By Stephanie Dolan
This fall, the Perry Township/Southport Historical Society gathered for its second meeting of the year at the Southport Community Building at 6901 Derbyshire Road.
“We had a January meeting,” society president Barry Browning said. “Normally, we meet every other month, so that’s six meetings a year.”
Sadly, COVID hit and everything went into lockdown. Also on hold was the historical society’s scheduled speaker for March, Rick Hinton.
“He’s been on hold since when our March meeting would have been,” Browning said.
A weekly columnist for The Southside Times, Hinton is a paranormal investigator and author.
“We’ve definitely had some strange days these last few months,” Hinton said as he began his presentation.
Hinton began the evening by discussing his paranormal background and what it’s like to hunt ghosts.
“There’s an adrenaline rush when the lights go down and things are happening around you that you can’t see,” he said, kicking things off.
Hinton discussed local haunted locations such as the former Central State Hospital and The Gaslight Inn, both in Indianapolis, and the Grave in the Middle of the Road in Franklin.
“As a history ‘nerd’ I found it a relatable experience to be able to share with my peers about some events and locations that they may not be aware of, and to embellish them with some strange happenings going on in the background,” he said
Browning said that the society was especially happy to welcome Hinton.
“I thought the evening went really well,” he said. “We had 31 people there, which is a great turnout. We had chairs spaced out and hand sanitizer available. I think everyone felt safe. I also think a lot of people were interested in what he had to say as they see his columns every week in the paper, and this was a chance to meet him and talk to him in person.”
“The night went very well,” Hinton said. “I received no ‘I don’t believe in that sort of thing.’ Rather, folks at the end of the presentation had questions and relayed some of their own experiences. It was well received.”
Hinton has authored two books: The Fog of Youth: The Goldrush Years and Roads Well Travelled, Vol. 1. Both books can be purchased at The Southside Times office, 7670 US 31 S., Indianapolis, IN 46227.