By Rick Hinton
Paranormal activity can hit its highs and lows at any location. It is a piece of the puzzle. This was certainly true of the former Odd Fellows Lodge in northern Indiana. Whatever is within its walls does not perform on cue. There is a degree of intelligence behind the haunting, and sometimes, they take the night off. Over the many years I’ve spent time here, there were those nights when absolutely nothing happened. However, there were those other times. … Spending a last romp through the old building made me realize just how close we’d become as the passage of time moved steadily into the present. In addition … how well we had gotten to know one another.
Most often, an investigation is a collection of personal experiences where notes are compared at the end of the evening. Yet, many times the end of the evening can’t wait. At those moments, it becomes an adrenaline rush to try to duplicate what just happened. Bob Freeman worked as we ate pizza across the street. On the third floor, he prepared a “ceremony.” Alone, as he often is in the building, he felt strange vibes, heard a growl and caught sight of a black mass hovering in the corner by the windows. These types of events make Bob smile even wider. And then we arrived. We put on our game face.
The old familiar feeling came over me as I sat in the doctor’s office waiting room: agitation, equilibrium-gone haywire and shortness of breath. Throughout the rest of the evening, I felt eyes upon me wherever I went. Matt Campbell (my former comrade at North Central Paranormal) heard a deep breath in his ear and the consistent whistling of a tune when he was alone.
Andrew Kinslow experienced wacky magnetic fields as his compass swirled crazily in the third floor “I don’t like women” closet. His friend, John East, with only one prior investigation under his belt, was taken on quite the ride. On the third floor, cold spots invaded his backside. No matter where he turned, it stayed with him. You could physically put your hand into it. Later, after feeling a burning sensation on his back, his shirt was lifted to reveal a red rash on his upper shoulder.
This was only the start: Russ Hibbs noticed that a door on the third floor closet, closed just a short time before, was now open (this is a recurring occurrence on not only this night, but on previous visits as well). He also experienced chest pains. I sat him down on the floor. We determined that it might have been too much pizza. However, he steadily grew sicker and had to leave.
He felt better a mile down the road, but wasn’t about to turn around and come back. His girlfriend, Melissa Tomlinson, heard an audible growl and felt the stairway handrail shake under her grip. Her hand was the only one on it. Laura’s son John, and his friend Dylan, roamed about on their own. Returning downstairs, John revealed three red scratches on his neck. They had been in the doctor’s office.
Collectively, a few of us chatting later in this room heard a very distinct “meow.” We caught it on an audio recorder. When questioned, Bob gave a broad smile. “That’s the cat. It’s been seen a few times … black, and you can feel it rubbing against your legs or sometimes just cold spots.”
The investigation ended. Hours of video and audio yet to go over. After we left, Bob returned to the third floor to clean up. The night had not ended quite yet. “There were audible whispers and a burning sensation on my left shoulder,” Bob said. “When I got home I noticed I had been scratched — three scrapes, enough to draw blood. Hell of a way to cap the night off!”