Haunted Indiana: The Roads Hotel

This doll is known to move by herself or fall onto the floor.

Piper Todd

This doll is known to move by herself or fall onto the floor.

Madalyn Cottrell, MVC Staff Reporter

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This past weekend, I had the privilege of visiting the historic Roads Hotel with MV Current photographer Piper Todd. Located in Atlanta, Indiana, this quiet period hotel has stood for 126 years. The seemingly peaceful property is not so quiet and is said to be haunted by several spirits. The Roads Hotel is reported to be one of the most haunted places in Indiana. It has even been visited by several investigation teams from various TV shows such as “Ghost Hunters” and “Paranormal Investigators.”

Visitors have reported seeing apparitions of men, women, and children. There have also been reports of lights turning off on their own and doors shutting randomly. It is rumored that the conversations of the dead can still be heard if one listens closely. One room, in particular, is home to a collection of dolls, and several disturbing EVPs, or voice phenomenons, have been captured by differing investigators.

The Roads Hotel can be found just north of Noblesville, and the building was established in 1893 on a plot of land purchased by Newton Road. After his death, his wife Clara and their two kids, Hazel and Everett, managed the hotel and kept it running. It soon became a stop along a railroad, so it saw a variety of guests. Some of these guests included famous criminals John Dillinger and Al Capone. The Roads Hotel also saw its days as a brothel and a speakeasy during Prohibition.

Death was not uncommon within the household either. Everett fell ill at nineteen and was forced to live in isolation until his death. Clara, Newton, and his stepmother Catherine also passed away in the house as well. A preacher named Lester Pore roomed at the hotel for a time as well, and it has been confirmed that he hanged himself in the building’s attic. Sarah, one of the prostitutes during the hotel’s time as a brothel, died for unknown reasons.  It is said that their spirits still haunt the Roads Hotel, and their rooms are a major hotspot for activity.

Mike Couch, the current owner of the historic building, was kind enough to give us a tour of the place and went into further detail about the history behind the building. My research prior to visiting was fairly accurate, but we uncovered a few bits of information about the place we did not know about.

We received a brief tour of the downstairs, but most of our time was spent upstairs as it is where the hotspots for activity are. Before we went upstairs, Piper began experiencing issues with the camera. The shutters were slow, and the camera would turn off at random moments. This was not unexpected because paranormal energy can tend to mess with technology, but luckily, we were still able to capture a decent number of pictures.

Mike told us about a few personal experiences he has had in the home. Doors slam, random footsteps occur, and occasional voices have been heard.

Overall, the spirits within the home are rather peaceful, and nothing terribly frightening has happened. “Ghost Adventures” crew leader Zac Bagans would claim something evil haunts the halls of the Roads Hotel, but Mike assured us that nothing harmful lies within the historic building.

We were shown each of the rooms upstairs, but the one that caught our attention was Sarah’s room. During the hotel’s days as a brothel, she was a prostitute who held a high status within The Roads Hotel. We actually didn’t know of Sarah before coming to the Roads Hotel, and little is known about her. It is unknown how she died, and Mike is still working to dig further into the truth behind the way she died.

In her room, there have been reports of full body apparitions as well as guests brushed up against. Sarah has been said to be rather feisty. Mike shared a story about an investigator who was sitting on her bed and asked her to come up and touch him. Later, when the EVP was being processed, a feminine voice was captured saying “you wish.” Mike was humored by this and appreciates her apparent sense of humor.

We didn’t experience anything major within our short time at the Roads Hotel. It was rather quiet, and if we did hear something, it was hard to tell because the house is so old. The floors creaked whenever we walked, and even the slightest movements made a noise. According to Mike, activity is random and doesn’t occur at any particular moment. The house was also rather cold, so temperature changes were hard to detect.

The building isn’t only a resting place for the restless souls of the dead. I didn’t know this prior to visiting, but Mike runs a charity through the Roads Hotel, and any money earned from private investigations goes towards his Lost Limbs foundation to help young kids purchase prosthetics. Several paranormal investigation groups have donated to this charity. And although the organization is rather small, Mike has impacted the lives of many children.

Our brief time at the Roads Hotel was rather intriguing. We uncovered a lot of things we didn’t know about prior to our visit, and it was interesting to see charity work carried out through a haunted building. It is no longer a functioning hotel, but Mike hosts overnight investigations and all of the money earned goes towards his foundation. I would definitely go back to explore further.

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  • This doll is known to move by herself or fall onto the floor.

  • Front view of the historic hotel in Atlanta, Indiana.

  • A look up the staircase. The camera continued to focus for 10 minutes before snapping this photo.

  • The attic where the priest hanged himself.

  • The Roads Hotel, Where some have taken the late check-out to a whole new level.

  • A look at Sarah's dresser, filled with knick knacks and trinkets used to appease her spirit.

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