If you’re from the Peru-Converse area of Indiana, you probably know about Okie Pinokie. If you don’t, here’s a brief rundown.
Okie Pinokie is the local name for part of the Frances Slocum State Park, where County Road 510 E dead-ends in Peru, Indiana; the road merely makes a circle and doubles back into itself. It’s just a stone’s throw from the Mississinewa River.
Many who have visited it claim it’s haunted, but if you try to look it up online, you’ll get a lot of inconclusive results.
Supposedly at the turn of the last century, a 7-year-old girl named Stephanie was found brutally raped and murdered in the woods, and in the 1960s, four headless bodies were found in the circle formed by the road. More recently, a man was beaten to death in a robbery gone bad (this was in May of 2018). You can see scratches on one of the trees; they look like they’re made by a deer scraping its antlers on the bark, but they’re horizontal and have a space for an opposable thumb.
There’s supposed to be a small shack in the forest somewhere, and people have reported shadow people and voices on the paths. Stephanie is said to scream if you get too far away from your group if you visit so you don’t get led away and murdered like she was.
For your own sake, don’t go visit around Halloween. This story will show you why.
One of my best friends, who’s basically like my twin and who I’ll call Kay, lives in Amboy, which is like twenty minutes away. She grew up in a Wiccan family and has always been sensitive to the presence of spirits. In mid-August a few years ago, she, her young brother and sister, and a collection of her cousins decided they would go out and walk around. They were mostly teenagers, after all, and they wanted to hunt some ghosts. They got much more than they bargained for.
About mid-afternoon, they reached the circle, parked, and got out. There was still enough light to see, and they planned to walk through the woods and leave before nightfall. Maybe three yards from the edge of the circle, the path split in two and branched out. Half of the party went one way, and half went the other. Kay’s cousin Alex was impatient to get going and was maybe fifty or sixty feet ahead of his group. The path sloped at one side, and there was a wet spot there that he jumped over. As soon as he did, they all heard a loud scream that sounded like it belonged to a little girl. Needless to say, that put an end to the exploration very quickly.
They went back the day before Halloween with a group of eleven people, but this proved to be a mistake. The group included Kay, her parents and siblings, Alex and his two brothers, one of Kay’s aunts, and two of her brother Daniel’s friends. They started out at mid-afternoon again, but nothing really happened until after nightfall. By then, everyone was ready to go home, and they were walking toward the edge of the woods and the cars when Kay froze. Something like a cold hand felt like it had reached into her chest and gripped her diaphragm; she could barely breathe.
“We need to get out of here,” Kay said to Alex and Daniel. “Right. Now.”
They all ran back to the circle.
As the family piled into the cars to leave, Kay and Alex waited near the tailgate of her father’s truck to avoid the commotion and watched the woods. In the shadows, Kay could make out the shape of a man nearly seven feet tall just watching them. Alex’s eyes were trained the same way, and he leaned toward Kay.
“You see it too, don’t you?”
Kay said that she did, and she and Alex booked it into the truck. On their way out of the forest, the same black shape followed them through the trees from the circle to the cornfield out on the main road. Kay says she was sure that if there hadn’t been ten yards between the woods and the cornfield, the thing may have followed them farther.
As soon as Kay got home, she placed down lines of salt in her room at the window frame and inside the door, which is said to keep spirits at bay, as any fan of Supernatural will tell you. But there was one last thing to terrify the family that night. Kay’s mother had a digital recorder going the whole time, and based solely on the EVP it caught, I urge you. If you’re thinking of visiting Okie Pinokie, don’t do it during October or the first week of November, because that’s when the separation between life and death is the thinnest, and evil things are stronger than any other time of year. You might go home with more than you came with.
The EVP said, “Look at them run. They’re scared.”