Bella Gunness and the Haunted Farm of an Indiana Serial Killer

What was once the Bella Gunness farm property.

The only thing crazier than the story of Bella Gunness is what’s been happening on her old property ever since.

If you live in the Midwest, then you have heard of the famous serial killer Bella Gunness. Born in 1859, she is said to have killed more than forty people, including two husbands and all of her children at various points in her life. She also killed suitors and boyfriends and dissected their bodies like a butcher, feeding the remains to her pigs. She evaded apprehension by faking her own death by arson and was never found.

If you’re interested in the paranormal, then it isn’t going to be a surprise to learn that the murder site property is believed to be haunted.

The farm that Bella once operated in La Porte now has many homes on the grounds. While I was trying to determine where the actual farmhouse once sat, many residents in the area were not surprised to be asked.

One senior in his nineties was able to pinpoint the actual location. Knocking on his door on a Sunday afternoon, completely unexpected, was a joy to him. He loved the company and enjoyed sharing his Bella knowledge. He claims to have had an uncle who once worked on the Bella Gunness farm for brief time. His uncle referred to Bella as being a determined woman with a motherly warmth. Still, there was always something odd about her that made him just a bit uncomfortable. Her temper was like a switch, and he witnessed her have more than one outburst.

The senior I spoke with lived very close to the original property. Over the years, he’d become used to hearing sudden screams in the night and seeing strange orbs in the yard behind his home. When asked if the property was haunted, his eyes twinkled. Smiling, he said that he didn’t think it was—he knew it was.

An image of the cemetery where Bella Gunness' children and victims are buried.
Bella Gunness’ children and victims are buried in this cemetery. Image sourced from Haunted Tales from The Region: Ghosts of Indiana’s South Shore.

After shaking hands and thanking the friendly man for his time, I knocked on a door just down the road. A woman opened the door, not in a very good mood. After explaining to her that I was looking for information regarding Bella Gunness, she laughed—not a friendly laugh but something more sarcastic. She said that she was tired of people poking around the area and disturbing the peace. Then, right before shutting the door on my face, she said, “Damn kids trying to catch a glimpse of those strange balls of light. Things make my dogs bark at all hours. I am sick of it!” Despite her rude goodbye, she confirmed for us that she’d seen the lights that the friendly senior had mentioned.

A La Porte police officer claims to have been called to the property many times for the sounds of disturbances at a family home that was not occupied. Neighbors called police fearing that there were looters or trespassers on the empty home’s property. One time it sounded like there were people fighting inside when the officer arrived on the scene. The inspection of the perimeter showed that there was no one around.

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