The Haunted Poor Farm: Scott County Heritage Center and Museum

Part 1:

Part 2:

There’s an unfortunate cycle that fuels the majority of the paranormal community, and we can often lose sight of what originally led us to this passion. In your pursuits, you often wind up with an array of varying opinions about the phenomena and how to engage it. The folks involved might identify as a believer, a skeptic, a skeptical believer, an asshole — I mean cynic — just to name a few. Usually what divides the curious, from the faithful (believers), from the critics is an initial experience — experiencing something that cannot simply be explained away. A disembodied voice, an object moving seemingly of its own accord, a shove, a scratch down the middle of your back, seeing an apparition dissipate before your very eyes — just a few examples of what many have claimed to have faced when they were not even looking or asking for strangeness. For those who were not completely terrified away by that first encounter, they may decide to start hunting the paranormal for themselves. They seek to test, coerce or force more activity to verify they weren’t crazy in the comprehension of their first experience while recording evidence to prove to others it actually happened. And upon doing so they generate curiosity amongst peers, and a few of those peers then want to understandably tag along for their own supernatural experience. This hobby also triggers angst among others — the people who want to rip the magical heart out of your mystery and dry hump it to dust with their small beefs to either destroy the possibility of the phenomena existing, or to shame your flavor of investigative approach — or even your mere presence at a haunted location offends their pompous moral sensibilities. And sadly, when some folks (regardless of how they identify themselves) get any attention pertaining to their ghost investigations, they ultimately crave more, and they’ll brand themselves as experts, and list themselves as a “public figure” after an inconsequential 15-second appearance on “Most Terrifying Places in America” — because they think that’s the way it’s done. That’s the embarrassing rut the majority of the paranormal community can’t seem to get pulled out from. People can often lose sight of what originally led them to this passion because notoriety is obviously blinding. But it’s not all bad either — there are truly great and caring people out there who operate out of concern for the field. Our underlying motivations are what matters most in the paranormal, and those intentions are demonstrated through our respect and research. And because of our experiences, we become experienced. We don’t need permission from para-celebrity-wannabe-experts (just the property owners) to delve into locations and ask the questions we probably won’t find the answers to — and if we do, it likely wasn’t a paranormal experience to begin with. It doesn’t matter if you document your weird encounters or not, because the impact has already been made upon yourself, your wonder, and your awareness. Nobody can take that away from us no matter how hard they try. Your contributions to preserving history, historical structures (such as the one presented in this post), and to making good friends (that are living, breathing people) to share your experiences with is all that matters — actually, that’s what matters the most. Be yourself and be proud of how you present yourself with an air of gratitude. Because the rest of the community that only exists to haunt the realms of social media? It attracts a lot of pontificating demons — not all — but a lot of them with agendas that are only self-serving. You don’t really know them, so don’t imitate them or allow them to use you as a puppet. Just be mindful of whom or what you allow to try to possess your inspiration, your motivation and your amazing experiences — for demons are Legion, and they are many.

In the past, Indiana state law required all counties to have a Poor Farm for the indigent, the disabled, the insane, or anyone without anyone to care for them. They were called inmates, or friendless. Family units were segregated inside the walls, There was hard labor, everyone worked on these farms because they needed to be self-sufficient. There was disease, lack of medical care, tragedies, accidents and death. This was the reality of life there. It would be hard to believe that within the very few of these structures that still remain, the memories of the people who once inhabited them did not leave residual psychic wounds imprinted there, or maybe a few residents are still not ready to give up the ghost — so to speak. This is highlights from Paraholics.com’s paranormal investigation of one of these structures, the beautiful Scott County Heritage Center and Museum. This former poor farm/asylum for Scott County as it stands now was built in 1892. Today it is also a museum of the area’s rich history with artifacts from the Civil War incursion by the Confederate Calvary led by Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan, known as Morgan’s Raid, as well as train robberies by the Reno Brothers Gang. History combined with the many recorded tragedies and deaths, as well as others unknown due to poor farm records being destroyed by fire, and decades of accounts of unexplainable phenomena on the property — we were excited for our October investigation that would bleed into Halloween at the stroke of midnight.

— Evel Ogilville

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