Is Slippery Noodle Inn Haunted?

Slippery Noodle Inn

As the oldest bar in Indiana, the Slippery Noodle Inn is well-known for its drinks…and its spirits

Paranormal Claims at
Slippery Noodle Inn

  • The spirits of former prostitutes are said to reside in the former brothel upstairs
  • One prostitute spirit, named Sarah, often appears as a clear apparition to visitors and employees
  • A spirit named George, possibly a former caretaker, resides in the basement, appearing to people and whispering in their ears
  • Cold spots are commonly reported on every floor of the building
  • The ghost of an escaped slave is said to remain in a basement room used to hide escaped slaves on the Underground Railroad
  • A shadowy figure of a cowboy-looking man is frequently reported throughout the building

Slippery Noodle: Indiana’s Oldest Bar

Put yourself into the shoes of a passionate citizen of Indianapolis. You’ve just come from an electrifying Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium and, to avoid the crush of cars leaving the game, you decide to take a casual saunter around the nearby neighborhood.

After just a few blocks, you come across a two story red brick pub.

Now a lively night-spot, the Comically name Slippery Noodle was once a very serious speakeasy and brothel with a violent past

Sounds of live music waft out, intermixed with the aroma of freshly cooked burgers and wings – you’ve stumbled across the oldest bar in Indiana, the Slippery Noodle Inn.

Considered by some to be the most haunted watering hole in town, the Slippery Noodle attracts fans of boos, as well as blues and brews.

Timeline of Slippery Noodle Inn's History

Swipe or use timeline points to see Slippery Noodle Inn through the years

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Opened in 1850, the Slippery Noodle Inn was the vision of German immigrants. Originally called Tremont House, the building was both a pub and an overnight roadhouse. By the 1860s, it had changed names to Concordia House. During this era, the building served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Some years after the end of the war, the bar’s name changed once more, this time to the Germania House, still playing off the business’s closely held German roots. But soon, public perception of Germans would shift, and necessitate another name change.

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After 1914 and the outset of World War I, Germany became an enemy nation to the US. Suddenly, a bar called Germania was a target for the American public. Thus, the owner of the Germania, Louis Beck, opted to change the name of the bar to Beck’s Saloon.

But, by 1920 with Prohibition looming, Beck sold off his saloon while he still could. Walter Moore bought it and changed it to Moore’s Beer Tavern…shortly before beer became illegal nationwide. During Prohibition, Moore operated it as ‘Moore’s Restaurant.’

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Despite the name, Moore’s Restaurant brewed beer in the basement throughout the 1920s. Also helping the bar stay open during this time was the clandestine bordello operated out of the building. But, these side-businesses brought trouble. Fights were common at the tavern, and even a few shootouts broke out.

But, while the secret brewery stopped being an underworld operation after Prohibition ended, the bordello remained. The upstairs stayed a brothel until 1953, when an argument over one of the girls ended in a man being stabbed to death.

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After a few more rounds of changing ownership, the bar landed in the hands of Harold and Lorean Yeagy in late 1963. The Yeagys took formal ownership of the property on Friday the 13th that year. At first, the family wasn’t sure what to call their new pub. After a long debate, yet another new name for the bar was settled on: Slippery Noodle Inn.

And, the silliest and most memorable name for the tavern ended up standing the test of time.

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Today, the Slippery Noodle has built up a local reputation as one of the most in-demand live music joints in the area. Big names in blues have played sets at the Slippery Noodle and the inn has even hosted big name celebrities from film and TV over its long life.

But, along with serving many living legends, the Slippery Noodle is also said to host several legends that aren’t so living. People have reported ghostly encounters at the pub, and it is now known in Indianapolis as just as much a hotspot for hauntings as it is for blues and beer.

Is Slippery Noodle Inn Haunted?

Spirits spotted at the Slippery Noodle vary from cowboys to caretakers, from enslaved people to prostitutes. The upstairs section of the building, previously the brothel, is an area where many people report activity.

Though not generally open to the public except for tours, many employees have had experiences up there, especially men.

The story goes that the spirits of the prostitutes upstairs don’t take kindly to men invading their space and will often scare them off by opening and closing doors and appearing as apparitions.

One of these ghostly gals has been named Sarah by staff, and she is one of the most frequently encountered spirits upstairs, commonly appearing as a shadow figure.

Patrons and staff have had run ins with the spirits of the former speakeasy and brothel

Ghosts in the Building’s Basement

Beyond the bordello, an entity named George is said to inhabit the basement. He has been described as likely a former building caretaker, dressed in coveralls. George most often appears directly to people who go down into the basement, like employees or delivery workers.

Workers or deliverymen head down there only to be met, nose-to-nose, with George’s specter. Some end up so startled they vow never again to venture down into the basement of the Slippery Noodle.

The ghost of a brawler killed in 1953 supposedly roams the Slippery Noodle Inn

Spirits of Enslaved People Still Linger

Also in the basement is a tiny nook of a room where another spirit is known to stay. During the building’s time as a stop on the Underground Railroad, this little basement space was an often used hiding spot for escaped enslaved people on their way to freedom.

Now, the ghost of at least one escaping enslaved person is known to stick around the Slippery Noodle’s basement hideaway. Eerie, uneasy feelings are often reported in there, said to be a result of the former enslaved person’s spirit trying their best to keep hidden.

Once a stop on the Underground Railroad, this Indianapolis bar and nightclub is haunted by the spirits of the enslaved people it helped to transport

The Inn’s Cowboy Ghost

The shadowy figure of a cowboy-looking man is also spotted throughout the building, though most often on the upper floors. There remains some debate as to the source of this entity, though some claim it is the ghost of one of the fighters in the lethal 1953 brawl.

Maybe it’s the man who died, or maybe it’s the man who did the killing; no one is quite sure. But, they are sure they’ve seen him around, only to watch him disappear moments later. Other potentially paranormal activity reported includes sudden cold spots, whispers in ears, and unexplained distant voices and noises.

The Spirits & Ghosts of
Slippery Noodle Inn

Today, the Slippery Noodle Inn remains dedicated to good food, drinks, and music, and attracts local crowds all the time to its regular array of live performances.

But, the spooky mystique of the historic building remains palpable. Many visitors today come for the music and atmosphere, and leave with a little extra ghost story to take home with them.

A focal point in Indianapolis live music culture, the Slippery Noodle Inn is rumored to be haunted by the past

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the pub opened up to formal ghost tours for the first time. And paranormal investigators who have toured the building have come away with potential EVPs, as well as tales of personal experiences.

So, if you’re looking for a good meal and a drink after a game at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Slippery Noodle Inn isn’t far away. But take note, you may encounter more spirits than you pay for when you stop into the Slippery Noodle.