For me, a good scare is like a good joke: It’s only effective if there is an element of truth to it. I can’t get into haunted houses when I know that mummy over there is a 16 year old kid who believes firmly that he’s going to make it in show biz once he can get out to New York, or that the zombie chasing me with a chainsaw learned to use it during his day job at Home Depot. I know all those actors are just friendly people from my community out to show me a good spooky time, so I’m never scared. For me, the real haunts of Halloween are the ones that are unexplained, documented and historic in nature.
I give you: Where to go on ghost tours in Indianapolis.
First in my hometown of Noblesville, you can check out the Historic Indiana Ghost Walks + Tours. The Nefarious Noblesville Ghost Walk winds through downtown (and surrounding cemeteries!) and shows you the scary side of Hamilton’s county seat. Not to spoil anything but there is a jail in downtown Noblesville, and it only gets spookier from there. If you are looking for more haunts in Hamilton County, head to the Haunted Underground Railroad Ghost Walk in Westfield where you will have a brief encounter with Westfield’s most haunting legends and folk tales. This tour is a mixture of stories of ghosts of the Underground Railroad and those who helped them escape along with tales of modern day gangsters and mischief from the city’s haunted history.
For a more centrally located tour, check out the Chilling Chatham Arch Lockerbie Ghost Walk, which weaves through the Theatre District in Downtown Indianapolis. Get the scoop on a cast of characters, including Dr. Helene Knabe, Cockroach Row, Graverobbers and Jolly Werner – all of which are doomed to eternal life on earth after death.
Tight spaces, winding corridors and creepy dark corners are a pretty surefire way to get most people’s teeth chattering. So if claustrophobia is your phobia of choice, and you’re looking for a good scare, check out the Indiana Landmarks Catacombs tours below the City Market in Indy. This basement floor of Tomlinson Hall surveyed a fire in 1958 and the ghosts of that fire still haunt the labyrinth below. Actually, I don’t think anyone died in that fire… but it is a pretty neat maze that has some neat history and modern functions that you’ll be interested and creeped out to hear about!
Another great walking tour in Indy is the Irvington Ghost Tour: A $15 walking tour through the Irvington community. Not only does your ticket buy you a good historic scare, it also sends you home with the Irvington Haunts Tour Guide book. What’s great about this tour is that there are no sell outs and all the proceeds benefit the Irvington community. No need for advanced reservations so when the urge for a scare strikes you – head over!
Last and definitely not least is the most historical and probable haunting in all of Indianapolis: The Hannah House. Tours begin at 7pm each night and tickets are $29 each. If you are unfamiliar with the history of the Hannah House, it was a stop on the underground railroad leading up to the civil war. In 1858 the basement, which was a favorite hiding spot for refugee slaves, caught fire burning the people hidden below. The rest is a bit too gruesome to tell here, but I promise you the tale is terrifying and the location has been called one of the most haunted places in the world by experts in paranormal activity. Not for the faint of heart!
Make sure you check out one of these great spots before the end of October since we all know ghosts have a thing for October. And make sure you bring your camera but don’t be surprised if you bring back some images you didn’t know you’d taken!