Athenaeum - Das Deutsche Haus Investigation
Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana
The Athenaeum building was built as Das Deutsche Haus, the German Haus by German-American citizens of Indianapolis in the 1890s. It was the center of their community and was to serve as headquarters for many of their social and exercise and art organizations. It is listed three times on the National Register of Historic Places and became a National Historic Landmark in 2016! See more about the history and timeline here on their website.
It also came to be very haunted.
We have been visiting this building since 2001 and started cooperation with the Athenaeum Foundation organization that takes care of the building since 2006. We did our first Public Investigation of the building in 2012 and it has never disappointed. We decided to it was high time to put a site up with some of our findings and impressions from our investigations there.
Early on we got stories from several waitresses and waiters and barkeepers and even managers from the Rathskeller restaurant which is located in the basement floor of the building. We don't investigate in that area during our public ghost hunts, but if you go in there for a dinner or a beer&snack you can feel it is a busy place with lots of history and hauntings all over the place.
The Rathskeller, the bar and dining area is the oldest restaurant space still in use in the same way in Indianapolis. Traditionally it was the area where the men dined and drank while the women had their separate dining area upstairs. Hauntings go from German voices talking and singing out of nowhere, employees being pinched, poked and their name whispered behind the bar. Beer steins clattering together like invisible people are prosting each other. Dishes moving around by themselves and more.
The 2nd floor is very active. After getting stories from the Rathskeller area, this was the next area we heard stories for. Meeting rooms there are rented out for parties and dining and the staff from downstairs restaurant work there a lot. And get a lot of experiences. The picture above is from our 2nd investigation in the building. The Auditorium/Upper Ballroom has so many stories and we have gotten more over the years. In this screenshot from a video (click here for the video on YouTube) we made contact with German Immigrant Peter Lieber! He was so kind turning on and off that flashlight!
Going up the back stairway is a special treat. Not open to the public it shows it age and leads to the upstairs storage area nicknamed "Grandma's closet". Flashlight action, shadows in the room as well as in front of it on the stairway landing, this creepy dark spot has been very rewarding. The Ghost Hunters TV show thought so as well when they visited for their reboot in 2019!
The Theater is a huge space that has a very different feel than the rest of the building. It used to have a flat dance floor where all the ballroom dancing happened. During usage of a theater the raised seating areas were added but that doesn't prevent a ghost couple from dancing in this space. Kids have been seen wandering in and then couldn't be found by the security guards. The balcony is so intense that physics that were in that area have gotten sick because the energy was so strong there.
The Ghost Hunters TV show spent most of their time in this space and even brought a quartet in to play live German/Austrian classical music to get the spirits out. And it worked, they caught something in the balcony area!
There are more areas with more very active hauntings - join us to explore them all!