When people think of ghosts and hauntings, a lot of places probably come to mind. The waters of New England, with their traditions of the colonists and ship wrecks seems like prime ghost territory. So too do the swamps of Florida that swallowed up men by the droves and which held Indian secrets. Indiana isn’t usually considered the place to go to find ghosts… but it has it’s hot beds of paranormal activity.
For instance in Gary, Indiana there’s a spirit that has been given the name of a much older ghost. La Llorona, the weeping woman, is originally a ghost story from Mexico City. Supposedly a widow was told by a young nobleman that he wouldn’t be with her because she had children. In response she murdered her children, and he was so disgusted with her that he cast her out. Mad with grief and sorrow, she was found drowned the next day with the blood from her murders still on her hands and dress.
A similar seeming ghost, also called La Llorona has been seen in the Cudahee neighborhood, near the corner of Cline Avenue and Fifth Street. Though this ghost bears the same name as the Mexican legend, she’s supposed to be a woman who lost her children to a car accident in the 1930’s, and who wandered the streets insane with grief until she died. Her spirit, bloody and wailing, still haunts the neighborhood.
Another haunted area, and much larger in scope than a single street corner, is the Indiana Dunes. The most famous spirit that haunts this place is named, appropriately enough, Diana of the Dunes. The woman’s name was really Alice, and she lived in a cabin near Lake Michigan beginning in 1915. A former editor who was losing her eyesight, she’d often walk the paths of the dunes, and occasionally swim naked in the lake. Alice eventually took up with a man who didn’t treat her well, and who would eventually lead to her death (the official cause of which was uremic poisoning, which was helped along by repeated blows to the back and stomach). Even though she died in Michigan City, her ghost has been spotted walking the paths and the beaches of the Dunes, or splashing in lake Michigan and vanishing.
In Terre Haute, one of the friendlier ghosts can be found. Fondly known as Stiffy Green, this is a dog so loyal that even death couldn’t part him from his master’s side. Owned by a well liked man in the community, Stiffy was heartbroken when his owner died. Though two of his owner’s friends tried to take him in, Stiffy would constantly go missing. No matter how long he’d been gone though, he could always be found near his master’s mausoleum, standing guard over the door. When Stiffy eventually died, his new owners decided to have him stuffed, and placed inside the vault near the crypt of his master. Ever since then there have been reports of the sounds of barking in the evening hours, and many people claim they’ve seen not one, but two ghosts. A small dog, and a tall, older man walking between the tombstones and smoking a pipe.