Scared to death
IU home to gaggle of ghastly hauntings
By Sam Nissen | Indiana
Daily Student | Monday, July 18, 2005
entered Phi Kappa Tau on move-in day. He was the first pledge to
move in -- no one else was in the house, unbeknownst to
him. So, when he heard the sound of footsteps drudging down the stairs,
he wasn't surprised.
the source of the sound, calling out "Who's
there, who's there?," looking for his fellow house mates. He
rounded the corner toward the stairs and the sound stopped. He saw
nothing and froze. The touch of a hand rested on Jackson's shoulder
sending him into a seizure. His brothers found him soon after and
helped him to the Health Center. IU's haunted places
Or so the legend goes.
The Career Center,
formerly the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity house, is one of the many "haunted" places
on campus, including the Indiana Memorial Union and Read dorm.
As many as 45 percent of IU
students might be inclined to believe the local legends according
to a recent Gallup poll. The poll asked a sample of more than
1,000 Americans if they believed that "ghosts/spirits of dead
people can come back."
founder of the Association for Aerial Anomaly Research and Cataloging,
believes the University
possesses key qualities
increasing the occurrence of tales of the occult.
It all boils down to history," she said. "The more history
there is, the more fertile the ground is for ghostly legends
to take root and grow." She also said younger people possess
open minds, but also "are more imaginative and subject to
might lend to this paranormal "hot
military bases, bodies of water, sizeable populations and
relative seclusion from other large cities add to the occurrences
Taylor said. Bloomington has all of these in the Crane
Naval Surface Warfare base, Lake Monroe (and other lakes) and
at around 70,000. The nearest city of equal or greater
size is Indianapolis whose downtown is approximately 52 miles
and Walnut Avenue.
range from the typical to the strange.
forlorn mother is said to haunt the Monroe-Morgan County State
Stepp Cemetery. The mother supposedly
can be seen at full moon mourning the loss of her baby,
Stepp Cemetery is approximately 15 miles north of campus.
It remains a popular stop for late-night visitors,
has led to the defacing of many grave stones.
It can also be a dangerous place," Taylor said. "We have
found remnants of ritual practices that suggest people
don't just visit that cemetery to mourn the dead. Be careful, one
of the guys
with us brought a gun, just in case."
religious cult once called the secluded cemetery
home. The Crabbites, the legend goes, claimed
the ground early
in the 20th century. Crabbites gained a reputation
for unsavory sexual
practices in the community.
I've been there and it can be spooky in the woods at night," said
Maggie Anaya, co-founder of Indiana Paranormal
Investigators. But sightings, she said, are the domain of students
looking for a thrill
-- not ghost hunters like the IPI and others. "All
the stories seem to come from teenagers who go
there looking for a thrill, and
are rarely disappointed."
The Career Center
supposedly remains the haunt of children aborted
there during a doctor's extended
in the building's
history, among its other harrowing tales. The
builder was supposedly driven
to build the house in a fit of insanity and
killed himself after completion -- just before the doctor
such ghost stories are not alone, though, neither are believers.
believers at 47
percent as of
time of print -- about equal to the Gallup
data for believers 18 to 29.
the AAARC and the IPI have become shelters for dedicated believers.
misconceptions paint ghosts
as evil and vindictive. "If ghosts
really are the dearly departed, why would
to scare us?"
IUPD Lt. Jerry
L. Minger has heard some strange stories while with
the force. But,
he said, "weird things reported
to IUPD are closer to reality than to
In his 33 years
with IUPD, Minger said ghost sightings are
prevalent among story
habits and demographics prevent students
from sharing many ghoulish experiences,
Our officers have gotten some pretty strange stories from persons
that have been arrested under the influence of drugs or alcohol," Minger
said, "but I wouldn't attribute these sightings to a visit from
'the other side.'"