Located in suburban Indianapolis, The Nicholson House was also formerly known as the Rand Family Home. This gothic mansion has become a landmark in the state, becoming well known as one of the most haunted places in Indiana.
The Nicholson House in Indianapolis started to gain public notoriety in 1997 when it was moved for the purpose of preservation from its original location on Southport Road to a short distance away. While in the process of moving the house, one photographer from an Indianapolis newspaper took a picture of the house. The photo, many people believed, captured an image of a ghost in the house looking out an upstairs window but there was no one inside the house at that time!
For years there have been claims that the house is haunted by a little girl who was killed in an accident near the house. Some people say that the house is haunted by the spirit of a benign woman. Unlike old mansions that have ghost stories that have been passed down from one generation to another, the stories which surround the Nicholson Mansion only started appearing recently.
A former resident of the house was told that it was once used as a boarding house. During its years as a boarding house, a resident hanged himself in one of the bedrooms upstairs. There is no proof of this ever happening. There is also another story that the house was a stop on the Underground Railroad. There are stories that a group of slaves burned to death in the basement after a fire. To escape persecution, the family closed them off in a basement. It is said that their screams can be heard throughout the house.
Some people have also claimed seeing blood dripping through the walls, as well as the distinct smell of decaying flesh. Until now, no has verified if the house was indeed a stop in the Underground Railroad. There have been many paranormal investigations conducted in the house and most have detected and documented paranormal events.
A Gothic-Revival creation located just southwest of Indianapolis, the Nicholson House is a private residence that has links to the DePauw University and Marion County Courthouse. Scottish-born David Nicholson started building the mansion in 1870. He was a contractor for the Marion County Courthouse. During the 6 years he worked on the house, he also worked on his own home in the small town of Valley Mills.
From 1903 to 1960, the house was owned by the Rand family. The house was abandoned during the 1970s and it nearly succumbed to the dangers of urban sprawl. It seemed only a matter of time for the house, like the others before it, would be torn down to make way for malls and other modern structures. Fortunately, the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana stepped in to save the building. They moved the house from its original spot to a safer place near Southport. The mansion is now located on private property just outside of Indianapolis, Indiana.