Indiana is filled with ghost stories, from legends and myths to mysterious things that go bump in the night.
There's no better time to dive into those paranormal sightings than right before Halloween.
Here's a closer look at five of the most haunted places in the state and the stories behind them.
The Story Inn (Nashville, Indiana)
The country inn’s tagline is “One inconvenient location since 1851” and there’s more truth to that then most people know. To get to the inn, visitors must travel 20 miles into the wilderness down State Road 135 from Nashville.
The Story Inn is the only building still standing that was once part of a small mining town named Story. The town went defunct in the early 1900s but the inn was restored in the 1960s and now sits at the edge of Brown County State Park.
For years, the owners kept logs in each room so that guests could document their ghostly encounters – but the most well-known ghost that haunts the inn is the “Blue Lady.” Thought to be Dr. George Story’s wife, the “Blue Lady” is said to appear if you turn on a blue light in one of the rooms above the restaurant. If you smell cherry tobacco - her favorite - she’s already come and gone.
This inn is now a bed and breakfast, so don’t just take our word for it – go see for yourself.
Edna Collins Bridge (Putnam County, Indiana)
The bridge, erected in 1922 over Little Walnut Creek, was the last covered bridge built in Putnam County.
According to legend, Little Edna Collins’ parents used to drop her and her dog off to swim in Walnut Creek on their way to Greencastle. When they returned from their trip, they would drive onto the bridge and honk three times to let Edna know it was time to go home. One day, Edna didn’t come when they honked and her body was found downstream. Most stories say she was trying to rescue her dog, although other stories suggest she was brutally murdered.
They say if you drive onto the bridge and honk three times, little Edna’s ghost will appear on the bridge and try to get into your car. Some people have even recorded finding little kids handprints on their car after they drive away and hearing a little girl giggle.
Whispers Estate (Mitchell, Indiana)
One of the most famously paranormal locations in the state of Indiana, Whispers Estate has been featured in many books and TV shows and was rated by the Travel Channel as the 4th most terrifying place in America.
The house, which was built at the turn of the 20th Century, was purchased by Dr. John and Jessie Gibbons who reportedly adopted several orphaned children. Per legend, one of those orphans, a 10-year-old girl named Rachael, started a fire in the front parlor which burned her so badly that she died. A 10-month-old infant named Elizabeth later died in the master bedroom, and a grief-stricken Mrs. Gibbons later died in that same room from double pneumonia.
Dr. Gibbons also used the home as his office, and during his 26 years of practice, it is said that dozens of deaths and amputations were done inside the home.
The house is most well-known for the “whispering walls” and rattling doorknobs, but many say they have seen and heard the ghosts of the little girl "Rachael" running through the home giggling. Guests who sleep in the master bedroom where Mrs. Gibbons died often report waking up in the middle of the night with an uncontrollable bout of coughing.
If you aren’t freaked out by the stories, the house offers flashlight, investigation, public and private tours .
Hell’s Gate (Diamond/Brazil, Indiana)
Legend has it that there were seven gates to Hell located throughout the Wabash Valley countryside. Although many of those “gates” have been destroyed, the one in Brazil still stands.
According to lore, a train derailed on top of the gate, and all the passengers were killed and sent to hell. Many believe that when you find the tunnel all you have to do is flash your car lights (or a flashlight) three times into it before things will appear. Some report seeing the gatekeeper standing on top of the tunnel – others have seen blood on the walls or had restless spirits screaming and pounding on their vehicles.
If you see your name begin to glow on the walls, rumor says you will be dead by morning.
The other legend states that if you can find all seven of the “Hell’s Gates” tunnels and drive through them – when you look back after the seventh gate you’ll see Hell’s actual gates closing behind you.
French Lick Springs Hotel (French Lick, Indiana)
The hotel was built in 1845 and owned by Thomas Taggart, who according to legend was so devoted to the place that not even death could stop him from watching over its operations.
His spirit is thought to be haunting the service elevator. Some employees claim they have seen mists or smelled pipe or cigar tobacco. The most popular story is that when the hotel gets too busy, Taggart’s spirit will help out by running the lift. It is also known to run between floors in the middle of the night when no one is using it.
Taggart was known for riding his horse into the ballroom during the many parties he threw at the hotel, and some guests and staff say they’ve heard the sound of a horse trotting down the hall. Staff members also claim they can hear voices of ghostly guests throwing a party in the ballroom and they receive calls from empty hotel rooms in the middle of the night.