• Three-story, 3,700-square-foot Victorian home built between 1894 and 1897 (*discrepancy noted; 1894 most often cited.) Original owners Dr. George and Sarah White. (*Discrepancy noted; Whites often omitted from histories as original owners.)
• Purchased between 1899 and 1901 (*discrepancy noted; 1899 most often cited) by Dr. John and Jessie Gibbons.
• Doctor moves practice into home in 1910. First floor converted into waiting room and examination/surgical area.
• Succession of new owners begins around 1937. Subdivided into apartments and rented as boarding house for many years.
• Between 2002 and 2006 (*discrepancy noted on actual year of purchase; often cited as 2003 or 2004), artist Jarret Marshall, then living in Bloomington, purchases now-neglected home and begins restoring.
• Marshall experiences beginnings of strange phenomena during restoration work. Name of Whispers Estate originates after guests report hearing disembodied voices whispering in their ears.
• Current owner Van Renier visits in 2007 during paranormal convention and makes repeated returns.
• Renier purchases home in 2008. Renier continues restoration work. Home opened to public and rented for paranormal investigations.
• 6-8 confirmed deaths in house.
• Gibbons family reportedly adopted abandoned and orphaned children, including Rachael, who dies at the age of 10 or 11, in an upstairs bedroom two days after being badly burned in a Christmas fire in 1912. In traditional Victorian style of the time period, Christmas trees were lit with small candles. Rachael believed to have been alone looking at presents in parlor when she brushed against one of the candles, and it ignited her dressing gown. No official record of incident exists. During Marshall’s research of home, he is said to have found microfilm article and requested print be made. Days later told film damaged beyond repair in printing process. Pocket door in parlor does show signs of being scorched, which corresponds with widely believed story of Rachael’s burn injuries while trying to open the pocket door and her subsequent death. Other fires also reported in home.
• Sara Elizabeth, 10 months old, dies of unknown causes in master bedroom in 1934. (*Discrepancy noted; 1932 also cited. Most sources note her death was weeks before Jessie’s. Gravesite search/video clip of newspaper article confirms Jessie’s death year as 1934.)
• Jessie dies in same master bedroom after suffering from double pneumonia, two weeks after Sara Elizabeth, in 1934.
• Son Ennis (1914)
• Dr. Gibbons (1944)
• Jessie’s father, Thomas Castille
• Dr. Gibbons likely treated hundreds of patients in home during 26-year practice; so, some patient deaths logically assumed here as well.
• In 1960s, when home was then apartments, man dies in fall down stairs.
• Man renting an upstairs apartment believed to have fallen and broken neck when getting into bathtub. (*See Marshall activity report note.)
Reports of Activity
• Marshall’s experiences begin early on, including loud pounding on front door, hearing a child’s voice, singing and footsteps. Woman he purchases house from speaks of “the little girl who haunts this house.” Temperature drop and child saying “Mommy” experienced by skeptical contractor. Marshall twice reports water leaking into downstairs and discovers cast iron claw-foot bathtub upstairs turned upside-down and water pouring from severed pipes leading to tub. Awakens to nauseating smell of smoke, fire and burning flesh days before Christmas. In 2006, after house is listed for sale, police officers come to Marshall’s door and inquire whether there are children in home. 911 dispatch had received calls from the home, and operators reported hearing a child screaming. Later, couple touring house sees Marshall’s “daughter” upstairs and notes her obvious disapproval with selling the house, as she would not speak to them.
• On initial visit, Renier experiences hearing howling, an old woman’s cackle, experiences strong medicinal smell, and after investigator inquires of Rachael’s presence, hearing a child singing a song similar to “Ring Around the Rosey.” First day of owning home, experiences sudden flash of blue light and all bulbs in chandelier blowing at once.
• Much of home’s reported activity attributed to Rachael. The girl can reportedly be heard – and seen – running around the home. Visitors often leave dolls in upstairs “Rachael’s Bedroom.” One report of doll that went missing from room. Woman who brought it returns at later date and asks aloud if she could see it again or (*discrepancy in details of story) asks what Rachael looks like. Sound of something being thrown down the stairs heard. Doll, now scorched, found at bottom of stairs. Burned doll kept on bureau of bedroom.
• Auditory phenomena, including old-time radio, (Sara) Elizabeth’s cries, Dr. Gibbons’ laughter.
• Guests in master bedroom awake to labored breathing and coughing, or report feeling as if someone is sitting on chest (*See note on Jessie’s death above.) Closet doorknob jiggling and door popping open commonly reported here.
• Attic room guests report nightmares and doorknob jiggling. (Supposed portal/vortex runs up through the house from the front parlor to third-floor room/attic.)
• Toys tossed down stairs.
• Scratches, bites.
• Sighting of entity/shadow named “Big Black.”
• EVP sessions record “many entities.” Other disembodied voices heard without aid of equipment.
• Earthquake-like tremors felt in Dr. Gibbons’ bathroom.
• Females report whispering in ears. Some feel groped, grabbed.
• Couches and beds visibly shake, sometimes violently.
• Wooden door to servants’ quarters slams shut.
• Recording gear moved, altering intended view.
• Scents, including cologne/aftershave, cigar/tobacco, rancid meat/cabbage, detected.
• Four graves said to be located in backyard. Psychics also cite pit grave said to contain amputated limbs, internal organs and aborted fetuses. Also, according to Marshall, visiting research group using radar determined two as the appropriate size for a child. Possibility one of these graves is Rachael’s.
November 23, 2014
Investigators: Chris McDaniel (Creepy Legends Paranormal Research), Mike Culwell (PARAHOLICS.COM), Beth Jackson, Emyl Ogilville, Damon Megerle, Evel Ogilville (PARAHOLICS.COM)
• Running footsteps heard overhead
• Video camera malfunction in basement only
• Loud footsteps or bangs on the staircase
• Interesting responses using a Mystic Eye spirit board
• One investigator became extremely nauseous while investigating the 3rd floor attic area
November 15, 2015
Investigators: Craig Smith (Society of Unknown Phenomena), Mike Culwell (PARAHOLICS.COM), Emyl Ogilville, Damon Megerle, Evel Ogilville (PARAHOLICS.COM)
• Overhead knocks
• Direct female voice phenomena heard by a couple of investigators
• Anomalous shuffling
• One investigator experienced battery-drain on his flashlight while the sound of footfalls seemed to circle him in the 3rd floor attic area
• Parascope meters would light upon request
Please note: If you go to Whispers Estate to investigate, there is an extremely high EMF level throughout much of the building caused by wiring. In other words, don’t get a ghost boner when your K2 flashes like mad.
“Haunted Travels of Indiana,” Mark Marimen
“Ghost Hunter’s Guide to Indianapolis,” Lorri Sankowsky and Keri Young
Indiana Public Media
All historical information was compiled by PARAHOLICS.COM Researcher Amy Specter
— Evel Ogilville