Investigating the Historic Bronnenberg Home: Is it Haunted?


Kayla Moriarty, Staff Writer

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Mounds State Park for a family reunion, but I inevitably took a paranormal detour when I came across the Bronnenberg Home. The home’s vintage structure and antique features caught my attention, so I stepped inside and began chatting with a tour guide about the history of the intriguing brick house.

The Bronnenberg family immigrated to America from Germany and began looking to settle in Pennsylvania, but decided to go to Illinois instead. The cause of their stopping at Indiana is unknown, but various sources say that their wagon broke down or a child passed away on the journey. Frederick Bronnenberg purchased the land of Mounds State Park before it became recognized as a state park and architectural attraction. One of his children, Frederick JR., built the Bronnenberg Home in what is estimated to be 1840 where he started a family with his wife and ended up raising six children. The family had various local business endeavors in agriculture and was notably wealthy. Frederick JR.’s son, Ransom, used some of the money to build additions to the home, adding a more elaborate outdoor area and an upstairs. Ransom was the last person to own the house, and he eventually leased acres of land to other companies. Surely enough, one of those companies used the land to build an amusement park that was successful for a few years, before the land was donated to the Indiana Department of Conservation.

Other Accounts:
Visitors have questions about faces they’ve seen in the windows when no one is inside the home. Unfortunately, the Bronnenbergs did own enslaved people, and many guests have made correlations between them and the ghastly apparitions seen in the yard. According to Indiana Paranormal, “ I also picked up an older black man (torn shirt, bib overalls or trousers with suspenders, and barefoot) in the front room where the display case was.” This investigator’s speculation and the rumors about spirits restlessly roaming the home line up surprisingly well. The investigator also recalls, “I also picked up on an older gentleman (black suit with vest, gold pocket watch chain, balding, with facial hair (mustache/beard), patriarch of the house, that is concerned with the final use of the house, he was concerned that it might be torn down.” Could this spirit be Mr. Bronnenberg? These accounts are highly descriptive and convincing, despite whether or not they ring true.
Touring the Home: Is it Haunted?
The home is a two-story brick building resting on a beautiful tree-lined area close to the historical mounds attraction. I initially knew absolutely nothing about the home’s backstory, but I found it on my path when I was going to see the mounds. I wasn’t sure if the historic building was open to tours, but I tried the door nevertheless, and a tour guide let me look inside. She gave me a brief rundown of the history of the Bronnenberg family and allowed me to explore the rest of the home. Interestingly, hardly any furniture or decorations inside the house are original, but they are all highly accurate to the time. I wasn’t questioning whether or not the home is haunted until I made my way upstairs, and that’s when I began to snap photos. It’s difficult to pinpoint how to tell if a place is haunted, but most people who believe in ghosts, including myself, follow loose criteria. Strange sounds, sights, feeling watched, and general odd occurrences that cannot be explained by logic or science are indicators of paranormal activity. When I walked upstairs, I did not feel alone in the slightest, and I had a strange feeling while walking around. I came across a room labeled “Ransom and Sarah’s Room,” and I inferred that Sarah was Ransom’s wife. There was a black dress in this room that kept moving slightly, but there were no vents or sources of air anywhere near it. I took a video of the dress that captures its slight movement, and various photos in the room. My camera had difficulty focusing in that room, which is also said to indicate that paranormal activity is high. Those were the only peculiar experiences I had, and I didn’t see any faces in the windows or hear any abnormal noises. I believe that if there is any paranormal activity at the Bronnenberg Home, it is faint. Regardless, the home was incredibly fascinating to tour from both a paranormal enthusiast and historical perspective.


Video from the Invesitgation: