The story of the former Holiday Inn, former Days Inn, and current Undead hotel off I-65 is no great mystery.

It’s not haunted, it’s not the site of a mysterious murder, and it’s not the byproduct of a money laundering scheme gone bad. It’s just the abandoned Days Inn off Exit 178 in Battle Ground, Ind., near Lafayette: a four-story, 6.5 acre eyesore that produces more black mold than Swamp Thing’s jock strap.

I have driven past that decaying sprawl of a hotel hundreds of times. Each time I resolve to look up its history, which I immediately forget. This time I remembered and thought I’d share my findings…

When the Undead hotel, then known as the Holiday Inn North, opened in 1972, tourists admired the relatively high-end accommodation for the area, combining a conference center with upscale (sort of) hotel amenities in one package. The hotel’s indoor pool stood out as especially unique, since few hotels in the state sported such a novelty in the 1970s. For thirty years, business thrived. In 2001, Holiday Inn built a newer, swankier hotel just six miles away, and sold the aging hotel to Days Inn. 

Unfortunately, Days Inn only squeezed two mediocre years out of the Undead hotel. A 2003 county inspection unearthed a laundry list of structure concerns, namely sagging rafters, a leaking roof and colonies of black mold (so much mold!).

All big ticket repairs.