This one’s for you, Madison/Hanover!
—Comment below and tell me your own spooky tales—
Last time, we looked at some spooky stories, especially from Madison. This post, we’ll be looking at them with an emphasis on Hanover, or some more interesting Madison stories that I may have missed. To read that post, click here. To quote myself, “If you want me to go all history-nut on it, sorry. That’s what I have Wikipedia for. And yes, I will cite Wikipedia with no shame. Sorry, English teachers.”
Springdale Cemetery, in downtown Madison, is one of the oldest graveyards around, founded in 1904. With over 100 years of history, it isn’t surprising that plenty of stories have originated from here.
This cemetery is one of the more interesting sites around town, and I actually heard about the history while watching a documentary on the Jefferson Proving Grounds. (Don’t judge me.) Every time I drive downtown, I see it over to my right. Especially at night, when all the lights of the city shine brightly and there’s this frightening little scene to the left, it makes me shiver. Like something straight out of a horror movie, Springdale Cemetery is something you won’t forget anytime soon, and not just because of the spooky looks.
One of the stories reported by multiple sources is a sort of ghost with a lantern that wanders up and down the tombstone rows at night. While the legs and light are always visible, anything above it hasn’t been seen. There are lights on the stones that go off at night, which makes it hard to guess what exactly it was these people saw. The fact that the lights were moving, however, lends some gravity to the theory it was something supernatural, something ghostly.
Another strange story has to do with the statue above, called “Let There Be Light.” It’s said that every year, on Easter morning, she will cry tears of blood that run down her stony face. Also, if you kiss her feet, it’s rumored that she will jump down off her pedestal and chase after you for a moment. While these sounds like ridiculous works of fiction, try reading again while you stand there in the dead of night or on a foggy morning. Ghosts, suddenly, seem a lot more real.
There are tons of ghost stories to choose from in Madison, Indiana. Eggleston Elementary School is said to be the home of more than a few ghosts, from stories about the death of a principal to a student who jumped out the second-floor window. And if you’re looking for tales about the ghosts from a train wreck, look no farther than Heritage Trail.
But for now, onto Hanover where the residents have plenty of stories of their own.
There aren’t a ton of stories coming from Hanover, although anyone who’s visited the town at sunset might be surprised by that fact. Small, self-contained, and independent, the town is friendly and charming during the day. And while the people don’t change at night, it certainly seems like the scenery does.
Just take, for example, the Hanover Cemetery. Many people who have visited report a sense of anxiety, as soon as they step foot onto the property. As soon as they leave, however, that feeling disappears entirely. Chills during the hot months, and the urge to throw up. A pinwheel that spins fast, at the same speed, no matter how much wind there is that day, and which might stop if you ask it to nicely. All of these, and more, are supposedly the results of Benjamin Bennett, a boy who drowned in the Ohio River and whose body was never found. His grave there is the site of many peculiar events, and may be at the center of everything.
One of the most influential and interesting sites is Hanover College, the university founded nearly 200 years ago. One of the former presidents, named Parker, has been seen and even heard, walking around the auditorium named after him. Other, less noticeable pranks, such as items missing, doors being locked behind somebody, or a knock on the door and then footsteps that seemed to go through walls. All of these could be chalked up to pranks by the students, except for the fact that often times nobody will claim them, and the items don’t always turn back up.
The most chilling story, by far, has to do with the bell on top of the Parker Auditorium. One night, nobody knows exactly how long ago, there was a loud ringing sound across the campus, waking students. It seemed odd, since the bell was only rung on the hour marks, and the time was in between. Another strange aspect was that the bell only rang one time, reverberating and then dying. There was no rhythm to it, no pattern, and no repeat. Just a single noise, and then not heard for the rest of the night. It was later discovered that a student had hung himself from one side, causing it to sound loudly. That soul is blamed for many of the strange occurrences across campus. Variations of this tale have it taking place in a dorm room, but something definitely seems to have happened that causes quite a stir around town… and still does.
Click Here for more haunted locations in good old Indiana. See? We do have more than farms and basketball.