Spooky tours aren’t just for Halloween. Did you know there are catacombs hidden underneath Indianapolis City Market? The historic space has landed in the pages of popular travel guide Atlas Obscura and it’s open until October for Hoosiers to grab a flashlight + take a tour.
We were able to scope out the site for ourselves and we’re sharing a few things we learned (but we’re saving some secrets for you to uncover yourself).
There used to be a whole other building in the Mile Square called Tomlinson Hall, built in the late 1800s. We could write a whole story on that building alone — but for now, we’ll say that the catacombs contain some brick archways that are now some of the only remaining pieces of the burned down public auditorium. Though the name may sound like it was used as ancient crypts, the passageways were constructed to be used as a space to store meats + produce for City Market.
Uses through the ages
It was adapted to serve several different purposes throughout the years. During one of the coldest days in Indy, the city transformed the space to house Hoosiers in search of shelter and provided meals for those in need. It was also used as a firing range, leading to its questionable air quality to this day. When the city hosted its first Super Bowl in 2012, tours were started as a way to entertain visiting sports fans.
The catacombs were simply too expensive to fill in and pave over, so the site is still open to visit + host events in. Regularly, the United States Bartenders’ Guild uses it for an annual 1920s “prohibition” style Repeal Party. And if a tour during Halloween is your style, there are usually a few “paranormal tours” to keep an eye out for. Multiple ghost hunters have stayed the night in the historic halls.
Book a tour with Indiana Landmarks.