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Creepy Stories and Urban Legends from Indiana

Updated September 23, 2021 16.5k views12 items

Every state has its folklore and the Hoosier State is no different. Home to lots of rural land, there are plenty of creepy Indiana urban legends regarding very old buildings, deserted roads, and remote cemeteries. If you live in Indiana, or ever find yourself passing through, you may want to visit some of these locations. Who knows? You may catch a glimpse of Black Annie in Booneville or run into the Lady in Grey while stopping by Evansville's Willard Library. 

Ghost stories from Indiana often encompass the state's history. The Battle of Tippecanoe has supposedly left its mark on Battle Ground, Indiana and the state's association with the Underground Railroad has resulted in some lingering spirits. If you're looking for something to do in Indiana, browse this list and pay some of these locations a visit. 

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  • The Crosley Monster Lurks In Jennings County

    Jennings County, Indiana is home to its very own Bigfoot legend called the Crosley Monster. It resembles the typical depictions of Bigfoot: half man, half monster, nearly seven feet tall, with huge glowing eyes. It walks on two legs, and is covered in fur or hair. However, this Bigfoot is slightly different - it will chase you instead of run away.

    Back in 2006, several kids were camping at Harsin Pond in the Crosley Fishing and Wildlife area when they saw the monster, who immediately leaped onto all fours and began chasing them. They got away, but only because they found themselves on a main road. The monster disappeared into the nearby woods. 

  • Photo: Lori McCallister / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    Diana Of The Dunes Wanders The Beach

    Diana of the Dunes's real name was Alice Marble Gray, a free spirited woman who lived in Indiana in the 1920s. While some details of her life are veritable facts, a lot of specific stories are wrapped up in local folklore. 

    Gray was known as a free spirit throughout her life, but her reputation as a nonconformist really took off when she moved to a remote location near Lake Michigan at 35 and chose to live off the land in an abandoned shack. The area is now known as Dunes State Park. It was there that she met fellow recluse Paul Wilson and the two began sharing a shack and may have married. Accounts vary. Trouble struck when Paul Wilson became a murder suspect after the burned, beaten body of a man was discovered near the couple's beach home. This, and the couple's unconventional lifestyle, generated a lot of unwanted media attention and they allegedly planned to travel via raft to Texas. Unfortunately, Gray died due to kidney trouble, although some local legends claim Wilson poisoned her. 

    According to local stories, Diana still appears on the beach that she loved in form of a nude woman, walking along the beach or swimming in the water. When visitors try to get close to her, she vanishes into thin air. 

  • A Green Clawed Beast Swims In The Ohio River

    In 1955, a tale emerged about a green clawed human-sized beast waiting in the Ohio River to attack unsuspecting women. This legendary creature exists right outside of Evansville, Indiana, and supposedly attacked a woman that year while she was swimming. It had hairy arms, large clawed hands, and green skin. It grabbed at the woman, trying to pull her under several times, before she managed to scare it away with a huge splash. She was left with multiple wounds, including a green stain shaped like a human hand. 

    Incidentally, this occurred on the same day as the famous Hopkinsville Goblin sightings. This was an incident in Kelly, Kentucky in which a family reported seeing flying saucers and goblin-like creatures outside their rural home. Some believe the Ohio River creature was an extraterrestrial related to the Kentucky goblins, who likely arrived on earth the same day. 

  • Photo: Sosanna / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    A Witch Still Lives In Devil's Hollow

    Devil's Hollow, located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is allegedly home to a witch's house that you'll want to avoid. The remains of a house with a long chimney is located on a hill deep in the woods on Cedar Canyon Road. According to local lore, a reclusive old woman once called the house home. Teenagers began gathering near her house due to its secluded location to have parties and hook up free of parental supervision. The old woman began spreading rumors she was a witch in hopes of scaring off the troublesome teens, but the plan backfired. A Fort Wayne resident burnt her house to the ground out of fear of the occult and witchcraft, killing her. No one was ever caught or charged with the crime and her spirit supposedly still haunts the grounds. 

    Like any urban legend, there are some variations. In some versions, the woman actually was a witch and cursed a group of teens who slowly died via various means. Eventually, the teens decided to burn the witch alive. However, her body was never recovered and some say the witch is actually immortal and still roams the grounds.