Everyone likes a ghost story. 

Here in the United States, our stories have been shared around the campfire for generations, and often have a regional flavor to them. Indiana is no exception. Our stories are tinged with a combination of horror and history that makes for fascinating tales, whether you think they’re fact or fiction.

One of the most widely spread ghost stories for the Hoosier state is Diana of the Dunes.

The legend, which dates back to the early 20th century, begins with stories of a beautiful, naked woman spotted swimming in Lake Michigan, near Chesterton. She was said to be a hermit residing the Indiana Dunes. Local fisherman, who were awed by her beauty but unaware of her name, called her as Dianne.

“Dianne” was actually Alice Mable Gray, the daughter of a prominent Chicago family who had grown up in the area. She was going blind and wanted to live out her days by the lake. In the 1920’s, she wed an unemployed boatwright and suspected murderer named Paul Walker, who took up residence in her lakeside cabin.

Her husband soon became abusive, and Alice died shortly after the birth of her second child. Locals believe that the ghost of Alice, or “Diana”, still visits the lake to relive her past, and there have been numerous sightings reported over the years. If you’re planning a visit to Chesterton, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a naked ghostly woman running along on the beach – it just might be Diana.

Naked beachgoers aren’t the only spirits haunting Indiana. The Hoosier state is home to a number of (allegedly) haunted venues.

In Angola, there are claims that, at midnight, a red bearded man paces atop the theatre yelling after his departed lover Marie.

In Greencastle, former state governor James Whitcomb, who donated his impressive book collection to what is now DePauw University, reportedly haunted the library in an effort to protect his prized books. The library is now private, so perhaps Governor Whitcomb can finally get some sleep.

In Avon, the legend of the haunted railway bridge has been around for over a century. Though locals dispute the exact origin story, folks seem to agree that visiting the bridge at night is a great way to hear moaning ghosts.

One of the theories is that the ghost is of a drunk railway worker who fell into a vat of cement during construction, while others claim it was a migrant Irish or black worker that died. Another theory is that the wailing belongs to a young mother and her child who were hit by a train on the way to the doctors.

Ghost hunters could do a lot worse than Indiana when planning their next vacation.