23 Skidoo / #Occult30


Day Twenty-Two of #Occult30 — a month long celebration of
True Tales of the Strange & Unusual.

23 Skidoo

Notorious gangster and folk hero John Dillinger was born on this day, the 22nd of June, 1903, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Painted as a Robin Hood-like figure of the Great Depression, Dillinger was responsible for more than two dozen bank robberies, the looting of several police stations, and was so slick, he escaped jail twice, once by carving a potato and covering it in shoe shine so that it resembled a gun.


Ratted out by the infamous “Woman in Red”, Dillinger was gunned-down by Federal Agents in Chicago on the 22nd of July, 1934, in front of the Biograph Theatre at the age of 31.

While Dillinger was certainly well known to me, being a fellow Hoosier, it wasn’t until I read Robert Anton Wilson & Robert Shea’s Illuminatus! Trilogy that I really took interest.

Strangely enough, and to the pleasures of William S. Burroughs, Wilson, and Shea, Dillinger’s Birthday adds up to 23. 6+2+2+1+9+0+3 = 23, which becomes 2+3=5, to fit the Law of Fives, of course. 23 Skidoo.

Anyway, discovering a Dillinger connection to my hometown of Converse fueled my interests even more. See, Converse is a little town, though it had a bit bustle in its day. Located virtually equidistant from four small cities ripe for plucking — Kokomo, Marion, Peru, and Wabash — made Converse a perfect hide-out for the outlaw.

Legend holds that he took a room frequently in a boarding house by the railroad tracks in my hometown and that he frequented a lawyer’s office on Jefferson Street where after hours poker games were played, and where Dillinger laundered his misbegotten money.

So, where’s the paranormal connection?

First, the room where Dillinger supposedly played poker? Yeah, very active. Is it Dillinger? No, I don’t think so, but we have had interesting experiences there nonetheless. Objects have been moved, doors opened of their own accord, strange orbs have manifested, there has been multiple instances of physical contact, and, yes, once two women were thrown off the bed in that room and the bed itself rose off the ground about six inches and dropped back to the floor — witnessed by my own eyes.

I’ve had unusual experiences at the former boarding house as well. Again, I do not believe they were Dillinger related, but the most odd occurrence was the discovery of a hidden room there, sealed off and only found by accident, when a laborer fell through the roof and into the hitherto unknown room. Inside was a child’s bed, a medicine cabinet, and an old doll.

Strange? Check. Unusual? Absolutely.

As for John Dillinger? Well, he was certainly a character who left his mark on the world before exiting it in a blaze of infamy. A hero? Certainly not, but he was Hoosier born and bred, and they didn’t come more colorful.



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