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Haunts & Jaunts: Just a gathering of friends

Haunts & Jaunts: Just a gathering of friends

By Rick Hinton

Just a gathering of friends. Photo by Rick Hinton

   It was to be just a gathering of friends; at least that was my intention. It wasn’t to be a serious investigation. My serious days, I felt, were behind me now. I had been to this location so many times in the past it almost felt like home, with an added bonus – it almost never disappointed in this small farming town in northern Indiana. In the past ‘things’ could suddenly get quite serious at this location. I have witnessed quirky audio recordings, parades of shadow figures, fellow investigators getting scratched and shoved, and myself going through emotional turmoil in one particular room. However, on other rare occasions, absolutely nothing happened; at least on the surface. Welcome to the world of paranormal investigating!

   The site is a former Odd Fellows Hall in a town of little change over the years. This three-story building has been a fixture on the main drag since day one, and continues to hold a place of prominence in a town with a colorful history; and apparently a town treading into the future: new businesses…new opportunities…excitement of what lies ahead. Yet, this grandfatherly building – dominating with an era of mystery – has stood the test of time through a past that seemingly continues to replay.

Bob, an old friend and man of secrets. Photo by Rick Hinton

  It was to be a reunion of sorts… just a gathering of friends, who had all, at one time or another, experienced what the building had to offer. 

   Ten of us met for dinner at the local Pizza King. Just prior, JS had a fish hook extracted from his upper back (the result of a tragic post fishing incidence) by Russell and his precision fingers. We move on to dinner – stimulating the local economy – and then walk a block to the building. Bob greets us. Bob is an old friend. He has secrets. The building is a fixture from his youth, and family. Familiarity always retains close ties in a relationship. Bob has these for not only the town, but also the building. He gives us the lowdown – “Been rather quiet lately.” It was just to be a gathering of friends; to reminisce.. .to reflect. However, old habits still die hard!

The Converse, Ind. building lost in time. Submitted photo

   I set up a camera on the second floor hallway. An audio recorder is placed in the room causing me troubles in the past. I meander downstairs to catch up with Bob. Our tastes are very similar. We discuss the reboot of the upcoming X-Files and Twin Peaks series, of which we are die hard fans. Bob shares some personal challenges and the news of another haunted location in town that may be soon available. Exciting stuff!  There is the constant sound of stairs creaking as investigators go up and down. Old friends, Doug and Elizabeth, mingle in and out, always exploring. Russell and Andrew go off together. Brad, his father Danny, and JS, plant themselves on the third floor – the Grand Hall. Laura and I spend time in my ‘trouble’ room. It’s a quiet night for all.

 Driving home on an empty stretch of Highway 13 at 2 a.m., I sip an energy drink and watch the eerie red lights of windmills draw close then disappear behind us. Laura plays a game on her phone. There will be evidence to review at some point, but that’s not a priority. Memories take precedence. A gathering of friends is just that – cementing relationships that will last a lifetime. During our physical stroll through life, it doesn’t get any better than that!

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