Little Red Schoolhouse Investigation

The building, also known as the Joseph Hess School, was built in 1859 and was a working schoolhouse from 1869-1896. The original building was from current chalkboard to the front of the house with the later addition being added on. Several original desks still exist inside as well as the bell in the tower. After constructing a larger schoolhouse, this location was used as a community center. The building was originally located near 169th and Kennedy Avenue (where the current day Burger King and Chase Bank are located) on the highest ground in the city. The schoolhouse was built from limestone from the Thornton Quarry however costs of transporting the stone became too much to bear. Eventually a clay pit just north of the Little Calumet River was discovered and the bricks were then made on site.

Other uses include a funeral parlor and even a victory celebration for President William McKinley. It was then taken over by Hessing and Hutcher as a dance parlor.

Rather than being razed, V.E. Iliff had the structure moved to its current location in Hessville Park in 1971. After its move, a modern bathroom and basement was added which now serves as the school’s museum.

While it was a schoolhouse, students from kindergarten to 8th grade were educated within its walls during their short three month school year. Mr. Ferguson was the first teacher and was paid $13 a month. Teachers back were forbidden to marry and they could only date once a month.

Located at: 7205 Kennedy Ave., Hammond, Indiana 46323

Telephone: 219-844-5666

Owner: Hessville Historical Society

Hauntings: A lot of the ghost tales retold at the schoolhouse surround a mannequin by the teacher’s desk which the staff has named Mary. During a ghost tour, participants partook in an EVP session and asked who they were talking to. The response they received was “Mary.” The third desk has the name Mary carved into it.

One time, a four year old boy visited the place, looked at the mannequin and with a startled look said, “This is Mary.” About an hour later, a nephew of our guide walked in and told her the same thing – that the mannequin is Mary. Pictures taken of Mary sometimes turn up a little weird and dowsing rods usually react near her.

Staff will be downstairs cleaning up and will sometimes hear the desks moving up in the classroom. Upon coming up to check out the noises, they will find nobody here and nothing amiss. When they return to the basement, the same noises are again heard.

On one occasion, a staff member left a tape recorder running on the desk upstairs and another downstairs. The sound of a door opening was recorded. It was later determined the squeak that was recorded was the sound of the front door being opened.


Equipment setup: Some cameras and sound recording equipment was deployed as well as REM Epods, Melmeter, Ovilus X, SB-11 Ghost Box, digital tape recorders and cameras including IR and full spectrum.

Experiments performed: EVP, Ovilus, Ghost Box and dowsing sessions were conducted throughout the building including some role playing in the classroom.


The Ghost Research Society investigated the Little Red Schoolhouse on June 27, 2016. Team members included: Stan Suho, Katie Para, Marge Sucha, Jim Piscopo, Greg Kos, Chuck Williams and Dale Kaczmarek.












Personal experiences:

Greg Kos: Did a walk thru and info session with the local woman who helps run the schoolhouse. Helped carry in and set up equipment and hung around observing and listening

Dale and Chuck both picked up responses on the Ovilus and Marge was touched on her head when at the teacher’s desk. EVP session in basement no results. Kathie’s K-II kept on lighting up at desk and deduced it was some electrical interference.  

Kathie Para: GRS members present for this investigation were: Dale, Stan, Jim, Greg, Chuck, Marge and me. This was once a one room school house but now has a back room and a basement which was added in the 1970’s when the building was moved a short distance to its current location.

In the original school room we had some interesting activity. During our EVP session Marge got tapped hard on her head, K-II meters were very active and responsive to questioning and I got a whisper on my recorder but can’t make out what was said. The Ovilus also came through with relevant words. We also spent some time in the basement, which serves as a museum. Both times I went into the basement I experienced the feeling that I was walking through cobwebs and we also had relevant words come through the Ovilus.

I would love to return to this location and spend more time investigating. I was especially impressed with the K-II activity we had there that we weren’t able to debunk.

Jim Piscopo: We arrived at the school house at 7:00 pm and were briefed with a history of the schoolhouse. I setup my Sony Nightshot camera in front of the room facing the front door. We conducted a few EVP sessions and took some pictures then headed out to our next location. Again I didn't feel anything at this location.

Marge Sucha: Equipment I used: Digital voice recorder, K-II meter.

We arrived at the location about 7:00pm.  The temperature was in the 90's.  It was hot and muggy.    Shortly after arriving we were given about a 30 minute talk about the history of the school house.

The building originally was a small wooden one room school house.   The school house was moved from the original location.  An addition was added after the move, including a basement. 

We did our first EVP session was in the one room school house upstairs.  In the school house you could easily hear any outside noise.  Despite this we had a very interesting EVP session using the Ovilus.    Dale asked "What kind of building is this?"    The Ovilus replied "school house” One of the teachers that taught at the school house name was Mr. Ferguson.   I asked if Mr. Ferguson was there and got what sounded like a "yes" reply.  We also had several K-II meters going off that we could not debunk.  I was sitting at the teacher’s desk flipping through some of the books and felt a knock on the top of my head.  I got the feeling (Mr. Ferguson) the teacher did not like me sitting there. 

We also did a quick EVP session in the basement.    It is currently a museum.  We did have some interesting words come through the Ovilus that seemed connected to the items in the museum.

The Little Red School House is a great piece of history and once you step inside you feel like you stepped back in time.  

Stan Suho: Little Red School House is an interesting stop. One room built in the 19th century. It has a basement, a recent addition. We arrived late in the afternoon and were given an interesting walk through, followed by a short lecture on the history of the School. This was delivered by a real live “new school marm ". The lecture and walk through were recorded for

The place comes equipped with a Dunce Cap which little Chucky tried on for size. Fit pretty good aah Charley? There was also a genuine slate for Anne (with an e) to break over Dale's head.  The group started their EVP sessions which I recorded. These also included the basement. We didn't have much time to linger because we had to get Sip Coffee House for another

Conclusion; If you’re in Northern Indiana try to squeeze this one in. Worth the time spent.

Chuck Williams: This one room schoolhouse has a classroom, and a basement we investigated.  Kathie and K-II hits almost steady.  My Mel Meter had the Rem Pod function on, and I had one stationed on the Teacher’s desk, both had no activity.  Great reactions on Dale’s Ovilus, when asked where we were, it answered “schoolhouse”.  The Ghost Ark’s spirit box function gave a couple of words.

Dale Kaczmarek: An interesting old one-room schoolhouse steeped in history and hauntings. There was some mild contamination from the busy Kennedy Avenue just outside but nothing that wasn’t easily identified as contamination. During the telling of the history, I recorded a sparkly light formation on Mary’s desk. I’m not 100% sure that it wasn’t caused by the sunlight filtering into the room but I cut it out nonetheless.

I used my Melmeter, Ovilus X, SB-11 Ghost Box, digital tape recorder and camera and a REM Epod.

Evidence collected:

Fuck you Ferguson schoolhouse.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus session, the device says what sounds like, “Fuck you Ferguson.”

Hey chuck schoolhouse.MPG – while setting up for an EVP session, a voice in the background says, “Hey Chuck.”

Hit schoolhouse.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus session, a question was asked, “Some teachers used to correct students with rulers. Is that what you hit Marge with?” The Ovilus responds with, “Hit.”

Homework schoolhouse.MPG – while setting up for an EVP session the word, “Homework” was recorded.

Light formation schoolhouse.MPG – while listening to the history and hauntings that I was recording at the time, a strange light formation appeared in front of the desk that Para was sitting in. It could have simply been the sunlight coming in from the windows.

Moan schoolhouse.MPG – while conducting an EVP session, a low moan was recorded.

No schoolhouse.MPG – while conducting an Ghost Box session, a question was asked, “Does anyone’s family work at the Hammond Meat Packing plant?” The Ghost Box responds with, “No.”

No2 schoolhouse.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the basement, a question was asked, “Do you like touching men?” A low voice responds with, “No.”

Schoolhouse schoolhouse.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus session, a question was asked, “What kind of building is this?” The Ovilus responds with, “Schoolhouse.”

Tired schoolhouse.MPG – while concluding an EVP session in the basement, a comment was made, “Getting nothing on this.” The Ovilus says, “Tired.”

Whisper schoolhouse.MPG – while conversing and over our conversation, a whisper was recorded.

Yeah schoolhouse.MPG – while conducting a Ghost Box session, a question was asked, “Do you like having your kids in school, or do you need them on the farm?” The Ghost Box responds with, “Yeah.”

Yes schoolhouse.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus session, a question was asked, “Are you Mr. Ferguson?” The Ovilus responds with, “Yes.”

Yes2 schoolhouse.MPG – while conducting a Ghost Box session, a question was asked, “Is your family a farmer?” The Ghost Box responds with, “Yes.”

Conclusions: My wife studied at a one-room schoolhouse in Baltimore, Maryland which was much smaller than the one that we investigated in Hammond, Indiana. A lot of these old buildings haven’t survived through the years and this one only did because it was moved from its original location and is now being run by a historical society.

There were many interesting responses during our short stay there; we had other locations in Indiana to investigate later that evening. I want to thank my Indiana State Coordinator, Chuck Williams for setting up these Hoosier haunted sites. Each one seems to be more interesting than the next. Of course there had to be a haunted mannequin here and that’s one of my soft spots. It seems like I am always running into these stuffed objects through the course of an investigation.

Very antiquated locations seem to hold a lot of promise when it comes to retaining place memories or ghosts. This was no exception!

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