For the tribe of Miami Indians that inhabited the Mississinewa River valley, “Seven Pillars” was more than a landmark of natural beauty. It was a “gateway to the other world.” Here the Tribal Council would meet within the grotto-like alcoves, feeling that their ancestors would be present to help guide them with their wisdom.
It was also where criminal proceedings were held, and where those found guilty of the most grievous of crimes against the tribe would be beheaded. Seven Pillars also served as a type of trading post, due to its excellent position on the river and its easy access for French traders.
The site made an impression upon the French who, according to local legend, bore with them religious icons to ward off the spirits of the dead that lingered around the rounded buttresses carved by nature into the jointing and bedding of the limestone cliffs.
Until recently, Seven Pillars was a popular camping and fishing site for the inhabitants of Miami County, and many an adventurous camper has braved the night to sleep within the limestone chambers of the pillars—and just as many have left with tales of fright.
Bruce S. was one of the more adventurous.
“There’s ghosts in them there woods,”
he said with a grin.
“There I was, sleeping under the main pillar, when I was snapped awake by a sense of, I don’t know…it was something that wasn’t right. I saw it hovering over the water. It was a ghost…it was like what I always thought a ghost would look like, I guess. It drifted along the bank. It was beautiful, but scary…know what I mean?”
Shannon D. saw something similar.
“It was a mist, roughly in the form of a man, swirling among the pillars. We were camped on the south bank when we were awakened by the sound of someone running through the water. We went to look and saw the apparition moving in and out of the limestone pylons on the north side of the river. I’ll never forget that as long as I live.”
The area has recently been repurchased by the ancestors of the Miami as part of their bid toward having their tribal status reinstated by the United States Government.
Written by —Bob Freeman Senior Investigator, Nightstalkers of Indiana
SEVEN PILLARS ON THE OLD FRANCES SLOCCUM TRAIL
3 MILES EAST OF PERU,
Encyclopedia of Haunted Places -Ghostly Locales from around the World – Compiled & Edited by Jeff Belanger – Copyright 2005 by Jeff Belanger