September 04, 2007
Last month I spent a weekend in my hometown, Bloomington, Indiana, and I finally got my hands on a video I’ve been wanting to find for years: Haunted Indiana, a classic low-budget horror compilation that ran on Bloomington public access starting in the early ’80s. Created by a couple of local filmmakers, it was an 18-minute-long collection of Indiana-themed paranormal tales, each one accompanied by music lifted from Psycho or another archetypal horror film. One story was about three young campers who pitch a tent in an empty clearing and wake up to find themselves in the middle of a graveyard; another was about a stretch of rural road that is haunted by the spirit of a man who was killed in an accident.
Like the Sleestaks, Haunted Indiana seems very silly to me today, but I found it pretty frightening when it was first broadcast, partly because a few of the stories played into my own childhood fears, as good horror stories often do. Seeing it now, I’m impressed by how effective most of the tales are, and I’m also struck by the flat Indiana accent of the narrator, whose calm delivery is funny and a little bit chilling.
Here’s the story I remember most: