As we approach Halloween, we can reflect on the past year as it is approaching an end. We can also reflect on Indiana and what it is known for: corn, ghosts, and Satanists.
Part of the small town experience is having something that the teenage kids can go get high and spray paint on. The unincorporated town of Joppa, just west of Mooresville, is no exception. At the end of “Graffiti road” sits an unadorned church called the Salem Church.
The Salem Church is known in the surrounding towns as a meeting place for Occult Rituals. People who go to this “Satanic Church” notice strange occurrences, lights on in the middle of the night, members trying to capture their car in the parking lot, and their hanging tree.
Kids from all the surrounding towns make trips out to the church at night to see if they can catch a glimpse of a goat being sacrificed to Satan. Mostly people go to stare at the church and then peel out once they’ve had enough.
“I get a really creepy feeling when I go out there,” Nate Dunn, a Danville resident and 19-year-old said.
Dunn used to go out there during the night to look at the church and try to spook his friends. He said he never believed it was Satanic, but still creepy.
The Salem Church is just a regular church. The members of the church are old and tired of kids driving out there to get high on their porch and throwing beer bottles at the tombstones. The reports of cars trapping people in were members trying to ask the intruder to leave them alone. The lights on at night were simply caretakers hoping to deter kids from driving through their property.
Satanic? Nope, just one of those classically misunderstood buildings in Small Town, USA.
The Devil's Mountain Cult is one of the most popular stories about satanic activities from Indiana and possibly the entire United States. The story goes that nine people were killed Halloween night, 1969, in an abandoned limestone quarry.
The Devil's Mountain Cult are believed to be an Indiana chapter of California’s “Church of Satan.” Multiple murders and animal sacrifices have occurred within the mine, and it is believed to be haunted.
According to the author of DevilsMountainCult.com, a ghost hunter and documentary filmmaker, it is the most haunted place he has been to and he had never felt anything that evil before.
“I won’t return to ‘Devil's Mountain’ ever again personally as I have had recurring nightmares about the place and I just wish to forget some of the things I saw,” the site publisher wrote.
Based on there being no names or evidence suggesting this actually happened, there are probably no Satanists there either. Still a fun story that is very popular throughout the Southern part of Indiana. If you are interested in checking it out for yourself it is a quick two and half hour trip to get there from Indianapolis.
As for ghosts it is up to the reader to decide whether or not to believe.
One of Indiana’s many “haunted” bridges can be found in Greencastle just past DePauw University about 45 minutes West of Indianapolis. The Edna Collings Bridge is a once picturesque covered bridge on a back road in a quaint farming town.
Built in 1922 the bridge has had many different ghost stories attached to it. Most popular is the story of Edna Collins, instead of Collings like the bridge is named. Edna was a little girl who was dropped off every day with her dog to swim in the creek under the bridge. When Edna’s parents got back to pick her up in the evening they would honk three times and she would come back up. One day after they honked only the dog came back, the little girl was later found drowned.
Now when people go to the graffiti covered bridge and honk three times with their headlights off handprint should appear on their car and the ghost is supposed to try to enter the vehicle. Bryan Kelly, a junior at IUPUI, got more than handprints when he went.
He was taking pictures from the backseat of a friend’s car and didn’t think he had caught anything. Later when reviewing the pictures he took he noticed a face behind the B-pillar of the car.
Is it really the face of a ghost?
“I don’t believe in ghosts, so probably not. I definitely get a creepy feeling out there though,” Kelly said.