City Eyes

Photography by Kyle Telechan

Morse Code House

The famous (or not so famous) morse code house of Northwest Indiana. Who wants to translate?

Update: I only translated the first few words, but after a nice talk with an NPS ranger, I was told that the message on the house is an angry one. The former resident’s father had signed an agreement with the National Park Services to be able to live on that land for a certain amount of time. When the son was eventually evicted – as per the terms – he angrily painted this message across the side of the house facing the road.

When I have the time/patience, I’ll translate.

Edit: Translated it (mostly) due to a request. Here’s the morse code:

.- .-.. .-.. -.– – …. . .. -. -.. .. … .–. . -. … .- -… .-.. . .- .. -.. – — -.- -. — .– .. -. –. .- -..- .-.. .-.. -.– .– .. .-.. .-.. — .- -.- . . -.– — ..- … . . .- -. -.. ..- -. -.. . .-. … – .- -. -.. — ..- – .– …. .. -.-. …. -. — …. ..- — .- -. -.-. .- -. .–. — … … .. -… .-.. -.– . -. .-.. .. –. …. – . -. -.– — ..- . .-. –. — .- — .- -. –. — . … – — -.- -. — .– .-.. . -.. –. . .- … …. . –. — . … – — .– .- .-. .– .. -.. . .- .– .- -.- . .– .. – …. ..-. . .- .-. .– .. – …. .-. . … .–. . -.-. – .- -. -.. .– .. – …. – -… … — .-.. ..- – . .- … ..-

Final line not visible

Here’s the code corrected and spaced properly – I was unable to read the bottom line, but I was able to find the remainder of the quote elsewhere.


Update: Reddit user dedaluspark gave me a bit of background on the quote. Apparently it has far less to do with a disgruntled guy being kicked off of his land and far more to do with hallucinogen-inspired art.

It’s a bit garbled from the original, but it’s from a book about Native American Shamanism called The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda.[1] They are talking about the use of mescaline (Mescalito being the spiritual being associated with its use). As someone who has used hallucinogens but has not really explored Shamanism, I rather think the guy had a lot of issues before he was forced to leave. Anyway, it’s not so much “angry” as, well, you get the idea.


Specifically, these passages:

“A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide-awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. Going to knowledge or going to war in any other manner is a mistake, and whoever makes it will live to regret his steps.”

“An ally will make you see and understand things about which no human being could possibly enlighten you.”

I’d love to find out more about the former inhabitant of this house, so if you know anything, feel free to share.

A few people showed interested in seeing more shots of the house, so here they are – I’ll add them as I edit them:


In addition, the house had a different message on it in 2009. You can find more information, photos, and a translation of the pre-2009 (and a more accurate translation of the post-2009) painting here.

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  1. Sam 16 Mar ’15

    I’ve been curious about this house since I was little- do you know what it says?

    • Kyle 20 Mar ’15 — Post Author

      Never got around to translating it, I don’t think, but you’ve motivated me to take another crack at it.

      It’s really difficult to figure out because it’s a bit garbled, a lot of it is nonsense, and there are no spaces, so we’ll see how far I get. The general message stands, though, that it’s a rant at NPS for kicking this guy off of his land.

  2. Daniel Watt 27 Mar ’16

    The house was demolished last week.

    • Kyle 27 Mar ’16 — Post Author

      Yeah, I’m aware. Checked it out a few weeks back then I noticed that it was gone yesterday as I drove past. I can’t believe how fast it went down.

      A shame, really. That little house has been sort of a highlight on my trips past since I was younger. Would’ve been cool if the NPS would have kept it around as a landmark of sorts.

      Do you have any insight on the demolition, or did you find out the same way as I did?

    • Pat 27 Jul ’16

      I wondered when that happened. I still live nearby, but don’t use Rte. 12 as much as I used to. I drove by, maybe back in May or June, just to see the house, and it was gone. I was shocked! I knew it had been abandoned, but I didn’t expect it would be taken down so soon.

      Heartbreaking. It was a real landmark.

  3. Daniel Watt 28 Mar ’16

    My understanding was that the contract was out on the buyback. A few of my friends in the area were forced out of their homes for the same reason.

    I found out over dinner as a family member had been hiking nearby. My understanding is that all of the houses in the area will be going that way rather quickly, if any are left.

    I spoke with Sam from above earlier tonight. I’ll see if I can get the recounting of the man from morse code house posted up here, if you like. Have you met the man?

    • Kyle 29 Mar ’16 — Post Author

      Yeah, I’ve heard about the contract lapses and that a few people were forced off of their land – the first I actually heard about the message on this house (before I actually translated it), I was told that it was an angry message from the owner for being forced out of his home. Turned out it was something else entirely.

      I’d love to hear whatever information you might know! The ranger I talked to didn’t know much and the message of the morse code on the front had become somewhat of a myth for the NPS employees – I don’t know if many/any of them know much about the man who used to live there.

      Unfortunately, I’ve never met the former resident, although I’d love to hear his story.

  4. Pat 27 Jul ’16

    I don’t know how long ago the same family owned the house, but back in the late 1990s, early 2000s when I first moved to that general area, the name on the mailbox used to read Ubermensch (which I always assumed was a pseudonym, and rather apropos, given the quote). If I remember correctly, the paint job was the same back then, but I think the Morse code came later. Not sure when it was added. And I could be wrong.

  5. Anonymous 18 Aug ’16

    Lived next door to him for 5yrs. Alan Millet was his name

  6. Charles Edward Willison 18 Aug ’16

    I lived in the white house next door. I knew Alan as much as he wanted people to know him….

    • Dale 2 Oct ’22

      the previous owner of this house (the original artist behind this design now lives in Laporte county if you would like to ask him any questions write this address 6269 US hwy 20 east rolling Prairie In 46371

  7. Leslie 18 Aug ’16

    It was a paragraph from a story he wrote. Nothing bad or crazy, he’s an artist/ photographer who used his house as a medium.
    It was originally my grandparents house and then my uncles. Many great memories there.

  8. Stan 27 Sep ’16

    Ran into your blog and thought I’d share photos I took of the “Morse Code House” as well as the decoding work I’ve done. As you know, the Morse code quoted text from the book “Ally” most recently, and your quote above is correct. This version of the house was done in 2009. I have some (decoded) photos from the house that I took in 2003 also… this may be the text that Leslie is referring to. Googling the text of that version doesn’t hit on anything except the house, so it is probably original. I put the house photos, sketches used to decode the text, and some commentary on a web page at — feel free to copy or link to it.

    • Kyle 6 Oct ’16 — Post Author

      I think I hit your page at some point in translation – cool to see you found your way over here! I’m not sure if I have a picture of the place from before 2009, but I certainly remember it. Awesome that you were able to capture and decode it!

      I’ll definitely link to your findings. They’re equally interesting. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Dale 2 Oct ’22

    the previous owner of this house (the original artist behind this design now lives in Laporte county if you would like to ask him any questions write this address 6269 US hwy 20 east rolling Prairie In 46371

    • Kyle 17 Oct ’22 — Post Author

      I’ve got a bunch of answers, but I’ve been absolutely awful at sharing them with anyone because I keep on occupying myself with scanning a cache of old photos and media I’ve inherited. Taking a break from it, so I’d like to get some photos and a letter I received from the original artist scanned so that other people can know what I know.

      Oddly, I’ve had the envelope with photos and a letter sitting on my desk since I got it from the artist a few years ago, constantly reminding me that I need to get to it. I’d like to get to it sooner rather than later.

      I really appreciate the contact info. Thanks so much!

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