Monday, October 31, 2011

Our Last Ghost Tale of the Season

We at Explore! Southern Indiana are very sorry to see Halloween go as we were having a great time telling ghost stories about Southern Indiana destinations. And just as Halloween night is ending we discovered another ghost story about one of our favorite (okay, every place in Southern Indiana is a favorite) places -- Pioneer Village at Spring Mill State Park.

Of course, we should have figured that any place as old the village which dates back to the early 1800s would have a haunt or two. And so it does. Two haunted locations to be exact according to this article that ran in the Mitchell Tribune and can be found at:

"As you walk the streets of the pioneer village at Spring Mill State Park, you walk back into the past, into the time of your ancestors, and the time of the early pioneer. Many stories are also told of “others” who walk the streets, and they aren’t the type you want to meet in the dark, or for that matter, in the daylight. Another notorious resident of the Mitchell area was the outlaw Sam Bass. Bass was raised by members of the Sheeks family of nearby Mitchell, and the log cabin they lived in is the first cabin at the entrance of the village. Now used as, and often called, the loom house, this was the original Sheeks home.

Ghosts are associated with the Sheeks house in local lore. Like others in the park, the Sheeks house was moved into the village during the restoration. It originally stood outside the present park area, and it was there that the infamous outlaw was reared by his relatives.

According to legend, a year before Bass was shot down in Texas, he returned to the home to repay his relatives for caring for him as a child. He wanted to show them his gratitude by giving them money — money which he obtained from some of his bank-robbing sprees — but his relatives refused to have anything to do with the stolen loot.

Bass supposedly buried the money somewhere in Lawrence County and some local residents believe the site could be in Spring Mill. It is said, by some, that ghosts from Bass’ past search the park at night trying to find the buried treasure. There are many ghostly stories concerning the park; some have been embellished over the years, while others seem to have remained nearly the same from telling to telling. Many have claimed to have heard — or seen — the mysteries of the park.

The Granny White House and the mill are only two locations included in the ghostly tales; other haunting stories abound about the village as well.

Anyone with a ghost tale or two should let us know so we can use it next year.... or maybe even sooner if we can't resist.

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