I am a Tombstone Tourist: someone who loves to wander cemeteries. I find it akin to visiting a museum: an opportunity to enjoy rarely seen sculpture, intricate carvings, and amazing architecture, all in a tranquil outdoor setting. This blog is about cemetery culture, art, history, issues of death, and genealogy - subjects of current relevance. I usually find something that intrigues me and makes me want to dig deeper. Care to join me? Read on...
Friday, October 2, 2015
Hauntings At The Hannah House
October – my favorite time of year, and that means getting to investigate
some haunted places around the Midwest. This year, A Grave Interest will take a stroll through some well-known (and not so well-known) haunted houses, trying to discover more about the spirits that keep these places "interesting"
In Indianapolis, Indiana, "The Crossroads of America," there
is a stately old Italianate-style mansion that
is said to be haunted by the people who died there when the owner was trying to help them reach freedom.
Hannah House was built in1858 by 37-year-old Alexander Moore Hannah, a prominent
Indiana businessman. The brick home is made up of 24 rooms, located on two floors with
an attic and a cellar.
was an abolitionist who stood up against slavery and intensely debated his
policies with all who would listen, including President James Buchanan. It is
no wonder that he allowed his mansion to become a stop on the Underground Railroad. But this
assistance ultimately led to tragedy.
night, several runaway slaves were being hidden in the cellar, awaiting the next "conductor's" arrival, when someone knocked
over an oil lantern. Fire ignited quickly in the cramped quarters and in no time the cellar filled with smoke. The blaze swept through the fugitives quickly. It's not known how many slaves were in
the cellar at the time, but many died from the smoke; others from burns before the fire could be contained.
A Cellar Floor
Hannah feared punishment if it was learned that his home was being used as a stop on the Underground Railroad, so the truth of the fire and deaths of the escaped slaves had to
be hidden. Those who died in the blaze were
quickly buried under the cellar's dirt floor - their names and identities lost forever ...
continued to live in the house until his death in 1895. The home sold in 1899 and
immediately, reports of shadows, screams and strange happenings began.
There were rumors that the stench of burning flesh would drift through the house from
time to time, followed by the scent of gangrene, and there were also the shrill screams of a
woman in agony.
Objects moved around of their own accord, especially in the basement, and items were
thrown about by unseen hands throughout the house; whispering can still be heard but the words are unintelligible. Cold drafts will suddenly permeate
a room when no door or window has been opened, and shadowy figures still move about the mansion; some claim one of them is Mr. Hannah.
you’d like to experience what the Hannah House has to offer, plan on taking a tour of the house and grounds on selected
dates. The next event is scheduled for this Sunday, October 4thfrom 1 to 4 p.m.
eastern time. To check on other tour dates, email the Hannah House or call (317) 787-8486.