In the tiny town of Oxford, Indiana, not far from Indianapolis, lies one of the most notorious cemeteries in the Hoosier state, known as Justus Cemetery. This ominous burial ground is home to its very own ghost, making it one of the most widely visited haunted places in Indiana.
This spine-tingling tale begins with the Oxford water tower. One dark, stormy evening many years ago a train chugged its normal path along the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad. The pale, fat moon was obscured by full gray clouds, and not a soul dared to venture out on such a windy, wet night.
Crew members reluctantly emerged from the warmth of the train to gather water from the tower. One by one, they stopped, horrified to hear a deep, echoing moan rising from the tower. The train’s passengers heard the mournful sound as well, and were frozen in their seats in fear.
The passengers’ horror, as well as that of the crew members, reached new heights when the sound was suddenly accompanied by a horrifying sight–that of a glowing white figure. The ghastly apparition appeared through the sheets of rain to drift toward the train and its stunned occupants. Still moaning, the figure was headed straight for them.
Amid panicked screams from their passengers, the crew began working at a frantic pace to finish their task at the water tower. And then, as abruptly as it had appeared, the spirit vanished. It dove into an open grave, to the intense relief of all who watched it go.
That fateful night wasn’t the only time the Justus Cemetery ghost made a surprise appearance. Just a few nights later, the same crew–minus a few who refused to return to the water tower ever again–felt the wrath the restless spirit once more. The duties at the water tower had been completed, and the train was ready to head to its next destination. As the engine roared to life and the train should have began to chug along the tracks, the crew made a horrifying realization–the train wasn’t going anywhere.
The wheels spun desperately, but the train appeared to be gripped in some sort of deathly hold. Finally, the panicked crew felt the train break free and begin to move along the tracks. However, the men banded together and vowed to never return to the town of Oxford on their nightly trips.
Without that vital stop at the water tower, business was suffering, and officials of the railroad, not knowing what else to do, hired a detective to investigate the ghost of Justus Cemetery. The detective, wanting to see with his own eyes the supernatural forces that had been witnessed, talked a few adventure-seeking Oxford citizens into accompanying him to the scene of the mayhem one windy evening.
The train was making its first scheduled stop back at the water tower, with only a few of those same brave crew members aboard. Right before the train rolled into its stopping place, the detective noticed a group of high-school age boys tiptoeing into the area, carrying a billowing white sheet. Within seconds, their secret was discovered–they had attached the sheet to a wire and dangled it from the water tower, and had even coated the train tracks with soap to make the train stick when it tried to move.
The detective allowed the boys to go free with a warning of arrest should it happen again. But most of the crew who witnessed the power of the Justus Cemetery ghost swore it wasn’t a prank. To this day, many in the town of Oxford believe the water tower is haunted. The only way to find out for sure is to visit the cemetery yourself this Halloween.
For more spooky fall fun, check out this list of haunted houses in Indiana.