I am a skeptic. As a person trained in the scientific method, I cannot take seriously any assertion that cannot be proved right or wrong. By the same token, I cannot dismiss any phenomenon or subject as being unworthy of scientific study. That is why I am in a quandary about the legend of the Story ghost.
When I first purchased the Story Inn in early 1999, I personally examined the old guest books which were kept in the various rooms. I was flabbergasted to find numerous handwritten stories of ghost sightings, particularly in the rooms above the restaurant. These accounts were signed and dated by Inn guests over the years.
Most remarkably, I found consistent reports of ghost sightings from one guest book to the next. When the books fill up, the Inn retires them to the attic, to join a veritable treasure trove of very dusty Brown County memorabilia. Obviously, the guests writing in subsequent books could not have been influenced by the written accounts of the apparition recorded in earlier books (that is, unless our guests have been habitually skulking through our attic in the dead of night to retrieve, read and replace the old guest books, and then returning to their rooms to plagiarize an account of this strange phenomenon).
I have no reason to doubt the credibility of these persons, and would observe that they had no ulterior motive at work. I have provided just a few excerpts from these guest books below, all of them written before this website came into existence.
Many eyewitnesses believe that the ghost, known locally as the “Blue Lady” because she can supposedly be summoned by turning on a blue light in one of the rooms above the restaurant, is one of the wives of Dr. George Story. I found a peculiar number of reports about her written in the guest books of what was then called the “Garden Room”. This room’s history is so remarkable that we renamed it after the “Blue Lady” in 2001.
Many of the Story Inn’s employees have also had their own encounters, and believe in the ghost. Much to my chagrin, I now find myself nodding in agreement with them, and referring to the “ghost” as if she really exists. I guess that once you’ve seen a ghost, you’re not to be persuaded that they do not exist.
Personally, I still do not believe in the Blue Lady (though I may change my mind if she someday appears to me, and submits to a deposition and blood draw). I will report that in 2006, when we renovated the bathroom of the “Blue Lady” room, we found water inexplicably running as we opened the building on three consecutive days. I was the last one to leave each of the previous evenings, and I am certain that the one valve in question had been turned off each time I locked the building behind me.
We continue the tradition of supplying guest books in each of the rooms, and I am happy to make them available to anyone who wishes to see them. I will observe that the new accounts (there are hundreds) are somewhat less credible than the old, due to the chatter on the Internet. For that reason, I have limited the accounts below to a few of those which preceded me here.
Richard R. Hofstetter
Click here for most recent photo of ghoslty figures in front of the inn.
Photo credit to Tiffany & Jake Sculley
“Although the day had begun quite sensibly, we knew by 10:38 p.m. that we had entered another dimension. After a swell meal downstairs. . .we retired to (the Garden Room) to recall our youth. We had coddled and prepared all the parts of our bodies which, at our ages, require attention each and every night, and . . . turned out the blue light and snuggled under the covers. . .[Just as Carl was making advances and things were getting hot under the sheets, a blue shadow crossed the bed. Our heads whipped around, and any thoughts of romance folded. The ghost-after glancing at herself in the large mirror-arranged her skirts and plopped on the shelf and dresser and looked us square in the face. Carl pulled the blanket up to his eyes and I sat bolt upright. The ghost began to whistle and fix her nails. After some minutes, she floated to my side of the bed (the window side) and pinched my bottom (which was still encased in a black lace thing I had bought . . .for this special night, our anniversary). Startled by this display of familiarity from a ghost I had only just seen nine minutes before, I leaped from the bed, ran to the bathroom and into the little toilet closet. No sooner had I turned around than the door slammed back . . . I heard the ghost give a slight whoosh . . . [In the morning] there, on my side of the bed, was a blue hair ribbon and a false fingernail.”
Rosalie and Carl, Noblesville, IN October 25, 1994
“I met the ‘Blue Lady’ of Story, IN. It was Saturday night at 10:10 p.m. and I was sitting in the corner rocking chair gazing out the back door. I kept feeling like somebody was watching me. The next thing I knew I was staring at the face of the ‘Blue Lady’ in the glass of the back door. Her deep piercing blue eyes were hypnotic and I felt as if I could not look away. Finally, breaking the spell, I was able to ask her who she was,. That’s when I found out her name was ‘Allie.’ Before I could ask her any more questions, she was gone.”
Mr. and Mrs. B, St. Louis, MO, April 26, 1997.
“I know this place is haunted.”
PLM, May 23, 1997.
“My husband laughed about the legend of the ‘Blue Light Ghost’ and turned on the light to signal his receptiveness. Grateful for the chance of an uninterrupted night of sleep (were newlyweds), I went to bed. In the morning, the light was still on, and John was still asleep in the rocker. I woke him to take a shower with me. As he walked by the vanity mirror, we both stared. Long scratches, claw marks really, raked the length of his back. He swears he doesn’t remember how they got there. In fact, he had no recollection of last night. [Later] he stepped on the balcony to smoke a cigarette and damn near choked when a gray tabby cat leaped from nowhere onto the rail and began rubbing all over him. It looked as though the cat knew him in an intimate way.”
John & Sara, Indianapolis, IN May 23, 1997
“I am visiting the Story Inn for a vacation. I had not heard of the Blue Lady before I came. . . . At six a.m., from a foggy dream, I was awakened. There were two distinct calls, calling my name. The voice was friendly, but firm. I waited a few seconds and went to the door, opened it and no one was there. I checked later with the staff to see if someone had called me. No one had.”
Barbara, Bloomington, IN June 3, 1997
“The blue lady ghost permeates this room like the very air. You can’t see it, but you know it’s there.”
Joan and Carter, Franklin, IN July 31, 1997
“Although Dee Dee refused to turn on the blue light, I’m sure (the ghost’s) presence evoked the passionate love-making. . . I believe the Lady of the Blue Ghost provoked such passionate love, one which we will never forget. We were brave enough to turn the lamp on during the day. To our surprise, we saw the ghost. [If] you stand at the end of the bed and look out, you will see it during the day.”
Hector & Dee Dee, Chicago, IL September 1, 1997
“We were hoping for a visit from the Story ghost but, sadly, she didn’t let us see her. But, before we got into bed, Digger is certain he smelled her cherry tobacco smoke. He’s been a pipe smoker all his life, and has smoked cherry blend and recognized it immediately.”
Kathy & Paul, Cutler, IN December 2, 1995
Hoosier Paranormal investigated Story on December 27, 2005, and concluded that the Story Inn is haunted by two ghosts, not one!
“We [Hoosier Paranormal] had a strange feeling of being followed around the property by something unseen. That gave us an uneasy feeling at times. We also smelled baby powder in the Morrison Kelly room that we could not explain. Hoosier Paranormal believes that based on our evidence, the history and volume of guest accounts and employees accounts that the Story Inn is not only haunted by the Blue Lady ghost but also has a second male spirit that is causing intelligent haunt.” [Emphasis added].
“A Room with a Boo,” Midwest Living Magazine, September-October, 2004.
Midwest Living visits the mysterious, and widely-believed haunted, Story Inn of rural Brown County, Ind., where cell phones suddenly stop working and the inn’s reputed ghost frequents its namesake Blue Lady Room. A “Room with a Boo.”