We can’t help it. Whether you’re a believer or not, a good ghost story is sure to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Even through your doubts, your heart beats a little faster when you walk under that bridge or through the halls of that building, because you aren’t 100 percent sure, are you?
Halloween is around the corner so it’s fitting that we take a look at some of the most popular local ghost stories; some are new and others could be considered legend. With plenty of historical buildings and a stellar record of historical events, Hendricks County has tales that are sure to give anyone the creeps.
Sugar Grove Cemetery
Published in the Plainfield Progress, February 1893, Plainfield resident and prominent businessman in the area, Taylor Reagan recounts his experience when returning home with his wife from a day of fishing.
On a dark, desolate road entering Plainfield, the couple spot a rider on a legless horse keeping pace with their buggy. They greeted the rider several times, but he remained silent. They picked up their pace in order to pass, yet the rider remained at their side stride after stride.
Reagan said it was too dark to see his face and afraid, he fired his six shooter three or four times with no reaction or injury to the mystery rider.
Approaching Plainfield’s Sugar Grove Cemetery, the rider and horse went into the cemetery and vanished. Sugar Grove Cemetery is located along County Road 600 South in Plainfield if you want to try to have your own encounter with the mystery horse rider.
What locals remember as Central Normal College, a building used by the school corporation and then purchased by the Town of Danville, has a pretty interesting 145-year-old history.
The stories and legends typically surround Hargrave Hall and Gym which many believe is haunted by spirits.
Administrative staff reports hearing footsteps in the old school classrooms and finding no one there. Police officers have heard noises and found nothing after investigating. Even the custodian refused to clean in certain rooms of the building after witnessing doors shut behind her, water running and hearing footsteps.
A group of ghost hunters caught this photo, of an apparent apparition walking down the stairs in the Hargrave Gym.
Today, visitors can stop by Danville Town Hall at 49 N. Wayne St. for a variety of services but you may not want to go alone.
Just a few blocks away from Hargrave Hall on the Hendricks County Courthouse Square, the historic theater opened in 1914 and has received its share of unexplained happenings and ghost stories over the years.
Most recently, staff working at the theater have reported loud noises in unoccupied rooms; water faucets turning on by themselves; exploding light bulbs and even hearing their name whispered nearby.
Ghost hunters have spent the night at the theater on occasion, reporting activity in the various screening rooms and staff rooms.
The theater is still operating today, showing new and classic films every weekend.
Hadley Friends Cemetery
In the unincorporated town of Hadley, at the intersection of County Roads 400 West and 200 South, just west of Danville, visitors claim the cemetery is haunted. But by whom is unclear.
It could be the cemetery’s permanent residents or perhaps related to the town’s roots with the Underground Railroad.
Founded in the early 1820s, Hadley was home to one of several Underground Railroad stations in Hendricks County during the Civil War.
It’s possible, the town, rooted in history has sparked some haunting tales over the years.
Avon Haunted Bridge and Twin Bridges Road
Perhaps the most well-known ghost stories in Hendricks County surround two bridges in Avon and Danville.
The historic landmark of the Avon Haunted Bridge was built in 1906 off County Road 625 East and is still used today by CSX Transportation.
Multiple stories surround the bridge, including that of a young mother who was walking on the tracks with her baby. She slipped and fell from the bridge. Visitors to the bridge late at night can hear the mother screaming for her infant.
The Twin Bridges just east of the Avon Bridge on U.S. 36 in Danville was also built in 1906, and the stories of the two often overlap. Twin Bridges is known for the story of Dad Jones, a man working construction on the bridge. The platform he was standing on collapsed and he fell to his death, sinking into the wet concrete below.