Are you looking for a frighteningly good time? Do you want something utterly spooktacular to make your Halloween special?
If you’re too old for Beggar’s Night and too bored with adult costume parties, maybe you should kick things up a notch and check out some of the creepiest spots in the area! Pumpkin patches and corn mazes are fun, to be sure – but sometimes you just want to experience a real thrill or two (especially as it gets closer to All Hallow’s Eve).
Luckily for you, both Kentucky and Indiana have some pretty sinister spots that are positively ghastly, ghostly and filled with paranormal activity. Pack a bag and grab your best ghoul-friend – because we’ve got all the details you need for a terrific (if terrifying) adventure.
Harrowing and Hair-Raising Locations in Kentucky
1. Waverly Hills Sanatorium
Widely thought to be one of the nation’s most haunted buildings, Waverly Hills was once a hospital for victims of tuberculosis at the turn of the 20th Century. As many as 63,000 patients found their deaths there, instead of a cure – and some of those poor souls are believed to still wander the halls.
2. Bob Mackey’s Music World
Does this popular nightclub hold sinister secrets? Built on the site of a 19th Century slaughterhouse, the surrounding area was rumored to be host to all kinds of occult activities. It’s also the site of a vicious murder that may have been tied to some dark ritual. Guests report cold chills, hot spots, strange music, the scent of roses and headless ghosts (among other things).
3. Seelbach Hotel
Have you ever wanted to play “ghost hunter” yourself? Well, grab the electromagnetic field (EMF) gauge and make your reservations – because you can stay overnight in the Seelbach. Widely known as one of the most haunted places in Kentucky, guests often report encounters with The Lady in Blue (plus a few other ghosts).
4. Sleepy Hollow Road
This isn’t the Sleepy Hollow that Ichabod Crane knew, but it’s just as scary. Kentuckians all know about this foreboding stretch of road where the trees seem to be reaching out with bony fingers to passing cars – and people have found themselves followed by a ghostly hearse. Others claim to have seen phantom lights, heard the wailing of desperate souls near Cry Baby Bridge and seen ghostly figures at a spot on the way called Devil’s Point.
5. Mammoth Cave National Park
Mammoth Cave National Park is one of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders in this country – but it’s also the site of some awful tragedies. From a failed hospital that experimented on patients with consumption to the deaths of hapless explorers, there’s plenty here to inspire an active imagination – although even park rangers (who are typically of stolid stock) have documented paranormal activity.
6. The Old Talbott Tavern
Located in the historic Bardstown district, this tavern is a great place to visit – and, apparently, a few wandering spirits have decided to simply stay there forever. Haunting music, clocks that chime out of turn, phantom knocks and strange voices have all been reported. Even the ghost of Jesse James is supposed to make an occasional appearance!
Shocking and Spine-Chilling Spots in Indiana
1. Indiana Medical History Museum
If this place doesn’t send chills down your spine, nothing will. Originally known as the “Central Indiana Hospital for the Insane,” this was never a happy place. Some of the unfortunate inhabitants who ended up there over the years have seemingly never moved on – and visitors report floating lights, wailing wraiths and all manner of paranormal events.
2. French Lick Springs Hotel
Would you prefer to do your ghost-hunting in luxury? Book a reservation at the French Lick Springs Hotel, where everyone from Al Capone to Franklin D. Roosevelt has stayed. Legend has it that the original owner, Thomas Taggart, still keeps a watch on the property. Guests report smelling his tobacco and seeing his shade in the facility’s ballroom – and that’s just for starters. Front desk clerks report getting phone calls from empty rooms, and housekeepers complain of laughter and footsteps from invisible sources.
3. Story Inn
Indiana has its own version of a “Blue Lady,” and she haunts the Story Inn. Famous for its tagline as being “one inconvenient location since 1851,” this inn and restaurant is located in what was once a boom town – long gone bust. You can get a bed for the night, breakfast in the morning and the bejabbers scared out of you in-between!
4. Hannah House
Built in 1858 by Indiana State legislator Alexander Hannah, this 24-room mansion is the epitome of elegance – and eerie. Once part of the Underground Railroad, the mansion was the site of a tragic accident that claimed the lives of a group of slaves making their bid for freedom. Legend has it that both Hannah and some of the slaves who died there still haunt the grounds, and guests frequently take multiple photos of the various rooms to see if they can spot ghostly apparitions in them later.
5. Slippery Noodle Inn
The Slippery Noodle is just the latest incarnation of various drinking establishments on the site, dating way back into the 1800s when the place started out as a bar and brothel. Guests and staff alike have reported doors closing abruptly in their faces and unseen hands shoving them from behind, while male patrons who venture upstairs have been greeted with the eerie laughter of unseen women.
6. Willard Library
Want to check out one of the most haunted places in the world from the comfort (and safety) of your own home? Willard Library is so famous for hauntings by “The Grey Lady” that the curators have even installed a ghost cam that lets you watch for spooks and spirits from a distance. If you want an up-close look, however, there are official tours – and one very active ghost.
Obviously, this is the perfect season for a little unearthly fun, so don’t hesitate to make the most of your weekends. Check the websites for all locations to make sure that you know when they’re open to the public so that you can plan your trip accordingly.