon investigation, there never seems to be a scientific reason for these phantom movements; no wind, no air conditioner, no employees or customers close by, nothing. Legend says that these entities are those of the dead Civil War soldiers whose lives were lost, and the location of their caskets were built. Some say that the Ubers’ took advantage of the deaths and made their family fortune preying on the heartbroken and fragile families of their lost soldiers.
The basement has been rumored to be the location of some dark presence. The reasoning is truly unknown, but some locals of Slippery Rock, including a medium who was brought in to help cleanse the space, have their own opinions. Visitors claim to feel sick immediately upon entering the basement but are released from the feeling once they leave the area. There have been reports of phantom pushes and scrapes leaving three deep red scratches on some peoples’ backs and legs. The medium was unable to stay in the basement for more than thirty minutes before she needed to vacate the premises completely. The reasoning for these supposed demonic actions is rumored to occur during the four-year abandonment from 1994-1998, vandals were thought to break in through the basement just to cause mischief. These so-called vandals were actually rumored to be a group of traveling Satanists who would follow through with dark rituals either opening up portals to another dimension or attempting to unleash other worldly beings into our plane of existence. This group was said to perform over twenty ritualistic ceremonies in the basement before the McCaffery’s purchased the property in 1998. Whatever they brought through or opened up, seems to be left there to this day.
As we arrived and started to get acquainted with the building and locations, we were greeted by Jen, Kevin, and Hannah who guided us through the structure and shared with us their personal stories. We took a break in the tour as we heard about Roy’s name being carved into the wood and pursued this lead. The location was ultimately found with the help of a flashlight, ladder, and Hannah’s reach (or at least her determination). Moving downstairs following this find, we spotted a wet circle on the bar floor. When the crew traced this leak, it led them to the furnace inside the utility room right behind the location of where Roy’s name was etched. Just as they found out it was an electrical issue, the jukebox (encased in an old wooden cabinet, locked with wooden pegs) popped open and began, ironically, playing the song “Electric Love.” This shocked everyone as we all realized the cabinet was locked and the music was shut off.
At this point, we didn’t want to waste any more time and began to shuttle in our equipment and set up our brand new stationary trail cameras. On top of this, we also had one handheld camera to take along with us and one more stationary camera set up in the basement. Additionally, we utilized the majority of our equipment with two recorders, two K2 meters, one SB7 Spirit Box, one FLIR thermal imaging camera, one Phasma Box, one SLS camera, one IR light, one Ovilus, four light-up cat balls, four hotel bells, and one pendulum. With only two of us and a lot of ground to cover, we did not end up going live as we wanted to get in touch with the active spirits. The investigation began roughly around 11:30 PM and, with all the experiences we encountered, lasted until about 4:30 AM.
The majority of the evidence we captured, paired up with our personal experiences, throughout the night spent inside the historic brewery have led us to believe there was a significant amount of paranormal activity recorded here. We collected verbal communication through the Phasma Box and Spirit Box, yes/no answers to our questions with flashlights, and light anomalies on video recordings. We even captured a full-bodied apparition from video reviews of our stationary camera! We managed to capture full figures on the SLS camera between the First Floor Bar and the First Floor Front Dining Room as well.
The entire building appears to be a haven for the spirit known as Roy whom we believe we captured in numerous locations during our investigation. He seemed to be mainly present on the second floor including both at the Bar and possibly in Grandma’s Bathroom. He may have even been the one playing with the jukebox and causing chaos with the water leak before the investigation. However, neither of these can be confirmed nor debunked. He did not seem welcoming and wanted us to leave as he made unsettling noises in the bathroom. Was this ghostly indigestion or a warning from something unseen? He seems to hide in dark corners and areas away from people, laying in wait until he wants to appear. We do believe we captured him on video as he attempted to flee this area when no one else was around as well as in the SLS camera lurking on the first floor.
We also believe that a young child was playing with our gadgets and flashlights upstairs. Unfortunately we did not gather a name from the child, nor did it seem to want to speak with us using our devices. As we have experienced at other locations that hold the energy left behind by long passed children, they saw our equipment more as toys rather than communication methods, clicking the flashlights on and off. On occasions we did feel the lights were being used to answer yes or no to some of our more simple questions.
In the First Floor Bar, we believe we recorded the name of Dave who seemed quite talkative but also did not want to give away too much information. This entity appeared to be held back by someone else, possibly Roy, who was much stronger than he. Even though we did not spend much time in the basement area, our camera died with a full battery and corrupted our last file so we couldn’t review this portion to see what happened. However, as we spent just a few minutes in the basement, we did not feel welcoming energy. Something/someone even growled at us as a pounding sound was heard somewhere in the kegs behind us.
Upon a thorough review and complete analysis of our evidence captured during our overnight paranormal investigation of the North Country Brewery, we can confidently conclude that this historic location in Slippery Rock, PA hosts a unique combination of energies, intelligence, and residual hauntings. With a stockpile of evidence from still photographs, thermal images, verbal recordings, and physical video recordings, we determine that we did capture a significant amount of compelling evidence of possible otherworldly activity.
Based on ours and the North Country Brewing Company employees (Jen, Hannah, and Kevin), personal experiences combined with the evidence captured on our equipment and recording devices, we believe that the North Country Brewing Company in Slippery Rock, PA holds a plethora of energy drawn to it. We encountered both intelligent and residual energies and spirits. Our evidence shows that this combination of activity appears quite active but also light, warm, and welcoming. The otherworldly guests that reside in the building are that of children, a dominant presence looking over the entire building and possibly employees and guests alike (with a possible name of Dave or David), and another darker entity that seems to simply lurk in dark corners and look on as if jealous of the life that is occurring all around them. This energy hides for the most part in the basement to get away from the crowds of living people. While there can be numerous explanations and theories as to why some spirits are attached to certain areas inside the building and the building itself, we believe that this historic location was held in high regard both during their lives and after, so much so that those returning spirits may have held special memories and important aspects of their lives in this very building, for the better or worse.
After our investigation of the Harmony Inn a few years ago, we were delighted to work with the fine folks from North Country Brewing Company once again. Their energy and hospitality never go unappreciated. We loved having Jen, Kevin, and Hannah share in the experiences and fun the investigation of their location brought to us. We would love to return to the North Country Brewing Company in Slippery Rock to continue to dive into some of the evidence we captured. A huge thank you goes out to the fine owners and team at North Country Brewing Company for trusting us with your stories and your spirits.