The Speakeasy, Hartford City, Indiana June 2015
Investigators: Dave, Trish and Vicki
Time: 9:15 pm - 4:15 am
Weather was very mild
Hartford City can trace its roots back to the 1830s as a few log cabins located on the edge of Lick Creek. Thanks to the Gas Boom in the late 1800’s, the town became a manufacturing center and the county seat of Blackford County. Despite struggling with economic difficulties over the last several decades like many communities, they have maintained many of their historic gems. In June of 2006 the United States Department of the Interior added the Hartford City Courthouse Square Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places. CAPS got the opportunity to do back to back investigations in this enchanting town, and our first destination was a former Speakeasy located on Washington Street, just west of the Courthouse.
We met up with Dann Allen just after nightfall. We entered the 1870’s building via a door on street level then Dann led us to the second floor. Immediately Trish and I heard the distinct sound of footsteps trailing behind us in the hallway. We felt as if we were off to a great start!
Dann informed us that it had once been used as a Speakeasy during the prohibition years and then utilized for a time by the Eagles club. We were astounded as we were led around through a seemingly endless maze of rooms, ending in a huge room that was the Ballroom. After the tour, Dann left us to setup for our investigation. We decided to utilize a small room off to the side of the staircase entrance as our staging area, and then started by setting up our static video cameras and digital recorders in various sections of the second floor.
Trish and Dave decided to start in the Ballroom/Speakeasy, and within only a few minutes the EMF Ghost meter Trish was holding decided to drain. With new batteries in place, I also joined them and we all sat several feet apart in a triangle formation. It wasn’t very long before Dave had ringing in his ear and felt a heaviness in his chest; at the same time I saw a white flash of light above him, near the ceiling while Trish heard the sound of scrapping on the floor like a chair being moved. We had the Ovilus on dictionary mode and the words “Mommy” and “hug” emanated through it, tugging at all our heartstrings and leaving Dave a case of the cold chills...
Further along in the session, we heard a noise that sounded close to Trish and set off the alarm on her EMF Ghost meter. At this point the Ovilus kept repeating the same word which we believe to be “Boyd”, also the letters “R” and “O”. We decided to turn it off and go with an EVP session. During this time we heard a very loud noise coming from the hallway.
We were heading back to the staging room when Dave saw that his video camera in the hallway was turned off. I decided to get another video camera out to cover the area, only to watch the fully charged batteries instantly drain as I was setting it up.
While I was replacing batteries, Dave and Trish along with our EMF trigger object, Boo Buddy went into another section of the building to do a Spirit Box session. Boo Buddy lit up a couple of times as Dave had the mel meter with a temperature gauge asking the spirits to bring down the temperature in the room because he was feeling too hot. According to the mel meter, they obliged and the temperature suddenly dropped.
Later we congregated for a Spirit box session in another area, but just as I settled into my chair I heard Trish wonder aloud if she had just seen a bat flying over her head. Although Trish may be one of the bravest paranormal investigators I have ever met, when it comes to mice and bats it’s a completely different story. The blood curdling scream I heard across the room confirmed that indeed there was a bat!
We closed the door between us and the swooping bat, and made a hasty retreat back to the staging room in order to…continue our investigation. With the door firmly shut we ran the Ovilus again and heard the same words and letters it gave in the Speakeasy earlier. We all started to feel exceedingly uneasy when we were heard the distant slam of a door and footsteps emanating from the corridor. As we sat there, listening and pondering if someone had entered the building, suddenly an extremely loud crash occurred, seeming to come from the other side of the hall.
Donning a protective hat upon my head, Dave and I mustered the courage to leave and check if our equipment was still running, hoping not to run into an intruder or worse. All was calm, and nary a sighting of either assailant. As soon as we had stepped into the Speakeasy, we heard a slamming door. When Dave played it back on the recorder we could hear what sounded like a child running on the wood floor. When we went back to the staging room to check on Trish, she told us that while she was sitting, the door to the room opened and the bag that Boo Buddy is stored in sounded as if someone had hit it hard. She also saw a shadow, and I am sure she was praying for it not to be her greatest winged nemesis!
Dave and I went back to the Speakeasy with a deck of cards and a whisky bottle filled with soda, as a prop. The game was five card draw, and the one to lose would have to drink a shot. I honestly was hoping to lose more than I did so that I could quench my thirst… It wasn’t very long into the game, when I felt as if someone was gently touching my arm and I developed cold chills. Dave felt it too with his arms showing intense goosebumps.
To complete this investigation I got out my dousing rods in the Staging room. Midway through the session; I noticed Dave and Trish seemed to be staring through me with their eyes wide and mouths ajar. They witnessed the door behind me opening. It was a creepy feeling not being able to see if anything was behind me, especially when we were once again hearing the sounds of footsteps echoing through the hallway.
The Hartford City Speakeasy is a remarkable location. From the outside, you wouldn’t guess how huge a place it really is… Based on our early struggle with draining batteries, I have to deem it a bat-tery sucking place, but also I believe Trish and I probably provided more energy than any of our electrical devices. It was a great beginning to our Hartford City Weekend!
Next up would be the circa 1879 Blackford County Jail.
Main Hallway on the 2nd floor of the building. We captured several EVPs of a child's voice in this area.
Staircase leading up to the 2nd floor where the Speakeasy room can be accessed.
This is the room used as a Speakeasy, also referred to as the ballroom.
Trish and I are having a conversation about how weird and freakier the staging room was feeling. About 4 seconds in a male voice says "spooky".
Once again a child is heard speaking near the beginning, perhaps saying "dig". There seems to be a lot of noises after the voice. This was from the hallway.
A child's voice can be heard echoing down the hallway. Sounds like "Watch me please" or "Help me please"?
We had several child EVPs from the hallway. This one has some noise, then "Play with me?"
This was from the staging room. Dave asks if anyone was in there. A male voice responds around 4 seconds "yes".
Dave and I were hanging out in the Speakeasy room playing cards. after he says "I've got nothin' " a female whispers, " I see it".