Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Girl in Blue

 In late April of 1997, urban expansion nearly resulted in a 19th century, 24 room Gothic mansion to be torn down.  Luckily, the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana stepped in. 

On April 29, the beautiful old house was moved from its Indianapolis location at the corner of Mills and Mann Roads, to its new home down hill at the corner of Southport and Mann Roads, merely a few blocks down.

A photographer for the Indianapolis Star , Mike Fender, was on location to document the process of loading the mansion onto a trailer, and its slow descent downhill to its new home.  During a series of shots showing the  the mansion being hoisted up, Fender, for a brief second,thought he saw the image of something strange in one of the upper windows.  He had caught a glimpse of a little blond girl in a blue dress, standing there looking out.  Knowing that the house was empty, he quickly dismissed the thought, and put it out of his head.

That is...until the next day, when the film was developed and the photo printed in the newspaper.  Immediately, the newspaper office was flooded with calls from viewers, asking about the little girl in the window.  

Rumors quickly abounded, as everyone rushed in to give their explanation for the little girl.  The house quickly caught the reputation of being haunted, and it was claimed that the little girl was the ghost of former tenant who had either fallen out of the home's second-story window, was killed by hunters as she played in the nearby woods, or was simply a child buried in a nearby family cemetery who wandered into the home.

Unfortunately, none of these stories have any historical documentation to back them up, and the new owner, Amy Cook, never reported any paranormal activity of any kind in the home. 

So what caused this anomaly?

Since 2001, Mike Fender has been Director of Photography at the Indianapolis Star, and has extensive experience and background in photography.  Over ten years later, he is still "haunted' by this photo, as questions are still asked about what it could be.  Fender says with 90% certainty, he feels it is a natural anomaly caused by a trick of light on the window's screen.  The blue color of her dress is explained by the fact that the room she is standing in is painted blue.

However, when blown up and examined, the outline of the girl does not distort...at any resolution there is still the perfect shape of a little girl standing in the window.

So what do you think? Real ghost or natural anomaly?

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