Mark Marimen has for years been enmeshing readers in that special blend of myth, memory and experience that makes ghostlore something that—like these beautiful, preternatural phenomena themselves—refuses to be defined. He is enormously attentive to the history of the state’s many treasures: her people, her homes and institutions, her lonely roads and shorelines. At every turn, Marimen finds something lovely, something with a story untold, something precious. He treats Indiana’s history and, yes, ghosts, with the ...
Mark Marimen has for years been enmeshing readers in that special blend of myth, memory and experience that makes ghostlore something that—like these beautiful, preternatural phenomena themselves—refuses to be defined. He is enormously attentive to the history of the state’s many treasures: her people, her homes and institutions, her lonely roads and shorelines. At every turn, Marimen finds something lovely, something with a story untold, something precious. He treats Indiana’s history and, yes, ghosts, with the same tender care as one might handle a yellowed love letter, the threadbare frock of a long-dead child, or any of the dear mementos of days gone past. This delicious volume, Marimen’s latest transcript of the haunting of his state is—as his previous works—careful, revealing, elusive, transcendent: decidedly undefinable—and incredibly satisfying.
Mark Marimen, a lifelong Hoosier, resides in northwest Indiana with his wife and daughter. Since falling in love with ghost stories as a child, he has maintained an interest in hearing, collecting, and retelling the tales that have become a part of Hoosier ghostlore.
Sometime in 1996 or so I had an idea, but it was most definitely not the idea of writing a book of Indiana ghost stories. To be honest I am not sure that idea had ever entered my mind at that point. No, this idea was brought about by my daughter Abigail, not so much by anything she said or did, but by the very fact that she existed and was about six years old.
Six years old, some of us remember, is a wondrous, exciting time, and it was fun for me to watch her awaken to the magic of the world. Every day for her brought about a new adventure, a new corner of her world waiting to be explored. Watching her grow in this magical stage of her life of course made me go back to the magic of my own youth and to that one magical night when my older brother, in an attempt to deprive his little brother and his friends of sleep at a backyard campout, had invaded our circle to tell ghost stories.
It occurred to me that, if I was very lucky, one day my daughter might ask me to tell her some ghost stories and I wanted to be ready. However, not just any ghost stories would do. Like my brother before me, I wanted to tell some local tales to add to the realism of the yarns. Thus, I began a quest to find and collect local Indiana ghost stories in an effort to arm myself for when the opportunity would arrive to deprive my daughter of a sound night’s sleep.
Without realizing it, in doing so, I was forever changing a part of my life. A year or so later, a friend with whom I had trusted my stories just to ‘take a look’ sent them to Thunder Bay Press without my knowledge and a new adventure began for me.
Of course, the world has turned around many times since my daughter was that age. Now, I find myself in the last months of my forty-ninth year (how the heck did that happen?) writing the introduction to my seventh book. So much has changed, yet so little has changed for me and for the stories I tell. As I have researched, collected and written the stories you are about to read, I have been reminded once again of just why ghost stories hold such a profound fascination for me. It is not because of an inward quest for paranormal truth, nor a deep-seated longing to prove that life goes on beyond this mortal coil. No, my fascination is born of something much simpler and perhaps more childlike—the desire to return to a place of wonder, innocence and adventure again. For me, ghost stories, by their very nature, are things of magic and awe and mystery. They touch that inner child in each of us and remind us that there is always more to this world than what we can perceive.
As I have visited the places whose tales grace this book and spoken to those who told me their stories, I have tried to put on an adult, professional demeanor. Yet inside, there was an inner child who was generally grinning like an idiot. I have come to accept that inner child and even appreciate him. Perhaps he understands this world more than the rest of me does, for he reminds me that still, even for an almost-fifty-year-old, the world still has magic and wonders to behold.
It is my hope that as you read these pages, you will feel the wonder and magic of them as I have. Sit back, relax, and let the adventures begin!
Chapter 1: Ghosts of the Kaske House
Chapter 2: Hannah House
Chapter 3: Haunted Covered Bridges
Chapter 4: The Ghosts of Story
Chapter 5: The Spirited Guests of French Lick Resort
Chapter 6: Where the Dead Whisper…
Chapter 7: Ghosts of the Grand Old Lady
Chapter 8: The Good Lieutenant
Chapter 9: The Return of the Grey Lady
Chapter 10: The Prophet’s Spirit
Chapter 11: The Refined Spirits of Tippecanoe Place
Chapter 12: Ghosts of the Fowler Theatre
Chapter 13: Spirits of the Old County Jail
Notes and References
About the Author