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Ghost Stories from the area

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized

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Published on October 27, 2010 with No Comments

Since Halloween is quickly approaching there are a lot of preparations that people are making. Some people are buying candy, others are putting together costumes, and still others are sending out invitations and planning parties.

There are some people who want more from their Halloween – they want to see a ghost.

Like any sort of ghost hunter, you have to know where to look, and what it is that you are looking for. Fortunately for those who hope to catch a glimpse of the supernatural though, Indiana is rife with ghost stories and legends.

The most famous ghost story in Northwest Indiana is the tale of Diana of the Dunes. As her name might imply, this woman lived out on the dunes, but her name was actually Alice Gray. As a former publisher who was losing her eyesight, Gray moved out to a cabin on the Dunes where she could swim – often in the nude as the story goes – and walk in the woods.

She eventually met and lived with a man named Paul Wilson who treated her terribly. Alice died in Michigan City in 1925 in the home she shared with Wilson. Her death was the result of medical complications, uremic poisoning that was hastened along by repeated blows to the back and stomach. Her ghost is said to have been sighted in the Dunes State Park, often walking along the trails or out into Lake Michigan.

In the town of Plymouth, found at the intersection of U.S. Highways 30 and 31, there is also a unique ghost story to be found.

In the year 2002 the Hayloft Restaurant, which was an actual barn until the conversion in the 1970s, was a haunted restaurant. The Hayloft ghost, which was described by those who saw him as a farmer in bib overalls, was a very enigmatic specter. Witnesses who saw the ghost also claimed that he smelled like wood smoke – raising questions as to just what his unfinished business might have been.

For Northwest Indiana residents who are looking for a more local haunt, so to speak, there is also the story of La Llorona in Gary. The story of the ghost has two different versions, the first is much older and comes from Mexico City, and the second is completely home grown in our portion of the state.

The original version of the ghost story has all of the classic elements of a romance gone awry. Years and years ago there was a widow who lived with her children in a small town near Mexico City. Though beautiful, a young nobleman refused to marry her because she had children.

The rejection drove her mad, and in an attempt to prove her devotion the woman murdered her children and ran to her heart’s desire to tell him what she had done. Far from finding this endearing as a sign of love, the nobleman was repulsed, throwing her out of his home. Alone and truly insane, she wandered the streets with her children’s blood on her hands and dress, wailing and crying for everything she had lost.

Authorities are supposed to have found her the next morning drowned face down in a mud puddle. The story of her ghost, called “La Llorona, the weeping woman” is said to have followed the immigrants north to Gary, where they were trying to find work in the steel mills. There may be another explanation for the ghost that has been reportedly seen near the intersection of 5th Street and Cline Avenue.

It is said that the ghost in Gary, while she bears a resemblance to the bloody, weeping woman of Mexico, is another ghost with another story. But the immigrants gave her the name of La Llorona all the same.

It is said the ghost people have reported seeing in the neighborhood of Cudahee is actually a woman whose children died in a car crash in the 1930s. The loss of her children broke her mind, and she spent days wandering the streets and crying. Supposedly after her death, her spirit continued the routine and wandered the streets, wailing and crying.

For residents of Valparaiso, there is one more spot on the list of mysterious places and locations – though this one is even more mysterious than others.

The Merlin Tree, which is a large tree that grows near the Chapel of the Resurrection, has a number of odd rumors that swirl around it, many which have grown into legends that cannot be confirmed nor denied.

One of these legends is that there were several men who died fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War who are buried near that tree. Others say that it was a tree used for hanging before the university was ever established. Regardless of the story told though, the Merlin Tree at night is an eerie place to be. If you look carefully, as some students have, you just might see a ghost.

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