September 18, 2022, Paraholics.com had the opportunity to investigate The Indiana State Sanatorium. My initial reaction to this location was “Holy shit, this place is massive.” I wasn’t mentally prepared to tackle such an enormous location, nor did I believe one night would do it justice. I knew the site existed here in my home state, but I came in without much forethought about what I was getting myself into. But I felt like, especially since it is so accessible, it was a great way to scout the site to be better prepared for a return.
Given the history of this site and the various uses it underwent, it made me wonder how that history could potentially impact the way the hauntings manifest themselves or how personalities of the spirits from era to era and building to building might vary. Would a ghost from the nursing home have a different manner of communication than a spirit in the psychiatric facility? And if different periods intersect at a haunted historic location, do the various spirits interact with each other? Or do they stay relegated to the specific place and time perspective of where or when they’re allegedly attached? These are the concepts I mulled over under the assumptions that ghosts exist and that the Indiana State Sanatorium is indeed haunted.
And before diving into that night, I want to say that this is the first location in a long while where I did NOT turn on a spirit box of any kind. Why? I’m currently developing my own set of protocols for when it seems appropriate to use those types of ITC devices. I’m not going into all the specifics here. But if I cannot get a Class A EVP in the location I’m in, maybe it’s best not to use a device that has the potential of tapping into a broad range of signals that might be misconstrued as communication relevant to my immediate session. In other words, I’ll have more confidence that I’m interacting with an entity in my environment if I can get its voice imprinted on the recorder that’s in the room, and then maybe turn on other devices as an experiment to see if that makes communication easier or more conversational. ITC devices can be false-positive response generators if you’re not careful. This is my attempt at being cautious. No Class A EVPs were captured in the Indiana State Sanatorium that night.
So please, slide on your damn headphones and enjoy our investigation video at one of the most extraordinary locations I’ve ever seen.
— Evel Ogilville
Indiana State Sanatorium
3838 East Old 36 Road, Rockville, IN
Originally Indiana State Tuberculosis Hospital (Old Indiana State Chest Disease Sanatorium) constructed in 1909-10 after state approved purchase of 504-acre property east of nearby Rockville for institution for treatment of the disease. Opened to patients in 1911, quickly exceeding capacity.
During construction, site known as Camp Trudeau after New York physician who established the first laboratory for study of the tuberculosis. Hospital grounds eventually included men’s, women’s and children’s wards, administration building, staff housing, farm and dairy, school, greenhouse and tunnel system. In 1913, State Sanatorium Covered Bridge built to transport coal across Little Raccoon Creek.
Became known as Indiana State Sanatorium (also later as Parke County Sanitarium) in 1919.
Adams Hall staff residence constructed in 1950s with later conversion to psychiatric hospital after development of successful tuberculosis treatment and decline in patients precipitated repurposing of facility.
After conversion to mental health facility, facility closed in 1968-9 and land and buildings sold by state. Later reopened in 1978-80 as privately owned assisted living facility Lee Alan Bryant Health Care Center. State also transferred patients from other mental institutions, resulting in mixed mental health/nursing home patient/resident population.
A history of more than 4,000 deaths and many tragedies as the health care center were said to have contributed to the poor reputation/decline of the facility – including many allegations of resident abuse and deaths. In 2002, a woman found outside dead of hypothermia, and months later a man hanged himself less than quarter-mile away. Residents again wandered away and died in separate 2006 incidents, one struck by a car and the other found in creek; 2009 murder-suicide of two employees.
Facility closed in 2011 after loss of funding. Property abandoned. Purchased in 2020 by Gregg Larson, founder of the Sanatorium Project property restoration effort.
Today’s Indiana State Sanatorium rests on over 200 acres, and offers complete access to more than 120,000 square feet of the historic tuberculosis hospital, a nursing home, a mental hospital, and supporting buildings, including thousands of feet of steam tunnels, and is available for tours and paranormal investigations.