October is here, which means it’s once again time for pumpkin spice, falling leaves, chilly weather and (naturally) a few good scares — like the ghost stories we’re about to share.
Almost anywhere you go, you’ll run into tales about houses, buildings, bridges and other places that seem to be home to an otherworldly presence. Indiana is no exception. If you’re daring enough to take a peek at some of the most haunted places in the state, read on.
The Hotel Whose Owner Couldn’t Let Go
The French Lick Springs Hotel resort has more in common with the Overlook Hotel from The Shining than it does with the Four Seasons. It’s architecture is downright awing — but guests and employees alike report that the grandeur of the building pales in comparison to its outright spookiness.
According to reports, the former owner of the place was an Indianapolis mayor by the name of Thomas Taggart. He loved his magnificent hotel so much that he apparently chose not to leave it. His tobacco smoke has been known to waft down empty hallways, and visitors have reported seeing ghostly figures of both Taggart and a bellhop wandering about. Taggart is sometimes known to appear on his horse, riding it down a hallway or two (which is something he also did in real life).
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The stunning French Lick Springs Hotel is full of history and beautiful details. Plus, there's plenty of fun for all ages at the @frenchlickresort from a #casino, #spa, and entertainment for adults to #bowling, pools, a kids'center, #horsetrack riding, and more for everyone. #FrenchLickResort #FrenchLickSpringsHotel #familytravel #travel #familyfun #visitIndiana #IN #FrenchLick #WestBaden #resort #familyfriendly #travelwithkids #luxurytravel
Indeed, this grand hotel is regularly ranked among the top haunted locations in the state. Even employees of the place report the sounds of invisible celebrations going on in empty rooms and phone calls from unoccupied suites. The sixth and seventh floors are supposed to be simply filled with paranormal activity — so much so that guests sometimes dare each other to get a room on one of those floors.
The Terrifying Asylum Full of Ghosts
What list of haunted locations would be complete without at least one asylum? Originally built in 1851, the Randolph County Infirmary Asylum was destroyed by fire a mere two years later. An infirmary built to replace it was also demolished. The building currently standing was built in 1899 and not entirely closed until 2008.
Like many such places, the history of the building is filled with the sort of human misery and sorrow that many associate with ghostly activity. Some of the residents were orphans or wasting away with tuberculosis, while others were afflicted with one sort of madness or another. There are stories of suicides and murders alike on the grounds and around 50 unmarked graves sit nearby.
Now owned by professional paranormal researchers, the asylum is periodically opened up to groups of people who want to investigate for themselves the ghostly sights and sounds that have been reported there. In one year alone, at least 60 film crews braved a night in the place in order to record the spiritual activity they experienced. They encountered disembodied screams, groans, crying and cold touches from unseen hands, so this place is definitely not for the timid.
The Mysterious Woman in White
A “woman in white” is a type of spirit that typically represents a young woman or girl who suffered a terrible wrong or died from mourning. Unable to let go of her grief, the woman in white may haunt the road where she was killed, the bridge off which she drowned, the cemetery in which she was buried or — in this case — a restaurant in the heart of Indiana.
To be clear, the Tippecanoe Place Restaurant wasn’t always a fine-dining establishment. The 26,000 square-foot mansion was originally the family home of the Studebaker clan. Eventually, the family’s fortunes diminished, and the building became a home for crippled children before finally morphing into its current incarnation.
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Take a tour of the historic Studebaker Mansion! First Level Reception & Billiard Room Coming down the grand stairwell one enters into a reception area which later included a billiard room. The room is comprised of oak throughout, a fireplace with Italian Marble and originally a lion’s head in the fire box. The wrought iron chandelier in the Billiard Room (now bar to enhance special events) is original. The present men’s restroom was originally used for linen storage and the present women’s restroom was a wine cellar and storage room. Adjacent to this you will find the State Dining Room and Breakfast Room. Self-guided tours are always welcome during normal business hours but for a more immersive and enriching experience, we recommend taking a guided tour with our house historian, Douglas. Every Saturday | 2:00 & 3:00 P.M. | $5 Per Person For more information, visit www.tippe.com
Ever since the building was converted to a restaurant in the 1980s, however, guests and employees have reported a ghostly woman in white who will — if crossing their path — pass straight through them. The ghost of a maid named Beatrice is also a familiar sight, and it isn’t uncommon to hear loud noises coming from an unoccupied attic. Nobody is sure who the mysterious woman in white really is, nor why she seems locked into place at the restaurant but the sightings have been fairly consistent over the years.
The Grey Lady in the Haunted Library
The Grey Lady of Willard Library has reportedly been haunting the Willard Library in Evansville since the 1930s. While her exact identity is unknown, some people think she may have been the disgruntled daughter of the building’s founder, angry because her father left most of his wealth to the library he loved.
Others, however, disagree. While there seems to be an entity haunting the place that is inclined to move things around, turn the electricity and water on or off at will, and move books about, not all of the visitors and staff think that the Grey Lady is solely responsible.
Indeed, staff members have grown so accustomed to the Grey Lady’s presence in the library that they talk to her like she’s just another one of their crews. The ghost is so well-known and makes appearances so often that the library has actually installed cameras so that amateur ghost hunters can help watch for and record her appearances.
Indiana does seem to have its fair share of ghost stories, boogeymen and things that go bump in the night. This is just a small selection of the haunted sites that are dotted around the state, so grab your EMF readers and take a trip if you’re brave — but don’t say we didn’t warn you! Part Two coming soon!
[[featured blog photo from https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/indiana/haunted-asylum-indiana/]]