Haunted Indiana: Mud Creek Theatre

Madalyn Cottrell, Staff Writer

On the corner of Sergeant Road and just off of Fall Creek, sits Mud Creek Theatre. Nicknamed the “Barn,” it has become notorious for their local productions and summer youth programs. The Barn is a local monument for the performing arts. But, after spending a summer there, I learned that there is more to the theatre more than what lies on the surface. 

The theatre is said to be haunted by two spirits, the previous owners of the theatre, Dottie and Emil. 

“Dottie is known to be quite the trickster. She definitely messes with us a lot,” said Laney Moore, a senior at Lawrence North. “Dottie won’t hurt you, though. And then there is Emil. She is definitely our guardian angel. She keeps everything running smoothly. We like her.” 

Paranormal activity fluctuates, and the students in the summer program, the ACT, can recall several disturbing experiences with the spirits that reside within the theatre.

 I have definitely felt unsettled by a disturbing presence, but have never personally seen or experienced anything. But, people who have been members of the Barn can recall haunting experiences that still continue to disturb them. 

“When I was a kid, I had a pretty haunting experience in the bathroom,” said Maddie Olson, a freshman at Hamilton Southeastern. “I saw something in the mirror while washing my hands. Though I was young when it happened, I still refuse to use the bathroom in the girl’s dressing rooms.” 

There is one wing of the theatre that is far more unsettling than any other part of the building. Backstage, just to the left of the greenroom, the hallway that leads to the dressing rooms causes the hairs on the back of my neck to spike up. 

Whenever I would go down the hallway to get to the dressing rooms during “Trap,” the summer show, there was always a direct change in temperature. This part of the theatre is just incredibly unsettling, and I refuse to go down the hallway alone. A new member to the ACT program even noticed the eerie feeling of the back hallway presents.

“I looked down the supposed haunted hallway, and this indescribable fear consumed me,” said Brad Bundrant, a junior at Heritage Christian. “It was a pretty surreal moment. I have never been one to believe in ghosts, but this made me feel a little different about the supernatural.” 

Laney Moore has grown up with the theatre, and has had several encounters with the spirits of Mud Creek. One story she told from last summer me left me incredibly disturbed. 

“We were locking up like we always do, and when we went to lock the front doors, there was banging coming from inside,” said Laney. “There was no one in there but my mom and I, and when we checked the cameras, nothing was there. It left me pretty shook, especially knowing that this place burned down at one point.” 

The Barn definitely has a lot of character. My first summer there was a little scary, and it did not help that the play we did was a horror-themed mystery. Do not let the hauntings drive you away. Mud Creek puts on great productions, and the ghosts are just a quirk that makes the theatre all the more interesting.