Many communities can boast a variety of local ghost stories, and the Wabash Valley has more than its share.
Potential ghost hunters are advised to seek the permission of living property owners before entering any location.
In Clay County, the Zion United Church of Christ Cemetery south of Poland is a popular spooky spot for ghost hunters. Local legend says the area is a hot spot for unexplained lights and sounds, ghostly whispers, eerie sensations and the feeling of being watched. One helpful ghost is said to stop passing cars and tell people to turn back.
In Sullivan County, two cemeteries have been identified as hot spots for paranormal activity.
Antioch Cemetery is located near Cass. An apparition of a man in a dark suit holding flowers has been reported looking at a grave on foggy nights around 1:30 a.m. Visitors in cars also report shadow people flying over cars and scratching or touching the vehicles.
Bethel Cemetery along Indiana 48 in Hymera has the legend of the Nathan Hinkle grave. Local residents report that those who locate the grave of Hinkle, a Revolutionary War soldier, and then walk around it saying his name three times will hear Hinkle speaking back.
Putnam County has several legends about hauntings. Among the most popular are the Boone-Hutcheson Cemetery southwest of Greencastle, the Edna Collings Covered Bridge near Clinton Falls, the ghost librarian at DePauw University, and the O’Hair House north of Greencastle.
At the Boone-Hutcheson Cemetery, an apparition of a 1950s police officer is reported to sit inside the graveyard with a blue light. Other apparitions and phantom dogs with glowing red eyes have also been reported.
The Edna Collings Bridge was built in 1922 over Little Walnut Creek and has long been rumored to be haunted by the ghost of a little girl who drowned in the creek. Legend is that if a motorist parks a car on the bridge at night and honks the horn three times, a girl will appear and try to get into the car. Sometimes, ghostly handprints will appear on the car and its windows.
At DePauw University, the ghost of former Indiana Gov. James Whitcomb is said to guard the private collection he bequeathed on the condition that the collection be used only for research purposes and that none of the books can be taken from the library building. His ghost will appear to whomever takes a book, and the apparition will demand the book’s return.
The James Eddington Montgomery O’Hair was built near Brick Chapel in 1834 and has a long history of being haunted. Past residents have reported at least three ghosts from the Civil War era, as well as slammed doors, coughing, far-away music and the touch of invisible hands. Two women wearing antebellum dresses have been seen walking through the kitchen area.
Four locations are among the haunting hot spots in Vigo County.
At Markle Mill Dam, the ghost of a girl has been seen around the foundations of the former gristmill that was built on the site in 1816. The girl is rumored to be connected to the underground railroad, which had a stop in that area.
eThe Vigo County Historical Museum on South Sixth Street in Terre Haute is said to be home to some orbs and a small mist that appear in the front staircase. There is also a baby crib in an upstairs room that is said to move by itself. The museum is also home to another local legend of ghostly fame, Stiffy Green.
Stiffy Green is a phantom bulldog who belonged to John Heinl, a likable elderly business owner who died in 1920 and was buried in Highland Lawn Cemetery on Terre Haute’s east side. Heinl’s dog reportedly refused to leave the mausoleum and was eventually found there dead. The deceased dog was placed inside the masoleum with his owner. Apparitions of both the dog and Heinl have been reported in the cemetery.
Another Highland Lawn legend is about Martin Sheets, an early 1900s business owner who feared being buried alive, so he had a telephone installed in his mausoleum. Years later, Sheets’ wife was found dead clutching a telephone. When she was entombed, it was noticed that Martin’s telephone was off the hook inside the locked mausoleum.
Indiana State University also reportedly has ghosts in some of its residence halls. In Burford Hall, a ghost named Barb is the spirit of a student who died of alcohol poisoning. She can be heard vomiting or crying in various bathrooms. In Cromwell Hall, residents have reported hearing the footsteps of a man who, as legend has it, jumped to his death from the 12th floor.