WARSAW — When Sally Hogan decided to step down as director of the Kosciusko Jail Museum and tackle the curator’s position, Evelyn Rake and Greg Steffe stepped into her shoes as co-directors.
The two split their time at the museum with Rake there Wednesday afternoons and all day Friday. The rest of week, she works as an office manager for a local businessman.
For the last 15 years Rake and her sister have pursued paranormal investigations, investigating haunted places. The hobby involved a lot of travel as well as historical research. Rake said many of the places purporting to be haunted were old jails.
When researching a paranormal situation, Rake said she looks for historical evidence, rather than taking a story at face value. She said she and her sister have had lots of fun pursuing answers as to what a haunting may be.
She said there is more to investigating a haunting than going into a space with infrared cameras and different types of recorders.
After living in Warsaw for a number of years, the two siblings noticed the museum and decided to check it out. They then joined as volunteers. Rake was then asked to join the board and when Hogan decided to step down, Rake threw her hat in for the job. The board decided to split the position.
Soon after, Rake suggested to the board a fundraising idea, opening the museum in the evenings for those who want to see if there is any paranormal activity taking place.
These evenings have become so popular, the museum is booked through the rest of this year and the museum will be hosting a Para-Fest in September with the museum as the main attraction. Some of the biggest names in paranormal TV will be coming to the Windham Gardens, where visitors can check out different vendors, participate in meet and greets or go over to the Wagon Wheel and hear a number of presenters.
Already lined up to come are John Zaffis, the collector of haunted things. He is the nephew of Ed and Lorraine Warren, who also collected haunted things. There will be a VIP event with Zaffis at Mad Anthony’s and then a paranormal investigation with him at the museum.
Two members of the Tennessee Wraith Chasers will also do an investigation at the museum the next evening. She noted all the paranormal investigators participating in the Para-Fest are faith based.
Rake said there has been considerable interest in the Para-Fest with vendors as far away as Virginia signing up to attend.