- First off a big thank you to Darkness Paranormal Society and PAIN Paranormal for getting me into the house.
- Special thanks to the kind owners of The Monroe House, Pam and Eddie. Super awesome and hospitable people.
- I’ll let Jeff Fent tell his attack story, so I omitted the details.
- During one unforgettable EVP session, Anthony England and Eric Smith were simultaneously burned. Others were scratched or had to leave the room due to nausea. It felt as if we were in a shark feeding frenzy.
- I don’t throw around the words Satan or demon flippantly. But The Monroe House does.
218/220 North Monroe Street
Hartford City, IN 47348
• Large Victorian home believed to have been built around previously constructed structure (central portion) dating back to 1850s; later divided into triplex.
o Log cabin and small cemetery believed to also have been located on grounds.
• Owned from late 1800s to mid-1900s by J.B. Berger family from Belgium.
o John B. glass worker at Hartford City Glass Company and later worked for Indianapolis Brewing, steamship line, tavern owner and real estate investor; highly regarded member of Elks. He and Mary Berger had five children: Elmer, George, Libbie, Ida and (Lillie) Mae.
▪ John remembered as man “of sterling qualities” upon death from tuberculosis in New Mexico where he was seeking treatment in 1905. “He was big-hearted and it is doubtful if any man in the city had more friends.” (Hartford City Telegram, 9/20/1905)
• Following John’s death, Berger family appears to have rented out upstairs of residence.
o Mary continued to occupy with George and Ida, as well as later with four of her grandchildren as well. (1910-1920 Census)
▪ George Berger, proprietor of new theater, and wife Lela “will make home with groom’s mother for the present.” (Hartford City Telegram, 4/30/1913)
▪ Mae’s address as 221 in contest listing. (Hartford City Telegram, 1/5/1910)
o Ulysses G. and Mary Miars resided at home (believed in upstairs apartment) with three children: Earl, Edna and Ernest.
▪ Edna, the four-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. U.G. Miars, of North Monroe Street, who was reported as having diphtheria, has never been bedfast on account of sickness … now able to be around the house. (Hartford City Telegram, 11/4/1903)
▪ Couple’s divorce case and “their troubles … have afforded a great opportunity for the town gossips.” Mary alleged husband guilty of cruel and inhuman treatment and possessed violent and uncontrollable temper.” Following brief report of reconciliation, U.G. filed suit against Mary, citing a cruel disposition and alleging that she “chastised children with a buggy whip.” (Hartford City Telegram, 3/20/1907; 12/4/1907)
▪ U.G. sought for child support; meanwhile married second wife, former Mrs. Binnie Huffman Sawyer. (Hartford City Telegram, 5/31/1911). Mary continued to reside in house: “(U.G. Miars) came to visit his children who are making their home with their mother on North Monroe Street).” (Hartford City Telegram, 4/22/1908).
▪ U.G. Miars died in 1944 in Ohio.
▪ Mary Miars, 68, a resident of Hartford City for many years, died in 1934; survived by three children: Mrs. Edna Fuller, of Ft. Wayne; Earl Miars, of Detroit, and Ernest Miars, of this city. Funeral held at Warren. (The Star Press, 11/10/1934)
• Earl Miars (1887-1960) buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Warren.
• Ernest Miars, 73, operator of Pure Oil service station in Dunkirk for 26 years, died. Survived by one sister, Mrs. Edna Clerk, Fort Wayne. Buried in Dunkirk IOOF (Independent Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery). (The Star Press, 4/1/1976)
• Edna Miaes (sic) Clark (discrepancy noted from Ernest’s obituary), 1898-1980, buried in Prairie Grove Cemetery, Fort Wayne.
• H.B. (Harry) Meyers purchased property from Mary Berger in 1921 (address listed as 218 and 220); appears to have resided downstairs with wife Emma and son Clayton.
o Harry, 82, prominent resident and superintendent of finishing department at Hartford City Paper Company died at home of heart ailment. (Star Press, 8/7/1951)
▪ Clayton later resided at 218 with wife Pearle.
o Sidney Faulkner and wife Myrl resided upstairs (220 ￼) in 1940.
▪ Sidney, 38, killed when his vehicle struck the beam of a bridge, the iron beam “driven back through the car, piercing Faulkner’s body.” (The Star Press, 8/19/1940). Myrl reportedly moved out following his death.
• Residence eventually became rental property.
o Claims of tenants during 1990s involved in Satanism, occult; objects including jewelry, human hair, bones reportedly found on property.
• Purchased as rental property, then a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) home, by Eddie and Pam Norris circa 2003. (The Star Press, 10/19/2013)
Notes of Interest, Related Family Tragedies
• Barn belonging to John B. Berger caught fire and burned; sparks set fire to two houses on corner of Monroe and Fourth streets and Monroe and Oak streets. (Hartford City Telegram, 7/29/1903)
• George Berger seriously wounded in arm when group of young men fired gunshots into a crowd. (Hartford City Telegram, 5/17/1905)
• Bolt of lightning struck dwelling of Mrs. John Berger, corner Monroe and Franklin streets, but did not cause fire nor much damage. Members of the family were aroused from their slumbers by the crash and were badly frightened. (Hartford City Telegram, 1/1/1908)
• “Mother Follows Child to Death”: Berger daughter Libbie Nicaise, 32, died as the result of childbirth and diabetes. Baby boy died within few moments of birth. Survivors included five young children; believed grandchildren indicated as living at Monroe Street residence with grandmother (see above). (Hartford City Telegram, 7/13/1909)
o John B., 2 months, died in 1905. (Hartford City Telegram, 12/6/1905)
• Mrs. Elmer Berger (Aime Caroline) badly injured in wagon break on way home from cemetery decoration day. (Hartford City Telegram, 5/31/1911)
• Marchial (also Marshall, Martial) Berger, brother of elder John B., died after long illness, decline in health stemming from frostbite, amputation of leg, blood poisoning, pneumonia. (Hartford City Telegram, 9/11/1907)
• Ruth Marchal, the young daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Marchal, (former Lillie Mae Berger) was badly scalded. (The Star Press, 11/8/1921)
•Woman Killed Bulldog and Saved her Collie: “While trying to protect her little Scotch Collie from “Beno,” a ferocious bull dog, owned by Elmer Berger, which attacked her pet as she was passing the Berger home tonight, Mrs. Harvey Jones picked up a spoke lying at the side of the road and struck the dog on the head, killing it.” (The Star Press, 5/30/1906)
Additional sources: Indiana Historical Society, meetup.com, Mysterious Monroe House Haunting, findagrave.com, ancestry.com
All historical info graciously harvested by the voracious Amy Eunice Specter.