Wednesday, October 26, 2016
"Indianapolis Haunts" by Alan E. Hunter
Not too long ago Alan E. Hunter put together about the most perfect book concerning hauntings ever written. Hunter knows his history, he knows how to research, and he visits the sites. Plus, he knows Indianapolis.
Hunter's book, "Indianapolis Haunts" focusses on the Indianapolis Indiana area. Each chapter gives short (but very complete) histories of the location Hunter covers. The last paragraph or two of the chapter discusses the hauntings of the locations. Then, at the very end of each chapter, Alan has a "psychic" friend who gives her impressions of the sites.
Alan does give a lot of space in the book to the psychic, and to ghost hunting friends of his, but he still sticks very closely to the known facts. He doesn't deal with the whole, "locals say someone died here some time ago". If someone died at a home or business, he knows the names and dates. And that's what I really appreciate about this volume.
Alan covers EVERYTHING you would expect to have covered relating to the Circle City. In the first few pages, Hunter gives a complete history of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. I love this area, and I had NO IDEA of all of the transitions it has been through! AND, I had no idea about the sad falls that have happened there.
Alan Hunter covers all of the famous Indianapolis crime- the LaSalle Street murders, the Fox Hollow Farms murders, and the death of Sylvia Likens (one of the all time saddest tales associated with this great city). Being a local, it is interesting to find out that the author actually rubs elbows, through coaching baseball, with one of the scariest people to ever call Indiana home.
Hunter covers a lot of ground in the book. Famous Hoosiers you would expect to appear are here (Benjamin Harrison and Kurt Vonnegut show up). The author deals with some unexpected territory (there is a brief mention of Wood fairies). Plus, there are some villains from the past that are strongly linked to the area (Chicago's H.H. Holmes and Charles Manson make appearances).
The deceptively thin book (its right under 160 pages, but the type is small) is a great read if you have any interest in Indianapolis. This is a complete intro to haunts, true crime, and just general history relating to Indy. This book gets my highest possible recommendation. Also, check out Al Hunter's "Weekly View" contributions here. Hunter has a real passion for history and weird stories.