NICHOLSON-RAND HOUSE

5010 West Southport Road, Indianapolis, IN

Status: Former Residence; Heritage House

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By add925 - I created this work entirely by myself., Public Domain, Link


History

David Nicholson – a stone mason from Scotland – built this house between 1870 and 1876. And, despite working on the house for years, he sold the house in 1879 to Allison Remy.

Remy had both built the Remy Hotel in downtown Indianapolis and been a County Commissioner for Marion County. It is unclear if Remy ever actually lived in the house – he owned a lot of the land around it – but beginning in 1880 he began renting it out.

At one point in the 1890’s the house may have been owned by William HH Miller who was the US Attorney General under the 23rd President Benjamin Harrison.

In 1903 the house was bought by John Lindsey Rand and his wife – although they allowed the current tenants to stay another year – in order to live closer to their only surviving child, Florence. The Rands lived the remaining years of their lives in the house passing ownership to Florence when they passed.

Florence and her husband Wymond Beckett combined their farm with her parent’s farm which she had inherited giving them a combined total of about 600 acres (243 hectares). Throughout the late 1920’s – 30’s they rented the farm out to multiple tenants.

Joe Rand Beckett – the son of Florence and Wymond – moved into the house in 1940 with his wife Mary-Ann and lived there until the late 1950’s. They then donated the house and farm to Depauw University.

The University would ultimately sell the house and farm and in 1997 the Indiana Historic Landmark Foundation would interfere when the owner wanted to change the property to commercial and residential properties which would result in the house being demolished.

Due to the house’s historical and architectural value the foundation moved the home to it’s current location to save it.

 

Paranormal Activity

Strangely, this house had no reports of paranormal activity previous to it being moved. However, once it was loaded on a truck to be moved the paranormal activity was nearly instantaneous beginning with a famous photo.

Due to copyright permissions, we cannot post the famous photo taken of this house while it was being moved in 1997 but it can be easily found on other websites. It seems to clearly show the apparition of a little girl – some people see a woman - in an upper story window.

There are a couple of stories linked to this house which cannot be historically verified but may account for the paranormal activity. One is simply that the house was once used as boarding house and one of the tenants hung themselves in a closet. Another is that the house was part of the underground railroad helping escaped slaves leave the southern United States but at some point, a fire was started in the basement when it was filled with these escaped slaves resulting in multiple fatalities.

Activity reported in the house: human or animal blood coming from the walls; the phantom smell of decaying flesh; disembodied voices and phantom screams.