Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Mystery: Two dead in old Masonic building

Two construction workers renovating a 158-year old former Masonic lodge in Westfield, Indiana, were found dead last Friday. Investigators are stumped, the Indy Star reported.

Foul play is not suspected, they weren't killed by electricity, and the fire department found no evidence of toxic gases in the building.

The two men had approached Bill Norman, the building's owner, two weeks ago, offering to do drywall work. No one else was working on the project at the time of their deaths.

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  1. I live in Indianapolis and the deaths of these two men is complete mystery. Both were legit, decent workers and one's obit stated he was a master with bagpipes.
    Both found in seperate rooms and no foul play. Autopsy reports not in yet. My first thought was carbon monoxide but that has been ruled out.
    They stated that the building was a Masonic lodge and was 158 years old. I don't think it was that old. If it is then the place was built in 1849 and should have been on historic landmark status.
    Knowing how Hoosier are they probably built the lodge on top of a burial mound which may not be out of the question since there were mound in that area at one time.
    This a spooky deal to say the least.

  2. dear anonymous,

    You evidently do not know how old Westfield is. There are many buildings there that are as old as the Masonic lodge and the Union Bible College (which IS on the historic register but is the ONLY bldg on the register in Westfield -first High School in the State of Indiana). Just because a building is not on a register does not mean it is not old. One must apply to be on the register.

    Speaking of burial mounds, one was destroyed by land development for housing behind the CVS in Westfield and nobody said a word. Good luck residents!

  3. anonymous,

    Indiana Masonic records do not indicate that Westfield had a lodge in 1849. Given the date of the founding of Westfield @1834 and the fact of it's early Quaker settlers it's doubtful a lodge was there in 1849 but perhaps later.
    Must have been built on a mound.

  4. Not all Indian mounds were "burial mounds." In fact, the majority were ceremonial or residential mounds, built simply as high places for dwellings in low-lying areas that were prone to flood.

    The mound builder societies that once occupied much of North America, occasionally erected cities of considerable size, some of which covered dozens of acres. In such communities, the largest and steepest mounds were almost always ceremonial, and may have been used as strategic defensive positions during times of attack. Burial mounds were much lower, as were residential mounds, which typically covered much smaller areas than burial mounds and ceremonial mounds.

    The majority of the mound builder societies had died out prior to the arrival of Europeans, although Europeans did decimate the Native American populations, not so much through hostilities, however, as through the accidental transmission of diseases to which the Native American populations had little or no immunity.

    The idea about "evil spirits" wreaking havoc on those who desecrate their Native American burial grounds, is the innovation of 20th century horror writers. Over the course of centuries, different Native American groups reoccupied sites that had been abandoned dozens of times, and European settlers continued that same practice. Why build a home on low land that might flood, when there's a convenient "hill" upon which to build?

    To this day, there are hundreds (possibly thousands) of modern structures built on top of ancient mounds in the US, as well as other places around the world. It's as silly to think that "evil spirits" will somehow be angered by such occupation, as it is to think there's a monster hiding under one's bed.





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