Mansions, cemeteries and hospitals ... they're all on the list of the scariest places in Indiana, where the dead stalk the night causing awful frights.
Warning: These spots are not for the faint of heart ... and many are on private property, so always seek permission before visiting any of these sites.
CENTRAL STATE HOSPITAL
ACTIVITY: Opening in 1848 as the “Indiana Hospital for the Insane,” the Central State Hospital has a sad and anguished past. In addition to housing those with mental conditions, the hospital was also home to the “criminally insane,” who were prone to violence and perpetually restrained in the basement dungeons. Allegations of subpar and abusive treatment of patients dogged the institution until it closed in 1994. Those who died within its walls still linger, crying out in the shadows and appearing as apparitions across the grounds. Footsteps, moaning, screaming and even physical assaults have also been reported.
ACTIVITY: Built by Alexander Hannah in 1858, the house was used to shelter slaves on the Underground Railroad. Legend says an oil lamp fell on a straw bale and the ensuing fire killed many slaves. Hannah reportedly buried their remains in the cellar to keep his participation in the Railroad a secret. Moaning and screaming are reported throughout the home, along with cold spots, apparitions and a horrible odor likened to the stench of death.
ACTIVITY: A cult supposedly founded the small cemetery, and ghost sightings have been reported ever since. The apparition of a mother who committed suicide on her child’s grave is said to haunt the grounds.
ACTIVITY: A white woman is reported to move between the tombstones in the small cemetery. If you stand near the circle and listen closely, you’ll hear her whispering her incantations. Demonic entities are said to be released during séances in the circle.
THE STORY INN
ACTIVITY: The inn is the only building still standing in the former mining town of Story, deep into the wilderness on the edge of Brown County State Park. The most well-known ghost is the “Blue Lady,” who appears when a blue light is turned on in the rooms above the restaurant. Her presence is also signaled by the smell of cherry tobacco.
SLIPPERY NOODLE INN
ACTIVITY: The inn, built in the 1800s and having undergone many transformations through the years, now serves as a restaurant/bar. Slaves, a caretaker, cowboy and prostitute are said to haunt the grounds.
ACTIVITY: Once rated by the Travel Channel as the fourth most terrifying place in America, the house was home to the Gibbons family, who adopted several orphans. Among the many deaths in the house was a girl who started a fire in the parlor and died of her injuries. The house is known for its “whispering walls” and rattling doorknobs.
CRY BABY BRIDGE
LOCATION: Near Pendleton
ACTIVITY: Every community seems to have a similar legend but here it goes … A woman supposedly drowned her child at the bridge. If you park your car there at midnight, it will not start and you’ll hear the woman and baby crying.
ACTIVITY: Opened in 1885, the library is reportedly home to a spectral lady in gray, who haunts the building’s basement. Visitors report cold spots and the smell of perfume. An image of the Lady was once supposedly captured by a security camera.
LOCATION: Near Pendleton
ACTIVITY: The “devil’s child” is reportedly buried here, her grave denoted by the pitchfork-shaped flower that sprouts from it. There are also rumors of Satanists digging up the bones of the dead to perform rituals. The site, also known as Main Street Cemetery, has fallen victim to vandals over the years, and local law enforcement keeps a watchful eye on the cemetery for trespassers.
FRENCH LICK SPRINGS HOTEL
LOCATION: French Lick
ACTIVITY: Built in 1845 by Thomas Taggart, the former owner is said to still haunt the hotel’s halls. Guests report mists, the smell of pipe or cigar tobacco and an elevator that will operate on its own during the night. Taggart was also known for riding his horse into the ballroom during parties, and occasionally guests will report hearing a horse trotting down the hall.
HIGHLAND LAWN CEMETERY
LOCATION: Terre Haute
ACTIVITY: Stiffy Green was a small bulldog who was the constant companion of a man named John Heinl. When Heinl died and was entombed at the cemetery, Stiffy Green would regularly disappear from his new home and be found watching over his former master’s tomb. The dog was eventually allowed to take up residence there and died a short time later. Stiffy was stuffed by a local taxidermist and left to guard over his master’s remains. A century later there are still reports of a small dog barking near the mausoleum. And occasionally, an elderly apparition is seen strolling through the cemetery with a stiff-legged bulldog featuring Stiffy’s trademark green eyes.
ACTIVITY: People visiting the theater have reported faucets turning on and off, objects moving on their own and apparitions sitting in the seats. The specter “Lady Rivoli” makes objects disappear.
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