Thirty-one Frights of Halloween

Tis the season to be frightened! At this time of the year when the veil between the two worlds is thin, one can’t help but be drawn to tales of ghosts, haunted houses, and the unexplained. Stories that we know can’t be true, but then again...the possibilities are chilling! After all, science may not be able to prove that ghosts exist, but they have yet to prove that they DON’T. So, in an effort to personalize your Halloween, here is a daily dose of spooky things that go bump in the night, and in the sky for that matter. Thirty-one frights of Halloween!

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Crooked Window House

I discovered this picture on the internet. It is of the old “Crooked Window House” that used to stand abandoned along Highway 46, just outside of Ellettsville, Indiana. As a life-long resident of the area, I had always been fascinated by the foreboding structure. What was its history? Why a crooked window? Is it haunted? I had even considered sneaking into the house, but before I could drum up the courage it was demolished. Gone, but not forgotten, for every time I drove pasted the vacant site, memories of that creepy crooked window would come back to taunt me. I simply had to find out the story behind this house. What I discovered was a rhyme.

One, two, “White Johnny’s” coming for you.

Three, four, he’s at the door.

Five, six, he’ll beat you with a stick.

Seven, eight, because it’s YOU he hates!

It appears that this rhyme is based on an actual person. Back in the 1940’s, a strange family of albinos lived in what was known as the Crooked Window House. Suspicious-minded and sensitive to the sun, they shunned visitors and rarely ventured outdoors. Passersby would hear them raging at each other and the sound of items being smashed against the walls. At night, the young daughter could be seen running manically through the fields. The 16-year-old son, Johnny, seemed especially deranged. Nearly 7- foot-tall and muscular, the massive teen would stalk the highway at night, screaming obscenities at the cars passing by and assaulting them with large stones. It was rumored that the boy was completely insane and dangerous. No one knew how dangerous, until one day a traveling salesman stopped by the home and noticed a putrid smell emitting from the house. When the sheriff was called in to investigate he discovered a horrific scene. The father was discovered dead on the kitchen floor, his throat slit, lying in a pool of blood and maggots. The maudlin remains of the mother were found in the bathtub, the victim of a brutal drowning. Most disturbing of all, the young daughter was found pummeled to death, her body crammed into a fresh gaping hole punched through the wall. Suspicion immediately fell upon the deranged son Johnny who was missing from the home. A posse made a long and intensive search of the surrounding counties, but Johnny was never seen again. For over 50 years, the house stood abandoned and decaying along the rural highway until it was finally demolished. But to this day, locals swear that on especially stormy nights, bloodcurdling screams can be heard echoing around the vacant site and the ghostly images of the murdered family seen rampaging across the field.

Ghosts and bloodcurdling screams aside, perhaps the most common haunt at the vacant site is the house itself. Nearly every person I interviewed initially refused to believe that the house had been demolished claiming to have just seen it the day before! Even after being shown the vacant site, I have later received indignant calls from people swearing they had seen the house yet AGAIN and that I was playing tricks. Not that I can blame them for even though I know for a fact that the house is gone, there have been times that I’ve had the surreal sensation of driving by the house, even catching a glimpse of the crooked window from the corner of my eye. A sensation so strong that I have actually turned around to revisit the site only to discover an overgrown, vacant lot.

(Photo by Justin Makler)


  1. Wow that is creepy and really cool!!

  2. Yeah. I live down the street, and used to go to church across the street from that house. Sometimes it's there. Sometimes it's not.

  3. Hello,
    I was curious where this information came from, I live near here and have never heard this story before. I remember seeing this house on the highway.

  4. My mother grew up in the house from 1965-1983 but her parents and siblings still lived there a few more years. I don't know where the info came form but to so it was abandon is false.

    1. Why fid it have a crooked window,and sit to close to the road ?

  5. I remember that house , always wondered about the window and why it sat so close to the road . It was sad when I discovered it was gone ,like it up and flew away ,not much a disturbance from the demolition. Yes I was sad it was gone, a land mark of sorts .