NEW CASTLE, Ind. – It’s been a creepy ride and today we’re wrapping up our haunted Your Town Friday series for the month of October.
(Be sure to watch the end of the video above as Lindy Thackston and photographer B.J. Ardaiolo share their personal experiences in this week’s haunted location!)
We heard about a place in New Castle in Henry County.
The homes sits right off Indiana SR 3, isolated and abandoned.
Steve Miller just wanted to buy a rental property in New Castle. The property owners wouldn’t talk to him, strangely. And he says the realtor only answered the basics.
He just loved old architecture, but now he’d really love some answers.
“I was going to be that person that wasted the realtor’s time,” said Miller. “I just wanted to see inside. I was in here for maybe a half hour and I fell in love with the place and the next time I had the keys in my hand.”
Miller and his mom were on the front porch.
“And when we were there going through bags, we heard a scream come from inside the house. But then we heard it again. I went running into the main stairs. I yell upstairs, ‘Is someone here? Anybody hurt?’–and then nothing, but all I could smell was roses. It was a crazy amount of an old school perfume rose smell and that was my first instance and I was like, ‘What is going on?'”
In 1845, one of the richest men in Indiana built the biggest house in Henry County. Thornhaven Manor, as Miller has named it, is 6,000 square feet on seven acres. Legend says it was a stop on the Underground Railroad.
Miller invited a paranormal investigator.
“And we were just sitting talking amongst ourselves and you just heard this loud slam downstairs and it sounded like four to five people were walking in, plain as day.”
Miller wasn’t surprised because there were many trespassers over the years as the property sat vacant.
“So we were coming down the stairs thinking we were going to confront some teenagers or whatever. Not a door open, not a door closed. So after that, we kinda knew, yeah, something is going on here.”
Miller’s friend Jada Craig joined us at Thornhaven Manor. She is a paranormal investigator.
“I think people can get too comfortable in a place or in investigating,” said Craig. “Oh, I’m untouchable. I know what I’m doing. I’m safe. And I’m one that has felt that way, but this place in particular has put me back in my place.”
Ghost hunters galore have visited since Miller bought Thornhaven Manor six years ago, with claims of sightings, scratches and the simply terrifying experiences.
Mediums have told him there are more than 40 spirits here. Researchers have told him of at least seven deaths.
“But outside of the deaths, we believe this house is part of the Underground Railroad,” said Miller. “Simon Powell, who built this home, he was actually tried by the State of Indiana for harboring a slave by the name of Thomas here. When we go in the basement there is an entrance to what we think is some hidden rooms and a tunnel system ”
The walls are three layers of brick deep, yet some sounds still carry.
“You hear people walking,” said Miller. “You hear people talking.”
“We did hear some footsteps and there was this dragging sound,” said Craig. “And there were multiple times after that that I came here I would hear that. There is a walker that is upstairs, so that kind of made a little sense. The feeling just swirls around you almost like a siphon or tornado.”
Neighbors are quite a distance away, but they tell him it’s not just his house.
“There’s a lot of activity that happens on the inside,” said Miller. “That tends to be more everyday life. Every once in a while there is an angst. There is a negativity that comes and goes through there. But it’s nothing compared to the outside. People think the outside can be just plain evil.”
“The oddest thing was the door leading into the dining room from the outside of the home has a panic button.”
Miller spends a lot of his timing digging into the home’s history.
“I don’t want to live here. That’s not my plan anymore. I would like to turn this into a living museum. Simon Powell, who first built this property, was very influential. Friends with President Grant, friends with Governor Morton. There are two papers in the Library of Congress of correspondence with Lincoln.”
“I want to restore the property, restore the grounds, and have it be a nice shining example within our community in New Castle and bring some more people out.”
Click here to check out the Thornhaven Manor Facebook page!