Saturday, July 25, 2009

Abandoned Central States Hospital, Indianapolis

Central States Hospital in Indianapolis is but one of many closed mental hospitals across the country, closed due to funding issues and reports of inhumane practices. This site currently houses one public accessible building: A medical history museum in the structure originally used as the facility hospital and autopsy wing. Great if you love to see vintage medical equipment, tools, and pharmaceutical goods.

We were fortunate that on the day we went to the site all gates were open. The local fire department was using the grounds for training, as several fire trucks were hooking hoses to the still active hydrants scattered throughout the expansive grounds. In addition, we observed that the local police department had their horses for mounted patrols also stabled on the grounds.

Stories of Paranormal encounters are quite frankly voluminous at this site. Literally miles of underground utility tunnels cross the site, with many reports of sightings. 1950’s workers allegedly discovered evidence of old shackles being found, indicating patient restraint areas in the tunnels. No concrete evidence has been produced, however. The main old hospital buildings have long since been demolished, making way for ‘modern’ dorm style buildings constructed in the mid-late 20th century.

The day we wandered through the grounds was a beautiful, sunny day. The weather notwithstanding, I could definitely feel the emotional energy of this site. No specific encounters, just a discernment of energy, mostly negative. The buildings projected, at least to me, an air of somber abandonment. The old powerhouse, one of the oldest remaining buildings, displayed beautiful brickwork from additions added in the Depression era of the 30’s. That detailed and skillfully laid masonry added to the forlorn nature of the entire environment of this site, as I related to it.

It is easy for me to understand and believe the reports of paranormal activity reported at this facility. I would love to be able to participate in an investigation here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Most Intense Paranormal Encounter, with Witnesses

Picture a small frame house, built in 1865, located at the top of a small rise next to a river. The house is a typical story and a half: two bedrooms upstairs, gabled ceilings, accessed by a very narrow and steep stairway. The top of the stairway faces the door to one bedroom, turn sharp right and you are in the second bedroom. Downstairs are three rooms and a bathroom (of course a newer remodel). As you look at the front of the house (south facing), you see a porch, formerly screened but now glassed in, leading to the main room. To the left, or west facing, there is a door from the kitchen leading to a concrete "deck" covered with a roof and screen. At the time of my encounter, the front porch was just screened in, and there was nothing but a concrete deck on the west side.

My dad and stepmother lived here for a time. During one of my visits, the subject of ghosts and hauntings came into the conversation. Dad mentioned that he and my stepmother have heard a ghost inside the house, usually within a day or two of them hearing an owl hooting in the middle of the night. Hmmmm, I thought. Well, the next night we heard an owl. Hmmmm, I thought again. After a hard days work, I was bushed, and fell asleep upstairs almost immediately as soon as my head hit the pillow.

At approximately 2:30 in the morning, I awoke, realizing that I was troubled, and frankly afraid, for no appearent reason. I lay in bed, and then I heard a door open and shut. (As I write this, my hair is starting to stand on end!) Anyway, after I heard the door, I then heard "heavy" foot steps. The steps came out of the kitchen, into the living room, under the bedroom I was in, and then back to the bottom of the stariway. I'm really starting to freak out now, and then the footsteps started up the stairs. Slow, heavy, and very clear. I'm looking, but the room is pitch black. The steps come to the top of the stairs, go into the other bedroom, back out and down the stairs. The sound of the steps stopped in the kitchen. I did not get much sleep the rest of the night.

Next morning over coffee I asked Dad if he had heard anything. He hesitated, and then said "You heard him too, huh?" The ice broken, we shared our versions of what we had heard. Both of our versions matched, except Dad had not heard the footsteps going into the kitchen on the way "out". We decided to do a little experiment, as we did not know which door our visitor had entered during the wee small hours of the morning. There are two different doors leading into the kitchen, by the way. I went back upstairs, lay down in bed, and listened while Dad opened and closed both doors. I had him do each twice, as the sound of neither door sounded like the door I had heard open and close! Thus, another mystery.

That evening the three of us were sitting on the concrete deck off the kitchen, enjoying a beautiful end to the day. As we were talking, I happened to look at the side of the house, above the kitchen door. There, faint but visable, was evidence on the side of the house that was obviously the remnants of where an old porch roof or shed had been attached to the house. I pointed this feature out to Dad. He sat there a minute, then said "That can explain the door sound you could not recognize." I had thought the same: the sound of the door I heard was in fact the sound of a door that was not there anymore.

Our visitor was benevolent, I'm sure. He was, in my opinion, just checking on someone or something. I heard him one other time, as he was on the way downstairs. Guess I slept through his walk up the stairs. I never heard the door again, but I am sure for whatever reason, he is still checking up on this house.

The Phenomena of Smiley Cemetery