My paranormal group, Hunters of the Unknown, had our first investigation of 2019 at Thornhaven Manor in New Castle, Indiana. I’ve been to this location two other times and loved it, didn’t fear it, and never felt anything negative here. The whole group, minus Joey, who had to work, came for this investigation. My husband, Joe, Chris and Karen, Judi, and Tristan our cameraman were all in attendance.
The only thing different this time around was the owner had cleared a large section of woods in the back. In my opinion, that act disturbed something on the land.
As we do for most investigations we brought our motorhome which makes for a great place to take a break, make food, use the bathroom (there is no bathroom at this location), and sleep in if you choose to forego sleeping in the house. Thornhaven even has an electrical outlet for an RV. It was perfect.
Thornhaven Manor built in 1850 sits on 7 acres of land that once belonged to the Native Americans and includes woods, a marsh, and a barn. This 6,000 square foot (including the basement) once magnificent home is a beautiful stately mansion in rural New Castle, Indiana. Simon T. Powell was an influential man of his time and the original owner of this property. He was the assessor and did not file blueprints of the home or property so no known map has ever been found creating ample mystery to this location. Abandoned since the 1970s, the home fell into despair but the current owner has done many improvements to the building and hopes to continue restoring it.
Some of the more intriguing features of the property include hidden rooms underground, a massive cavern on the property, tunnels, and a tower in the home. This house is capped in limestone, a natural spring runs underneath it with 4 other natural springs on the property and the house faces perfect West. The structure is built 3 brick deep which alleviates much outside noise. The basement is larger than the house and is suspected to have been part of the underground railroad. The original entrance to the basement has never been found possibly for this reason.
Some of the claims include dizziness or nausea at the top of the staircase, men tend to feel aggravated and downright mad, women feel heavy chested and sickly. During a past investigation we experienced one of the best paranormal interactions I've ever had with the other side. We saw a mist form before our eyes and heard a disembodied voice of a woman say "help." You can check out our previous investigations here and here. The owner told us the hauntings were not isolated to his property but included all of the neighboring properties as well because the estate used to include all the land in this area.
The owner told us, "People believe there is something extremely negative out here that's associated with that because of what people have seen and experienced," meaning the spiritual aspect of the former Native American land, specifically the woods. This warning would haunt us.
The night started out like any other investigation. We set up equipment, did some EVP work, then sat down to do the Estes Method where one person wears headphones and a blind fold then listens to a spirit box calling out any words they hear while everyone else asks questions. For more information on this cutting edge new technique check out this article. We received some strange answers which, at the time, didn’t mean anything to us, but going over the sessions later after we returned home, I would come to discover the spirits of the house were trying to warn us. Here are some clips of the words that were said during this experiment.
Stay Stay Idiot Trouble 2 o'clock Stop Go back Mud Heavy Stick around
Foreboding words. I think the spirits of the house were trying to warn us to stay put in the house. 2 o'clock was the time we decided to leave. We also received some words that may indicate why the woods is haunted. We are still in process of reviewing our footage. It will be published on the Hunters of the Unknown website when complete.
We planned at some point in the night to explore the woods. We took a break in the RV then Karen and I decided we were going into the woods while Joe, Chris and Tristan wanted nothing to do with it. I asked Joe later why he was so against investigating the woods and he answered that he just felt something negative was in there. Chris said, "Something was calling or pulling me into the house I cant explain it I just needed to be in the house. I was in it when you all were talking with the owner and I could not stop wanting to be in the house." The second we were ready to go, two women alone exploring a haunted forest, it rained. Not just rain but a torrential downpour. It was raining buckets and never let up until after we left the property. It felt like something was preventing us from going into the woods.
After that it just went downhill. Judi wasn’t feeling well and laid down in the RV most of the night. We went back into the house one more time to try to communicate with the spirits but it didn’t seem like our hearts were in it any more. Chris and Karen decided to leave and go home, as they had driven separately. So the rest of us who rode in the RV decided we would leave also. We packed up in a downpour and as Joe was backing up the RV out of the driveway, due to the rain, mud, and slippery conditions, the RV slipped off the driveway and got stuck. I mean really stuck. So bad we had to call a tow truck to tow us out which, for a motorhome, cost a fortune, not to mention it was about 3am at this point. The RV was also tilting to one side and I was very afraid it might tip over. I don’t even want to think about how we would have gotten out of a jam like that. We sent Chris and Karen on their way since there was nothing they could do to help us and waited about an hour for the tow truck to show up. It took a while but he was able to get us out. It was still raining hard at this time, so bad that we couldn’t even see to drive. We ended up stopping at the truck stop down the street to wait out the storm.
After returning home Joe declared that he’s done with ghost hunting and thought a negative spirit from the woods caused the trouble we had. There was some damage as well to the motorhome from the tow. There's more to the story but I cannot discuss the rest publicly.
In my 8 years of investigating I have never come across a negative spirit (other than a ouija board experiment gone wrong a few years back which is a blog for another time.) I feel like we were not cautious enough when searching for spirits on the other side. I’ve gotten very comfortable with investigating and never anticipate anything bad happening. As a group, we used to say prayers prior to investigating and after but had gotten away from it. I would wear protective jewelry but sometimes would forget. We had gotten lazy at protecting ourselves from evil because those sorts of things had never happened to us before. I cannot describe the feeling we all felt sitting in an RV that was stuck in mud, completely helpless. The woods were looming over us, mocking us. Some of you might think it was just bad luck but you had to be present to experience the dark, foreboding force that was upon us as we were attempting to leave the property. I have never experienced anything like this before and I hope I never will again. I don’t think any of us will ever forget it. It even caused some of us to quit ghost hunting.
THE LAStiNG EFFECT
The title got your attention, right? I did quit ghost hunting but only temporarily. I’ve decided to give it up until the end of the year and take a break. I had an experience that changed the way I look at the paranormal. It took me a while to process it, to even think about putting it down on paper and it wasn’t even an “in your face” bad spirit or frightening experience that did it. It was much more subtle which is even more scary.
This experience put a dent in my amour, but I will be back. I plan to take a break for the rest of year, catch up on evidence review from previous investigations and life in general. I will come back a different type of investigator, more cautious, more prepared. Evil exists folks. It's lurking the the darkness waiting for an opportunity to strike. It took 8 years before it touched my life. It may not affect you now but one day it might come out of the shadows to change your life and I hope that you will be prepared. I know I will be because we've gotten it's attention and I know it won't be the last experience I will have with it.