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Indiana’s Famous Grave in the Middle of the Road

If you happen to be cruising along County Road 400, in Johnson County, Indiana, you’re bound to stumble upon one of America’s strangest landmarks – a grave located dead in the middle of the road.

The grave apparently dates back to before Amity village even had a paved road. In 1831, a 37-year-old woman named Nancy Kerlin died in the area, survived by her husband and 11 children. Keeping with her wishes, her husband William Barnett buried her at her favorite spot on a small hill, overlooking Sugar Creek. While road crews generally tend to flatten out such obstructions, in this case, they made sure to pour the asphalt around the grave. Why? Because they were terrified!

grave in the middle of the road

Photo: RoadTrippers

Nancy was the first to be buried in the area, but other locals soon followed suit and a cemetery was built around her grave. Decades later, when a National Guard training camp started moving the graves to make way for development work, Nancy’s grandchildren weren’t happy with the idea. After several heated arguments, the developers finally agreed to leave Nancy’s grave intact.

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Photo: Graveyard Girl

But it wasn’t long before the officials realised that the grave was going to be right in the middle of a road that they had already started to build. So the county decided to push ahead with its plans and demolish the grave. That’s when Nancy’s grandson Daniel camped out near the grave, armed with a shotgun. He simply refused to let anyone to set foot on the mound for weeks, threatening to put a hole into any worker foolish enough to come near it.

grave in the middle of the road3

Photo: RoadTrippers

The county was finally forced to relent – they split the lanes right down the middle and laid the road around the plot. In 1912, local authorities placed a concrete slab above the grave to protect it from being run over by reckless drivers. And in 1982, Nancy’s great, great grandson Kenneth Blackwell placed a historical marker, probably to stop people’s incessant questions about the grave’s odd location.

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Photo: Graveyard Girl

Interestingly, the site is now considered to be one of the most haunted locations in Indiana, but also a symbol of perseverance and determination.

Sources: RoadTrippers, Graveyard Girl