Friday, May 18, 2012

Bieker House - Munster, Indiana

Munster, Indiana is a medium sized town located about 25 miles South of Chicago, Illinois. Not too many people think of Munster when they are hunting for paranormal locations, but they are indeed missing out. The town was founded sometime in the early 1800's by unknown settlers. It was mostly marshland and wooded forests up until about 1832, when much of the land was cleared and turned into small farms.

The town's first structure was a tavern built in 1837 by David Gibson, which was located as what is now the intersection of Columbia Avenue and Ridge Road. In 1845, Allen and Julia Brass took over the property and built a new, large, two-story inn, The Brass Tavern on the South portion of Ridge Rd. The building served as a rest area for travelers and as a gathering spot for neighbors. The Brass Tavern Inn is pictured below.

The Brass Tavern burned down on Halloween night of 1909. The Brass family proceeded to build a new home on the property which is the original home that is still standing. The home has gone by multiple names. It was first known as the Stallbohm home, than changed to the Kaske House, and it is now known as the Bieker home for the 15 or so acres of wooded forest that currently surround the home, known as "Bieker Woods".

Wilhelmina Stallbohm took over the home after the Brass family moved out sometime in the 1920's. She lived in the home until she passed away in the early 1930's. Wilhelmina's daughter, Helen Bieker lived in the home until she also passed away on the property. Both Wilhelmina and Helen passed away while in the Bieker home. Wilhelmina's spirit is known to still inhabit the home as can be seen from the video footage below.

The voice of Wilhelmina, as shown in the video saying "please help me" is no surprise as she witnessed her husband fall to his death shortly after moving into the home. It is rumored that he was carrying homemade bottles of wine down to the cellar, when the door swung down on him and thrust him through the air to his death at the bottom step. Wilhelmina's daughter Helen also witnessed this occur when she was just a young girl. The young  caretaker most likely witnessed the ghost of young Helen, who as stated above, also died in the home.

I grew up right down the street from the Kaske House, less than 2 blocks away. I remember as a young boy visiting the home with my family the same day it was turned into a museum. I went on a tour of the home with my mother and father about 8 or so years ago and we ourselves witnessed a strange paranormal encounter. During the end of the tour, my mother stopped me and claimed that she had heard something. The rest of the group continued on to the outside of the home where they were touring the old red barn. I asked my mother what she heard, and all of a sudden the cellar door slammed shut and we heard a loud yell like that of a man in severe pain. We ran out of the home as fast as we could and decided that would be the last tour we ever took of the home.

I never really had any urge to visit the home again, that is, until a friend of mine told me you could enter the home from a basement window. Considering I was really getting into the paranormal stuff at that point in my life, I decided what a great idea it would be to check out if this cellar window was really open. My friend opened the window and she hopped right in. I followed her and we turned on our flashlights and started exploring this infamous cellar. Within seconds it became extremely cold and we could visibly see our breath on a really hot Summer day. We started hearing voices like that of an older man and I summed up the story of what me and my mother had seen years before. We hurried up and exited the cellar through the window scared for our lives and walked towards the exit through the woods. Believe it or not, we witnessed what appeared to be a naked man running across the woods about 30 feet away.

Less than a month after I crawled into the basement with my friend, she came by the house early in the morning with a newspaper in her hand. I asked her why she looked so scared and she showed me the article. According to the article, the red barn had burned down the night before and their was not a single sign of arson or any visible causes. Since that morning, we vowed to steer clear of the old woods and the Kaske House. The place is obviously extremely haunted and the spirits appear to want to be left alone. If you so choose to visit the Kaske House, I would advise that you take a visit during one of the tours that are offered on the first Saturday of each month. Good luck and be safe.

The abandoned road

Reeder Road, also known as Redar Road, is a well-known abandoned Road located in the Northwestern Indiana town of Griffith. This five mile stretch of road is situated between Merrillville and Griffith, though it is rarely listed on public maps any longer. It's entrance is located south of Oak Ridge park off of Colfax street in Griffith and is nestled within the confines of a creepy, mysterious-looking forest. RR has a long history that began sometime around 1910 when it was built as a convenient route for manufacturers located in Griffith trying to transport products to Merrillville. 

RR was used as a burial dumping grounds for the local South Chicago mafia that ran rampant through the 1920's and 30's. The mafia chose this road since it was seldom traveled, situated deep in the woods, and hardly visible since their was never a single street lamp installed. A picture of what remains of the road can be seen below. 

The road was also a known "heroin alley" (where dope fiends shoot up) during the 1970's. Accounts from locals describe the road as dangerous in the 70's, a place you would visit if you were looking to sell drugs, buy drugs, or get killed. A good friend of mine's mother described her very own experiences on RR back in her drug using days. She also informed us that even now, it was a bad idea to visit the road. Just by taking a look at the South entrance, you would think it was a bad idea (photo below). 

According to a couple that lives near the road on the South end, the main story of this haunted stretch of road concerns a teenage youth in the 1970's whom encountered a specter as he drove home from his high school prom. As he was racing down the road, a beautiful young woman with long, blonde hair traversed his path. He was forced to stop his vehicle as she instantaneously entered his car. She proceeded to tell him that  her car had veered off the road and she needed a ride home. While she was giving him directions to her home, the young man drove by Ross cemetery (which is located to the left of the road if traveling North). To his horror, he discovered that his mysterious guest had vanished. The story behind the young woman, known as Elizabeth Wilson, is that she was involved in a major car accident in 1955. Supposedly, her boyfriend was giving her a ride home after a date when he hit a pothole that caused their vehicle to swerve off the road, and roll over into the ditch to the left. Legend has it that Elizabeth was first to drown in the ditch while her boyfriend watched in terror as she screamed and struggled to get free. Both are said to have died that night. 

Another local legend claims that if you walk down Reeder Road for about an hour and a half from the direction of Griffith, as you look to the right, you may spot a white church dating back to the 1920's. Some say that a passerby can hear the screams of the congregation that an insane pastor had killed many years ago. The story is that the pastor suffocated the children, soaked the women in gasoline and burned them, and chopped up the men while they were still alive. He supposedly did this with the help of tranquilizers that he put in the communion wine. The church is now boarded up and abandoned but still accessible near the rear entrance. 

Other local accounts have stated that at night, if you pass the railroad tracks that run parallel to Reeder Road, you can see a man in black clothing holding an oil lamp walking toward you from the direction of the tracks. Legend states that the man was an engineer on a train that crashed near the road in the 1940's. They also say that if you encounter a train around 6 pm you will see glowing orange orbs between the rail cars, and the train will almost look ghost like. 

After hearing all of these accounts of paranormal activity, I decided that it was time for a personal trip to this road which is conveniently located less than a couple of miles from my hometown. About 3 years ago, my good friend John decided it would be a great idea, so he asked a couple of friends if they would like to make a trip to the road. 

After about 2 hours we finally found the entrance to the road, which was cut off by the yellow gate that is pictured above. We arrived around 7 pm, right around sunset on a hot (90 F) Summer night. All 6 of us hopped the gate and began our journey down the road. We successfully walked the first portion of the road (2 1/2 miles) before the sun had gone completely down. The first part of the road ends near the train tracks where the man in black is supposed to appear. Unfortunately there was no sign of this man, but there was a train in the distance so we decided to wait to cross until the train passed. The truth behind the orange orbs between the rail cars is completely true. There were (strange balls as I once considered them) between the rail cars, and the train almost seemed unreal. It was traveling at great speeds and looked like an old model compared to trains normally seen in the area. 

We continued down the second portion of the road and we could see the church where the congregation had been killed in the distance. As we continued down the road, a friend of mine, whom well call Tony told us all to shut up and stop. Next thing you know, we are at the end of the road and we are hearing faint screams, like that of a group of women. The screams became louder and louder. We all decided it was time to head back towards the first part of the road, and ran we did. As we passed the cemetery, we were seeing white orbs EVERYWHERE. It scared the hell out of us and we finally made it to the middle section of the roads near the tracks, completely out of breath. 

As we started back on the first part of the tracks, we started hearing a crumpling sound, like leaves during the fall. We all stopped and waited a minute to see what it was. About a minute after waiting lights were coming towards us far off in the distance (note we are about a 1/2 mile down the first part of the road). They got closer and closer and half of us hid on one side of the road, half on the other side. Finally the lights were within twenty feet away. It was a 50's or 60's white station wagon. The windows seemed to be tinted and nobody could be seen inside of the vehicle. At this point, we all felt like we were about to get killed. The car came to a slow 5 mph or less as it crept past us, and than drove off into the distance towards the entrance of the road (keep in mind the entrance is gated and chained, and there is no way on or off). At this point, it is pitch black outside (about 11 pm) and there is nobody in sight besides this white station wagon. We began following the car, but as we approached the rear of the vehicle it vanished. We all looked at each other wondering what had just happened.

We ran back to the group and informed them of what just happened. They were terrified and didn't know what to say. We all decided to run back to the car as fast as we could, hoping that the white station wagon was nothing but a figment of our imaginations. We finally made it to the gate, and noticed that it was still locked, with chains and locks firmly wrapped around it. Everyone was confused and terrified at this point. Next thing you know, lights come toward us once again at the entrance. Well.. it was the police. They asked us what we were doing and we explained that we were ghost hunting. They told us it was a good idea to just get in the car and leave. We asked them if they had seen any cars and they said no. The officer claimed to have been parked near our vehicle for two hours waiting for the owner of it. He had seen or heard nothing. 

If you are interested in visiting this piece of supernatural history, I advise you to go during sunset, with a large group, and walk the entire road which consists of the part on the other side of the tracks. You can also visit Ross cemetery where Elizabeth Wilson (the crash victim from the 50's) is buried. Her gravestone is located near the south right corner of the cemetery. Good luck and please... be careful.