Indiana’s Jerome Cemetery & the Hound of Hell
Indiana is thought by many as a “white bread” state. There can’t be anything to Indiana beyond corn. If you think this, you’re wrong.
Authors Mark Marimen, James A. Willis, and Troy Taylor set out to explore Indiana and were surprised at how much “weirdness” there is in the state. They wrote the popular book Weird Indiana. Many of the places I’ve referred to in the Jamie Poole Books are mentioned in their book. And some of the places they’ve mentioned I’ve used as a muse for adding to my own lore.
This blog explores one of those places: Jerome, Indiana, and its cemetery.
Jerome is a tiny town located maybe ten miles from Kokomo, Indiana, not to be confused by the song of the same name sung by the Beach Boys. This is as far from Aruba and Jamaica as you can get. It might be a little closer to Bermuda, but I’ll get to that in a moment.
Weird Indiana claims Jerome was named after Chief Kokomo’s son. By many accounts, Kokomo was a quarrelsome, drunken Native American. They would be mistaken. Perhaps the least interesting detail of Jerome’s history is how it really got its name. Hampton Brown is considered Jerome’s first settler. He named the town after his son.
The book further explains that the Jerome cemetery is haunted by warriors of the First Nation tribes who once lived in the area. There is also a hound of hell. The warriors will simply watch you from the edge of the woods. Beware the hound. It will chase you.
Quite honestly, when I read Weird Indiana, I thought this was the “white bread” version of what I know of Jerome. I grew up nearby. And while I don’t have any firsthand accounts of experiences in Jerome, the stories filled my teen years.
As a university student I canvassed the Jerome cemetery hoping to see something. It is an old cemetery dating to the early 1800s in parts. It’s nestled into the woods in a small clearing. Perhaps because I knew the stories, it seemed a bit creepy even though I went on a sunny day to take photos for a course. The cemetery has an abandoned, lonesome feel to it, there is no doubt. One of the popular things to do back then was topple stones, especially on Halloween. My classmates dared the spirits to come out. No one maintained the cemetery as much as it deserved. I tried to capture this in pictures.
That wasn’t my only visit to the cemetery. It’s also a popular hangout for couples. I went after dark with a boyfriend again in hopes of seeing something supernatural. I wanted to see the hound of hell. Unfortunately, we saw nothing. However, despite this, the story remained lodged in my memories. I believe the Bloody Hound that stalked Jamie from the Otherworld is a form of Jerome’s hound of hell.
Beyond this story there are so many more.
If a young man I grew up with is telling the truth, he has a very hair-raising story. One night somewhere after midnight and unable to sleep, the young man climbed on his bike. He pedaled to Jerome in search of supernatural adventures. And why not, right? If there’s something supernatural in your neighborhood, aren’t you going to be curious? He claims he walked into the woods past the cemetery onto the property of my dad’s friend. In the wooded backyard, far from the house, this young man claims he found a portal in the earth. Large rocks formed its entrance. He stood upon the hole and looked down. As he did, the portal lit up brightly. A force rushed out of the ground. The force was so strong, he claims, that his hair stood up straight. The young man returned home terrified. He later claimed further that he’d charted portals like this across the globe, including one in the Bermuda Triangle. While this part may be hard to believe, I believe he experienced something, even if it was the fear that “something” might happen. Fear can play tricks on our minds.
A classmate lived beside the cemetery. He claimed to have seen several things. Perhaps the wildest claim was the time he got up and looked outside his bedroom window. According to his story which he told with a straight face, his yard, all the trees, and even the mailbox were covered in ectoplasm. He claimed when he looked later it has evaporated like the morning dew.
The town itself had a few ghost stories of its own. There was a still in a dilapidated building I explored many years ago. The building, which dated to the days of prohibition, may no longer stand as it was hastily constructed just for the still. It was in rough shape when I was in it. Of course it was haunted.
The whole area was haunted. How could it not be?
Fact or fantasy, perhaps this is in the eye of the beholder. If nothing else, it makes for a very good ghost story. Just watch the woods behind you if you choose to repeat any of these tales. There might be warriors waiting. Or a hell hound waiting to chase you!
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