Haunts & Jaunts: Just a gathering of friends

Just a gathering of friends.

Settling in for the hunt. From left, Elizabeth & Doug, Danny, Bob, JS, Andrew, Brad and Russ (photo by R Hinton)

   It was just a gathering of friends. At least that was my intention. It was not to be a serious investigation. I had done this here many times before. At this location in the past ‘things’ could suddenly get quite serious. I have witnessed quirky audio recordings, parades of shadow figures, fellow investigators getting scratched and shoved, and myself going through emotional turmoil in one particular room. I’ve also went through nights when absolutely nothing happened… at least on the surface. Welcome to the world of the paranormal!

   The site’s a former Odd Fellows Hall in northern Indiana, located in a farming community with a town of little change. This three story building’s been a fixture on the main drag since day one, continuing to hold a place of prominence in a town with a colorful history. And one treading into the future: new businesses, new opportunities, the excitement of what lies ahead. Yet, this building’s stood the test of time, through a past that continues to replay.

  Ten of us meet for dinner at the local Pizza King. JS has a fish hook embedded in his upper back (the result of a tragic post fishing incidence) which Russ extracts. We move on to dinner—stimulating the local economy—and then to the site. Caretaker (let’s call him Bob) greets us. Bob is an old friend. He has secrets. The building is a fixture from his youth. Familiarity always retains close ties in a relationship. Bob has these. He gives us the lowdown: “Been rather quiet lately.” We move on.

The building in its hey-day. Photo courtesy of Bob

   Out of habit I set up a camera in the second story hallway. An audio recorder is placed in the room that has caused me past problems. And then we visit and catch up. Bob and my tastes are similar. We discuss the reboot of the upcoming X-Files and Twin Peaks series, of which we are die hard fans. Bob shares some personal challenges and the news of another haunted town location that may be soon available. Exciting stuff! Old friends Doug and Elizabeth mingle in and out, exploring. Russ and Andrew go off on their own. Brad, his father Danny and JS plant themselves on the third floor. Laura and I spend time in my ‘trouble’ room. It’s a quiet night.

   Driving home on an empty stretch of Highway 13 at 1 a.m., I sip an energy drink and watch the eerie red lights of the windmills until we are past. Laura plays a word game on her phone. There will be evidence to review, but that’s not a priority. A gathering of friends is just that—cementing relationships that will last a lifetime. On our physical stroll through life, it doesn’t get any better than that!