headstoneWhile Indiana does have incredible natural beauty, it also has some places that are downright creepy, spooky, and have that strange vibe about them

You know the places – where legend says ghosts are seen, otherworldly creatures stalk for prey, and crazily gene-deficient locals hunt for teen lovers

Throughout my life I’ve always found the great Hoosier outdoors as a place of tranquility, comfort, and beauty. I’ve spent countless hours paddling, hiking, and camping in some of the most serene landscapes in our state. While most of these adventures are benign and relaxing, I must admit that I’ve had my share of “odd” experiences

Thus, in the spirit (pun intended) of the Halloween season, I present you with my choices for the Creepiest Places in WildIndian

Browning Mountain – Brown County

browning mountain rocksThis place feels primeval even during the daytime, as if you’re hiking during the time before white dudes settled the area. After a steady, but not too strenuous uphill 25-minute hike, you’ll come to a site that’s known as “Indiana’s Stonehenge”. And yes, literally, there are giant slabs of sandstone seemingly sitting in formation at the top. Why and how they got there is conjecture: Theories range from the site being a Native American sacred site, an ancient temple, or a Sasquatch burial ground. (Okay, I made up that last part.) But it is creepy, even during the daytime.

browning headstone
A previously-undocumented stone with carvings
creepy rock enhanced
Carvings in the rock highlighted

On our hike, as we were descending around dusk, we noticed a strange quiet fell upon the place. And – I have photographic evidence – we saw an old, creepy, disembodied doll head sitting about 15 feet up in a barren tree. We laughed, wondered and debated about its meaning, but made haste down the trail. Hence, we now call the place “Creepy Baby Head Mountain.”

Rocks in the Trees- Yellowwood State Forest

turkey rock
Turkey Rock before the tree fell in Yellowwood State Forest

Arguably the most famous boulder in Indiana, at least among hikers, Turkey Rock was a large hunk of sandstone perched high in a tree inside Yellowwood State Forest. Various theories have been posed about how a half-ton rock ended up high in a tree in a remote area but so far, none seem plausible except perhaps simple mischief on the part of jokesters. However, even that theory seems unlikely since the rock was difficult to find unless you had detailed information about where it was located. Unfortuately, the rock and tree fell a few years ago.

However, numerous people claim that there are at least two more such rocks in the immediate area. With a little internet sleuthing, we know that you can find specific directions to at least one of the rocks. We haven’t yet made the trip since it is considerably off-trail deep within the forest.

If you go, don’t let the aliens, tornado, bigfoot or jokesters get you!

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore- Porter, Lake, LaPorte Counties

swimmerThis 25-mile stretch of beautiful sands along Lake Michigan is also one of the most reportedly haunted natural spots in the Hoosier State. Even national press outlets buzz about the ghost of “Diana of the Dunes”.

Reportedly, Diana (who’s real name was Alice, confusedly enough) stalks the dunes at night and goes skinny-dipping. I’m not against skinny-dipping by any means, but the thought of a ghost woman doing it creeps me out and makes me flashback to “The Shining”. In winter, this place is virtually deserted, stark, barren, and uber-creepy. Especially after dark. Interestingly, that’s when most sightings of Diana are reported. (Is she a member of some kind of supernatural Polar Bear Club?)

Eagle Creek Area: I-65 – Boone-Marion County

bigfootNot only is the stretch of I-65 often and repeatedly haunted by both INDOT and the Indiana State Police, but the traffic on the Zionsville/Whitestown exit is absolutely nightmarish. As if that’s not enough in 1977, according to the internet, “witnesses” saw a Bigfoot cross the interstate near Eagle Creek. Very eerie!

Coach Pagano of the Indianapolis Colts has been repeatedly seen in the area with a blank Offensive Lineman contract in hand.

Morgan-Monroe State Forest – Morgan, Monroe Counties

stepp cemeteryThis vast tract of thick forestland has always creeped me out – even before I started researching the area. There’s something not quite right about this area near Bloomington – and I don’t just mean IU Football.

Take, for instance, the Stepp Cemetary, where various apparitions, disembodied voices, and other strange occurrence seem to happen on a regular basis. The tales and legends from this place are too numerous to mention, but it may be one of the creepiest (and most vandalized) locales in our state.

Then there’s Draper Cabin. You can actually stay here overnight, if you dare and if you pay the DNR fee. The web, my email box, and word-of-mouth speak of dozens of happy campers cutting their trips short because of stalking shapes, odd sounds, phantom footfalls, and a general sense of ill ease.

When you also consider that most of the Sasquatch sightings in Indiana happen in Morgan-Monroe, you’ve got a thoroughly eerie wilderness area – and our pick for the Creepiest Place in WildIndiana.

Disclaimer: It is solely your responsibility to acquire appropriate permissions before visiting any location listed in this article. Private property should be respected at all times, as should all posted signs concerning trespassing, hours of operation and other local regulations.

 

Chadd Wheat
Chadd Wheat is a senior IT consultant, adventurer and writer from Lebanon, Indiana. He attended Purdue University and Indiana Wesleyan University. His writings have appeared in Indiana's Lebanon Reporter, AMC Outdoors, American Police Beat, Presbyterians Today, WildIndiana and in the book Chicken Soup for the Sister's Soul. Chadd devotes his spare time to reading, writing, watching classic movies, participating in church and volunteer activities, and adventuring in the outdoors with his brother. He occasionally gets to take a nap every seven months or so.

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