By Rick Hinton
In the building of a small northern Indiana town, overnight club members sleeping on the second floor have reported sounds emanating from above them where the “Big, Bad, Dark” takes up residence. They have heard footsteps on the stairways and down the second-floor hallway, doors opening and closing on their own accord, doorknobs jiggling, voices heard — low, incoherent and mostly female. Paranormal investigators have also reported a consistent cycle of battery drainage. These events also make caretaker Bob Freeman smile. The history raises questions…
Did the past Order of Odd Fellows somehow establish this building as a nexus point for paranormal activity? Or many incarnations throughout the years? Or even a combination of all of the above? It’s a valid observation. There are definitely “odd” things afoot and sometimes not so pretty!
For the time being, Bob has opened the building to paranormal investigations. He donates his personal time to hosting these groups and possibly learning something in the process. He’s seen his fair share of investigators circulate like a colony of worker ants, setting up equipment and climbing the three levels of the building for many hours. He’s noted the good and the bad: experiencing quack job psychics and those offering something of substance. He’s gazed into the eyes of investigators out of breath because they had just experienced something they could not understand. At this location, the paranormal perseveres and Bob continues to give those folks an opportunity to step into his world, only as long as they retain a degree of respect. They will leave after the investigation. It, however, remains his home.
My own personal experiences have been varied. I’ve always sensed “something” hovering just below the surface. Buildings — much like people — have their own personalities and easily influence. These remnants can affect in different and sometimes radical ways. While never personally experiencing the great evil on the third floor, I know those who have. I’ve never seen the apparition strolling the halls of the second floor but a very persuasive video on YouTube leaves no doubt it happened. What I have experienced is audio evidences: voices… particularly one female taunting me and another investigator on the second floor with our names after we introduced ourselves during a recording session. And a frisky game of hide and seek with an unseen phantom on the third floor. There were others:
The doctor’s office — feelings of being watched and emotions of elation, anxiety, grace and just as quickly, apprehension; for a period, I lost all control. I was alone, listening and waiting. I soon became not myself, perplexed and highly irritated; watching myself like a participant in a movie. I couldn’t control it! This had happened before, several years earlier with another investigator. And for the rest of the night? An investigator touched; Laura being scratched; and Bob being shoved from behind on the stairway. Good times!
In the early morning hours, we left northern Indiana as heavy snow showers descended. The high beam of the headlights revealed a wall of thick flakes streaking toward the windshield like a barrage of white bullets. The road had deteriorated, causing me to slow down and gulp more coffee as we headed south. We were completely alone in the dead of the early morning hours.
As was Bob Freeman, his cane tapping rhythmically against the floor of his building as he checked doors, turned out lights and just listened. I’m sure there was a smile in there also.
Rick Hinton, a Southport resident, loves researching things that go bump in the night. His articles can be read on Facebook: Rick Hinton, Southport Paranormal Examiner. Hinton conducts paranormal investigations with his team, South Central Paranormal.