Around Town

Urban Legend Tours

It’s that time of year again, when people go crazy for pumpkin everything and every scary movie that gave you nightmares as a child is playing around the clock on your favorite TV stations. It’s also a time for ghost stories and adventures and Indiana doesn’t disappoint with its share of Urban Legends and haunted hot spots.  We’ve got a list of places that pack a paranormal punch without all the haunted house gimmicks.

Hannah House

This local Indy legend was built in 1858 and was home to Alexander Hannah and his family. Rumored to be a part of the Underground Railroad, Hannah used the basement to house, feed, and cloth slaves on their journey to freedom.  One fateful night, a single oil lantern caught fire and all of those seeking safe passage in Hannah’s basement perished.  Fearful of what would happen if caught aiding the Underground Railroad, Hannah is rumored to have buried the bodies in the basement, trapping their souls to the house forever.  The Hannah House offers scheduled open house tours and also doubles as a  great historical location for venue events.

Vigo County Historical Museum

Formerly the Sage Mansion and once used as a halfway house, the Vigo County Historical Museum is home to some strange phenomena. The front staircase is a hot spot for orbs, and a small mist has been seen as well. Furthermore, a crib upstairs in an area that’s closed to visitors has been known to move by itself.

Whispers Estate

Located in Mitchell, Indiana and home to a plethora of ghost, Whispers Estate was purchase around 1900 by Dr. John and Jessie White. Over the course of time, some of the children the Gibbons adopted died and it is said you can still hear them running and playing throughout the house.  Most noted is the fact that John was a doctor, with his office located on their first floor it is highly likely many patients might have died at the estate.  Over the years there have been a variety of different paranormal investigations at the Whisper Estates (it got its name from all the different guests who have reported entities whispering into their ears) and now they offer a range of different tours and/or investigations you can take on the estate…complete with non-negotiable house rules.

Markle Mill-Old Mill Dam

Markle Mill was the longest operating gristmill east of the Mississippi, and is rumored to have been part of the Underground Railroad, but all that remains of the original 1816 structure are the dam and parts of the foundation. The ghost girl who has been seen here is believed to have been someone who passed away while using the now-closed underground tunnels.

Bethel Cemetary- Nathan Hinkle Grave

Local legend has it that those who visit the monument and grave of Nathan Hinkle, local Revolutionary War soldier, walk around it and say his name three times, he’ll speak to you.

Old Jail Inn-Rockville, IN

This 1879 former courthouse is now a bed and breakfast inn with a twist; it still retains many of its original features dating back to when it served as the town jailhouse. Guests sleeping in ‘cells’ have reported disembodied footsteps, a foreboding male voice and sightings of a male inmate roaming the corridors at night.

Antioch Cemetary

At Antioch Cemetery, the apparition of a man in a dark suit holding flowers has been seen peering down at a grave on foggy nights at around 1:30 a.m. Visitors in cars also report shadow people flying over their cars and scratching or tapping on it.

Ashmore Estates

Reportedly a former almshouse, this building was purchased for use as a haunted attraction. It was reportedly haunted by many ghosts, including Elva Skinner, a woman who died in a fire in the former almshouse. The house has been featured in several books and TV shows including Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures. They do allow investigations and hold events here frequently, I highly recommend checking this one out.

Tunnelton Tunnel (Bedford, In)

Often overlooked, the Tunnelton Tunnel was first established in 1857 for the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad. There are several creepy tales associated with this tunnel, one of which is about a construction worker who was accidentally decapitated during the tunnels construction. Many visitors have claimed to see the ghost of this individual wandering the tunnel with a lantern in search of his head. As if that were not enough, another story says that a cemetery built atop the tunnel was disturbed during its construction. Evidentially, several of the bodies of those buried there fell through and now haunt anyone who visits the tunnel.

French Lick Springs Hotel

This beautiful hotel is known all across the nation for its history and unique architecture. Since it was built in 1845, it has been visited by numerous famous guests, including several past presidents. The hotel is said to be haunted by its former owner Thomas Taggart, whom many of the guests have claimed to see riding through the halls on a horse and operating the hotel elevators. In one room in particular, a mysterious red stain often appears on the guest bathtub, the place of which a bride once committed suicide.

Roads Hotel

This historic building built in 1893, was once visited by John Dillinger. It is said to be haunted by a slew of different spirits. Guests have reported lights turning off and on, doors slamming shut on their own, and mysterious voices even when the hotel is unoccupied. Others say they have heard unexplained footsteps and seen glimpses of men, woman, and children.

Okie Pinokie Woods

According to urban legend, Okie Pinokie woods is home to an ancient burial ground and filled with sprits that supposedly respond if you whistle at them while deep in the forest. In the 70’s, a man named Joey Peoria who grew up playing in these woods went camping there with three friends. None of them ever came back out. A search party later recovered the bodies of Joey’s three friends but found no sign of him. Some think Joey found out about an affair that one of his friends was having with his wife and an argument broke out. No one has ever seen Joey since, but several more bodies have been found in these woods through the years. Today, many stay away from the woods fearing the same fate.

Grey Lady Ghost Tours

Willard Library in Evansville, IN is home to the grey lady ghost. Said to often be standing at the window looking outside or moving objects around the library, the Grey Lady first made her presence known in the late 1930s.  If you’re interested in seeing if you can witness the smells of her perfume or hear any of the noises, Willard Library hosts numerous tours and events during the month of October.

Highland Lawn Cemetary

Highland Lawn Cemetery has a couple ghostly legends. One is about Stiffy Green, a phantom bulldog. Stiffy Green belonged to John Heinl, a likable elderly man. The friendly dog was named for his stiff gait and bright-green eyes. When Heinl passed away in 1920, Stiffy Green refused to leave the mausoleum and was eventually found there dead, although folks brought him food and water. The townspeople raised funds to have Stiffy Green stuffed and placed inside the tomb. After this, the cemetery caretaker began hearing barks from the mausoleum. Both the dog and Heinl’s apparitions have been seen, along with the phantom smell of John’s pipe.

Another cemetery legend is about Martin Sheets, a businessman in the early 1900s who had a deep fear of being buried alive. He had a custom-designed casket with latches on the inside to thwart such a terror from happening to him, and he planned to be buried in a mausoleum instead of underground. Furthermore, the mausoleum was rigged with a telephone. When he passed away and was entombed in his mausoleum, nothing eventful happened, but Sheets had paid for the phone to remain in service for years. Several years later, Sheets’ wife was found dead of a stroke, clutching the phone, presumably trying to call an ambulance. But when Mrs. Sheets was entombed, they noticed that Martin’s telephone was off the hook inside the locked mausoleum.

Have more places to check out? Let us know about it!  We’ll be updating this post throughout the month of October.  Happy haunting!


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