Haunts & Jaunts: Owning the Roads Hotel

Owning the Roads Hotel

Roads Family “The Everett family on the front porch of the Roads Hotel (photo courtesy of the Roads Hotel website)

   When Gail Sanchez purchased the Roads Hotel in Atlanta, Ind. in February of 2011, she was perfectly aware of what she was getting into. It was a diamond in the rough. The history of the place was long and varied—stemming from an original hotel, to a speakeasy, to a brothel, to years of apartments, and finally a personal residence. She knew the history. Years before it had been occupied by a lady trying her best to make it a home. It didn’t work. She moved out… then moved back in. It didn’t last long. Her kids became increasingly upset, witnessing nightly visitations of ‘figures’ standing at the end of their beds. The house went back up for sale. Gail was alerted of its availability. She bought it!

   Gail knew the stories of the house, being involved with her own paranormal group, Sixth Sense Indy Paranormal. Spooks and things that go bump in the night were no stranger to a paranormal investigator. The building was in a serious dilapidated state, with much work needing to be done. Gail provided the finances, Sixth Sense Indy Paranormal provided the labor. And from what was once an inhabitable home came an amazing transformation, putting the former hotel back into its former glory days.

   The Everett’s were original family owners of the hotel. Four of the family members were laid in state in the home after their death, with 19-year-old John Everett’s casket being displayed in the front bay window. Creepy? Yes, but not unusual due to the customs of the time. There might have been three more? It makes sense.

“The Mid South Paracon 2107-left to right-Dedee Fran-Hernandez, Mike Couch (Lost Limbs Foundation), Gail Sanchez.” (Photo by Gail Sanchez)

   For Gail, it became years of orchestrating weekend paranormal investigations for groups interested in exploring the Roads. An investment in the history of a small town turned into a full time job. Gail—wife and mother—also had a life on the Southside of Indianapolis. Yet, her love for the Roads never wavered. She pressed on, until it no longer became possible to do so…

   She’s in the process of selling the establishment to Mike Couch and The Lost Limbs Foundation, having hosted many events in the home. Lost Limb’s mission statement is “To provide financial assistance to the families of amputee children in need of medical and prosthetic assistance.” Mike, most likely, will end up living there. Why sell?

   “I didn’t want to be responsible any longer,” Gail states. Time, being a wife and mother, the monetary aspects, travel, and being gone every weekend will eventually take a toll. And…not having the opportunity to be involved in her own paranormal group, or that of OPP (Original Paranormal Paparazzi), a sister group who’s assisted in renovations of the hotel. Gail declares, “I would not have just sold it to anyone. I wanted someone to take care of it!” She knows Mike will, and the paranormal investigations will continue. She’s still actively involved with the Roads—“just not Every weekend!”

   Her favorite recollection is transforming the hotel from what it was, to what it is today. I can attest to that—it wasn’t pretty! Her ghostly recollections? She has many: Some nights were quiet…some not so. Shadow figures, especially near the second floor stairway. And many times while downstairs, all hell would break loose with sounds on the second floor. Gail was told by a medium that being by railroad  tracks, there’s a constant stream of ‘people’ coming and going. Evil in the Roads? Some think so. Six investigative groups independently informed Gail they would not return due to evil in the building. She had it cleansed.

“Front porch of the Roads Hotel facing Main Street.” (photo by Rick Hinton)

   Laura and I have been there several times. Me, a few times before that. Was looking for the “creeper’ mentioned by the guide in the 2nd floor hallway, but never experienced it. Instead, while we laid in a bed on the 2nd  floor “Red Room,” I watched a head peeking around the door frame, several times, while Laura took a 2:00 AM snooze.

   Gail Sanchez had her share of local visitors over the years. One lady had lived there in the 1960s when the building was apartments. She had her stories. However, a couple of old timers—life long residents of Atlanta, Indiana—declared that the stories of Capone and Dillinger were true! And, that most of the town of Atlanta has always been haunted.

   I would think they would know!