Rituals & the Spectral Lady In Black
Deep within the Morgan-Monroe State Forest in the central most part of Indiana lies a paranormal hellish nightmare that gives new meaning to the word terrifying when the dark shadows that dwell there come alive. Once believed to be used by the snake-handling sect known as the Crabbites, the Stepp Cemetery only has thirty-two remaining graves, yet it is considered to be one of the most haunted locations in the entire state of Indiana.
The legend surrounding the Crabbites mostly involves the group partaking in nude rituals that included sacrificing small animals and gently handling snakes while participating in sexual orgies with a communion host leading the group. The Crabbites fancied unusual activities and prescribed orders that took place within the confines of the eerie Stepp Cemetery.
A few of those ceremonies included talking in tongues, drinking and dancing while feasting on sacrificed animals, and then ending the gruesome ritual with promiscuous and wild, pleasure seeking indulgences to insure the highest form of euphoria known to man. This type of behavior is believed by some to have summoned dark entities to the area that are still hanging around today.
Paranormal activity has been occurring at the haunted cemetery since the late 1800s, shortly after the property was sold in 1884 by Reuben Stepp. The state of Indiana purchased the grounds in 1929 with the board of Trustees overseeing the cemeteries upkeep. It is believed that some of Reuben's descendants are haunting the cemetery. A futile disagreement lead to the death of one of Reuben's children, and it is believed that he walks the grounds today in anger, scaring off anyone who dares trespass on his property.
During a full moon, paranormal investigators have reported seeing a lady in black that appears to be created by the shadows from the trees. There is a second female apparition dressed in a full length white dress that walks slowly through the trees, but when the moonlight hit's her, the entity is anything but a woman. The negative energy disappears far too fast to detect an identity, but it is a frightening occurrence that instills fear upon anyone that witnesses it.
Many women and children are buried at the Stepp Cemetery, and one legend involves that of a female ghost that visit's her child's grave. She has been witnessed crying next to a headstone and seen walking slowly away from the grave site and simply vanishing into thin air.
The dark and eerie shadows from the trees make the cemetery appear ominous and chilling. Orbs, flashes of light, disembodied footsteps, unexplained cries, the smell of flowers and rancid odors appear at certain areas of the property, and dark shadows hover over the entire cemetery, often with a foreboding feeling of gloom to those who happen to be visiting the graveyard.
Attempts to Debunk Paranormal Activity at Stepp Cemetery
Retired professor, Dr. Levengood of the University of Michigan believes that the phantom fog, eerie strange mist and the orbs are nothing more than manifestations of a type of subtle or plasma energy that are naturally produced within the Earth. Despite his findings, the spectral Lady in Black is hard to explain away. She has been witnessed by hundreds of people, and paranormal investigators have caught her on film.
She appears to be in mourning as she is completely draped in black with a sheer veil covering her face. Sitting on a tree stump that has been referred to as the “Warlock's Seat," she doesn't come off as threatening, yet a feeling of foreboding is hard to ignore when she appears. The site of her is virtually terrifying, but before you can scream, she is gone.
Location: Morgan-Monroe State Forest, 6220 Forest Road, Martinsville, Indiana 4615.
A small hike up the hill will lead you to the cemetery.
Protecting & Preserving the Haunted Cemetery
Indiana has hundreds of neglected and abandoned cemeteries that are in dire need of restoration and preservation. The Stepp Cemetery has come under the radar of the Indiana Pioneer Cemeteries Restoration Project as one of those cemeteries in need of a grassroots effort to maintain it to its former self. Visitors are welcome to the cemetery, but it is asked that respect be given to the remaining tombstones and surrounding grounds in an effort to keep the remaining graveyard intact.
Deep within the Morgan-Monroe State Forest in the central most part of Indiana lies a paranormal hellish nightmare that gives new meaning to the word
Paranormal activity has been occurring at the haunted cemetery since the late 1800s. The spectral Lady in Black has been witnessed by hundreds of people, and paranormal investigators have caught her on film. She appears to be in mourning as she is completely draped in black with a sheer veil covering her face.