Ghosts, ghouls, specters in white that come and go at will, haunted inns and creepy cemeteries…if all of this sounds like your idea of a good time or a great date night, you won’t be disappointed by what you find here in Indiana.
What’s Halloween without a few scares, right? If you’re ready for a little spooktacular adventure, here’s your guide to Indiana’s most haunted places to visit.
Visit the Lost Souls at the Indiana Medical History Museum — Indianapolis
Once home to the “Central Indiana Hospital for the Insane” (and, later, just “Central State Hospital”), the Indiana Medical History Museum housed thousands of unfortunate patients between 1848 and 1994. Some had serious mental disorders, some were criminally insane — and some unlucky inhabitants were merely stowed away so they didn’t inconvenience their relatives.
Unfortunately, treatments for the mentally ill were often barbaric, and Central State was frequently accused of abusing patients and keeping them in dismal conditions. It seems many of the poor souls that ended up there in life have stayed there in death.
Today, the site is host to the Indiana Medical History Museum and its rather macabre anatomical displays — and it may also be host to the spirits of many patients who were buried on the grounds. Guests and employees report that it isn’t uncommon to see floating orbs of light, feel the touch of invisible hands and hear groans and screams coming from unknown mouths.
Meet The Grey Lady of Willard Library — Evansville
The Grey Lady is a specter of unknown origin, but she’s been haunting the stacks of Willard Library for decades — and reports of her sighting are quite credible. According to the library’s records, the Grey Lady (named so because she was draped head-to-toe in that color, including a veil) was first spotted by a night custodian in 1937.
The poor janitor was so shaken by his experience that he quit his job shortly after the sighting — but the Grey Lady keeps coming back. She’s been seen by several library employees and other visitors and was last officially sighted on Aug. 10, 2010, by the Assistant Children’s Librarian.
The Grey Lady is so popular that there have been multiple paranormal investigations and psychics brought in to try to determine her origins over the years — and the library keeps a special page dedicated to her story.
Give Yourself the Jitters at French Lick Springs Hotel — French Lick
This hotel could make The Overlook from “The Shining” look tame! Originally built in 1845, the luxury resort burned down in 1897 only to be rebuilt by Thomas Taggart, the one-time mayor of Indianapolis.
Taggert loved the hotel so much it seems he’s never left it. He’s said to wander the halls, still enjoying a good smoke — and sometimes riding a horse down the halls. He’s also responsible for throwing ghostly balls that can be heard from behind locked doors, and more.
According to rumors, the entire sixth floor of the hotel may be haunted. Guests report that they hear disembodied voices and strange laughter, and the front desk workers claim that they have gotten calls from unoccupied rooms. If you’re curious, book a room and check it out (but don’t say you weren’t warned).
Plan for the Paranormal at Whispers Estate — Mitchell
Want to stay someplace where the walls really do talk? Head to Whispers Estate in Mitchell. Built in 1894 (or earlier), the estate only recently earned its moniker in 2006 after guests, psychics and paranormal investigators alike all repeatedly have reported hearing voices from unseen sources whispering at them in the dark.
According to historical records, the estate was owned for several decades by a prominent doctor and his wife. In the custom of the time, the doctor’s clinic was on the first floor, so it was likely host to many people who were ill and dying over the years. In addition, there were several tragic deaths among the occupants of the home over the years.
The current owners don’t make any bones about it: They actively offer weekday and weekend reservations for up to 10 guests at a time and special events where people are invited to explore the paranormal events in the building for themselves.
Look for Trapped Spirits at Hannah House — Indianapolis
This is another legendary haunted location right here in Indy. In the 1850s, owner Alexander Hannah was sympathetic to the plight of southern slaves, and the home was allegedly a stop along the Underground Railroad.
One tragic night, a small group of slaves was hiding in the home’s basement en route to freedom in Canada when an oil lantern was accidentally kicked over. The group died in the ensuing fire — and Hannah was forced to hide their bodies so that he could avoid trouble. It’s said that their spirits still haunt the mansion to this day — but they’re not alone. The spirit of Alexander Hannah is also said to walk the halls.
You can arrange for a tour if you just want to visit — or a private paranormal investigation with your own group on the weekends.
Hold a Ghostly Investigation at Old Blackford County Jail — Hartford
This is not a place for the faint of heart. The jail was a site of misery for its inhabitants from the day it opened back in 1879, and it’s said that some of those who were imprisoned behind its walls back then are still there today — albeit in ghostly form.
Want to take a peek at what you can encounter? The jail’s website maintains an evidence page that contains recordings of some of the spectral voices that have been caught on tape over the years.
Nothing truly compares, however, to an in-person visit. The narrow halls and close quarters will have your skin crawling — and that’s before you encounter anything paranormal.
By no means are these the only wild, weird or haunted spots in Indiana, but they’re definitely a few of the most famous (or infamous) sites you can check out if you’re looking for a truly memorable Halloween!