It’s Friday the 13th, there’s a full moon and Halloween is just over a month away. If that doesn’t send shivers down your spine, Mike McDowell’s Haunted Tours will!
Mike is the owner of Chaos Haunted & Historical Tours and has been doing his tours around Valpo, Crown Point and Chesterton since 2001. We asked him a couple questions about some of his findings and spooky stories in the dunes area and here’s what we found out.
Where are some of the ghosts you have spotted? We’ve seen ghosts on the tours at many locations and there have been a lot of stories over the years. The Crown Point Jail is one were there has been a man spotted down the end of a long hallway but when you reach the end he’s vanished. We had one tour guest go into a cemetery with us late one October evening. I remember that the weather was cold and rainy. As the guests were spending a few minutes in the cemetery, this gentleman was using one of the EMF meters that we hand out on the tour for use. He was at the back end of the cemetery when he noticed his meter begin to light up and beep audibly. As he looked up he saw a figure of a man wearing an old style 1940s hat and a long jacket standing in front of him. Then as suddenly as it appeared, the figure vanished and the EMF meter died down and was silent once more. On another tour I took a group into the basement at Val’s famous Pizza and had a white ball of light float in front of me visible to the entire group that flew over my shoulder as I pointed to it. It flew behind me and straight through the wall.
What is your spookiest story? I was staying the night investigating the Old Jail of Valparaiso with the Indiana Ghost Trackers around 2002. A small group of us went into a solitary confinement cell and closed the door. It got really “wanky” in there. As we did EVP and asked questions, the hair began to stand up on our arms. The EMF meter that I was holding went off and was literally screaming the audible alert. A voice on my recorder (that we didn’t hear with our own ears at the time) said “Shut the (blank) up!” at the end of our recording. Deciding this was a very active spot I was interested in spending the night in the cell sleeping a couple hours before morning, about 3 AM. Two fellow ghost hunters, Lisa and Cindy, also went into the cell with me. They both began to hear a man’s voice very faintly say “Ann Marie”. I never heard it but after 10 minutes both the girls screamed and ran out. They had heard the mans voice yell “ANN MARIE!!!”. I still hadn’t heard it and stayed in the cell. After about 5 minutes I began to feel a hand on my throat, faintly at first and then it seemed to grasp, firmer and firmer until I was having a hard time breathing. Yes, I admit it, at that point I walked out of the cell saying to the Ghost “OK, you win”.
Try the walking haunted pub tour in Valpo!
If you are brave enough to do a Chaos Tour, here is all the info you need: Tours typically run 7 – 11 by bus, 7:30- 10 for the Pub Crawls, 7:30 – 9 PM for Walking tours but be sure to check the schedule posted to the website and facebook events. The website can be found at ChaosTrips.com and you can access the facebook page here.
The bus tours are in Valparaiso, Crown Point and Chesterton and there are 4 different routes. The walking Haunted Pub Crawls and regular walking tours are from Crown Point and Valparaiso
Private tours are available but dependent on what dates can be worked out.
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Mike will hopefully be tracking ghosts at the Speakeasy at the Spa and we will share his stories at Spirits at the Speakeasy on October 19th. Learn more here and get your tickets today!