11 May 2011

Some History on the Hannah House

Because so many of my posts are located there, and because I now live in the apartment attached to ot, I suppose I should give a little history on the Hannah House.

The house was built in 1858 by Alexander Hannah.  Mr. Hannah had made his riches in the California Gold Rush, and came back to Indiana to settle down.  He was married to Elizabeth in 1872, and several more additions were made to the house, as well as several outbuildings.  The apartment I live in now was one of these additions, originally built as the servants' quarters.
Hannah only had one child, a miscarriage, who is said to be buried in Crown Hill under an unmarked stone next to the parents.

After Hannah's death, the house sat vacant for 4 years before being sold to Roman Oehler and his family.  The Oehler's were German immigrants, and although the last name has undergone a bit of a transformation, the family still owns the house and has passed it down through the years, to where it is now, owned by the Elder family.

Photo by Ron Weiss, via Panoramio
Hannah House is said to be the most haunted location in Indianapolis, and possibly one of the most haunted in the country.  The most well know haunting stems from Mr. Hannah's work as an abolitionist.  It is said that he hid slaves in his cellar to aid them on their journey to Canada and to freedom.  One night, while several slaves were sleeping in their hiding place, a oil lantern was knocked over, and set their straw beds ablaze.  There are varying reports on how many runaway slaves died, somewhere between 3 and 6.  Rather than expose himself as an abolitionist and face prosecution, he buried the bodies of the slaves under the basement's dirt floor, where they still lie today.

Mr. Hannah himself has been seen strolling through the yard, and sometimes riding a pony.  There are no known photographs of Mr. Hannah, but based on stories and some telling architecture in the house, it is believed that he was a shorter man.  He also smoked cherry tobacco quite frequently, and on a few occasions I've caught that very scent wafting from room to room before disappearing.

Another well know ghost is Grandma.  The house was almost sold at one point, but for reasons I am unsure of, wasn't.  Many pieces of furniture and decor were sold in preparation, but when the sale never happened, the house needed to be filled with furniture once again.  Some of the things sold included a bedroom suite belonging to an older woman in the family, who we affectionately call Grandma.  She is said to inhabit the first room to the left at the top of the stairs.  The bedroom suit that was sold ended up once again back in the house, being found in an antique shop and still bearing the original carvings on the back of whom it belonged to.  Grandma's picture sits on the table next to her bed, and we always greet her before walking into her room.  She is a neat and tidy woman who likes everything just so, and loves flowers.  Often, the house managers will rush around after neglecting to water the flowers to find her plants already watered.  Her window directly faces our front door from across the courtyard, and every so often the curtains seem to sway a bit, like someone might have been looking out of them a moment before.

Yet another ghost that is mentioned sometimes goes by the name of Mr. Meanie.  This is the ghost that is most mischievous, and sometimes makes people feel uncomfortable.  To my knowledge, he has never hurt anyone, but may leave you feeling scared or sick.

It is also said that there may be a little girl who haunts the basement and the apartment.  I have never seen her, but she has been mentioned to me several times.  There does seem to be something odd in my apartment, as we often here footsteps and things being knocked around and disembodied voices.  Our cat, George, also acts like he is playing with someone we can't see.

The Hannah House is open for parties, weddings, receptions, get-togethers, and other events nearly year round.  In October, it is converted into a haunted house for the month.  They also host historical tours and over night ghost investigations.  All this information and more can be found on their website, http://www.thehannahmansion.org .

1 comment:

  1. There's a rumor going around that you moved out!
    If this is true, please email me at HauntressHauntings@gmail.com
    I would love too move in, and take care of the nice place with my fiancé,