Sure, it’s best known for its basketball, corn and Abraham Lincoln, but Indiana is also one of the spookiest states in the U.S. Turns out centuries-old mansions, long-abandoned cemeteries and desolate landscapes are breeding grounds for vengeful ghosts, so if you’re looking for some haunted happenings this Halloween and you’re in Indiana… well let’s put it this way, you won’t need to travel far. Here are some seriously spooky and most haunted places in Indiana that are guaranteed to give you the heebie-jeebies.
Scariest Places in Indiana
1. Whispers Estate, Mitchell
Built at the turn of the 20th century, the Travel Channel rated Whispers Estate as the fourth most terrifying place in America. We’re inclined to agree.
Dr John and Jessie Gibbons purchased the house soon after it was built and later adopted several children, but tragedy soon followed. One child died in a fire started in the front parlour, then a 10-month-old baby died in the master bedroom. The grief-stricken Mrs Gibbons died in the same room of pneumonia. Add to this the countless deaths Dr Gibbons witnessed in his office during his 26 years of practice, and it’s no wonder there are a few dissatisfied spooks lurking around. Visitors claim that the walls whisper, the doorknobs rattle uncontrollably and a little girl named ‘Rachael’ runs through the house giggling. Those who’ve stayed at the house in the master bedroom say they’ve been worked up by a mysterious bout of coughing too. If you’re made of steely stuff, you can take one of the famous flashlight tours.
2. The Story Inn, Nashville
You might think it looks like a charming old-fashioned stored during the day, but stick around after sunset and you’ll change your tune. Once upon a time, Story was a small mining town but today it has a population of three people. The inn is the only building left. Local lore says the Blue Lady haunts the house. The wife of Dr George Story, she appears if you turn on the blue light in the rooms above the restaurant. If you smell cherry tobacco, she’s in the vicinity. You can rent a room for just under $200 per night for the pleasure of meeting her too.
Did we mention that you’ll need to travel across 20 miles of wilderness down State Road 135 too to get there? If that doesn’t smack of The Hills Have Eyes, nothing does.
3. French Lick Springs Hotel, Orange County
Built in 1901, French Lick Springs Hotel has hosted everyone from Al Capone to Franklin D. Roosevelt to Duke Ellington. With three golf courses, two spas, a casino and two fine dining restaurants, that’s hardly shocking. What is a surprise though, is its popularity with the occult. Thomas Taggart, the hotel’s original owner, apparently still haunts the hotel. Employees say they can frequently smell pipe or cigar tobacco and see mists for no discernible reason. Legend has it that when the hotel gets really busy, he helps out by running the lift too. There are other spooky occurrences too; he’s turned up in the ballroom riding a horse, the front desk receives phone calls from empty rooms and housekeepers occasionally find blood in a bathtub used by a jilted bride to commit suicide. Staff claim to have heard huge parties in the ballroom too, with no guests.
4. Indiana Central State Hospital, Indianapolis
If there’s one building that’s bound to be brimming with vengeful ghosts, it’s a psychiatric hospital. Formerly known as the Central Indiana Hospital for the Insane, tens of thousands of patients lived on the 160-acre grounds between 1848 and 1994. Visitors report inexplicable screams, assaults from invisible hands, electrical devices that turn on and off, and curious floating orbs. Spiritualists have reportedly tried to send the ghosts on their way, but they aren’t having any of it. If visiting isn’t enough, you could buy one of the newly renovated apartments in the block. A 1,406-square-foot apartment will cost you $210,000.
5. Haunted Bridge, Avon
This old railroad bridge looks creepy enough even before you hear the tragic story behind it. Built in 1906, the legend goes that a mother was walking her baby along the tracks when they fell to their deaths. Every time you drive underneath the bridge, you need to honk to drown out the sounds of the mother’s ghoulish wails. If you’re driving here at night, you might actually encounter the ghosts of the weeping woman and her child.
You might also bump into another resident ghost. The story goes that a drunken worker fell into wet construction concrete and is now entombed in the bridge. He pops out every now and then when the sun goes down.
6. Finch Cemetary, Portland
Most cemeteries are pretty creepy, but none more so than Finch Cemetary in the Jay County Conservation Club. The late 19th century graveyards is home to the grave of a boy called Cinderella. Locals say that the gravestones here shift and disappear. The story goes that if you count the tombstones on the way to Cinderella’s grave, you’ll count 13. But if you try counting them on the way back, you’ll only find 11. Spooky stuff.
7. Slippery Noodle Inn, Indianapolis
It hardly sounds sinister, but take a trip to the state’s oldest bar and you’ll soon discover why it’s been voted one of the most haunted places in Indiana. Local lore tells that just before the Civil War, the main building offered an underground railroad for escaped slaves on the run to Canada. Those who were picked up before they made it across the border are said to haunt the famous inn.
There are other paranormal residents too. In the mid-20th century, the inn became an old-school bordello but it closed following the notorious murder of one of its patrons. Guests who dare to venture upstairs are warned that they might not make it back in one piece. Staff also say that downstairs the doors open and close on their own accord, and visitors have been shoved to the side of the bar by an invisible force.