3 of the Most Spine-Chilling Legends in Indiana

3 of the Most Spine-Chilling Legends in Indiana

Kayla Moriarty, Feature Editor

Perhaps you’ve heard them; the outlandish tales passed down from generation to generation. Tales of fairies in the forest, monsters in the woods, and ghosts in old houses. Indiana is surprisingly an urban legend hotspot and is home to some of the most well-known legends. 

  • Diana of the Dunes

Most people don’t equate Indiana to beautiful beaches surrounded by Lake Michigan, but Northern Indiana says otherwise. Diana of the Dunes is a common nickname for a woman who is said to haunt the lakeside town of Chesterton. Alice Mapel Gray, her real name, was an aspiring young woman who rejected the typical conformity of society in the 1900’s. Despite being a well-educated student, she did not want to work a standard 9 to 5 job and be unhappy, but she did want to live a life of privacy in nature. In the 1900’s, anyone acting this way was considered bizarre and insane, so unfortunately her life became a paycheck for the media. A woman living alone was unusual at this time, let alone a woman living off of nature. Soon after she moved to the lake, outsiders began to take notice of her and brought attention to the press. Interviewers from all over disturbed her and demanded answers for her wild behavior. She responded with, “I want to live my own life—a free life.” Later in life, she got into a relationship with Paul Wilson, and unfortunately the two faced backlash. They moved to a shack called “Wren’s Nest,” and Paul was accused of being a suspect in a local murder. The couple was also confronted for other crimes they didn’t commit, and one day Paul was shot in the foot and Alice suffered a skull fracture. At the end of her life, she fell ill with kidney failure, but didn’t seek medical treatment, and passed. Now, some claim to have seen her roaming the shore or eerily swimming in the water, and she has been given the nickname “Diana of the Dunes.” Despite being an interesting “legend,” Gray’s life was extremely unfortunate and she was forced to be under a microscope. She advocated for the protection of the dunes and wanted to live a life of simplicity. 

  • The Crosley Monster 

Around 15 miles from Seymour, North Vernon is home to its fair share of urban legends. A bigfoot-like creature is said to be lurking in the forest of the Crosley State Fish and Wildlife Area. The ape-like beast is said to have chased campers and is an ongoing legend in the town. Earlier reports in 1800’s North Vernon could be closely linked to the Crosley Monster. The haunting story of a terrifying bigfoot is not new in this small town. 

  • Indiana’s Loch Ness Monster

The legend of the Loch Ness Monster originated in Scotland, but Indiana’s lake monster tales spark curiosity. The Native Americans who owned the land first described this being as “Meshekenabek” meaning “respect for the beast of Devil’s Lake.” The natives advised to leave the creature be and consistently called the lake names which meant devil, which most didn’t take notice of. Frantic articles were published about a lake monster in Lake Manitou in the 1800’s. Said to be over 50 feet long, this cryptid was a major point of interest in the Logansport telegraph.





The featured photo does not belong to me/was not taken by me.