An inner city haunting to remember: Part I

A retread of a 2016 Southside Times article which still holds relevance (at least to my wife).

By Rick Hinton

In the 1960s, the house at 10th and N. Rural streets in Indianapolis was just that; a home in the inner city inhabited by Jennifer Norris, her mother and other family members. It was a comfortable sanctuary to return to after a hard day at work. Cozy and family orientated as houses go. A Ouija board changed all that. Jennifer stated:

“It started as innocent fun … something to do. We wanted to know who was communicating, then we all got hooked. As we became more serious “It” got more serious. What we thought was fun turned out to be not fun at all! It started as entertainment, but we got into it deeper and deeper.” She added, “Before the Ouija board everything in the house was fine, no problems. Afterwards, all hell broke loose!”

They began seances for added fun. It didn’t help matters. The house changed, also changing the people inside it. The coziness disappeared.

The house as it appears today. (Photo by Rick Hinton)

“What we had brought in didn’t hurt anybody, but they made sure you knew they were there,” Jennifer said. “You learned to live with it because you had no choice.” It was where they called home.

Jennifer said there was an oppressive feeling the moment you entered the house. Feelings soon turned into other things: books flying out of cabinets; beds shaking; Bibles and crosses turned upside down or even disappeared; the sound of the wadding up of newspapers; a dish cloth lifted off the kitchen floor and circulated around Jennifer’s head; screams emitted out of an opened oven door. By then they had stopped the summoning and disposed of the Ouija board, but it was far too late for that. It was already there!

The house continued to be used for family gatherings on holidays and birthdays, yet it wasn’t the same as in the past. The comfy family feel had been replaced by apprehension. Everyone was on edge. Jennifer lived in the house for six years and then left. She only moved back when her daughter Laura, then 17, moved in. They lived together in the upstairs apartment. Laura is my wife, and Jennifer my mother-in-law.

Laura and her mom, Jennifer, in that period of time. (Photo provided by Laura Hinton)

“When you approached the house, you felt it,” Laura said. “As soon as you touched that doorknob and went inside you felt it in every room! Some areas of the house were especially dark. I always felt that way, even when I was a kid.”

There was a cast iron bathtub in the upstairs apartment that gave off a particularly dark vibe. Laura refused to sleep in her bedroom, instead choosing the sofa. My wife is sensitive, proving that ability on numerous paranormal investigations in which we have participated. I would suspect that her mother is somewhat as well. Laura believes that her veil (sensitivity) could be a result of her mother’s activities.

The house passed out of the family eventually, selling many times throughout the years. The upstairs apartment cycled through numerous renters. The house still stands. Jennifer has not been back, nor intends to. “When you get rid of a stalker, it’s time to call it quits! I have had no interest in the paranormal since those days.” They both moved past that experience, chalking it up to a bad place at a bad time of their lives. However, the memories will never fully leave them. …

Next week: the conclusion.