NIGHT AT THE PARA CAFE
THE HIRSH BUILDING
NEXT AVAILABLE DATE: JUNE 1, 2019
7:00 PM - 2:00 AM
$48 PER PERSON
CLICK HERE FOR RESERVATIONS!
Join American Hauntings at a location that is rapidly becoming known as one of the most haunted places in Indiana! We’re exploring the confines of the Hirsh Building in Winchester, a place now known as the 101 Para Cafe, thanks to its history of paranormal events that are linked to murder, suicide, and illicit history in its past. Are you ready to experience this eerie spot for yourself? Now’s your chance!
The building located at 101 South Main Street in Winchester was built by Adam Hirsh in 1858. As one of the oldest structures in town, this building has been home to scores of local businesses over the years, including a bookstore, a hat store, and a longtime drug store with a popular soda fountain. The upstairs also operated as the Washington Hotel and, according to legend, was later used as a brothel in the 1920s.
In 1945, Duane “Wick” Wickersham opened the Rainbow Room, a popular local restaurant. Wick used his grandmother’s recipes to become famous for homemade pies, which he delivered out of a 1934 Buick sedan. By 1949, they were selling up to 300 pies a day. When Wick moved to a new location (still in business today) a diner called the Corner Cafe opened at the spot and thrived until until they were closed down because of a fire.
But what about the ghosts?
In the late 1800s, a woman recalled only as Miss Carrie rented a room on the second floor of the building for her dressmaking business. After years of abuse at the hands of a man named Arney, she shot and killed him at the top of the stairs. Is he the lingering spirit who walks about, is seen on occasion, and bangs on the walls?
Arney is not the only person to die in the building. There are stories about a man who died in the hotel from dysentery and his body was not found for weeks. At one time, a diner owner allegedly committed suicide because he was distraught over financial difficulties. Is he the spirit who remains behind in the kitchen, watching over those who work there?
Aside from the murders and suicides, the building also has a long history of illegal activity. At one time, the empty hotel was allegedly turned into a brothel. There are rumors that the basement served as a speakeasy during Prohibition.
One of the most significant events in the building’s history was the shooting of Police Chief Troy ‘Zeke’ Clevenger. Two escaped criminals passed through Winchester while the 28-year-old police chief was on duty. He caught up with them at the Hirsh Building and one of the criminals pulled out a gun and shot Clevenger in the stomach. The chief managed to get off one shot, killing the gunman, before he collapsed on the front steps of the building. He died on the way to the hospital but it’s believed that his ghost has never left the scene of this tragedy.
In 2017, the current owners purchased the old Hirsh Building after learning of plans to demolish it. Workers and visitors to the building have reported strange occurrences in the building since it’s reopened. During the initial renovations, many reported strange sounds and growling noises, have seen things move about, and more. The owners have also opened the 101 Para Cafe, a perfect place downtown to get a cup of coffee — and experience the ghosts.
Don’t miss your chance to spend the late night hours searching for the spirits of this historic and haunted spot!