Ghost Stories: Ghosts of Bloomington Part One
If it’s one thing I have got to say and have stuck by all three years that I’ve lived here is, I love Bloomington. I always have ever since I came to visit a friend in 2004. A year later, I moved out here.
Now I’ve always been slightly empathic. Of course I’m skeptical of it myself, but I know I am an overly emotional person. Anyone who knows me can vouch for that. It’s this very reason, you will never seen in a cemetery, nursing home, hospital, that I don’t need to be in. In cemeteries, I feel the sadness, the pain, the suffering. I also feel the anger and broken hearts of many whose feet have traveled through the cemetery. In nursing homes, it’s death, he lingers in every corner, waiting. I will go into nursing homes when I go to visit my grandmother, but for the most part, I’m very quiet. Often I’ve been called shy, which I’m not. I’m just trying to keep from freaking out. Simply put, I try to stay out of places where supernatural and unexplained things happen. I don’t like being scared. What does all of this have to do with 31 days of Ghosts? Some of the haunts around my new hometown of Bloomington Indiana. It surprised me the number of haunted places in university town, including the university itself.
But first, I would like start with Stepp Cemetery, located north of Bloomington on state highway 37 on the border of Monroe and Morgan counties. Having never been here, let alone heard of it, I can say I’m almost half tempted to go during the day to take some pictures. If I could ever find my camera.
No one has been buried in this cemetery in decades. There are only two dozen or so headstone that remain, and they are very old and crumbling. It would be lost and forgotten if it wasn’t the eerie and odd things that happen. Several variations of this story result in a woman watching over one of the gravestones and the cemetery in the darkest hours of night. People have claimed to see this woman sitting on a tree stump watching over the remains of her loved ones.
While the words of the story changed and have taken on more of an urban legend approach, no one can doubt the oddities that surround Stepp Cemetery. Older accounts of the story is that a woman moved from the east, married and then lost her husband tragically in a dynamite accident. Her daughter becoming the center of her world, grows up, finds a gentleman to settle with but dies tragically in automobile accident. Both husband and daughter were buried at Stepp.
Soon the woman began taking treks into the cemetery, talking to her dead husband and daughter as if they were still alive. Passers called her crazy, seeing that she would remain there as the sun fell and if caught would hide in the woods until they left. Eventually, the woman died and she too was buried at Stepp. However her soul remains restless. It’s often told that a dark figure rises from a tree stump. Most accounts say that the woman has white hair, though not old, but more like turned white from shock.
The descriptions of the cries and apparitions haven’t changed much over the years. But the story has, most of them dealing with a mother losing a child.
In the 1950′s there was a murder of girls whose body was dump in Stepp. The mother never stopped looking for the murderer, even in death she waits watching over the grave site.
A young child was killed in an auto accident in the 1920’s and blaming herself, the little girl’s mother would come to the cemetery to mourn at her grave. Distraught, she disinterred her daughter’s body so that she could hold it one last time. She was found the next day, having committed suicide. Her ghost still haunts the cemetery today
Newer accounts with the urban legends fell tell about a woman and her son who were involved in an automobile accident. The mother’s hand was severed above the wrist and replaced with a hook, The little boy was killed and buried in Stepp Cemetery. The heartbroken mother knowing that the boy had always been afraid of the dark, she would walk the grave and watched over him every night. She continued to do so even after death and her ghost now warns away strangers, waving her hook at those who come to close to the grave.
Another is two teenaged lovers go to the nearby state forest and the girl tells her boyfriend she no longer wants to be with him. The boyfriend being angry tells her to get out of the car and that is the last anyone hears of the girl. The mother searches the woods non-stop until she too disappears. Today, her ghost appears in the vicinity of the cemetery and prowls about in the darkness. The ghost of the girl’s mother allegedly frightens teenagers who come there to go parking. It is said that her face suddenly appears outside, peering into the windows– looking to see if her daughter might be in the car.
Many people wonder if this legend is true, or if it just apart of hoosier folklore, a creation out of someone’s vivid imagination. Often they are left with a sense of doubt when they see the tree stump that looks a lot like a makeshift chair and wondering could the legend of the ghost woman of Stepp cemetery be true?
Keep it real and rockin’