By Rick Hinton
Camp Atterbury, located in Johnson County, has been a dominant presence for countless years. Located just south of Franklin, and five miles due west of Edinburgh, it resides in a terrain of diverse contrasts: from agriculturally flat to gently rolling hills to steep hills and valleys. The camp’s history is equally as diverse as the landscape. A lot has happened on theses grounds through the years!
For those of us living on the Southside it is an easy drive, and a history lesson well worth taking. However, from time to time, the question arises – does Camp Atterbury have a haunted side? It would appear that pieces of it do.
The Atterbury Job Corps was formed and administered by the U.S. Department of Labor as an educational and career technical training program for students ages 16 – 24. The intent of the program is to outfit students with the skills needed to succeed in today’s workplace. All students participating in the program are required to live in the dormitories on campus. These dormitories are the few buildings from the former Wakeman Hospital complex that still remain on the campus. Get the picture: former doctors and nurses … patients dealing with injuries beyond their control or understanding … pain and suffering … life transformations. Where might this take us?
These buildings are all that remain from a time when they were used for another purpose; remnants of a past designation. And from several claims, folks from the past have chosen to remain behind. Paranormal activity seems to be a frequent and ongoing reminder of a time when the world was in a different place. Atterbury has gone through many transformations, and presently – the students are seeing ghosts!
The dormitories for the Job Corps are reported to be a beehive of paranormal activity, including: knocks on doors with no one on the other side; electrical malfunctions such as lights flickering in one dorm but not in the other; televisions turning on and off at whim; whispers, voices and footsteps; shadows moving to and fro; the nagging feeling of being watched; strange occurrences in Bellamy Hall; and glowing yellow eyes and figures in the nearby woods.
In October of 2013 there were student claims of an apparition of a woman in the LBJ (Lyndon B. Johnson) dorm and another of “whistling” centered in the ABL (Abraham Lincoln) dormitory. The students are residents full time and are a witness to the continuing cycle of unworldly visitations. They have been for years. I would suspect that the administration is well aware of the issue, but certainly not going to publicly admit to it; at least not if they want to keep their jobs.
Do not travel to Camp Atterbury’s Job Corps Center with the intention of investigating the paranormal. It is not going to happen! If you are not a student, or parent of one, you will not get very far. If you are found wandering the grounds, most likely you will be arrested. There is a strict “no nonsense” policy to haphazard visitors, and mentioning the paranormal will only make a bad situation worse. It’s not that (administration) doesn’t know things out of the ordinary are happening, they’re just not talking. Get used to the “thousand-yard stare” if you bring up the subject.
Melinda Zell did just that. …