This past weekend I went with my paranormal group full of my girlfriends. We call ourselves the Hot Flash Honeys, well for obvious reasons, haha. This particular ghost hunt, we were investigating Stone Mansion in Winchester, Indiana.
For those of you that know me only as an artist and gardener, this may come as a bit of a shock. Of course if you look at some of the strange art I create, maybe not.
Winchester was almost a four and half hours drive for me. The girls in my group are scattered about, but we’re not too far from each other. Two are in Indianapolis, one in Vincennes, two in Boonville and then me in New Harmony. We have another one just outside of St. Louis, but she doesn’t make it too often anymore.
The original group have investigated several places and I’ve actually only written about a few of them, Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Thomas House. I promise to try and write more as I’ve had many people ask about my haunted excursions.
Normally, we try to drive together but that’s not always possible as in the case this time. My friend Jody was supposed to ride with me, but sadly, there was a death in the family and she wasn’t able to go. So I ended up driving up there by myself. I don’t mind, I keep myself entertained by listening to podcasts usually and the drive was beautiful.
First, we usually like to hit up a place to eat. Robin picked a Mexican joint, which we all love. I mean who doesn’t like chips and margaritas? We went to a place called El Carreton Mexican Restaurant there in Winchester where the food was good and the margaritas were better.
I’ll start off by saying WOW what a gorgeous and grand house this was. They are in the process of restoring it so the inside is rough, but all of the woodwork is there and unpainted, astonishingly. A few of the fireplace mirrors have been painted, but I think the guide (Melinda) told us they weren’t original.
Before I talk about investigating Stone Mansion, I wanted to share little back story. But I wrote so much that I’m going to post it along with more photos tomorrow. So come back to get the history lesson part of how General Stone made enough money to build such an extravagant show of wealth along with more fun photos of the mansion.
Stone Mansion was built upon a plot of land that already had another house on it. That house was moved one block down the street. I wish we had been able to go and see that house, but we weren’t given the address and really time was tight anyway.
The general had the mansion construction started in 1868 for him and his wife Lydia and they had no children. Construction was completed in either 1872 or 1873, there’s conflicting information. The mansion is 7,000 sq. ft. including the basement. Later, in 1985 an addition was built onto the mansion and it was turned into a 5 star restaurant for a short time. They had brought in a fancy chef from France but the local economy just couldn’t sustain a place like that.
Somewhere along the line, the Mansion has had thieves break in to steal stuff and vandalize the property. So sad that people want to ruin such beauty. One of the marble fireplaces was smashed. Melinda also said there was a rumor that the General had money hidden in the house somewhere like the walls, so that’s probably why. I didn’t photograph the ruined fireplace, it was too sad.
Look closely at the carvings, these are different fireplaces. Both carved marble, each unique. There were several fireplaces throughout the mansion. I liked the fanciest of them with a beautiful woman’s head sculpture as the center stone. I’ll show it later. I took a bunch more photos than this.
Sometimes, at the beginning of the tour as the guide is showing us around and telling us the history of the place we’ll get evp’s (electronic voice phenomena). I always make sure to have on my ear buds going into my voice recorder. I’ve gotten pretty good at hearing them and alerting the others to them. However, this time there was nothing.
I also go by my feeling of the place to determine if it’s haunted or not. I consider myself a sensitive – I can sometimes sense the presence of spirit. Again, not this time. Well not entirely, as we went up to the top floor I did feel a little off kilter in one area and that is also a sign for me that spirit is near. But it faded quickly. It’s worth noting, Lydia’s brother John lived with them in the mansion and his room was in this area.
My friend Robin Marie, also a sensitive, also felt a little something in the same area. We both heard faint low mumbling but couldn’t make out anything they were saying, but it sounded like male voices. There are 2 Robins so I call one by her first and middle name.
Investigating Stone Mansion
After our tour and history lesson with Melinda, we were left alone for the night. We had the place to ourselves until 10 am the next morning. There is a working restroom, which is a plus and now a necessity as far as I’m concerned.
We’ve been to a place called The Doll House where they wouldn’t let us use the bathroom or any water at all so we had to walk to a gas station! Luckily, it was just a block or so away. Unfortunately, that particular weekend, the gas station restroom was out of commission so we had to get in the car and drive to one. I drove to it late, around 11:30 pm and found out they close at midnight! Good thing there aren’t any cameras outside around there… or maybe there was and they got a show! LOL
Oh man, I’m going down another rabbit hole, sorry.
Anyway, we investigated the basement pretty much last and had a little activity there. I had brought my dowsing rods but only one person had any luck with them and it was Jade. We were told that there had been a shooting during a break in the basement. The last owner before STOP bought the place (Save The Old Properties), shot the intruder in the hand. Nothing dramatic to create a haunting I don’t think.
There’s a rumor that there’s tunnels under the mansion that might lead to the bank or to a row of houses along side of the mansion that were built for housing for the people that built the mansion. Yet another story is the General hid his treasures there, but after doing some demo, they’ve not found any tunnels.
But we really didn’t get any answers to the questions we were asking exactly out of the dowsing rod session. They’re mainly used for yes and no questions. Robin Marie tried them first and got no response at all. But then Jade got them to work a little better. Sometimes the spirits just like certain people it seems, just like living people, ha ha.
I like my dowsing rods, they’re copper and I’ve had good luck with them at certain places including my own home. Yes, I occasionally investigate my own place. There are spirits there.
In fact, everywhere I’ve lived since about the age of 20, I’ve had encounters with spirits. So I kinda think it’s me and not necessarily the location. I don’t mind, I’m not afraid.
Back to investigating Stone Mansion. I’d say we really did about all we could do with what we brought. All hand held devices. Robin has a bunch of fun gadgets including my favorite, an SLS camera which is a mapping out tool that takes video of the spirits.
It’s made from a computer tablet and an Xbox Kinect. You may have seen paranormal investigators use them on the paranormal shows on The Travel Channel. Out of all of the toys available for us, that’s one I’d actually like to have. But it’s pricey. Well, I’d also like to have an ir camera (infared) that took good photos in the dark, too.
The SLS camera shows spirits around you as stick figures. It works in total darkness as well as in light. The software “sees” people and spirits by recognizing joints and movements. It’s way more complicated than what I’ve shared but easy to use. To see it action is really cool. It’s also a good feeling to be validated if you sense something and then see it actually show up on the screen. We’ve had lots of fun with that tool but sadly, nothing on the SLS camera showed up this time.
We all have unique things to contribute while on the investigation. Robin has the tech and is good at finding places for us to go to. She’s also the Queen at capturing evp’s. Robin Marie, Jody and I have the sensitivity. Especially if we all are together, it’s like we amplify one another. I know I have a lot more experiences and “feelings” when they’re with me.
Kim and Jade are new to our group and investigating Stone Mansion was only their second time with us so time will tell what they’ll bring to the group. But I’m of the belief that everyone has a little ability. It’s like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.
I have yet to have gone through the recordings, but just from memory I can tell you we got a foul mouthed spirit on the top floor. He was cussing up a storm, which was funny.
That’s not the first time we’ve had colorful spirits. We get cussed at often. We do try and be respectful though and we never provoke or demand anything. I figure they’re all just people. I personally have encountered something non-human, but for the most part it’s just been people. Oh and the occasional animal spirits!
I’ll share about that non-human entity sometime, but not today. I think I’ve written enough. If you’ve made it this far, thanks and I hope it was interesting. Don’t forget, I’ll have another post with more photos and history of General Stone Mansion.
P.S. Click here for a quick list of blog posts about the paranormal investigations I’ve been on and written about.
Learn more about me on the ‘About’ page under the additional links menu. I’m an artist – a painter mostly and an avid gardener. I paint a variety of subjects including birds, koi fish, my gardens, ponds and flowers as well as anything having to do with nature especially trees and tropical scenes. I also enjoy painting abstracts and have started created more and more of them. My most favorite thing to try to achieve in my painting is is mystery and telling mystical stories.
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