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Dunes State Park

Gary, Indiana

Diana, an eccentric artist who once lived in a shack near Lake Michigan, was brutally murdered by her husband Paul Wilson. The Dunes are haunted by her ghost.

24 comments on this haunted house. Share your story »

24 Comments

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amber says:

January 31, 2006, 12:37 pm

that was really weriad about thst girl thing

Kirbie says:

April 10, 2006, 3:08 pm

YAH!

melissa says:

May 5, 2006, 12:50 pm

i feel soooooooooo sorry for the tourists who and see the dunes and her ghost. has anyone seen her since before she was murdered????? just wondering

allen G says:

May 8, 2006, 12:08 pm

is dis really true cuz i neva seen nuttin … well me and my freind went past everywhere but didnt see **** … well i dont no i will see next time i go

me says:

July 18, 2006, 12:47 pm

I lived in Indiana for 11 years and now Im 17 and no I dont live in indiana anymore but Ive been to the dunes millions of times, Ive even been in the old shack, i dunno if its still there or not but I truthfully dont think there is any ghost, now Im not saying that the story is not true or anything Im just saying I dont believe it…and even if there was a ghost why would she haunt the dunes, she may be there but not trying to scare anyone because why in the world would she try to put people through what shes been through!?!?!….

lauren says:

September 22, 2006, 9:04 pm

Why is she haunting the state park? Free rides or something.

sniper says:

September 24, 2006, 12:21 pm

i dont no cuz last time i waz walking around and didnt see nothing ..but wat i heard is dat u see it at night … kkoo

Denise says:

October 17, 2006, 10:53 pm

I have lived, worked and played in the Dunes all of my life and have never run across anything scarier that a wicked Lake Michigan undertow…which is deadly! Funny but I actually heard this story when I was in college of all places. Maybe some have run into to her but I have yet had the pleasure to be scared out of my witts!

Dale says:

October 26, 2006, 3:06 pm

Diana of the Dunes
An old Boy & Girl Scout ghost story…
Fun for kids, that camp at the Dunes Scout camps…

Ellen says:

January 5, 2007, 1:26 am

What you’re looking for is Diana of the Dunes. She lived along the beach somewhere between Miller and Chesterton or up and down amongst there. There are lots of stories about her and there’s even some sort of festival which features articles about her.

susie says:

January 15, 2007, 1:26 am

Diana was a real life person, she was a poet and a philosopher. She lived in a shack alone for awhile but eventually married. I don’t know why people keep telling ghost stories about her, I’ve been there, and I haven’t experienced a haunting.

alex says:

January 30, 2007, 6:09 pm

that is kinda creepy cause i go to the dunes state park every year but do you have proof like a picture of and evp of the women or have you just heard the story from someone you know?

justin says:

July 2, 2007, 3:46 pm

this is stupid cuz i go to the dunes like all the time and nothin happens!!! so whoever made this up is full of ****!!!!

Taba says:

August 3, 2007, 6:24 pm

Chesterton – Diana Of The Dunes – Around 1915, the area that is now the Dunes State Park in northern Indiana was mostly uninhabited wilderness. The stories spread around the vicinity of Chesterton, Indiana that fishermen who were along the beach at certain times of the day had been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a naked woman swimming in the lake. The story spread that a beautiful woman was living as a hermit along the beach and her notoriety grew to a point that many compared her to the ancient Greek goddess Diana…hence the name of this legendary creature. In truth, her name was Alice Marble Gray and she was the daughter of an influential couple from Chicago. Alice had traveled extensively and was cultured and educated. She had worked in the city as an editorial secretary for a popular magazine, so what had made her take up the lonely life of a recluse. Some have claimed that Alice came to the dunes because of a broken love affair but actually she left the city life because her deteriorating eyesight had made her work impossible. She had sought refuge in the rough land that she had enjoyed as a child. Alice moved into an abandoned fisherman’s cottage on the beach and lived a life of peace, borrowing books from the library, walking in the woods and of course, swimming naked in the chilly waters of Lake Michigan. In 1920, Alice met a drifter named Paul Wilson and he moved into the cabin with her. He was an unemployed boat builder with a shaky past but he seemed to make Alice happy and the two of them stayed together until 1922…. when tragedy struck. The badly burned and beaten body of a man was found on the beach and police suspected that Wilson had a hand in the murder. He was questioned but eventually let go. He and Alice moved to nearby Michigan City, Indiana, where they made a small living selling handmade furniture. Alice bore her husband two daughters but he treated her terribly, often beating her severely. In 1925, Alice died in her home, shortly after the birth of her second daughter. The official cause of death was said to be uremia poisoning…complicated by repeated blows to her back and stomach. Wilson disappeared and later tuned up in a California prison, serving time for auto theft. The fate of Alice’s daughters is unknown. Legends of the dunes say that Alice still returns to the beach and the wilderness that she loved so much. Over the years, many have claimed that they have seen the ghostly figure of a nude woman running along the sand or disappearing into the water.

HOLLIE says:

August 7, 2007, 1:51 pm

THATS REALLY CREEPY!BUT I’VE BEEN TO THE DUNES A MILLION TIMES AND IVE NEVER EVER SEEN A GHOST.IT SOUNDS LIKE A JOKE TO ME BUT IT MAY BE TRUE BUT I DONT BELIEVE IT AND NEITHER SHOULD ANYONE ELSE!

myspace.com/to78 says:

September 1, 2007, 1:59 am

Around 1915, the area that is now the Dunes State Park in northern Indiana was mostly uninhabited wilderness. The stories spread around the vicinity of Chesterton, Indiana that fisherman who were along the beach at certain times of the day had been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a naked woman swimming in the lake. The story spread that a beautiful woman was living as a hermit along the beach and her notoriety grew to a point that many compared her to the ancient Greek goddess Diana…hence the name of this legendary creature.

In truth, her name was Alice Marble Gray and she was the daughter of an influential couple from Chicago. Alice had traveled extensively and was cultured and educated. She had worked in the city as an editorial secretary for a popular magazine, so what had made her take up the lonely life of a recluse.

Some have claimed that Alice came to the dunes because of a broken love affair but actually she left the city life because her deteriorating eyesight had made her work impossible. She had sought refuge in the rough land that she had enjoyed as a child. Alice moved into an abandoned fisherman’s cottage on the beach and lived a life of peace, borrowing books from the library, walking in the woods and of course, swimming naked in the chilly waters of Lake Michigan.

In 1920, Alice met a drifter named Paul Wilson and he moved into the cabin with her. He was an unemployed boat builder with a shaky past but he seemed to make Alice happy and the two of them stayed together until ‘i 922….when tragedy struck. The badly burned and beaten body of a man was found on the beach and police suspected that Wilson had a hand in the murder. He was questioned but eventually let go. He and Alice moved to nearby Michigan City, Indiana, where they made a small living selling handmade furniture. Alice bore her husband two daughters but he treated her terribly, often beating her severely.

In 1925, Alice died in her home, shortly after the birth of her second daughter. The official cause of death was said to be uremic poisoning…complicated by repeated blows to her back and stomach. Wilson disappeared and later tuned up in a California prison, serving time for auto theft. The fate of Alice’s daughters is unknown.

So ended the life of Alice Gray…. or did it? Legends of the dunes say that Alice still returns to the beach and the wilderness that she loved so much. Over the years, many have claimed that they have seen the ghostly figure of a nude woman running along the sand or disappearing into the water.

Perhaps she does still walk here, the trials and pain of her lonely and sad life forgotten, at least for a time, as she vanishes along her beloved beach or disappears into the waters of the lake.

The Dunes State Park is located east of Gary, Indiana, between Miller and Michigan City. Alice is buried in Oak Lawn Cemetery in Gary. Her burial site is lost as she was buried in a common potter’s field.

Angela says:

October 20, 2007, 11:43 am

i dont agree with this story because i went to the dunes and i was not haunted by anything……so im thinking that this story is a FAKE…..anyways i believe that some of these stories are real and some are fake

Jamie says:

September 2, 2008, 1:54 pm

I have lived here for 29 years and I have never seen nor heard anything in the Dunes. We would go there durring the day and way past closing time. We mostly went to the Chesterton Beach by Splash Down Dunes and Mount Baldy. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I have heard the story about her but have never experienced anything in the Dunes. And to this day me and my family still go there and have seen nothing.

Arleen says:

September 6, 2008, 9:56 pm

Why are that is really creepy!

kiana says:

August 14, 2009, 12:48 am

I THINK IT REAL BUT NOT FOR GOOD BUT HAVE YOU GUYS HEARD OF HELL GATE’S THAT NOT REAL DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN
KIANA MAE KIRSCH

Cindy says:

May 19, 2010, 12:51 am

I went to camp goodfellow (chesterton) and camp kids would talk of crazy man wilson, who lived in the woods

Mr. Whiskers says:

April 16, 2011, 12:00 pm

Sad story to read, but to see a cute naked woman’s ghost on the dunes would be awesome! Not scary at all.

Mr. Whiskers says:

April 16, 2011, 12:06 pm

Oh, and the guy that killed her should have a road flare shoved up his ***.
I hate it when good women marry complete jerks and pay a price. If only she could have found a decent man, but I imagine that mostly unsavory types wandered the dunes in those days.

Jane says:

September 15, 2014, 3:00 pm

The Old Legend of Crazy Man Wilson
Crazy Man Wilson was the janitor in one of the grade schools in Gary. He loved children and gave them treats all the time. One day the furnace was going to blow up. They evacuated the building except for one little kid who had wandered down to the basement. So Mr. Wilson went down to get him. The boiler exploded as he was coming up the stairs. He held the child but flames from the boiler hit him and disfigured his face. He was give his job back but as time went on people forgot what had happened and children started making up stories about him.
One afternoon everybody was gone and six boys were tormenting him calling him ugly man Wilson. Something clicked in him and he began chasing the boys. He caught one and beat his head against the locker and killed him. There was a trial and Mr. Wilson went through therapeutic treatment. He was retired at his job. But, well, I donâ??t remember the whole part but itâ??s similar to the first time Mr. Wilson being teased by some children. And so this time itâ??s a little girl. He catches them and accidentally shakes the little girl to death. He realizes what he has done and runs away to the Baileytown area. He builds a shed in the woods and at night you r supposed to see the lights flickering and sometimes he walks around with his lantern. Every odd year Mr. Wilson makes an appearance at a camp. He got a job originally at the camp as a keeper of the grounds. Well, he still had a face disfigurement and it wasnâ??t long before he was tormented again.
One afternoon he was cutting the grass with a sit down tractor when he was tormented by boys. He started chasing them with the tractor and run over one of them and cut him to pieces. Mr. Wilson went back to the woods and automatically went back to the shed. But he often returns and there is a sewer duct from the johns which leads to the little Calumet river in the woods at Goodfellow. Late one night a young boy went to the john and as he was returning walking past the water fountain, this half wild man came up out of the sewer, he had a beard, long hair, wearing animal hides and he was very muscular. Heâ??d been living in the woods and was really strong now.
The boy was really petrified and all he could get out was â??Crazy Man Wilson?â? which naturally infuriated the man and he carried the little boy off into the woods and he was never seen again.

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