Stepp Cemetery – Witches, Ghosts, and the Crabbites

If you have ever read about haunted places in Indiana, you’ve probably heard of Stepp Cemetery.

The rural location of Stepp Cemetery is one of the reasons many believe it is tied to being haunted. The cemetery sits in the Morgan-Monroe State Forest, 24,000 acres of land that was purchased by the state in 1929.

Many of the legends linked to the cemetery originated in the 1950’s to 1970’s, a time when teenagers began to drive cars and wanted to get away, even though the oldest burial in the cemetery is believed to be that of Isaac Heartstock, a veteran of the war of 1812 and who died in 1851.

The most popular story is of a grieving mother, who lost her child in an accident. She is usually referred to the Lady in Black. It’s said she can be heard crying and talking to her child, sometimes she is even seen, sitting on a tree stump and dress all in black. The version I’m sharing here is simplified, there’s so many different versions as to what happened to cause a mother so much pain, and even many different versions of the haunting, even going as far as the Lady in Black chasing away visitors to the cemetery.

Still, there are other stories linked to Stepp Cemetery. A German Shepard that was killed and hung from a tree in the cemetery, a witch who cursed the people who killed it, a ghostly caretaker that still roams the grounds, and many accounts of people visiting the cemetery and the area giving off a strange feeling.

The cemetery is also linked to a short lived religious sect, the Crabbites. It’s claimed that the group would hold rituals in or near the cemetery, which left the cemetery with a not so hospitable reputation. It’s never been confirmed the Crabbites would have rituals in the cemetery, however, they were a real sect, at least for a short time. Most notably, they would let rattlesnakes bite them, saying with faith the bites were harmless.

What do you think? Is Stepp Cemetery haunted by ghosts or the stories of the living?

Pictures were taken in September 2011.

Source(s): The Ghost in My Machine, Indiana Public Media,, Indiana Haunted Houses