Boonville, Indiana is home to one of the most chilling ghost stories in the state of Indiana, Black Annie.

Growing up in Boonville, I always heard about the Legend of Black Annie in the woods of Scales Lake. I actually lived right by those woods throughout high school and would hike the trails quite often. Although, walking the woods at night was only for the brave at heart.  While it's a beautiful area, the legend of Black Annie was enough to terrify anyone walking through the woods.

How The Legend of Black Annie Began

Boonville historian, Barbra Meyer, detailed the bone-chilling story of Boonville's Black Annie. The story dates back to the early 1900s, when a doctor named Travis D. Scales and his wife, Emma, built a two-story home deep inside the woods that is now Scales Lake Park. He and his wife never had children, but they did employ hired help around the house. One night, the two went into town, and while they were gone, their house caught fire and burned to the ground.

Rumor has it that one of the young girls that they employed died in that house fire. According to Meyer, there are also rumors that the girl was murdered before the house was set on fire. It's believed that the young girl's name was "Annie".

Black Annie Hauntings Begin

The Scales' sold that property to the state to create an area where families can boat and picnic, hence the name "Scales Lake Park". A few years after the fire, around 1920, people in that area started hearing terrifying screams of a woman coming from deep in the woods. Authorities would search the area time and time again, but there was no sign of anyone in the woods. That's odd enough, but the story gets even creepier.

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In the 1930s, people reported seeing a woman, dressed all in black, from head to toe, walking along Old Tennyson Road. According to Meyer, her own father-in-law had a first-hand encounter with the woman in black known as Black Annie. Meyer writes:

My father in law, Buddy Meyer, was driving his old couple late one night after visiting his parents on the Old Tennyson Road. As he drove towards town, suddenly, out of the darkness, a figure dressed in black, jumped on the running board of his car. Just before it jumped off, a puff of wind blew the long black veil aside and he could see that the figure had no face!


The Legend Continues...

Throughout the years, there have been several reported sightings of Black Annie. Many people still claim to hear screaming from the woods at night. Growing up and camping at Scales Lake, you were considered brave to walk through the woods a night in search of Black Annie. I ventured out a couple of times in high school, but never saw anything. However, I have heard some creepy stories about encounters that my friends and their family members have had in that area.

Black Annie has become a very popular legend in Warrick County. There's even a Black Annie Music Festival coming up at Scales Lake that will feature a haunted trail (that could actually really be haunted). But if you're one of those who like to see things to believe them, you're more than welcome to try to spot Black Annie. All of the sightings have been reported in the same area, from the old cemetery down to what was once called "McLemore Hill". Venture into that area of Boonville at night sometime...if you dare...

(H/T- Barbra Meyer)

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