Is your home haunted?

My grandparents home is!  My Dad has recounted stories of when he was a teenager and sitting at the kitchen table and an old man in a sweater walked up where stairs had been prior to a 1950’s era reno that moved the stairs to the upstairs to the living room!  And then not to many years ago, he was visiting my grandparents and they were standing in the living room and a hand print appeared on the back of the loveseat next to the window and the curtain moved out of the way, like someone was leaning to look out the window!

My Grandmother routinely swore that her brother Albert was also there, she would see him leaning against the door jamb like he had done when he visited, one night after a bathroom visit, she literally ran into – well, I guess that would be through – him in the hallway on her way back to bed!  Bear in mind, Albert was killed in WW2 and buried in France!

There is an article in today’s Indianapolis Star, “3 haunted destinations in Midwest offer scary good times” offering an idea for a weekend getaway (click here for the article), the locations are Alton Illinois , Bardstown Kentucky and Marietta Ohio.  If that’s your idea of fun, looks like it could be a great time!

But what about Indy?  There are schools, bridges and of course Crown Hill Cemetary, but here are 3 that seem to show up on everyone’s list of REAL Haunted Houses:

Hannah House

Built by local farmer and politician Alexander Hannah in 1858, this south side manor maintains a prominent place in Indianapolis‘s storied past. A Historic Landmark, the Hannah House was a safe haven for escaping slaves as part of the Underground Railroad. This designation also plays into its reputation as a hotbed of paranormal activity, as an undocumented fire purportedly claimed the lives of several refugees one fateful night. The spirits of those victims, and of Hannah himself, are said to roam the corridors of the estate. The Hannah House is open to the public and even offers the chance to stay overnight and do a little ghost sleuthing…if you dare!

Central State Hospital

Originally christened the “Indiana Hospital for the Insane,” Central State Hospital opened its doors in 1848. From a single building housing five patients, Central State grew into a veritable campus where thousands of patients were treated for various ailments, both mental and physical. At its height in the middle of the 20th century, Central State encompassed nearly 100 acres, with two main buildings, several peripheral treatment centers, and enough businesses to have formed its own town. Not surprisingly, given the nature of its existence, the grounds of Central State Hospital, located on the near west side of Indy, is reportedly ripe with ghostly happenings.

The House of Blue Lights

Located on the city’s east side, the House of Blue Lights was an estate owned by Skiles Test, and it was the subject of many spooky tales involving caskets, dogs, cats, misty blue lights, and other goodies! Although the house is long gone now, much of the property remains as it was during the heyday of these stories, and is home to the Skiles Test nature park. The Test grave is also a popular ghostly destination in nearby Crown Hill cemetery.

Do you believe???  Or are you like me and the thought scares the bejeezus out of you?


Vicki Reed

Historic Irvington Halloween Festival…

Indy is just full of fun communities to call home, since this past spring when I helped my friend Kate buy her new home in Irvington, I’ve found myself spending more time in the area and exploring the many restaurants and shops in the are and am even considering a move to the area in the future!  Kate kept mentioning the Halloween Festival and I finally had to find out what it was all about…this is from their website:

For over 60 years, the Historic Irvington Halloween Festival has brought together thousands of residents, dozens of neighborhood organizations, and countless Eastside businesses in a fun-filled celebration of our heritage and community. The festival and its associated events are designed to bring awareness to the community, to bring commerce to local business and sponsors, and to provide fun for the children of Irvington and Indianapolis. The celebration now encompasses a week of events including a 5 mile run, a scholarship pageant, musicians, contests, Halloween-themed movies, storytelling, ghost tours, live theater, roller derby, a haunted puppet show and dozens of other events.

The Irvington Halloween Festival is organized by the Historic Irvington Community Council, a 501(c)3 organization that provides a voice to the city on Irvington issues such as public services, zoning and works to improve the community and the lives of its residents.

A Brief History of Irvington

Irvington was founded by Jacob Julian and Sylvester Johnson, who developed 300 acres into residential plots four miles east of Indianapolis. Named after 19th century writer Washington Irving, Irvington was annexed by the city of Indianapolis in 1902. Western Christian University (now Butler University) relocated to Irvington in 1873 and stayed there until 1928.

The neighborhood is situated on Washington Street, which is the route of the historic National Road, a National Scenic Byway. US 40 was formerly routed along the road. Through the early 1900s, a commuter rail/trolley system ran from Irvington to downtown Indianapolis along US 40. Ideally located just 10 minutes East of downtown Indianapolis, Irvington is a strong and growing community of quaint and magnificent homes located on tree-lined historic streets. Successful restaurants, coffee shops, retailers and parks all contribute to Irvington’s charm. The Irvington community is founded on strong ties to its historic past and is a great place to raise a family.

So if you are looking for something fun to do this week, check this out!


Vicki Reed

Thank you Milestone!

Thanks to Milestone Contractors the 65-70 split project was completed in record time!  Not scheduled to re-open until November 1, the downtown interstates officially re-opened on October 17 and I, for one, could not be more grateful…now we’re back down to just the normal crazy drivers on 465 and the city streets!

The interchange closed on September 3 so that crews could began working to increase the clearance height under seven highway bridges. The bridges had been struck repeatedly by hundreds of oversized vehicles, causing a constant problem for the Indiana Department of Transportation.

Now, a note about why it was necessary to displace over 100,000 drivers a day for this project spend $12.4 million and reconstruct and lower one-half mile of pavement beneath seven bridges…it was to increase bridge clearances and reduce the potential for collisions from unpermitted and off-route trucks with oversized and unsecure loads..repeated bridge strikes from these trucks caused and continue to pose a safety concern for the users of this stretch of highway.

I understand the necessity of making the bridges safe for drivers, but once again, we are working to fix something caused by people not following the rules of our city, state and country and driving these trucks with no regard to the consequences and again, we have to pay for it from our state/federal funds.  I don’t know how you would have stopped them, but I find it frustrating!

Big shout out to Milestone, thank you for getting it done so quickly and making it safe for us once again, but to those of you out there who are driving the unpermitted trucks, pay attention to your clearances and try to respect the roads your are driving on and the safety of everyone one the road with you.


Vicki Reed

Goodbye old friends…

Ever have a television show that felt like an old friend, taught you a lot about how to appropriately dress the body God gave you and provided lots of laughs, fashion tips, make-up tips…well, just felt like a great friend?  What Not To Wear (TLC) ended it’s 10 year run on Friday with a great 3 hour send-off that made me cry!

My friend Nancy and I have been watching this show together on the telephone for years!  It affected the way we shopped, looked at our own shapes…heck we can hardly shop alone these days!  We even had the opportunity to meet one of the hosts, Clinton Kelly, hug him and get his autograph in the book that he and Stacy London co-authored titled “Dress Your Best…The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That’s Right for Your Body”…yes, I still have and refer to the book several times a year!  Nancy and I are at a bit of a loss…without our weekly phone appointment, we have to be more intentional about calling each other and staying in touch.  We did watch the finale in together in the same house, kinda nice, even if they did laugh at me for my tears!

For those of you who may not be familiar with the show, What Not to Wear (WNTW)  it was a makeover reality series based on the British show of the same name. It premiered in 2003 and aired on TLC and was hosted by Stacy London and Clinton Kelly.

Episodes featured contributors nominated by friends, co-workers, or relatives. Some episodes involved self-nominations, such as the class reunion specials or mall nominations. In the latter, What Not to Wear set up a 360-degree mirror in various malls across the United States, which allowed women to explain why they needed fashion help. Early episodes featured both men and women but all the later episodes featured women exclusively because the males transformations while great, weren’t as remarkable. Some episodes featured both the contributor and the nominator being selected for a makeover.

When a contributor was selected, the show secretly followed and videotaped her for two weeks. Sometimes the nominee would be asked to participate in “market research” by a camara crew which was actually the What Not To Wear crew filming her pre-makeover look for the show. Also, the nominators sometimes accessed the nominee’s closet to point out specific items of clothing that they considered particularly bad.

While reviewing the secret footage, Stacy and Clinton would comment, in that snarky style of theirs, on why the wardrobe was unflattering (“mom jeans”) or out-dated (purchased in the 1980s) and they would usually meet with the nominators before meeting the contributor. Afterward, the entire group would go to meet the soon-to-be-surprised contributor. During the surprise visit, the contributor was offered a $5,000 WNTW card to buy a new wardrobe if she would turn over her entire existing wardrobe to Stacy and Clinton and shop by their “rules” (tailored for her age, body shape, and profession).  If the nominee accepted the terms of the offer then Stacy and Clinton would give them the gift card and review the secret footage with them. If she declined, nothing further is filmed and there is no show. Contributors were sometimes very reluctant to agree and had to be persuaded by Stacy and Clinton and the nominators.

After reviewing the secret footage, they were brought to New York City for a week of evaluation, shopping, and hair and make-up styling.  Throughout the week, the contributor frequently declared she was unable to find properly fitting clothes, she disliked her body, or she didn’t care what other people think.

On the first day, Stacy and Clinton would sort through their current wardrobe, and she would step inside a 360-degree mirror to explain what she liked about her regular outfits and why she thought they looked good on her. After critiquing each outfit, Stacy and Clinton presented a more “appropriate” outfit to help illustrate the “rules” for the participant to follow when shopping for new clothes. Throughout the sorting process, most of the clothes were symbolically tossed in a large garbage can; however, they were actually donated to charity as long as they were not torn or damaged.

On the second day, the contributor was filmed shopping on her own in various New York stores and then Stacy and Clinton watched the videotaped footage and commented, for the benefit of the viewers, on whether or not the contributor was following the “rules”.

On the third day, Stacy and Clinton would surprise the contributor, comment on whether the previous day’s purchases followed the “rules”, and help her with the remainder of the shopping. If they had not followed the rules, the clothes may have been returned.

On the fourth day, hair stylist Ted Gibson and make-up artist Carmindy transformed their appearance.  So many tears when it came to the haircut, some of these people were just way to attached to their hair!  Then were the women who either went way overboard with the blue eyeshadow, glitter eyeshadow, false eyelashes…Ted and Carmindy really had their work cut out for them most weeks!

On the fifth and final day in New York, the contributor showed off her new look to Stacy and Clinton—in three of her new outfits. Stacy and Clinton then commented on how her new look flatters her body and generally improves her appearance.  The last segment featured a party in their hometown, where she would show off her new look to friends and family, who would comment on how impressed they were and how happy she looked. With the credits rolling, the participant was shown in additional wardrobe items and commented on what the experience did for her emotionally and how it improved her confidence.

During the finale party, Stacy said “This show changed me and the trajectory of my life… I’ve learned so much from all of our contributorsover the years. I hope we touched them as much as they touched me. I hope we touched our viewers… I will always cherish the time I spent on ‘WNTW’ and be eternally grateful to TLC for a great co-host, amazing crew and an awesome program.”  Clinton said “When I got the job, I told everyone I knew that we’d probably do 10 episodes, get canceled and I’d go crawling back to my old job in magazine publishing. So, I’m more surprised than anyone that we’ve lasted this long. At first I thought the essence of the show was making snarky remarks about people’s outfits, but as it turns out, ‘WNTW’ is about taking stock of who you are and communicating that non-verbally to the rest of the world. That’s incredibly empowering.”

Goodbye my friends…thank you for your inspiration, knowledge, charm and wit…it was a fun ride and you will be missed.


Vicki Reed

Don’t you love seeing those old movies again on the BIG screen?

The Historic Artcraft Theatre in Franklin is setting your Halloween stage with a “Monster Mania” weekend!

Monster Mania

and next weekend, you can catch Young Frankenstein on the big screen!

Monster movies not your thing?  How about High Noon (for those of you old enough to know why it was a great movie) They are having a fund raising event November 2 – Cartoons for Cans, who misses Bugs Bunny?  Classic cartoons on the big screen…price of admission – 1 can of food…sounds like a deal to me!

The Christmas movie selection this year is excellent:  Elf, A Christmas Story (my fav!), White Christmas and another fan favorite…Christmas Vacation!  Yes, you can see all these and more on the BIG screen again for a mere $5 a person (or less if you are:  $4.00 for Military with ID; $4.00 for College Students with ID; $4.00 for Seniors 55 and over;
$3.00 for children 12 and under!).  For special events, check with the Box Office…so much less expensive than the big theatre’s and the popcorn and cokes are cheaper too!

The schedule for the first half of 2014 is out too…who wants to see American Graffiti on the BIG screen?

This theatre is truly a treasure, take your children and grandchildren and introduce them to movies that are so much more than explosions, murder, drugs, adultery…Annie’s coming in January, it would be a great place to start!

I’ve been introducing my nieces to Gidget (and Moondoggy!), Doris Day, Cary Grant, Rock Hudson and so many more for years…and at least 1 of them loves them as much as I do.  Movies can be entertaining, original and wholesome(?) not sure that is the right word, but something you aren’t embarrassed to take your kids to see.

Check out the Historic Artcraft Theatre in Franklin Indiana and enjoy yourself!


Vicki Reed



Landing On My Feet…

Thanks to a fantastic group I belong to, Business Women Connect, and it’s CEO/President Shelly Aristizabal (author of “This is your Year”), I had the opportunity to meet Alison Martin-Book, author of “Landing on my Feet…Learning to Lead through Mentoring” a couple of weeks ago.  What an inspiring story she had to share!

From the jacket:

Despite many years of working to achieve equality for women in the workplace, the gender gap is still very real.  Women are emerging as leaders in the workplace, but most often are not making it into the C-suite. Cultivating mentoring relationships and sharing knowledge and experience with others is an important piece in the overall strategy of advancing women leaders.

This book contains contributions from executive women leaders for a variety of industries and an account of how mentoring can impact lives and careers as well as a toolkit for cultivating your own mentoring relationships.

At the end of many of the chapters are questions designed to make you think about where you are in your life, goals that you have set and met or not met, what you want to do, who you want to be and who you are.  My favorite section of the book starts in chapter 2…Mentoring Lesson # 1:  Deciding What You Want Personally and Professionally.  Okay, so I know what I want on a professional level, but struggle with the balance in my life…I don’t know what I would do with myself if I’m not working!  Alison shared her “bucket list” or “100 things I want to do before I die”, very interesting and has me thinking about what I want to do beyond build a successful real estate business…I still haven’t come up with the answers, but will share as I work through it!

Alison is someone to admire and learn from, I really connected with her book and the story she shared, I have identified some deficiencies in my own story and am formulating a plan to move myself to the next level in my business and my life…Thank you Alison for writing this inspirational book and Shelly for making it possible for us to meet Alison and be inspired by her story.


Vicki Reed

Women Like Us…

Yesterday afternoon I had the honor of attending the Women Like Us Foundation Afternoon Tea and Speaker Series Annual Fundraiser.  What a wonderful event!  Many of the ladies in attendance took the “Tea” theme to heart and were dressed in their finest…right down to the pearls, hats and gloves!  More important than the fashion at the event was the message.

For those of you not familiar with the Women Like Us Foundation, it is the passion of a great woman named Linda Rendlemen, author of Women Like Us: Real Stories and Strategies for Living Your Best Life.  This annual  inspirational tea and speaker series was created by Linda and Dr. Sally Brown Bassett to expand on the theme of the common threads which run through women’s lives. Our stories are singular, but our passions are shared. After the initial success of the book, the Women Like Us Foundation was created to inspire and empower women and under-served girls to make a difference globally and locally.

The speakers were fantastic, first up was Madeline DiNono, Executive Director of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and her message was very thought provoking – I had never thought about it, but am now looking at television and movies in a bit different light.  Changing the Status Quo:  Female Characters in Popular Family Films and Television very enlightening!  Madeline Di Nonnois the Executive Director of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, the only research based non-profit working with the entertainment and media community to improve gender diversity in children’s entertainment through research based programs. More on Madeline Di Nonno and Geena Davis Institute.

Our Keynote Speaker was Jessica Fellowes, Author of The Chronicles of Downton Abbey.  While I’ve not watched the program, enough people I know are completely enthralled!  She spoke about The Women of Downton, Women of Today.  Jessica is the #1 best-selling author of The World of Downton Abbey—which features new insights into the stories and characters, social historical context, sketches, on-set photos, and research for the production team—and its follow up, The Chronicles of Downton Abbey—an evocative combination of story, history, and behind-the-scenes drama from one of the world’s most popular and beloved shows. She is the niece of Julian Fellowes, the creator, screen writer and executive producer of the popular PBS series.  Jessica spoke on the historcial evolvement of women and the importance of evolvement in teen girls as it relates to future accomplishments in our world. Click here for more on Jessica Fellowes.

This event was amazing, many of the young women being served by this organization were in the audience and such and inspiration.  While facing my own financial struggles right now, I gave a small gift to the organization and was rewarded by winning one of the door prizes!  This is not why I gave, but am so grateful to be a recipient.  There were no programs like this available in my small hometown I know how much I would have benefited all those years ago and much of their program I have tried to teach or be to my beautiful nieces…I hope some sliver has been as meaningful to them as what I experienced yesterday.

Linda, continue your good works, you and yours are making a huge difference in so many lives.


Vicki Reed

Do It Indy!

Do you know about Do It Indy?  From their website About section…

On a chilly night in October of 2010 at a local Eastside of Indy watering hole Ben Risinger and Scott Tolin had an idea – let’s do a podcast. What started as a voice podcast soon turned into a weekly viral video show called DoItIndy. This wasn’t just any events show filmed in the basement Wayne’s World style…

It all happens within the 465 Loop of Indianapolis – the inner city of Indianapolis! DoItIndy first hit YouTube on November 15, 2010 with Volume One and they haven’t stopped since. With a Canon Powershot in hand Big Ben and Tolin went to help promote the great city of Indianapolis. DoItIndy was born. We figured we should get some good content out there and worry about how good the video was at a later date. We learned a lot early on by trial and error for sure…

Each week the show highlights local “eclectic” events happening in the inner city of Indianapolis. Arts, cinema, sports, non-profits, nightlife, music and more. Tuesday morning at 8:15 am Big Ben and Slick LaRoo present the Family 3 via FOX 59 WXIN.  On Saturday morning’s at 9:15am Big Ben and Tolin hit the airwaves LIVE from the Fox 59 WXIN studio to give The Weekend 3. Social media is our thing and every Tuesday we highlight the Top 5 urban events via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, Google + and YouTube. No event is too large and no event is too small…it just has to be within the inner loop of the city.

2013 will bring the next chapter to DoItIndy as the crew is becoming a non-profit to better serve Indianapolis. We love our city and know that each week it offers something for everyone to experience what Hoosier hospitality is all about. Two years later we still feature the weekly Top 5 video on top of information on local events shared within the realm of social media and beyond. Each week Big Ben, Tolin, Wild Bill, Slick LaRoo, Mel Hook and more explore the city to show you what Indy has to offer! We are Indy’s biggest cheerleaders.

I met these guys out at the Indiana State Fair…not because they were interviewing me, but because Scott’s wife Stephanie is a fellow Realtor (with another firm!) and Scott and his crew stopped by to say Hi!  It was fun to meet them and while I’m slightly outside their typical demographic, I do enjoy checking out the page and catching them on TV when I can.  Do It Indy you are doing an amazing job of promoting what a wonderful city we live in, I thank you…


Vicki Reed