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Ghost Tales

Keep an eye out for these Hamilton County ghosts as Halloween draws near

Writer / Matt Keating

Photographers Amy Payne & Brian Brosmer

When it comes to ghost legends, Hamilton County has its fair share of them.

To get you in the Halloween spirit, here are some ghost tales to keep you on the lookout for spirited characters. 

The Salty Ghost

If you are ever at The Salty Cowboy, 55 East Oak Street, Zionsville, enjoying a delicious burrito or some tasty nachos, keep an eye out for Hazel the Ghost.

During a previous feature interview about the restaurant, Jason Hughes, general manager of The Salty Cowboy, said there have been stories of a ghost named Hazel, a former resident of the property. It seems Hazel enjoyed sneaking out her front door in the evenings, but would wind up in the pokey for taking a stroll around Zionsville while she was three sheets to the wind (drunk).

Hughes says The Salty Cowboy’s owner, Shari Jenkins, has been told that the 2,200 square foot frame house’s previous owner would be bothered by the front door opening at midnight, which would activate a burglar alarm. The police would arrive shortly after.

After The Salty Cowboy opened, Hughes says Jenkins noticed the front door would sometimes be left open when she would at arrive at the restaurant the next day.

The Piano Ghost

The Salty Cowboy isn’t the only spooky location in Hamilton County. There’s also The Ivy House Bed & Breakfast, 304 N. Merrill Street, Fortville. The cozy establishment was built in 1921 by Dr. Jess E. Ferrell, and came complete with an antique piano with a ghost who makes banging noises and loud footsteps.

“We would hear him in the piano from another room,” says Linda Nolte, co-owner of The Ivy House. “We would walk into the room where the piano was, and no would be there.”

Linda noted that her daughter would hear it more often.

“Sometimes I would be doing something else, and just not feel like going to look at that piano again,” Linda laughed. “I had other things to do.”

Ghost Janitor

Woody’s Restaurant, 40 E. Main Street, Carmel, supposedly has the ghost of a janitor named Isaac Bales. Bales worked for the former Carmel Library in the early part of the 1900s.

“I’ve never seen him. He’s never manifested himself to me,” said Kevin “Woody” Rider, owner of Woody’s Restaurant “Some of the girls who work here are afraid to go upstairs at night. They are afraid they see him.”

Weeping Ghost

In Ronald L. Baker’s “Hoosier Folk Legends,” he writes about a man named Elmer Myers, who told a ghost story that took place in 1890. It happened “on State Road 13, about four miles south of the county seat of Hamilton County is a place then called Ghost Hollow.”

Baker wrote about how “one night when he (Elmer) was riding through this hollow on horseback, all of a sudden the horse stopped and refused to go another step. On looking down beside the horse’s head, he saw the firm of a woman clothed in a white robe weeping and drying her eyes with a white handkerchief. He asked her what was wrong – no response.

“He then reached forward, while still mounted on the horse, to take hold of the woman’s arm, but she disappeared in the darkness. He then gave the horse the command to go forward. But before he passed through the hollow, the same thing occurred for the second time. She again disappeared.”

Heady Hollow

According to The Legend of Heady Hollow, the ghosts of children have been seen some evenings near Heady Lane Cemetery at Heady Hollow. It’s where Allisonville Road intersects at 126th Street.

The Heady Lane cemetery has been around since the early part of the 19th century, according to Hamilton County Historical Society records.

One legend that is told at Connor Prairie during Halloween recounts a tale of a ghost of a grave robber. One night while digging, he discovered his own son’s body, according to the legend. The frightened gravedigger supposedly haunts some woods near the cemetery.

He Didn’t Tell Me to Stop the Presses

And now for my story.

During my four years as a writer/ business editor for the Noblesville Ledger in the 1990s, I would have to work a lot of late nights. The Ledger, which is now gone, was located just around the corner from The Noblesville courthouse.

One dark, late night in October 1993, my co -worker, Anne, and I both saw the ghost of a friendly elderly man smiling at us near the door into our office. We saw him at the same time, but he said nothing. One minute he was there, and then he was gone.

I never saw him again, but I’ll never forget him.

Do you have a ghost story of your own? Be sure to share them with us on Facebook as we get closer to Halloween.

About Matt Keating

Matt Keating is an instructional assistant and tutor at Amy Beverland Elementary and a freelance writer. He previously worked for The Indianapolis Star, NUVO and Montgomery Zukerman (MZD) Public Relations.

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