Morgan-Monroe Haunted State Forest and Stepp Cemetery

Morgan-Monroe Haunted State Forest and Stepp Cemetery
7 April 2024 J.W.H

There just isn’t only one ghost story from Morgan-Monroe State Forest and Stepp Cemetery in the center, there are a lot of. Legends of creatures and spirits keep the quiet forest and burial ground alive.

The Morgan-Monroe State Forest stands silent witness to countless spine-chilling tales which have woven a mysterious tapestry of supernatural lore. The forest in south-central Indiana covers greater than 25,000 acres and is characterised by steep ridges and deep valleys.

From unexplained deaths to whispered rumors of Satanic rituals and elusive encounters with mythical creatures resembling the Yeti and Bigfoot, Morgan-Monroe State Forest has gained a fame as probably the most infamous haunted forests within the United States. It is on this forest that essentially the most reported Sasquatch sightings within the state exist and there’s a big and lively group investigating these claims.

There are also reports of UFO sightings, in addition to more classic tales of something mysterious and spooky lingering within the Morgan-Monroe State Forest.

Draper Cabin within the Morgan-Monroe State Forest

Right in the midst of the Morgan-Monroe State Forest is a cabin where hikers can spend the night. Draper Cabin offers an evening of heart-pounding encounters for individuals who dare to spend it inside its ravaged partitions – all for the modest price of $25, year-round.

It is claimed that many tourists have to offer up staying overnight at Draper Cabin because they hear loud footsteps and strange noises outside as they catch up with and closer to the cabin.

The sources of those hauntings vary. One version talks a few murder that took place there quite a protracted time ago. Another story goes that for the reason that cottage's existence over 130 years ago, a murderer has still been roaming the grounds, waiting for more guests to reach and rent the cottage.

Drapers' cabin: This cabin deep within the Morgan-Monroe State Forest is believed to be haunted. // Source

But the true heart of the forest's haunted fame lies within the ethereal realm of Stepp Cemetery, where legends and concrete legends of ghosts and mysterious religious sects never allow those buried to rest.

Steppe Cemetery

Nestled in the midst of the Morgan-Monroe State Forest is Stepp Cemetery, the source of many haunted forest legends. The cemetery at Morgan-Monroe State Forest dates back to the early 1800s and is situated north of Bloomington.

There should not many graves within the cemetery, perhaps about 30 (other sources say 114), but there are actually stories related to them.

Steppe Cemetery: Iwithin the forest one can find a small cemetery with great legends. It is claimed to be haunted by a couple of sort of ghost. //Source: Shelly/Flickr

Crabs and their snakes and sexual rituals

According to historians, the Stepp Cemetery could have been utilized by a non secular sect to perform rituals that emerged within the early twentieth century. The leader of the group, William Crab, had strange practices, resembling tricking people into being bitten by a snake. He was a snake handler himself, preached more in a circus style, and claimed that a real believer wouldn’t be bitten or die from the venom.

A sect generally known as the Crabbites had strange beliefs, resembling that the earth was squared resulting from participation in biblical revelations. They also needed to be expelled from the cemetery for performing “ritual sexual debauchery.” They apparently participated in these orgies, handling snakes and sacrificing animals.

It can be said that they believed in resurrection and that the Reverend could raise people from the dead. Once they were even arrested after trying to forestall the burial of a lady who was once certainly one of them.

It is value noting, nonetheless, that the sect largely had no documents and it’s difficult to say today what was true and what was gossip. But they said there have been about 600 in Brown and Morgan counties in 1912.

The Crabbits didn’t remain on the Morgan-Monroe State Forest and Stepp Cemetery so long as they’re said to have moved to Brown County, but they undeniably left an enduring mark on the cemetery's fame. Some even say that their mockery of the cemetery and strange rituals summoned certain spirits that got here back and haunted the place as they left the cemetery with dark energy.

Youth events on the steppe cemetery and the birth of local legends

Most of the stories in Stepp Cemetery are said to have been written or happened between the Fifties and Nineteen Seventies. Then the cemetery became distant and forgotten, and was more a gathering place for young people than for mourners. In the next many years, increasingly people had access to cars and used this place to party.

Many stories were told concerning the ghost of somebody who died in a automotive accident in the world, however the cemetery itself also became a part of these stories.

During the Great Depression, the cemetery fell into the hands of the Civilian Conservation Corps, which carved a tree stump within the cemetery right into a chair. This tree trunk is today called the Sorcerer's Chair, even though it is not any longer there, having burned down in 1974.

In many stories, the chair was cursed and whoever sat on it was also cursed. It also became a part of haunted legends even when it disappeared.

Some ghosts

An elderly woman can be said to be haunting Stepp Cemetery within the Morgan-Monroe State Forest after several frat boys hanged her beloved German Shepherd from a tree. What they didn't know was that she was apparently a witch and had cursed them and the cemetery.

One of the remaining legends tells of a young girl who was murdered within the Morgan-Monroe State Forest near Stepp Cemetery, her body wandering through the trees in the hunt for justice and a way home because her killer was never found.

Woman in black

By far essentially the most commonly told story involves people seeing the ghost of the Woman in Black. An eerie silence thickens the air because the ghostly apparition of a grieving mother wearing black materializes at night within the haunted Stepp Cemetery, sitting on a hauntingly familiar tree trunk and weeping over her dead child.

There are many stories about what happened, but this one too might be traced back to the Fifties. Some say it was a lady named Anna, and her man died because of this of a dynamite explosion in a quarry, and her daughter died in a automotive accident. It is claimed that the mother rarely left the grave of her child, who was the one thing left in her life. After death, he still involves the grave to mourn.

There are also those that claim that the kid was a newborn and never recovered from the loss. The variety and detail of the legends is limitless. Even in 1972, there have been about 30 different versions of them.

However, there are some details that keep coming out, just like the tree trunk. Sometimes the girl in black just sits on it and cries over her child's grave. She was sometimes a witch and murdered her husband after he murdered their child. Sometimes he has two white wolves at his feet, mourning the death of a baby after hanging him for revenge.

What is most terrifying, nonetheless, are the stories through which people claim that she sometimes tried to exhume her dead child from the grave to carry its bones before reburying it and leaving.

The story of little Lester

But in what grave and for whom does she mourn? Unfortunately, there are a lot of children's graves at Stepp Cemetery and the Morgan-Monroe State Forest. For some reason, the grave most related to the legend of the girl in black in Stepp Cemetery is that of Little Lester. His grave is within the back, within the corner, and has been there for a lot of many years. Faded letters on the grave say 1937. He was the kid of O'Leatha Pryor Lester and Harley Lester for just just a few hours before he died. They called him Paul.

To this present day, some people put small toys on the grave. Perhaps with respect, however the urban legend of Little Lester really hurt the family of the dead child. In several cases, the grave was vandalized, broken or the tombstone was removed, so it was essential to cement it. On July 24, 2021, the toys were set on fire by vandals or by accident after a candle by accident set them on fire.

Little Lester's grave: This is what the grave looked like after it caught fire, a negative consequence of being the source of ghost stories. Source: Photo: Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomington

The mother was only 16 when she gave birth, after which she lived a protracted life and had more children. When she heard that her child's grave was the middle of this urban legend, she was distraught, horrified and disgusted. Although her family tried to guard her from the legend of Little Lester and the Woman in Black, it took many forms until her death in 2007.

The dangers of ghost stories

As night falls on the Morgan-Monroe State Forest, the road between the living and the otherworldly blurs, leaving those that dare to explore its depths to face disturbing secrets lurking within the shadows and whispers echoing amongst the traditional trees.

Is that Bigfoot, the Woman in Black? Perhaps a remnant of an odd cult that has used the cemetery all these years. There could also be some teenagers who cannot understand how stories concerning the dead can still hurt the living.


Stepp: A Small Country Cemetery That Makes a Big Difference in Hoosier History | news-2018 – Indiana Public Media

Gallery: Baby Lester's torched grave in supposedly haunted Stepp Cemetery – The Bloomingtonian

Paul “Baby” Lester (1937-1937) – Find a Grave

Steppe Cemetery

Steppe Cemetery – amazing legends

Paul “Baby” Lester (1937-1937) – Find a Grave

May little Lester rest in peace | Indiana with orange beans

Monument Conservation Department and Object of the Month | WBIW

Requiem for Little Lester – Visitation at Stepp Cemetery – PARAHOLICS®

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  • J.W.H

    About John:

    John Williams is a Reincarnationist paranormal Intuitive freelance writer...he is living proof of reincarnation existence, through his personal exploration, he has confirmed its authenticity through visits to the very lands where these events transpired.

    Through guided meditation/s using hemi-sync technology he has managed to recollect 3 previous lives to his own, that go back to the Mid to Late 19th century.

    JWH - "You are the GODS! - Inclusion of the Eternal Light of Love and you shall never die”.

    “Death is Just the Beginning of Life”