With Halloween comes temporary haunted houses and mazes set up all around the state. But what about the houses and buildings that are rumored to be actually haunted? I’ve compiled a list of three popular haunted houses/buildings around Indiana.
The Story Inn (Nashville, IN)
In the Garden Room of The Story Inn lives the spirit of the “Blue Lady.” The Blue Lady is thought to be the spirit of the wife of Dr. George Story. When the current owner bought the inn, he noted that each room in the inn had its own guest book so visitors could report any suspicious paranormal activities during their stay. Going through previous guest books that were stored in the attic, the owner was surprised to discover entries dating back to soon after The Story Inn’s opening in 1851. As it is a tradition and part of The Story Inn’s history, visitors can still find and write about their experiences in guest books today.
It is believed that the Blue Lady is summoned when a blue light placed in the corner of the Garden room is turned on. However, it’s also been reported that she sometimes shows up on her own. She is said to have blue eyes and has the habit of leaving behind blue colored objects. It is speculated that she used to smoke cherry tobacco, and visitors often claim to catch whiffs of this scent throughout their stay. In 2005, a group called Hoosier Paranormal went to The Story Inn and determined that there is a female and male spirit, the female spirit thought to be the Blue Lady.
Hannah House (Indianapolis, IN)
Two separate incidents of death occurred in this house. Built in 1858, Hannah House was part of the Underground Railroad. A group of slaves seeking relief from their long travels happened upon the house and spent the night in the basement of the home. The oil lantern on the floor next to the slaves was accidentally knocked over, the oil spilled out of the lantern, and a fire quickly broke out. Many died from smoke inhalation. The next morning, the owner of the house, Alexander Hannah, buried the bodies in the basement. The second incident of death was when Mrs. Hannah gave birth to a stillborn baby in the 2nd floor bedroom. All three Hannahs are buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.
In 1962, a man named David Elder was the first to report suspicious paranormal activities occurring in the house, specifically in the basement and 2nd floor bedroom where Mrs. Hannah gave birth to a stillborn baby. People have reported hearing footsteps and mumbling voices, feeling cold drafts, and seeing doors and windows open on their own. There have also been spottings of what seems to be Alexander Hannah and his wife on the second floor, as well as apparitions of slaves in the basement. From 1968-1978, a couple named Mr. & Mrs. O’Brien owned an antique shop on the first floor of the mansion while living in the unoccupied parts of the mansion. During the ten years in which they owned the house, the O’Briens experienced many unexplainable things, such as apparitions, doors opening on their own, and abnormal noises. They could only explain these phenomena as the spirits of the slaves and the Hannahs still residing in the house.
Whispers Estate (Mitchell, IN)
Built around 1894, Whispers Estate was the home to Dr. John and Jessie Gibson. With Dr. Gibson running his private practice out of the first floor of Whispers Estate, the house saw countless deaths of both Dr. Gibson’s patients and family. The first reported death started with the couple’s adopted daughter, 10-year old Rachel. Rachel died in her bedroom of severe burns two days after she started a fire in the front parlor of the home. Starting shortly after she died and still today, people have reported seeing and hearing a young girl thought to be Rachel running around the estate. The Gibson’s 10-month old daughter, Elizabeth, died of unknown causes in the master bedroom. Jessie Gibson also died in this room due to double pneumonia. Guests that have stated in the master bedroom have claimed to hear labored breathing, coughing, the cries of a baby, and have also claimed to hear the closet doorknob rattle for a few moments before the door seemingly opened by itself.
After being vacant for a few years, new owners bought the house in 2006 with the intent to renovate it into a bed and breakfast. Strange activities began to occur almost immediately. Guests that stayed in the house reported voices whispering in their ears, prompting people to call the house Whispers Estate. Visitors that slept in the attic claimed to have horrible nightmares and woke up to the sound of the doorknob rattling as if something was trying to enter the room. There were also sightings of a shadow deemed “Big Black” seen mostly in the doctor’s rooms, although it was also seen throughout the entire house. Guests occasionally reported the smell of baby powder, although more often than not, people reported the smell of cologne, tobacco, and rancid meat throughout the house. Whispers Estate is considered one of the most haunted places in Indiana.
If you’d like to read more about any of these places, visit these websites:
The Story Inn:
Image Source: cityprofile.com