Ohio, a state often associated with the Wright brothers, farming, and its reputation as the birthplace of presidents, also harbors a lesser-known but intriguing facet: its connection to the supernatural. Alongside its rich history, Ohio teems with stories of paranormal activity. Haunted mansions, forsaken asylums, and other eerie locales are scattered across the state. Far from being avoided, these spooky sites have become sought-after tourist destinations for thrill-seekers and those curious about the unexplained and mysterious.
One of the most infamous haunted places in Ohio is the Old Licking County Jail in Newark. Ghost hunters from across the nation have visited the jail in the hope of finding something paranormal, and they have never left disappointed. The jail is known for its eerie atmosphere and strange occurrences, such as the sound of footsteps and voices when no one is around.
Another popular haunted location in Ohio is the Athens Lunatic Asylum, now owned by Ohio University. The facility still holds the shadows, stains, and spirits of former mental patients who often suffered from violent treatments such as lobotomies. Visitors to the asylum have reported seeing apparitions and hearing strange noises, making it a must-visit for those interested in the paranormal.
Old Licking County Jail
Old Licking County Jail in Newark, Ohio, boasts a riveting past dating back to 1889. Initially serving as a correctional facility, it imprisoned notorious criminals and saw countless tales of love, betrayal, and despair.
Ghosts? Absolutely! Visitors and investigators consistently report shadows, cold spots, and even full-bodied apparitions. Laura Devlin and Carl Etherington, two of its most famous inmates, are believed to haunt the premises. Etherington, a detective, was lynched by a mob in 1910. His restless spirit often makes surprise appearances, catching curious visitors off guard.
While the jail no longer holds prisoners, its paranormal residents refuse to leave. This attraction has drawn many ghost hunters, seeking to communicate or even catch a glimpse of the otherworldly inmates. Stories of unexplained voices, slamming doors, and mysterious footsteps make this historic site a must-visit for any paranormal enthusiast.
Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield
The Ohio State Reformatory, also known as the Mansfield Reformatory, is a historic prison located in Mansfield, Ohio. Built in the late 1800s, the prison was designed to be a model facility for rehabilitating young offenders. However, over the years, it became known for its inhumane conditions and brutal treatment of inmates.
Today, the Ohio State Reformatory is most famous for its role in the film “The Shawshank Redemption.” The prison was used as a filming location for the movie, and visitors can still see many of the sets and props used in the film.
But the Ohio State Reformatory is also known for its haunting. Many people believe that the prison is home to numerous ghosts and spirits, including those of former inmates and guards. Paranormal investigators have reported strange occurrences, including unexplained noises, cold spots, and apparitions.
Visitors to the Ohio State Reformatory can take guided tours of the prison, including the cell blocks, the warden’s quarters, and the chapel. The prison also hosts various events throughout the year, including ghost hunts and overnight stays.
Despite its reputation for being one of the most haunted places in Ohio, the Ohio State Reformatory is still an important historical site. It provides a glimpse into the harsh realities of the American prison system in the early 20th century, and serves as a reminder of the need for prison reform.
The Ridges in Athens
The Ridges, formerly known as the Athens Lunatic Asylum, is a historic building complex located in Athens, Ohio. The building was in operation from 1874 to 1993 and housed a variety of patients, including those with mental disabilities and violent criminals. The Ridges is now part of Ohio University and is used as an art museum.
The Ridges is known for its haunting history, with many paranormal investigators and enthusiasts visiting the site to experience its eerie atmosphere. The building is said to be one of the most haunted places in Ohio, with numerous reports of ghost sightings and unexplained phenomena.
One of the most famous stories associated with The Ridges is that of Margaret Schilling, a patient who disappeared from the hospital in 1978. Her body was found a month later in an abandoned ward, where she had apparently died of exposure. It is said that her ghost still haunts the building, and visitors have reported seeing her ghostly figure and hearing her screams.
The Ridges is also known for its dark past, with reports of lobotomies, electroshock therapy, and other forms of controversial treatment. Many patients died while in the hospital, and some committed suicide in their rooms. The building’s history has contributed to its reputation as a haunted location.
Franklin Castle in Cleveland
Franklin Castle, also known as the Hannes Tiedemann House, is a Victorian home located on Franklin Boulevard in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood. It has gained widespread notoriety as “the most haunted home in Ohio.” The house was built in the late 1800s by Hannes Tiedemann, a wealthy German immigrant and banker.
The castle-like structure features numerous turrets, secret passageways, and a ballroom. However, the house’s grandeur is overshadowed by its tragic history. The Tiedemann family experienced several deaths, including the loss of four children, which has fueled rumors of hauntings and paranormal activity.
The most notorious incident associated with Franklin Castle is the murder of Tiedemann’s daughter, Emma. Her death remains shrouded in mystery, and some believe that her ghost still haunts the home. Over the years, numerous paranormal investigators have visited the house to try and capture evidence of ghostly activity.
Despite its reputation as a haunted house, Franklin Castle has also been a popular tourist attraction and event venue. Visitors can take guided tours of the home, and the house is available for private events such as weddings and parties.
Gore Orphanage in Vermilion, Ohio, carries a name that suggests horror, and the legends surrounding it certainly deliver, though the name’s origin is a bit misleading.
Contrary to the dark images its name might conjure, Gore Orphanage was never an orphanage. The term “Gore” refers to a land surveying term, indicating a piece of land that is irregularly shaped. However, in this area, the Wilber family did run a home for orphaned children named the “Light of Hope Orphanage” in the early 20th century. While the Wilbers had good intentions, allegations of mistreatment, neglect, and worse arose.
Urban legends tell a chilling tale of a tragic fire, claiming the lives of many children who resided there. Their ghosts, it’s said, still haunt the location with heart-wrenching cries and phantom footsteps. While there’s no historical evidence of such a fire at the orphanage, the story persists and fuels the site’s haunted reputation.
Now, when you visit the area where Gore Orphanage Road stands, there’s an eerie, weighty silence. Curiosity-seekers and paranormal investigators flock here, hoping to hear the spectral sounds of children or see ghostly apparitions. Though the truth of its history may be mixed with fiction, the emotional impact of the legend remains undeniably powerful.
Sedamsville Rectory in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a location steeped in dark history and intense paranormal activity.
Built in the 1870s, the Sedamsville Rectory initially served as a home for the priests of the nearby Our Lady of Perpetual Help church. However, the rectory soon became a hotbed of controversy. Rumors circulated about the abuse of children, mistreatment of orphans, and even possible murders within its walls. Although no concrete evidence has been produced, these chilling tales have become an intrinsic part of the rectory’s lore.
The supernatural activity within the rectory is varied and intense. Visitors have reported dark shadows, the sounds of children crying, and even aggressive encounters with unseen entities. Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) recordings have allegedly captured voices pleading for help or screaming. The tales of mistreated children seem to find echo in these chilling accounts.
Today, the Sedamsville Rectory stands as a testament to its grim past, drawing in paranormal enthusiasts and investigators. Numerous TV shows and ghost hunting teams, including the “Ghost Adventures” crew, have visited, aiming to document the otherworldly phenomena. Their experiences often echo the tales of old: a place heavy with sorrow, anger, and lingering spirits.
Buxton Inn in Granville
The Buxton Inn in Granville, Ohio, is one of the most haunted locations in the state. This historic hotel was built in 1812 by Orrin Granger, and it has welcomed many famous guests, including Abraham Lincoln and Henry Ford. However, it is also home to several apparitions that have been seen by guests and paranormal investigators.
The majority of the ghosts seen at the Buxton Inn are former owners, including Orrin Granger himself, who was the first ghost reported at the hotel in the 1920s. Another popular ghost sighted on the grounds is Major Buxton, who owned the inn from 1865 to 1905. Guests have reported seeing him in the lobby and on the stairs.
The Buxton Inn has been investigated by numerous paranormal investigators, including the Ohio Paranormal Investigation Team and the Ghost Hunters. They have reported hearing strange noises and voices, feeling cold spots, and seeing apparitions. The inn’s long history and spiritual activity make it a popular destination for those interested in the paranormal.
Despite its reputation as a haunted house, the Buxton Inn is also a beautiful and historic hotel. Guests can observe the pieces of history preserved here, including antique furnishings and photographs. The hotel’s charming rooms and excellent dining options make it a popular destination for those looking for a unique and memorable experience.
Moonville Tunnel in McArthur
Moonville Tunnel is a historic railway tunnel located in McArthur, Ohio, and is considered one of the most haunted places in the state. The tunnel was built in 1856 and was used to transport coal from the nearby mining town of Moonville. The tunnel was abandoned in the early 1900s, but it has since become a popular destination for ghost hunters and thrill-seekers.
Legend has it that the ghost of a man who was killed by a train haunts the tunnel. Visitors have reported seeing the ghostly figure of a man walking along the tracks or standing at the entrance of the tunnel. Some have even claimed to hear disembodied voices and strange noises coming from inside the tunnel.
Despite its spooky reputation, the Moonville Tunnel is a popular spot for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. The tunnel is located near Lake Hope State Park and is accessible via a hiking trail. Visitors can explore the tunnel and the surrounding area, but they should be cautious and respectful of the site’s historical significance.
Majestic Theatre in Chillicothe
The Majestic Theatre, located in Chillicothe, Ohio, is a historic building that has been the site of many paranormal activities. The theater was built in 1853 on the site of Chillicothe’s first bank, which burned down. In 1918, during the Spanish flu epidemic, the theater became a makeshift morgue and autopsy site for the nearby Camp Sherman. It is said that the soldiers’ spilled blood still stains the stage, and their ghosts still haunt the theater.
Over the years, many visitors and paranormal investigators have reported strange occurrences at the Majestic Theatre. Some have reported seeing apparitions, hearing unexplained noises, and feeling cold spots. Others have claimed to see the ghost of a woman in a white dress, who is believed to be the spirit of a former performer at the theater.
Mudhouse Mansion in Lancaster
Mudhouse Mansion is a historic house located in Lancaster, Ohio, and is considered one of the most haunted places in Ohio. The mansion was built in the 1800s and has a dark reputation among locals and paranormal enthusiasts nationwide. The mansion’s Second Empire style architecture is a testament to the grandeur of the era.
The mansion has been abandoned since the 1930s, but there are reports of paranormal activity, including sightings of ghosts, strange noises, and unexplained movements. The house’s dark history, including a murder and a suicide, adds to its spooky reputation.
Despite its haunted reputation, Mudhouse Mansion was demolished in 2015 by the property owners. However, the grounds are still known to be just as haunted as the house once was. Visitors are advised to be respectful of the property and its history and to proceed with caution.
Masonic Opera House in Newark
The Masonic Opera House in Newark, Ohio is a historic building that has been the site of numerous paranormal investigations. Built in 1885, the building has a rich history and has been used for a variety of purposes over the years. Today, it is known for its haunting and is considered one of the most haunted places in Ohio.
The haunting of the Masonic Opera House is said to be caused by the spirits of former members of the Masonic Lodge who have never left the building. Visitors have reported hearing unexplained footsteps, voices, and strange noises. Some have even claimed to have seen apparitions of former lodge members.
Paranormal investigators have visited the Masonic Opera House in an attempt to capture evidence of the haunting. Some have reported capturing EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) and other unexplained occurrences. However, skeptics argue that the evidence is inconclusive and that there may be other explanations for the reported activity.
Despite the skepticism, the Masonic Opera House remains a popular destination for those interested in the paranormal. The building is open to the public and offers tours, allowing visitors to explore the building and learn more about its history and haunting.
Lima Tuberculosis Hospital
The Lima Tuberculosis Hospital located in Allen County, Ohio, is a structure that has been abandoned since 1972. It was one of the first hospitals in the state dedicated to the treatment of patients diagnosed with tuberculosis. Today, the hospital is known for its haunting and paranormal activities, which have attracted many paranormal investigators and ghost hunters.
The Lima Tuberculosis Hospital is rumored to be one of the most haunted hospitals in Ohio. Many people have reported strange occurrences and sightings of apparitions throughout the building. Visitors have reported hearing strange voices and footsteps, feeling cold spots, and experiencing unexplainable feelings of being watched.
The hospital’s haunting history is believed to be linked to the many patients who died within its walls. The hospital was known for its experimental treatments, which were often painful and ineffective. Many patients died due to the harsh treatments, and their spirits are believed to still linger within the hospital’s walls.
Despite being abandoned, the Lima Tuberculosis Hospital has become a popular destination for urban explorers and ghost hunters. Many people have reported experiencing paranormal activity while exploring the hospital. The hospital’s haunting reputation has also made it a popular spot for paranormal investigations.
Golden Lamb in Lebanon
The Golden Lamb in Lebanon is an iconic historic hotel that has been in operation since 1803. The hotel is the oldest continuously operating business in Ohio and has hosted many famous guests, including ten U.S. presidents, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Mark Twain. However, the Golden Lamb is not only famous for its history and hospitality, but it is also known as one of the most haunted restaurants in Ohio.
According to some guests and paranormal investigators, the hotel is haunted by several ghosts, including the spirit of Ohio Supreme Court Justice Charles R. Sherman, who died suddenly in the Inn at the age of 41, leaving his family penniless. Other ghosts that are believed to haunt the hotel include a little girl who is thought to be the spirit of Sarah Stubbs, who lived at the Golden Lamb as a child.
The hotel’s haunted reputation is not just based on rumors and hearsay. In 2016, the Golden Lamb was named the most haunted restaurant in Ohio by the Ohio Exploration Society. The society conducted several investigations and found evidence of paranormal activity, including unexplained noises, strange shadows, and ghostly apparitions.
Despite its spooky reputation, the Golden Lamb remains a popular destination for tourists and history buffs. The hotel offers several ghost tours and paranormal investigation events for those who are interested in the supernatural. Visitors can also enjoy the hotel’s delicious food, cozy rooms, and charming atmosphere.
Molly Stark Sanatorium in Louisville
Molly Stark Sanatorium, located in Louisville, Ohio, is a former tuberculosis hospital that has gained notoriety for being one of the most haunted places in the state. Built in 1929, it was one of 25 tuberculosis hospitals in Ohio. The main four-story Spanish Revival style building, designed by architect Albert Thayer of New Castle, Pennsylvania, was named after the wife of General John Stark.
The history of the sanatorium is shrouded in mystery and tragedy, with many patients dying from tuberculosis during its operation. Over the years, there have been reports of strange occurrences, including apparitions, disembodied voices, and unexplained noises. Visitors have reported feeling a sense of unease and being watched, and some have even claimed to have been touched or pushed by unseen forces.
The sanatorium has become a popular destination for paranormal investigators and ghost hunters, who have documented numerous instances of paranormal activity. Some of the most notable sightings include the ghost of a nurse who is said to roam the halls, a young girl who appears in the basement, and a man who is said to haunt the fourth floor.
Despite being abandoned for many years, the sanatorium still draws visitors who are curious about its haunted history. While it is not open to the public, there are occasional tours and events held on the property. However, visitors are advised to be cautious and respectful when visiting the site, as it is private property and trespassers will be prosecuted.
The Spread Eagle Tavern
The Spread Eagle Tavern is a historic hotel located in Hanoverton, Ohio. It is known to be one of the most haunted places in Ohio. The tavern was built in 1837 and has been a popular spot for paranormal investigators and ghost enthusiasts.
According to legend, the tavern is haunted by several ghosts, including a woman in a blue dress, a man in a top hat, and a little girl. Visitors have reported hearing strange noises, seeing apparitions, and feeling cold spots throughout the building. Some have even claimed to have been touched or pushed by unseen forces.
The tavern’s paranormal activity has been the subject of several investigations by professional ghost hunters. In 2019, the tavern was featured on an episode of the Travel Channel’s “Portals to Hell.” The show’s hosts, Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman, spent the night in the tavern and captured several pieces of evidence of paranormal activity.
Despite its haunted reputation, the Spread Eagle Tavern is also known for its rich history and charming atmosphere. The tavern’s restaurant serves up classic American fare, and the hotel rooms are decorated in a traditional style that reflects the building’s history.
Overall, the Spread Eagle Tavern is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the paranormal or Ohio’s rich history. Visitors should keep an eye out for any signs of paranormal activity and enjoy the tavern’s unique charm and ambiance.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of the most haunted places in Ohio?
Ohio is home to many haunted places, some of which are more famous than others. Some of the most haunted places in Ohio include the Old Licking County Jail in Newark, the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, and the Athens Lunatic Asylum – The Ridges.
Are there any haunted hotels or inns in Ohio?
Yes, there are several haunted hotels and inns in Ohio. One of the most famous is the Buxton Inn in Granville, which is said to be haunted by the ghost of a former owner. The Golden Lamb in Lebanon is another haunted inn that has been in operation since 1803.
Which cities in Ohio have the most haunted locations?
Several cities in Ohio have a high concentration of haunted locations. Some of the most haunted cities in Ohio include Mansfield, Cincinnati, and Athens.
What are some of the ghost stories associated with Ohio’s haunted places?
There are many ghost stories associated with Ohio’s haunted places. For example, the Ohio State Reformatory is said to be haunted by the ghost of a former prisoner named James Lockhart, while the Athens Lunatic Asylum is said to be haunted by the ghost of a former patient named Margaret Schilling.
Has anyone reported any paranormal activity at Ohio’s haunted places?
Yes, many people have reported paranormal activity at Ohio’s haunted places. Visitors to the Ohio State Reformatory have reported hearing strange noises and seeing apparitions, while visitors to the Athens Lunatic Asylum have reported feeling cold spots and seeing ghostly figures.
Are there any guided tours available for Ohio’s haunted places?
Yes, there are several guided tours available for Ohio’s haunted places. Some of the most popular include the Haunted Mansfield Tour, the Ghosts of Cincinnati Tour, and the Athens Asylum Walking Tour. These tours offer visitors a chance to learn more about Ohio’s haunted history and possibly even experience some paranormal activity themselves.