Haunted locations in Michiana
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind.--It's October, and there's no better time to look at some of the spooky locations in Michiana.
Some of these allegedly "haunted" places have histories going back more than a hundred years.
Are they merely creepy old buildings, or are they inhabited by the ghosts of the past? We went to investigate for ourselves and what we found may just scare away your skepticism.
Our first stop was the Tippecanoe Place Restaurant in South Bend. It has a reputation as one of the most haunted places in Indiana and it's not hard to see why. The House Historian, Doug Graczyk, says it was built in 1889 and has served the community in many ways since then. It was home to the Studebaker family, a hospital during World War II, and a school from 1945 until the late sixties.
Most of that history is preserved to this day; the oldest elevator in Indiana is there and still used by staff. But those employees may experience a little too much of that history.
"Everybody who works here has experienced something," Graczyk said.
Doug has worked at the restaurant for eight years and says spooky experiences are so common that he barely reacts to them anymore. People have reported hearing voices, seeing shadows and balls of light, and even pictures swinging on the walls.
There's also an infamous photo featuring a soldier standing at the bar, but Graczyk says that the man wasn't there when the picture was taken.
Our next stop was the Bristol Opera House, a building that's more than a century old. Though there's no record of anyone dying there, Executive Director Dave Dufour says it was once a doctor's office and someone could have passed away while receiving care.
Dufour says there are five known ghosts in the building including the spirit of Percy, who used to live there and allegedly plays with tools, and Beth, who hides on the stage.
We investigated the opera house with Jeff Price, a former Mishawaka Police Officer who now enforces the law closer to Chicago.
Price started Michiana Paranormal Investigations back in 2012 and has investigated dozens of locations since then. Despite that, he's a self-described skeptic and just wants to get to the bottom of paranormal activity. He says finding the truth at a haunted location isn't unlike investigating a crime scene.
"Part of it was really going out and trying to find the truth, finding what is causing these things," Price said.
He used special ghost hunting devices like a night vision camera and a gadget that detects electromagnetic fields.
We also used a recorder and asked someone, or something, some questions. We didn't get a response until right before we were about to leave. Price says it sounded like a breath of some kind. You can hear that sound in the video above.
It's impossible to say for certain if the Tippecanoe Place Restaurant, the Bristol Opera House or anywhere else is haunted. What we can say is the rich history of these locations live on today, whether that's through pictures and architecture or something scarier.