GHOST SOCIETY -
INVESTIGATION OF HAYS CEMETERY
HANCOCK COUNTY, INDIANA
October 20, 2000
by Kathy Harlow
Photo Courtesy of Cassandra Steele
In September 2000, I received an e-mail from a Kari who, on a whim, went to what she called “Main Street Cemetery in Anderson, Indiana.” Her parents lived in Anderson and on a recent visit they told her of the haunting at Main Street. Kari wanted to know if I had any information on Main Street because her visit was, in her words, “unnerving.” She said she experienced hearing voices, laughter and disembodied footsteps following them as they walked the quarter-mile tree lined dirt path that leads to the graveyard. While walking back to their car after the visit, the laughter and footsteps that followed them intensified. Kari also indicated that the old iron bridge just down the road from the cemetery’s entrance was also haunted, but she did not know what that history was. She said “Main Street” was listed on Shadowlands, which indicates a man hung his wife in the back of the cemetery, then shot her in the back of the head with an arrow. Allegedly, she haunts the site today.
I had never heard of Main Street and it sounded like an interesting story to me, so I planned a trip there to see for myself. “Main Street Cemetery” is listed in the Hancock County Cemetery registry as “Hays” Cemetery. The directions are as follows:
From the intersection of CR 900 North and CR 675 East in Northeast Hancock County, proceed .25 miles north on CR 675. At this point, you will see a row of trees proceeding in a straight line towards the west (left). On the north side of this tree line is a dirt “road.” At the end of this road is the cemetery.
On October 20, 2000, Carmen, Michael and I drove to Hays Cemetery. We arrived approximately 8:30 p.m., and it was dark. The night was clear, around 65 degrees, with very low humidity.
I was immediately curious as to why a cemetery would be located at least a quarter mile off the road, having to drive down a long forsaken dirt path, in the middle of a secluded wooded area, next to a very steep ravine, situated in the middle of nowhere. There are no churches, houses, towns, or anything nearby. To describe this location is to describe the makings of a haunted movie. Entering at night is definitely for the bold hearted. Once entering the yard, the road takes you in a circle around the stones. If you proceed to the right of the fork, you drive down part of the ravine and deep into the woods. This area is a section of the oldest overgrown and abandoned graves and some seem to have slid down into the ravine. We parked directly in the middle of the graveyard. Carmen and Michael concentrated on one side and I walked to the opposite part of the yard, closest to the edge of the wooded ravine. I noticed what seemed to be footsteps following along side of me. If I walked, I heard footsteps. If I stopped, the footsteps stopped. Throughout, I used a thermal scanner and an EMF meter, but no unusual readings registered through the investigation. I took many pictures. After about an hour, Carmen, Michael and I joined forces at our trucks and chatted regarding our thoughts on the area. Michael dismissed the footsteps I heard as night animals such as raccoons. Michael and Carmel also did not get any unusual readings on their equipment. We decided to go to the haunted bridge down the road.
I have an EMF meter that automatically shuts down after a few minutes if it does not detect any activity. After spending approximately twenty minutes chatting at our cars, my meter had shut down. As I approached my truck, I got an intense feeling of uneasiness, but dismissed it as needing to get in the truck and take off because Carmen and Michael had already started to leave, and I didn’t want to be in the yard by myself. I threw my equipment into the truck and started to get in but stopped short by an intense feeling that I needed to look into the back of my truck’s cab (I have a pickup with an extended cab). I thought to myself how ridiculous that was and ignored the feeling and hopped in. I again stopped short feeling an increased need to look in the back of the truck. I did, but saw nothing. As Carmen and Michael were pealing out of the graveyard, I ignored my intense uneasy feelings and drove to catch up with them, but I definitely felt uneasy.
A few yards down the main road is the old white iron bridge. This bridge has an iron grating roadbed and you can see right down into the water as you drive across it. We stopped at this bridge and got out to investigate. Again, my EMF meter and thermal scanner read nothing unusual, but I took one picture and my camera went dead. As we stood on the bridge, we heard what sounded like a very large object being thrown into the water right below us. You know, the deep resounding KERPLUNK that a heavy object makes when it drops into deep water. Since we could see the water below us, we looked over and sides of the bridge and through the bridge bed but saw no water rippling. After a few more minutes, we left the bridge and decided to drive into the nearest town that was three miles north or our location. Again, Carmen and Michael took off so I threw my EMF meter into the front seat of my truck to follow them. Again, I felt extremely uneasy, but I did look into the cab when I got in and nothing was there.
My night vision is not the best and that is why I needed to keep up with Carmen and Michael. Because of road closings at the time, we had to twist, turn and backtrack to get to Main Street, and I honestly did not know how we got there. I did not know where I was or what direction was what. If I got separated from them, I would be totally lost. Michael and Carmel have no fear of night driving, so they were driving down country roads at 60 mph. I was doing my best to keep up with them. A few yards down the road I suddenly noticed a strange clicking sound. I realized it was my EMF meter chirping. “Oh,” I thought. “I bet the electrical in my dashboard is causing that. I had better move this thing or it won’t shut off as long as it is reading something and it will run down my batteries.” So, with one hand driving down dark uneven and bumpy country roads at 60 mph, that I can’t see very well, I take my other hand to move the EMF meter away from the dashboard. Just to make sure, I put the meter up to the dashboard to see if that caused the meter to sound. Yes it did, loudly. Just as I thought. So I tried various locations to put the meter so it would not read. I put it under my seat but it read louder. I put it in my seat, but it read louder. I even put the thing between my legs, but it still read louder. Ok, I will put it in the cab behind me. When I took the meter and swung it between the seats and into the back area, the meter went wild, sounding loudly and feverishly. Startled, I quickly brought the meter back up with me as it quickly slowed down again. I certainly didn’t understand that. I tried that again. I put the meter back into the cab section, and again, the meter shouted at me, this time stronger. Suddenly all things became clear, I knew why I was so uneasy. I was not alone in my truck at all; I was giving a ride to a ghost. If my EMF meter had been on when I got into the truck in the graveyard, I would have detected my ghostly rider then.
I needed to think clearly. Where am I and what other reason would this thing sound? It has never sounded before in this truck when I was driving it. I am in the middle of nowhere. There are no houses, no industry, no major power lines, no highways for truck CBs, no airplanes going over - NOTHING-. Besides, this meter only picks up what it is in direct contact with. Get five feet away from any power source, and it does not sound. I think to myself, “Ok. I have a ghost in my back seat, I can’t see very well and I am driving down a curvy bumpy country road that I have never been down before at 60 mph with one hand.” I told myself “The last thing I’m going to do is look in the rearview mirror, I don’t want to see red eyes or anything else staring at me in there.” With the meter still clicking away, I decided I had better talk to the ghost so I said “Just for your information, we are driving into town, you can get out there.” As we approached town and I stopped at a 4-way stop, the clicking stopped. Michael and Carmen and I drove on to Casio's Restaurant (a very haunted restaurant) located on Highway 67 (Pendleton Pike) near Fortville. Highway 67 is a very busy old Indiana highway next to a major railroad line, major power lines and neon lights. We stopped at Casio's and I parked right in front of a large neon sign, under major power lines, right up against the CB cluttered highway. I decided to put my meter to the test and I turned it on. I did NOT get any reading from obvious possible outside sources; but then again, I did not have the truck on. I turned on my truck and, as expected, I did get a small reading from my dashboard. The acid test, of course, was to put the meter into the back seat. If I got a powerful reading then, I would know that I did not have a ghost in my back seat. With full anticipation I moved the meter to the back seat. NOTHING! No reading at all. My truck was not the source of the energy I experienced. Since that experience, I have tested the truck theory several times. I have never gotten any reading in the back seat. Note: Upon return to my home the night of my visit, my camera worked fine.
After this experience, I questioned others who have visited Hays Cemetery. I told one informant of my experience and he responded that “they were nice to you that night.” He relayed his experiences as ones of malice, hearing unearthly growls and wild laughter, being shoved, and even that his life was in jeopardy with a severe feeling of oppression. Another informant relayed hearing voices and laughter and the feeling that they were most unwelcome, even to the point of being pressured to leave by harassment and being followed out until on the main road. Others relay hearing footsteps and whispers.
Not only does this location have the story of a man murdering his wife by hanging and then shooting her with an arrow, it appears that, because of Hays’ remote location, the yard was used by Satanists back in the 70’s, and some of the graves were dug up and body parts were used for the cult’s activities. Also, over time, some of the graves have fallen down the ravine.
What forces were unleashed by the Satanists’ activities? Grave desecration, is this not also a source of ghostly activity? Are the spirits of those who were dug up and used for satanic rituals tortured by that fact and are haunting the location to find vengeance on those who disturbed their restful sleep? Or, is it just the spirit of the woman who was hung and shot with an arrow by her husband out for revenge upon men? (It appears that the most ominous experiences there happen to the men who visit).
As to the haunted bridge, I found that the bridge is haunted because a woman supposedly threw her baby off of the bridge to its untimely death. Could the sound I heard of the large object falling into the water be a residual sound of that occurrence? Could these two hauntings be tied together? Maybe the wife drowned her baby and the husband was so distraught that he hung her in rage. We may never know the answer to that question.
Cassandra Steele, an AGS Area Rep, visited the site on a later date and recorded a buzzing sound, a sound recorded only inside the graveyard. Cassandra also captured the attached pictures to this article. Is “Main Street” really haunted? Why don’t you pay a visit and find out yourself?
(C) Copyright 2002 by Kathy Harlow. All Rights Reserved.
Ghosts of the Prairie (C) Copyright 2002 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved.