Ghost hunters will spend the night in the historic Cragun House in downtown Lebanon on June 17, trying to substantiate claims that spirits haunt the place.
And any Boone County resident may join them for a night of paranormal investigation and eerie fun.
“The paranormal people have been there before, but this is the first one we’ve opened to the public,” Jane Hammock, representative of the Boone County Historical Society, said.
They’ve recorded unexplained events in the 1983 Cragun House before, such as footsteps, things moving around, people being touched, and a girl talking to a ghost girl, according the group’s website at https://www.unseenpress.com.
Unseen Press is a group of Hoosier ghost hunters who organize and lead fundraising events at historic properties. This event will raise money for the historical society, which owns and operates the Cragun House.
“They’ll come and set things up, and if you’re signed up for that night, you can watch them set up and talk about the places they had good reactivity before,” Hammock said. “Then we’ll dim the lights, and you can decide which room you want to be in and who you want to stay with and see what activity they get.”
Professional and amateur ghost hunters will gather after a few hours to talk about what they experienced and what their equipment captured. The house has three stories, a basement and an attic that will all be investigated.
“We try not to tell them anything” in advance about the Cragun family history, Hammock said. “They don’t want to know much.”
The ghost hunters have at times surprised the historical society with information that was previously unknown.
“One time a girl was in the bedroom, and the other’s spirit was running up and down the hall trying to get cold cloths for her sister’s head,” Hammock said of the claims in one report.
The historical society was aware that the Cragun’s twin girls died at ages 6 and 9, the first as a result of consumption, also known as tuberculosis.
But they didn’t know about the handyman and his dog.
“They kept talking about the dog,” Hammock said. “As far as we knew, the Craguns never had an animal. They (the hunters) said there’s a dog here and a man in the basement. And there was never a man living in the basement.”
But a niece of Mabel Martin Cragun later visited the house during a special event and validated the story of the handyman and his dog.
Mabel was the daughter-in-law of Strange and Adelaide ‘Addie’ Cragun who built the house. Her niece said Mabel hired a local man to do occasional work. He and his dog often slept in the basement while he completed jobs, Hammock said.
The June hunt begins after dark because ghost hunters use some equipment that relies on light beams and is light sensitive, not just because it’s spookier.
But spirits of the house are apparently active around the clock.
“Any time I’ve been approached, it’s been during the day, because that’s usually when I’m there,” Hammock said with a laugh. Others who have visited the house have reported being swatted on the buttocks and touched in closets but not seeing anyone around.
The cost to join the hunt is $41 per person, and participants must be 18 or older. Those ages 16 and 17 will be allowed with a parent. To register, email 2G66AI, or leave a message at 765-483-9414.
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