Abandoned Indiana Ghost Towns Worth Exploring

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What can you expect from Indiana’s ghost towns? You can look forward to sand-covered cemeteries, scenic riverside settlements, and creepy abandoned buildings in the middle of agricultural suburbs.
The Midwest has a lot to offer in terms of ghost towns. You may think of California and Arizona when you picture haunted towns, but Indiana is surprisingly full of both creepy and historic areas. The rise and fall of the railroad left behind a ton of abandoned cities in this state—and you can visit them today.
Most of these Indiana ghost towns are located in remote areas on unmarked roads. Before you head out for your adventure, make sure you have sufficient car insurance to protect you from the hazards of the road. Jerry can help you compare rates and make sure you’ve got the right coverage (at a good price).
So pack your snacks and let’s explore four of the coolest Indiana ghost towns!
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Mollie

In the foreground is an unpainted brown wooden fence. Beyond the fence is a green pasture, overgrown and then a red barn on the edge of a woods.
Red barn rural Indiana

What is the story of Mollie?

Named after early settlers, the town of Mollie experienced an oil boom in the late 1800s. In the ten years following the development of the Trenton Oil Field, the city prospered. It had cider mills, a train station, banks, and many businesses.
Unfortunately, oil production slowed to a halt in the early 1900s. Slowly, businesses began to shut down and people left the area. The real death blow came in 1941 when the passenger train was discontinued.
Today, there are only two buildings left standing in Mollie. Part of the town has been turned into farmland, and it’s a scenic place to spend the day.

What makes Mollie special?

You’ll have to use your imagination to get the most out of your visit to Mollie. This is a truly extinct American ghost town, with a haunting emptiness that will stay with you.
  • Mollie only has two buildings left standing—yet an incredible history of economic rise and fall that’s mostly invisible.
  • The land is now farmed and owned privately, with nothing to show of the old feed store and commercial businesses.
  • This ghost town is a relic of the Midwestern oil boom and the transportation economy.
To get the most out of your visit, it’s worth reading up on the Indiana oil boom ahead of time. Give your mind plenty of fodder to make up for the lack of buildings on site.
Pro Tip It’s worth adding a few other destinations to your itinerary, as Mollie won’t take more than an hour to explore completely. We recommend Muncie, which is 40 miles away and offers plenty of attractive activities.

How to visit Mollie

Find Mollie in Blackford County at the intersection of County Road 400 N and County Road 300 E. There’s not much to mark the spot (not even a gas station) so keep your eyes peeled.

Tremont

View of Indiana dunes leading to the lake. Sandy and hilly with scraggy plants growing on either side of the well walked path and a building near the shore in the distance.
Indiana dunes

What is the story of Tremont?

Founded in the 1830s, the town of Tremont sprang up around a railroad stop. It was originally known as New City West, after the nearby City West on Lake Michigan. At its founding, it was a rival to Chicago—they were both small towns. 
At the peak of its growth, New City West had a post office, a sawmill, schools, and other businesses. It was also a stop along the Underground Railroad.
In 1876, the population began to dwindle. New City West’s sawmill burnt down in a fire, causing many residents to move out of town. In 1908, the town took on the name “Tremont” after Tremont Station, which was a stop along the nearby electric railroad line. 
By 1929, the majority of the city’s buildings were destroyed. In the 1960s, the Indian Dune National Lakeshore took shape and replaced Tremont on the map. 
Today, you must visit the Indian Dunes State Park or Indiana Dunes National Park to access the ghost town of Tremont. 

What makes Tremont special? 

Everyone knows that Chicago is the pride and joy of the Midwest. Tremont is special because it’s a blast from the past. 
  • Tremont is located in a scenic area at the southern tip of Lake Michigan. 
  • Humans have inhabited this area for many thousands of years, and you can learn more about past millennia in the Indian Dunes locale. The first campsite was discovered near Tremont.
  • Tremont served as a summer resort town in the 1920s, though few of the original buildings remain.
  • Shifting sand dunes cover up an old settler cemetery.
  • Nearby, you can enjoy the Indiana Dunes, a rookery, farms, and many recreational activities suitable for modern visitors.
It’s definitely worth spending a day—or a weekend—exploring the Tremont area. The state park offers beautiful vistas and the nearby Chesterton and Michigan City have excellent restaurants and lodging. 
Pro Tip It’s officially called Waverly Beach today—look to the horizon at sunset on a clear day and you can see Chicago’s skyscrapers.

How to visit Tremont

Only one hour from Chicago, Tremont is easy to locate. It is in the Indian Dunes State Park in Porter County, at the intersection of County Road 100 East and US Highway 12.
Your first option is to head to the Indiana Dunes Beach parking lot inside the national park (no fee) and explore the general area. New City West was located at the site of the current-day bathing pavilion. 
Your other option is to visit the state park, which has a daily fee. Apparently, the main park road here leads directly to the location of New City West on the shore of the lake. Look for the boarded-up shelter near Dunes Creek.
Note that you won’t find many buildings left standing, as most were swallowed up by the dunes or disassembled to reuse the lumber.

Hindostan Falls

View of the forest in Hoosier National Park. The ground is covered with old leaves and greenery is starting on the trees.
Hoosier National Park

What is the story of Hindostan Falls?

Founded in 1816 near a waterfall on the White River, Hindostan Falls played a major role as a lodging town. People going between New Albany and Vincennes could break up their journey by stopping here for a night. 
Because of its prime location, Hindostan Falls had many profitable businesses. The town had several mills, a post office, a button factory, ferries, a whetstone factory, and hotels. Most people lived in houseboats here.
Unfortunately, this town’s prosperity was short-lived. Cholera and yellow fever arrived in 1820, due in no small part to the constant influx of travelers. Soon after, people fled the town and eventually Hindostan Falls shut down for good around 1830
Today, none of the original buildings remain. But modern conservationists have erected a pioneer-style church on the original site of the town. Today, much of Hindostan is located within the Hoosier National Forest.

What makes Hindostan Falls special?

Situated near the beautiful east fork of the White River, Hindostan Falls is scenic and historic. Frankly, it’s a hidden treasure for Midwestern ghost town aficionados.
  • Visitors can see pioneer cemeteries and holes in the ground where former mills used to be.
  • A replica church on the original town’s site is a fitting tribute—and a quaint architectural delight.
  • The recreation area is full of opportunities for fishing, camping, and walking, without competing with crowds for a good spot.
  • If you believe in ghosts, you’re likely to find some here. The yellow fever epidemic took hundreds of lives here at once, and entire houses were burnt to the ground.
This is a peaceful place to enjoy a quiet day in nature. It’s the perfect weekend getaway if you want to disconnect from your busy life and reconnect with a bygone era. 

How to visit Hindostan Falls

This ghost town is an hour and a half from Louisville and two hours from Indianapolis. Put “Hindostan Falls Public Fishing Area” into your GPS to get directions straight to the river.
The nearest services are in Loogootee, 10 minutes away.

Sloan

An old brown filtered photo of an old building abandoned and overgrown in Indiana.
Abandoned building in Indiana

What is the story of Sloan?

Sloan was founded more than a century ago in 1903. Named after a local family, Sloan was a thriving city for about 40 years, thanks to the presence of the New York Central Railroad. 
When train transportation lost its charm in the 1920s, Sloan began its economic downturn. The post office closed in 1941, and the town hung on until the 1990s when the railroad stopped running and the area was officially abandoned.
Today, there are a few decaying buildings on the site of the old town of Sloan. The train tracks have been removed, but visitors can still glimpse where everything used to be in its heyday.

What makes Sloan special?

On the surface, this extinct town has nothing special to offer. But this authenticity is precisely why Sloan is so charming. 
  • Old buildings still stand but are being reclaimed by nature. Bring your camera and don’t enter any decaying buildings.
  • This is not a tourist destination, so there will be no crowds or cheap souvenirs.
  • It’s free to visit.
Today, Sloan is just a few buildings at a quiet intersection in rural Indiana. But for fans of Indiana ghost towns, Sloan is the perfect place to delve into haunted history. Explore to your heart’s delight, and pack a picnic.

How to visit Sloan

Sloan is located near Redwood Creek, at the intersection of County Road 100 S and County Road 825 W. There won’t be a sign since this is an abandoned village. Pull over at the intersection and explore by foot—you may be able to glimpse the scars of train tracks on the land.

Good car insurance is a prerequisite for adventure

Heading off to a remote ghost town sounds fun…but what happens when you run out of gas or get a flat tire? You need a good car insurance policy before you hit the road. 
Jerry can help you find the perfect policy at an affordable price. Seriously, you’re probably overpaying! Get the Jerry app, and sign up in 60 seconds to learn whether you could be paying less for the same coverage. 
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Plus, the average Jerry user saves $879 per year on their car insurance. That could pay for a lot of road trips!
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