Haunted Hays Cemetery

East of Indianapolis in central Indiana is the small town of Wilkinson. In early days you could leave the town on Main Street and follow it to a cemetery that is basically out in the middle of nowhere. The Main Street Cemetery, also known as the Hays Cemetery, has over the years developed the reputation of being haunted. It is at the end of a rather rough gravel road and the road climbs a small rise and cuts across the center of the cemetery. Put Hays Cemetery in Google maps and you’ll get directions to the beginning of the gravel road.

The video shows that the Hays Cemetery is a neatly kept and open cemetery. There is plenty of room between the headstones. Several of the headstones list the names of Hays family members. Unfortunately lots of the stones have suffered from decades of weathering, making them very hard to read.

One of the Hays family who died in 1872

Sad marker for a sweet young girl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now to the haunting stuff. Several sources on the internet refer to the “fact” that this is a very haunted cemetery. One of the paranormal things has been the discussion of a ‘devil child’. There is supposed to be a pitch-fork shaped tree growing from the child’s grave. There are reports that local kids used to go out at night and try to call ghosts. We also saw one reference to some man hanging his wife from a tree and shooting her as well, thus spawning another ghostly presence.

Based on location, this might be the “Devil Child”

Ghostly wise, we didn’t see anything. We didn’t hear anything. We didn’t sense anything. We thought that this was a beautiful, peaceful and quiet resting place for many centuries gone Indiana early pioneers.

Paranormal ghost in a haunted farmhouse

We have always been interested in the subject of things paranormal. We still enjoy the ghost investigation shows on TV. In the past we have traveled to and enjoyed haunted sites and locations and still do. The story below relates an encounter that Maj had in 1975. 

Picture a small frame house, built in 1865, located at the top of a small rise next to a river. The house is a typical story and a half: two bedrooms upstairs, gabled ceilings, accessed by a very narrow and steep stairway. The top of the stairway faces the door to one bedroom, turn sharp right and you are in the second bedroom. Downstairs are three rooms and a bathroom (of course a newer remodel). As you look at the front of the house (south facing), you see a porch, formerly screened but now glassed in, leading to the main room. To the left, or west facing, there is a door from the kitchen leading to a concrete “deck” covered with a roof and screen. At the time of my encounter, the front porch was just screened in, and there was nothing but a concrete deck on the west side.

How the house looked in 2009

My dad and stepmother lived here for a time. During one of my visits, the subject of ghosts and hauntings came into the conversation. Dad mentioned that he and my stepmother have heard a ghost inside the house, usually within a day or two of them hearing an owl hooting in the middle of the night. Hmmmm, I thought. Well, the next night we heard an owl. Hmmmm, I thought again. After a hard days work, I was bushed, and fell asleep upstairs almost immediately as soon as my head hit the pillow.

At approximately 2:30 in the morning, I awoke, realizing that I was troubled, and frankly afraid, for no apparent reason. I lay in bed, and then I heard a door open and shut. (As I write this, my hair is starting to stand on end!) Anyway, after I heard the door, I then heard “heavy” foot steps. The steps came out of the kitchen, into the living room, under the bedroom I was in, and then back to the bottom of the stairway. I’m really starting to freak out now, and then the footsteps started up the stairs. Slow, heavy, and very clear. I’m looking, but the room is pitch black. The steps come to the top of the stairs, go into the other bedroom, back out and down the stairs. The sound of the steps stopped in the kitchen. I did not get much sleep the rest of the night.

“1865” cut into an attic vent

Next morning over coffee I asked Dad if he had heard anything. He hesitated, and then said “You heard him too, huh?” The ice broken, we shared our versions of what we had heard. Both of our versions matched, except Dad had not heard the footsteps going into the kitchen on the way “out”. We decided to do a little experiment, as we did not know which door our visitor had entered during the wee small hours of the morning. There are two different doors leading into the kitchen, by the way. I went back upstairs, lay down in bed, and listened while Dad opened and closed both doors. I had him do each twice, as the sound of neither door sounded like the door I had heard open and close! Thus, another mystery.

That evening the three of us were sitting on the concrete deck off the kitchen, enjoying a beautiful end to the day. As we were talking, I happened to look at the side of the house, above the kitchen door. There, faint but visible, was evidence on the side of the house that was obviously the remnants of where an old porch roof or shed had been attached to the house. I pointed this feature out to Dad. He sat there a minute, then said “That can explain the door sound you could not recognize.” I had thought the same: the sound of the door I heard was in fact the sound of a door that was not there anymore.

Our visitor was benevolent, I’m sure. He was, in my opinion, just checking on someone or something. I heard him one other time, as he was on the way downstairs. Guess I slept through his walk up the stairs. I never heard the door again, but I am sure for whatever reason, he is still checking up on this house.

The Dead Files

Courtesy Travel Channel

We have come to enjoy different types of TV shows during our pandemic isolation. One that is actually kind of scary is a show on the Travel Channel ominously titled The Dead Files.

This paranormal themed show features Amy Allan, a physic medium and paranormal researcher, and Steve DiSchiavi, a retired homicide detective with 20 years experience with the New York City Police Department.  The show first aired in 2011, and is currently in its 13th season.

Each episode has a different “client” of theirs, and the two investigate  each haunting/paranormal event separately. Allan performs walks of the property and as a sensitive, she sees and sometimes talks to the dead spirits. DiSchiavi on the other hand, does police style research, interviewing others who have connection or history to the place. He also digs into the past stories of the property, finding documents and old photos. The two do not compare notes until the end.

When they present their “Reveal” to the clients at the end of the show the results are  startling. Allan often uses a police artist to make a sketch of the ghosts she has seen, and the most of the time this sketch is the same entity the property owners have seen. Amy and Steve then offer solutions to getting rid of the ghosts.

Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, this is a fun show to watch, even for just a couple of episodes. If you have an interest in ghost hunting, this show is for you. The Dead Files is now streaming on several streaming services.

Bogart in the 2nd floor window

Occasionally something will catch you eye as you are out and about. This happened to Sher and I a couple of days ago. We were in the town of Stanwood, Washington checking out the old buildings. We had read about one old saloon being haunted, complete with people spotting ghostly visions in second floor windows. Imagine our surprise when we at the same time spotted this faint figure in a second floor window!

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Alas, it wasn’t a ghost. It was Humphrey Bogart.