Haunts & Jaunts: Irvington Ghost Tours

Alan Hunter addresses the crowd at the first annual 2017 Irvington Ghost Tour.

   It’s that time of year again! Last Friday night Laura and I found ourselves winding along the narrow sidewalks of the Southside burg of Irvington, led by Alan Hunter – dressed in black trench coat, dark leather hat, and swinging a lantern as his walking stick made clicks along the pavement – leading the charge on the first night of the Irvington Ghost Tour. He had a smile upon his face. Why wouldn’t he? He considers it a privilege to introduce folks to the history, mysteries, lore, and a good story about the neighborhood of a small town nestled in the folded arms of nearby Indianapolis. There’s something about Irvington, there always has been…

    Irvington is believed to reside over Ley Lines – a geographical alignment of emanating power -resulting in spiritual and mystical radiating currents. (Like electricity you can’t shut off). It’s known to affect areas with paranormal activity. Consequently, Irvington is a beehive of such activity!

   The fall night introduced bursts of wind and steadily falling temperatures. It was a decent size group for the first night. They’ll get larger as the weekends progress towards Halloween. Tour helpers with lanterns guided the mass along the streets as vehicle traffic slowed for a look. There’s walking involved, yet plenty of time to

A good story makes for a great tour!

recuperate when Alan sets down his lantern and begins the tale. And there are many of them: everything from the haunted Irving Theater to the historical Masonic Lodge; the Bona Thompson building (the last surviving building of Butler College); the Irvington Library (location of a former pawn shop shadowed by murder); a former site robbed by John Dillinger; Indianapolis’ involvement in the Klu Klux Klan and a resulting death by infatuation; first serial killer, H. H. Holmes and his tie to Irvington; and site of the Lincoln funeral train when it passed through the neighborhood. There are a lot of points in between with their own stories with which one tour could never encompass. Books of Irvington history written by Alan shed light upon these “in between” stories. One is included with the price of the tour.

   The Irvington Ghost Tours are at 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, through Oct. 28. Tours start at 10 S. Johnson Ave, next to the Irving Theater. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at that location prior or in advance at the Magic Candle, 203 S. Audubon. Proceeds go to support Gaia Works Pantry and other local charities. This IS a walking tour so dress accordingly. Afterwards, eat at Jockomo’s Pizza. We did!

   Next week: Our trip with Alan Hunter to Gettysburg.