Released September 28, 2016

Lanier Mansion State Historic Site to host ‘Spirits of Desperados’


Contact: Gerry Reilly, 812.273.0556, [email protected]

MADISON, Ind. — The public is invited to the 10th annual Night Spirits at the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 7 to 10 p.m. Costumed actors portraying “spirits” will recount how several desperados, including members of the infamous Reno Gang of Seymour, Ind., met justice at the end of a rope.

“We are very grateful to our talented volunteer actors who do a fantastic job dramatizing these true stories from our past,” said Kate Brown, Lanier Mansion Foundation president. “We are also very grateful to Wayne Sanford, who has researched and written all the scripts for our Night Spirits programs since 2007.”

Placed in rooms throughout the beautiful home, the “spirits” will relate four other tales of desperados, from the American West including a cattle and horse thief, a Pony Express superintendent who turned violent and two murderers. Portraying the “spirits” this year are JoAnn Spiller, Bill Johnson, Kathy Ayers, Stephanie Hellman and Bob Hartsaw, all of Madison, Ind.

The first tour group will leave the Lanier/Madison Visitor’s Center at 7 p.m. Additional groups will depart in 15-minute intervals thereafter. Each tour will last one hour with the final tour departing at 9 p.m.

Admission is $12 per person. Reservations may be made by calling at 812.273.0556.

The Lanier Mansion State Historic Site and Lanier/Madison Visitor’s Center are located at 601 W. First St. in historic Madison, Ind.

For more information on the program, please contact Gerry Reilly, site manager at 812.273.4531 or [email protected].

About Wayne Sanford
Wayne Sanford is an author and historian from Indianapolis. Over the last 30 years he has conducted extensive research on Madison’s history as well as the history of the United States and Indiana. In addition, Sanford is the author of the book Cradle of Hoosier Heritage: Anecdotes of Madison People, Places & Events, from Territorial Times through the American Civil War, which is available for purchase at the Lanier Mansion Gift Shop. Madison’s importance to the history of the state, especially during its formative years, is vividly described in this volume.

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Lanier Mansion State Historic Site is located in Madison, Indiana, along the Ohio River. Part of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, the Lanier Mansion boasts a heroic story and superb architecture. This Greek Revival home belonged to J.F.D. Lanier, who helped finance Indiana’s part in the Civil War. For more information, call 812.265.3526 or visit