This article was written by Dave Andalora after extensive research and interviews. We have worked closely with Anna's family and we are pleased to say that this information has their approval for posting. Further information concerning our investigation and the results can be found below the article. We consider this case the most important of all the cases we worked on with The Northern Paranormal Society, and that is why we have included this information on our new website.
Anna Joan Machowski was born in Kingston, NY on February 2, 1917, to John and Tillie Machowski. Anna had one brother, Adam. The family soon moved to the Lowville area. By the time Anna was in the eighth grade, the family was living in Montague, NY. Anna attended the Pitcher Hill School, Montague District Number 7, where she passed the Regents tests and successfully completed 8th grade. In 1932, when Anna was 15, tragedy struck the family. Anna’s mother died after a brief illness.
Anna married Alfred Tebidor on her 24th birthday, February 2, 1941. At the time of Anna’s death, she and Alfred had 4 children, the youngest of whom was only a few weeks old. Early in their marriage, they lived on Stowe Street in Lowville. They also lived for a time on the Pitcher Road in Montague. After a few years, they moved to a house in Montague on the Sears Pond Road. This house stood across the road from the Montague Inn, just north of where the hotel is currently located.
As Anna grew older, it became clear that her life was troubled. Her marriage was not always a happy one. Much of the time, Anna was a nice and helpful person. Neighbors recalled times when Anna, her father, and her brother would come sit in their backyard, play guitars, and sing. However, Anna sometimes chose to forget her problems by drinking. At these times, she could become temperamental and even violent. Over the years, she had some brushes with the law. These brushes with the law all seemed to have one thing in common: they were the result of bad decisions made while Anna was under the emotionally destabilizing influence of alcohol. A judge at one of her sentencing hearings briefly lectured her: “You will have to get hold of yourself…you keep on like that and you know that you will get yourself into some trouble you can’t get out of?” The judge’s words proved prophetic.
Monday, June 14th, 1954 was a gorgeous, warm day. In the late afternoon, Anna decided to go to Barnes Corners with a friend, Jan Winiarski, to purchase some wine. They hopped into Jan’s 1949 Studebaker truck and made the trip. A young man who lived on the Sears Pond Road witnessed their return. He was standing outside his house on the hill about 300 yards south of the sharp curve in the road where the accident occurred. In those days, the land was mostly farm fields and meadows. There were very few trees to block the view, so the man could see the truck coming up the Sears Pond Road all the way from the intersection of the Liberty Road. The truck was coming quite fast, and he had the feeling the truck might not make the curve. It did not. It went off the road, flipped end over end, and then rolled completely over, finally coming to rest upright on its wheels. The young man jumped into an old farm truck and raced down to the scene. Anna lay in the field next to the smashed truck, arms by her sides. Her head had been completely severed and was lying in the grass about 6 inches from her neck. Jan Winiarski was on the other side of the truck. He was stunned, bruised, and obviously in shock. The young man was, in his own words, “pretty frantic.” He saw two fishermen coming up from the Edick Creek on the Sears Pond Road. He ran down the road to them, informed them of the accident, and asked them to go to Rector’s Corners and call the State Police. It took the police almost an hour to get there, and by the time they arrived, a sizable crowd had formed at the scene. The police took statements from Jan Winiarski, the young man, and the two fishermen. They documented the scene and then cleared it out. Mr. Virkler came from Lowville with his hearse and removed Anna’s body to prepare it for burial in the Lowville Rural Cemetery.
A few days after the accident, there was an inquest to determine who was driving the truck when the wreck occurred. If it had been proven that Jan was driving, he could have faced serious charges. As it happened, however, he swore under oath that Anna had been driving and that he had pleaded with her to slow down, to no avail. No one could disprove this story; the young man had been too far away to tell who was driving, and he was the only witness to the accident, other than Jan himself. In a strange twist, it was discovered that Anna had never gotten her license to drive. So, on July 21, 1954, Jan was charged with a misdemeanor- permitting the unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle- and was fined $25.00 in the Town of Montague Justice Court.
This should have been the end of Anna’s sad tale. However, shortly after the accident, stories began to circulate about a female ghost who walked at night on the shoulder of Sears Pond Road. High school students and other curious individuals began driving around the area, hoping for a glimpse of Anna’s spirit. By 1960, Anna was already being referred to as “Tug Hill Annie.” Over the years, the stories got wilder. Details from other tragic wrecks in the area became entwined with Anna’s story, and the true facts of the case became obscure and distorted. Numerous sightings of apparitions have been reported along State Route 177, between Barnes Corners and Lowville. Even though many of the physical descriptions of these apparitions bear no resemblance to Anna whatsoever, and even though State Route 177 is miles from the crash site, the sightings have always been attributed to “Tug Hill Annie” due to the notoriety of the case.
In autumn of 2008, TNPS grew interested in the case of Anna Tebidor, or "Tug Hill Annie." We had two reasons for initiating this investigation. First, we wanted to find out the truth about this rural legend. Secondly, we wanted to bring some closure to Anna's surviving family members.
After we got approval from the family to pursue the case, we did extensive historical research on Anna Tebidor's life and the accident that tragically ended it. Once our research was complete, we got permission from the current landowner and set up a time to investigate the scene of Anna's fatal crash: June 14th, 2009, the 55th anniversary of the accident. We arrived at the site around 9:00 pm. The surroundings were desolate. As darkness fell completely, we set up a stationary audio recorder on a boulder about 25 feet from the end of the curve, and carried another audio recorder with us as we investigated. We paired off throughout the evening, taking over 700 pictures and roaming in the area within 100 yards of the curve. We tried to get the spirit of Anna Tebidor to interact with us by asking questions. The team had quite a few odd occurrences during the course of the investigation. All team members reported "seeing lights" in the field, alongside the road, and in the trees. These lights were not lightning bugs, because they were often far too large, given the distance, to be lightning bugs. We quickly realized that we were getting some anomalous mist pictures. One investigator heard a voice, which was captured on a recorder. Another investigator reported feelings of being watched from a certain spot on the road. An investigator also heard someone walking along the side of the road in the gravel, even though no investigator was there at that point. We continued the investigation until about 11:30 pm, at which time all our batteries (including all our spares) were dead.
As we analyzed the photographs, we found quite a few pictures in which mist is behaving in ways mist typically does not behave. In some pictures, it even appears as if someone is trying to manifest or take shape out of the mist. We have ruled out ground mist, cigarette smoke, and exhaled breath as the cause of these pictures. There was ground mist for a brief time at the location, and these pictures were used for comparison. TNPS has never captured pictures quite like this before. In two of the pictures, facial features can even be seen in the mists that resemble Anna's facial features from the photograph that accompanies the biography above.
The recordings contained several amazing electronic voice phenomena, or EVPs. The first EVP came less than five minutes into the recordings. Several of these EVPs were answers to questions, and are suggestive of an intelligent presence. Correlations between the recorders prove that the EVPs are not the stray remarks of an investigator. The voice in these recordings is consistently female. Based on the photographic and recorded evidence, TNPS believes that we have documented evidence of paranormal activity at the Anna Tebidor crash scene on Sears Pond Road.
The results of our investigation troubled us greatly. With evidence of paranormal phenomena at the crash scene, we did not feel we could release the results of our investigation. Initially, we did not expect to find anything paranormal at the location. Release of this unexpected and troubling discovery would have prolonged the family's pain even as it made the wilds of Montague a paranormal destination. A mutual decision was made, on the part of TNPS and Anna's family, to keep the results to ourselves until we came to a decision about what to do. In July of 2009, we met a medium named Danyelle Barrett who helped us decide.
We met Danyelle when we brought her in on another unrelated case at the request of a client. None of us had ever met her before this time. Danyelle's performance on this unrelated case was nothing short of amazing. Despite having no prior knowledge whatsoever about the location of the place or its occupants, she named many of the people who had lived in the house for the past 100 years. She gave accurate details of the paranormal activity that had been documented in various areas of the home. The most interesting aspect of Danyelle's visit to the location, from the scientific standpoint of TNPS, was that all the anomalous electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the home were reduced by half after the spiritual cleansing ceremony she performed. This collective evidence of Danyelle's abilities impressed us greatly.
It occurred to us that Danyelle might be able to help us with Anna's case. We consulted with her about the details of our investigation up to that point. She said she would be willing and able to perform a crossing-over ceremony that would release Anna from her Sears Pond location and allow her spirit to pass on. We decided to take the idea to the Tebidor family. The family agreed to this ceremony, and on September 20th, 2009, with the assistance of Danyelle Barrett, the spirit of Anna Tebidor was released from the Sears Pond crash site. The sunrise ceremony was attended by Danyelle, TNPS, and members of the Tebidor family.
TNPS conducted a second investigation of the crash site on October 3rd, 2009, as a method of comparison to ensure the crossing-over ceremony was successful. The conditions were much the same as the first time we investigated. The temperature was in the low 40's. Skies were mostly clear. There was some ground mist at the location, just as there was in June. We arrived about 9:00 pm. Three investigators from TNPS were present. As we did during the first investigation, we set up a stationary audio recorder on the boulder about 25 feet from the curve, and carried a second one with us as we investigated. Once again, we roamed around the immediate area of the curve and tried to get the same types of interactions as we did the first time we investigated on June 14, 2009.
This second investigation was completely different from the first one. None of us had any personal experiences. This is in sharp contrast to the first investigation during which we heard a voice, heard someone walking alongside the road, and felt watched. We also did not see the odd inexplicable lights we saw during the first investigation. Our feelings were that the atmosphere of the entire area was fundamentally changed. We investigated for two hours and left the location at 11:00 pm.
The photographs from this investigation were different from the first investigation in that none of the pictures showed a human form attempting to resolve itself out of the mist. While we did get pictures of mist, the pictures obtained were typical ground mist and not in any way human-shaped.
The recordings from the night contained no evidence of paranormal activity. Again, this is nothing like the first investigation, in which the first EVP was obtained at about five minutes into the tape, and many other EVPs were gotten in response to questions posed by investigators. During this second investigation, our questions were not answered. No EVPs were obtained.
Based on the evidence from this second investigation, it is the opinion of TNPS that the crossing-over ceremony performed by Danyelle Barrett on September 20, 2009 was successful. No evidence whatsoever of paranormal activity was obtained during our second investigation of the crash scene.
TNPS also believes that the paranormal phenomena reported along State Route 177 for the past several decades could have many other sources, given the number of tragic deaths the road has seen. Further investigation has revealed that there have been quite a few mysterious, sudden, or violent deaths along this lonely stretch of highway over the years. Any one of these events, in our opinion, could be a potential source for the various sightings that have been reported.
We must emphasize that in every step of the process of this investigation we were in communication with the Tebidor family. Every step in this process has been approved by them, and the results of what we have done have also been shared with them. We greatly appreciate their trust and cooperation as we got to the truth of this case. Their assistance was invaluable. We also need to express our gratitude to the landowner who not only allowed us to investigate this case on his posted property but was also an excellent source of further information. We are very pleased that this investigation has been brought to a successful conclusion and that we now have the opportunity to do what we were striving to do from the beginning- free Anna's family from the continuing tales and rumors about paranormal activity that began with her tragic death on the Sears Pond Road fifty-five years ago. It is our hope that people will read this true account of the case of Anna Tebidor and pass it on to others so that the rumors will die, the family will have closure, and Anna's spirit will truly be allowed to rest in peace.
This picture clearly shows a misty female form in profile standing behind David Andalora during the investigation on June 14, 2009.
Look at the head in the mist just right of center in this photo. It shows a full face, with eyes, nose, mouth, and even curly hair. Compare the features to the features of Anna in the picture at the top of the page. The curly hair and line of the nose, especially, show a resemblance.
This picture contains a lighted orb. We saw these lighted orbs WITH OUR OWN EYES during our investigation on June 14, 2009. Just about all orbs in photos are either dust, water droplets, or bugs, and we as a group generally dismiss them. However, these were different in that we were seeing them with the naked eye. If this was a lightning bug, it had to be as big as a peach.
(EVPs Coming Soon!)