(Athens Lunatic Asylum)(Athens Hospital for the Insane)
100 Ridges Circle
Status: Former Insane Asylum; University Building
Both Photos Above Are Courtesy of BabyBreezeBrie
The asylum was first constructed between 1868-73 – in the Kirkbride style – on farmland. It was originally on a site of 141 acres (57 hectares) but would eventually fill of site of 1,000 acres (400 hectares) with 78 buildings.
The hospital cared for many vulnerable peoples including Civil War soldiers and many people declared mentally unfit for a variety of reasons and even children.
In the beginning epilepsy was the leading cause of being confined to the hospital although it was often – especially in the 19th Century - misdiagnosed as demonic possession.
Women had it the worst of it – at this and every other asylum worldwide – with such conditions as puerperal condition – a bacterial infection related to giving birth -, change of life “menopause”, menstrual derangement – thinking PMS – as well as post partum depression and just for being a woman.
Men didn’t have it much easier – of course they weren’t imprisoned just for being male - with the reasons such as intemperance and dissipation usually meaning uncontrolled excessive alcohol and/or drug use and, of course, the old favorite excessive masturbation – although a few women for locked for that one too.
Again, much like all their contemporaries, there was a high use of treatments now considered questionable to downright malevolent including: lobotomies, insulin shock therapy, electroshock therapy, psychotropic drugs and hydrotherapy.
As the age of the large psychiatric institutions came to an end this site was transferred to the ownership of the nearby Ohio University in an attempt to keep the buildings safe from trespassing and from falling apart due to abandonment.
The University has now converted the buildings into classrooms and offices as well as a storage site for the Kennedy Museum of Arts and the campus police department.
The 3 graveyards on site have been cleaned up and repaired by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
The most famous ghost is that of Margaret Schilling was tragically passed away in 1979 in an unused attic space. Unfortunately, her body was not discovered for a number of weeks which led to a permanent stain in the place where she fell.
This stain has been labeled as paranormal and its certainly possible but, most likely, its just due to the amount of time the poor lady’s remains were undiscovered which, if anything, is just very sad.
Margret’s ghost is seen staring down from the window of the room that her remains were found in. She is also seen wandering the entire complex – usually at night – which does make a certain amount of sense as when she was alive she had the run of the institution.
In the basement of the former asylum the ghosts of the institution’s darker days are reported. People have seen a number of former patients handcuffed to the walls.
Apparitions of former staff and patients have been seen both in the buildings and on the grounds. They are normally only seen from a distance and usually are very still.
Disembodied voices, crying, laughter and screams have all been reported as well as a number of other unexplained sounds and noises including the phantom squeaking of old hospital gurneys.
Strange lights also appear on the former campus.
Light anomalies and shadow figures are the most commonly reported activity in the old cemeteries.
639 Steiner Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45204
Status: Former Rectory; Heritage Property
In 1878 the German speaking members of the St Vincent de Paul began plans to create a new parish for themselves and their ancestors. The actual Church itself – Our Lady of Perpetual Help – was dedicated on May 5, 1889.
The church replaced another which was built lower and prone to floods.
The rectory itself was opened in 1891 according to it’s own history that was once published in a pamphlet.
When the church was closed in the 1970’s the Rectory closed as well.
The bells and organ in the Church were removed and put in another Church as they were icons given to the Church by Pope Leo XIII. All sacred items were removed, and the property was sold.
It is now owned by the Midwest Preservation Society who are working hard on a volunteer and donation basis. They are also taking donations specifically to set up 24/7 cameras in the building for monitoring the paranormal activity.
There are rumors the house may be turned an Air BnB
There are numerous stories of children – and even animals – being abused within the rectory’s walls but there is no proof of any wrong doing.
There is also stories of a very nasty dog fighting ring being run illegally in the basement in the 1980’s when the rectory was abandoned.
On one of the more famous paranormal shows a Catholic priest was brought in to do an exorcism on a supposed demonic entity within the building. This has been criticized heavily and Priest even admits it could be seen as misleading.
A blessing does contain a minor exorcism, but the show edited it to make it look more dramatic. The Priest has stated he does not believe the property is haunted at all.
It does not to be said the unnamed paranormal show are not the only ones to have a claim the building has a negative/demonic entity in it. Many paranormal investigators have made the same claim.
Workers in the building have reported being scratched.
What can be historically verified is that Father Donald MacLeod lived in the rectory in the 19th century. One night while going out to comfort a seriously ill woman he struck by a train and killed. Ever since then his apparition has been seen both in the rectory and on the train tracks.
Other Reported Activity: the apparition of a man dressed in a dark clergy robe walking from the living room and the parlor; phantom sounds of children playing and laughing in the attic; shadows seen under the pantry door as if someone is moving around in their when it’s known to be empty; doors opening and closing on their own; objects moving on their own including a rocking chair rocking on it’s own; phantom sounds of dogs barking in the basement; electrical disturbances; disembodied voices; light anomalies and empathic sensations of dread and anxiety.
(The Hannes Tiedemann House)
4308 Franklin Boulevard
Status: Former Residence; Historical Haunted House; Commercial Business
By <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Cricchetti&action=edit&redlink=1" class="new" title="User:Cricchetti (page does not exist)">Cricchetti</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Built in 1865 for Hannes Tiedemann and his family. Four of the Tiedemann’s children and his mother died in the house and Hannes made extensive renovations to the home including a ballroom and adding the gargoyles on the outside in an attempt to distract his wife from so much tragedy.
There are also rumors of sexual adventures and murder in the house at this time – in the 1970′s the bones of several babies were found in a secret room and another skeleton was found in a wall in one of the tower rooms.
Tiedemann sold the house in 1879 after his wife died but the house remained largely empty until 1968 when James Romano and his family moved in. They were the first to report paranormal activities and attempted several exorcisms to try to clean the house. They moved out in 1974 and the new owner wanted to turn the house into a church and offered overnight stays in order to raise funds.
The next owner made extensive renovations but again put the house up for sale in 1994. In 1999 a fire was started by a vagrant and damaged part of the building. The house was left boarded up and abandoned when renovations could not be completed.
In 2004 the house was be renovated to become the Franklin Castle Club. By 2006 this was revealed to be a complete sham – no renovations were done and published photos were taken from other websites. It also appears as if the house was used as a location to shoot porn movies at this time.
In 2011 the carriage house was damaged by fire. Also, in this year the city rezoned the property so the house could be converted into a three-family dwelling. In 2012 it bought specifically to be converted into this.
It is unclear what happened to the conversion process but the property is now owned by a performing arts company called Oh Dear! Productions.
This location has been called “the most haunted house in Ohio” more than once.
In the windows of the turret the apparition of a woman in black has been seen by many people. She is rumored to be either Rachael, a servant girl that Hannes allegedly hacked to death with an axe or one of Hanne’s mistresses who he reportedly straggled to death.
The fourth-floor ballroom is haunted by a young girl who may be Hanne’s niece (who he reportedly murdered) or the servant girl, Rachael. The Romano family also reported the ghost of a young girl who befriended their children. There is also a large blood stain on the marble floor of the ballroom that returned after the floor was replaced. This ghost also predicted a death in the family which is said to be the major reason why the family left the home.
A newspaper boy reported then when he knocked on the front door a voice told him to “come in” and inside the front foyer he saw the apparition of a woman glide down the stairs and disappear right through the closed door.
Phantom voices of children crying out have been heard and the faces of children have appeared in the walls.
Other activity: voices coming from the walls; chandeliers swinging on their own; lights turning on and off on their own; furniture and other objects moving on their own,; mysterious moving mists; light anomalies; doors opening and closing on their own and cold spots.
The apparition of Hannes Tiedemann himself has been reported in a nearby park where he is said to have died.
(Columbus Correctional Facility)
Bounded By Spring Street (South), Maple Street (North), Neil Avenue (West) and West Street (East)
Status: Former State Prison; Parking Lot; Residential Building; Commercial Buildings; City Park
By Unknown author - <a rel="nofollow" class="external free" href="https://digital-collections.columbuslibrary.org/digital/collection/ohio/id/15146">https://digital-collections.columbuslibrary.org/digital/collection/ohio/id/15146</a>, Public Domain, Link
By David Lucas - <a rel="nofollow" class="external free" href="https://digital-collections.columbuslibrary.org/digital/collection/ohio/id/17776">https://digital-collections.columbuslibrary.org/digital/collection/ohio/id/17776</a>, No restrictions, Link
The original State Prison built in Columbus in 1813 quickly ran out of space for the number of prisoners being sent there by the courts. Another, much larger, facility needed to be built.
In 1834 the Ohio State Penitentiary was opened in what is now the Arena District in the city’s core. When it opened not all buildings were completed.
In 1837 a separate women’s prison was opened within the prison’s walls.
In 1885 the prison became the State site for executions – first by hanging and then (in 1897) by electric chair. Both men and women were executed in the State’s electric chair.
Previous to 1885 executions were done by State law enforcement officers.
315 prisoners were executed in the electric chair on this site.
In 1963 the death penalty was revoked in Ohio and the executions stopped.
On the night of April 21, 1930 a fire was started when a candle came into contact with oily rags. The prisoners had already been locked down for the night when the fire was noticed. It is said some of the guards refused to open the cell doors and, in one case, prisoners attacked a guard took his keys and let some of the inmates out.
The fire killed 322 prisoners and injured a further 230 and is the deadliest prison fire in US history. Prison authorities maintained that 3 prisoners started the fire on purpose, but that fact is highly questioned as a cover up to hide the terrible job done by prison staff during the fire.
The heat from the fire was so intense the cell bars were twisted and melted. Most of prisoners who died were cooked alive in their locked cells.
The Halloween riot of 1952 left one prisoner dead and another riot in August of 1968 left five prisoners dead.
In 1952 several prisoners were injected – without their knowledge – with HeLa cervical cells in order to find out if the immune response would help with the treatment of cancer.
In 1979 the institution was renamed the Columbus Correctional Facility and had fallen under a Federal decree that it had to be closed by the end of 1983.
The State began moving prisoners out and in August of 1984 the last inmate left the facility.
The site was left abandoned for more than a decade – although it was used as a training ground for the Ohio National Guard – and became a haven for both urban explorers and paranormal investigators.
In 1997 the prison site was demolished, and several commercial buildings were constructed on the site as well as a residential condominium complex, a parking lot and a park.
In 2000 when the Columbus Blue Jackets became part of the NHL Nationwide Arena was built near the prison site and the area became known as the Arena District.
This former prison is considered one of the most brutal and terrifying prisons in US history.
As many of 1,000 people died within the prison walls; possibly many more.
A former guard called the site the entrance to Hell after it was abandoned and advised the place be dynamited. Most people believe he was commenting directly on the paranormal activity present.
While the prison was still standing people reported apparitions looking out of the empty windows; apparitions wandering the grounds; shadow figures; the smell and sound of an intense fire; phantom screams and disembodied voices of men screaming to be set free; unexplained noises from whispers to loud bangs; touches, tugs and pulls by unseen entities; electrical disturbances; time shifts; an overpowering sense of both unease and a pervading darkness; phantom footsteps; light anomalies and feelings of being watched and not being wanted.
Now that the prison has been demolished people still report apparitions wandering the area (especially the parking lot); shadow figures slinking along walls and the ground; disembodied voices; powerful feelings that something is just not right; electrical disturbances; phantom screams; light anomalies and feelings of not being alone and being watched.
1 Capitol Square
Status: Government Building; Haunted Historical Tours Available
In February of 1814 the General Assembly of Ohio finally agreed on a Capitol City – after both Chillicothe and Zanesville had been tried and rejected – opposite Franklinton on the Scioto River. About a week later – after a heated debate – they decided to name the new capital Columbus.
Landowners in Franklinton donated 2 ten acre parcels of land and $50,000 ($714,000 in 2019 dollars) toward for structures and land improvements. One of the parcels was used to build the State Capitol buildings and the other to build the Ohio State Penitentiary (also haunted - see above) which was torn down in 1984.
On July 4, 1839 the cornerstone of Statehouse was laid.
Work on the foundation and lower levels began but came to a halt fairly quickly as date to officially declare Columbus as the official capital city approached. While the politicians debated the work stopped for a decade as the ground was filled in and the lands were used as pasture for livestock.
Work began again in May of 1848 and continued despite a few ups and downs including a cholera epidemic, a fire and a couple of nasty winters. It was finally completed – including the landscaping – in 1861.
By 1989 damage from use and age to both the Statehouse and the Senate House – formerly the Supreme Court Building – had become so severe many wanted to demolish them and rebuild.
Instead the State Government did a massive renovation.
The Statehouse was mainly constructed by convict labor from the nearby State Penitentiary. There were no safety laws – or even really any rules – in the 19th century, especially for hardened criminals, so there were a number of fatalities during the construction.
The building was also used as a hospital during the Civil War where many wounded soldiers had their lives ended.
Apparitions of soldiers and convicts have been seen throughout the building. They are said to be responsible for the disembodied voices, electrical disturbances and unexplained smells reported in the building.
A paranormal investigation found an abandoned room at the end of a long hallway covered in graffiti from either the convict builders or wounded soldiers which is said to be the so-called center of the haunting and very active.
Thomas Bateman clerked for the Ohio Senate from 1919 to 1971 and seems to have continued in his job even after his death. At 5pm Bateman seems to leave the Senate chamber with flickering lights and reports of cold chills by witnesses.
The basement is nicknamed the crypt because there was once such a terrible smell coming up the stairs that people thought bodies were rotting down there. It was actually from the horse stables, rotten storage and escaping methane.
The ghost of no less than the 16th President; Abraham Lincoln – who was brought here after his assassination to lie in rest – is seen eternally walking in the rotunda.
President Lincoln’s ghost is also seen dancing the waltz with the daughter of former Governor Salmon Chase – Kate Chase – through the wall and into the Senate Chamber. Although there is no historical proof the two were long rumored to be lovers in life.
In the 1920’s a random office on the second floor was walled off but the window – which cannot be opened - to the office can still be seen from outside the building. Phantom footsteps have been heard for a century inside the office although getting into it is all but impossible.
In 1889 a little girl called Mary Saltzman fell out of a window in the cupola nearly 20 feet to the ground. Thankfully, she survived, but for many years people kept seeing the event repeat itself over and over again.
2001 Garden Boulevard
Status: Former Tuberculosis Sanatorium; Abandoned
All Above Photos Courtesy of BreezeBabyBrie
In 1911 at the height of the so-called “White Plague” when tuberculosis was the leading cause in the United States this facility was opened with 24 beds.
In 1927 an addition and remodel allowed the capacity to increase to 158 beds.
In 1960 the name of the facility was changed to the Ottawa Valley Tuberculosis Hospital and the patient population was beginning to decline.
In 1972 the second floor was closed and and by 1973 the entire facility was empty and locked up.
Ownership was passed to Allen County who never prioritized demolishing the building due to it’s distance from the population and the cost of remediating the asbestos filled 1911 building.
Like so many other abandoned structures it became a haven for both urban explorers and investigators of the paranormal.
Due to numerous trespassing issues, there has been a heightened police presence at this site especially in the Halloween season.
At least one of the stories of paranormal activity has proven to be something much more mundane. The rhythmically steady pounding on the third floor comes from the nearby Lima Oil Refinery not the ghosts.
The former hospital is said to be haunted by the numerous patients who died from the high fatality disease.
The most commonly reported activity is the feeling of being not only watched but actually followed by unseen presences.
There are also reports of people seeing fast moving shapes out of the corner of their eye moving between the rooms.
Other reported activity: time slips; unexplained mists that have been seen moving against the wind; apparitions of former patients walking the grounds; light anomalies; cold spots; phantom footsteps; disembodied voices and whispers and suddenly finding it hard to breathe.
6769 Middle Ridge Road
Status: Former School, Former Prison, Former Residence, Heritage Property
Paranormal Investigations can be Booked
By <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:LeeG7144&action=edit&redlink=1" class="new" title="User:LeeG7144 (page does not exist)">LeeG7144</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Before anything else this location was a school and one founded to provide an institute of higher learning. The original wooden building was opened in 1847 and then in 1859 the brick structure we see today was built.
Just before the Civil War the school was housing and boarding up to 150 students at a time. As the 19th century wound to an end and Public Education became more and more available the school’s population began to dwindle.
Although this building was never formally used as a seminary it got its name from having a large number of graduating students becoming priests.
In 1891 the Ohio Women’s Relief Corps bought the property and added a new wing. They converted the building into a home for nurses, mothers and sisters of men killed in the Civil War who left with no other home.
By 1904 the Women’s Relief Corps could no longer afford to keep the house going so they donated it to the State of Ohio. The State kept it up for veterans and their families until 1962 when it was transferred to the Ohio Dept of Mental Hygiene and Corrections – it basically became a criminal psychiatric hospital/jail.
The widows living in the house were put out to their families or State run nursing homes if they didn’t have families. Pretty it up all you want but, in truth, they were forced out of the only home they knew.
The stories from the time the building was ran as a criminal asylum are nightmarish to say the least. The treatments for mental illness at that time were inhumane by our standards – hydro-shock therapy, insulin shock therapy and electroshock therapy.
That’s putting aside the stories of rape, murder and forced abortions. Although with the truly criminally insane were women locked for doing nothing more than speaking up for themselves or irritating their masochistic husbands.
Thankfully that travesty ended in 1975 when the County bought the building and shut it all down.
In 1993 the building passed into private ownership and was bought in 2015 by Adam Kimmell who is bringing the building back to its original glory with the help of volunteers.
Adam can be contacted via the phone number or the Facebook Page above to book paranormal investigations. He investigated the site previous to purchasing it and is fully aware of the haunting.
It is said this location never disappoints. You are virtually guaranteed to see, feel or hear some level of paranormal activity on even your first visit. Skeptics are encouraged.
Virtually any and all levels of paranormal activity have been recorded here. Full bodied apparitions, shadow figures, cold and warm spots, touches, prods and pulls by unseen entities – some people have been assaulted by ghosts resulting in scratches or bruises, disembodied voices, all manner of unexplainable sounds from loud bangs to scratching to screams and laughter.
Feelings of not being alone, not being wanted and being followed. The feeling of being watched is said to be especially intense like you’re being stared at from every direction. Objects will move on their own including doors open and closing. There have been extreme electrical disturbances such as new batteries draining to 0 in a matter of seconds.
They ghosts tend to be cooperative with the living – responding to questions and directions.
100 Reformatory Road
Status: Historical Former Prison
Public and Private Paranormal Investigations Available
Photo courtesy of Jonathan Dowdel
The 6 Photos Above are Courtesy of BreezeBabyBrie
The Reformatory was built on the grounds of a Civil War training camp.
This facility was built between 1886 and 1910 and remained open until 1972 when the Ohio State Correctional Facility was opened on the site. The site was completely closed down in 1990 – by a United States Federal Court Ruling - and since 1995 has been under control by the Mansfield Reformatory Society who first cleaned the buildings and then brought them back to the state they were in when the Reformatory was open.
On September 15, 1896 the facility welcomed its first 150 prisoners.
The facility’s first interest was to not just reform the boys who came under their care but to actually turn their lives around and make them into productive members of society again. This was not to work out as planned. Stories of torture, despair and horrible abuse began to circulate about the facility. In later years conditions do seem to have changed, with things like radio music pumped into the cells.
One of the warden’s wives was killed went by an accidental discharge of a pistol while she was reaching for a jewellery box. Apparently, there were many who wanted to blame the warden for her death but all the facts pointed toward it being an accident. The warden died years later from a heart attack and both he and his wife are still said the haunt the halls of this site.
This site was featured on ‘The Scariest Places On Earth” and “Ghost Hunters”. It is also the location the film “The Shawshank Redemption” was filmed.
This site is open for historical tours as well as ghost tours in mid-summer. At Halloween it is converted into a giant staged “Haunted House” attraction.
Over 200 people died while this facility was open including 2 guards who were killed during escape attempts.
In the old administration section, the apparitions of the former warden and his wife are seen, as well there is a smell of roses and cold ghostly winds in this area as well.
Other reported activity: apparitions of former inmates and staff are seen; phantom horrible smells; disembodied voices and entire conversations; light anomalies; phantom footsteps; feelings of being watched, not wanted and not being alone; screams, crying, bangs and other loud noises and the intense feeling of sadness and despair.
Both public ghost hunts and private paranormal investigations are offered here.
6300 Kings Island Drive
Status: Amusement Park
By <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Rcfreak339&action=edit&redlink=1" class="new" title="User:Rcfreak339 (page does not exist)">Rcfreak339</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
This Park was originally opened in 1972 as an expansion and move of Coney Island; an amusement park on the banks of the Cincinnati River that was having flooding issues. The Park’s unique roller coasters are credited with reviving the public’s interest in coasters in the 70’s – an interest that continues to this day.
The Park is still known for its coasters – the newest being the Orion which opened in 2020 – and is the third most visited seasonal amusement park in North America behind Canada’s Wonderland (Toronto, Ontario) and Cedar Point (Sandusky, Ohio).
There is a small cemetery called Dog Street Cemetery at the north end of the parking lot entrance off of Columbia Road – its between the parking lot and the campground. Although there are about 70 graves – 50 gravestones – the cemetery is actually not thought to be responsible for most of the hauntings; contrary to popular legends.
There are numerous stories of deaths in the park although only a few can actually be verified.
A Safari County Ranger left his jeep in 1976 inside the ride – which operated from 1974 to 1993 - to relieve himself and was mauled to death by a lion. This site is now occupied by the Son of Beast rollercoaster and a storage area.
On Friday, May 13, 1983 a young man – reported as having been drinking – named John Harter was attending a Grad Night thrown by the Park. He climbed into the restricted areas of the Eiffel Tower and fell down an elevator shaft to his death.
June 9, 1991 is known as Black Sunday in the history of the Park. Tim Brenning was relaxing with friends in the Oktoberfest section when he harmlessly dipped his hand into a fountain to splash his friends on the hot day. What he was unaware of is that there was a short in the electric lighting under the water. He was instantly shocked and his friend, William “Eddie” Haithcoat, went in the water to save him. This resulted in Haithcoat also being electrocuted. A security guard also jumped in to save both men.
Both Haithcoat and the security guard received fatal shocks while Tim survived but was crippled for life. Just when the tragedy couldn’t get any worse a woman on the nearby Flight Commander ride tried to see the commotion below better and somehow got out of her harness falling to her death 50 feet below.
There have been some ghost sightings related to these terrible accidents but only one has been accepted into the annals of “Park Ghosts”. The said ghost of John Harter – known as “Johnnie” now – is seen by the fountain in front of the ride or still hanging from the ride. Electrical malfunctions – perhaps unfairly – are blamed on John and unexplained sensor trips are known as “Johnnies” to the staff.
The most famous – and most seen – ghost is the “the little girl in the blue dress”. By her 19th century – obviously blue – dress she predates the park. She is described as being 4 feet tall as well as being not threatening nor scary. Most commonly she is said to just stand there watching the staff and guests go by. Other witnesses have said she seems rather sad seeing so many children having fun while she cannot play with them.
She is thought to have drowned in a pond formerly on site but there is no historical proof of this. Some paranormal investigators call her “Missouri Jane” based on a grave found in the cemetery for Missouri Jane Galeenor who died in 1846 at age 5 – once again there is no proof the ghost is Jane.
The Park staff call the ghost “Tram Girl” based on the number of times she’s been seen by staff on trams after closing time. She often runs onto to the Tram tracks before disappearing causing the drivers to slam on the brakes.
She is seen all over the park but the areas she is most commonly seen are the front gates, the parking lot, admissions, the International restaurants area and the water park. She also commonly seen after dark by employees patrolling the empty Park.
Another frequently seen ghost is that of “Racer Boy” near the tracks of the wooden rollercoaster Racer. Stories say 2 of the cars on the Coaster are from the old ride, Shooting Star, that’s originally from Coney Island. When the Shooting Star was operating a boy was sitting alone in the last car but was missing when the ride returned. His body was found beside the tracks.
He is most commonly seen by guests who report a small boy standing much to close to the tracks of Racer wooden coaster. The truly strange thing about the sightings is that while the Racer is one of the oldest rides in the Park the ghost has been reported since the 1990’s.
The White Water Canyon ride is haunted with most of the activity at Observation Tower 2. After the last guests have left staff have heard disembodied laughter of a child as well as small rocks pelting the tower. The staff have nicknamed the ghost “Woody”.
The Octopus ride is said to be haunted by a former guest who died on the ride.
Glowing red eyes are reported on The Beast rollercoaster. This activity is also said to be the ghost of a guest who died on the ride.
Some of the activity may also be related to an explosion – that killed 11 people - that took place on the property over a century ago. That explosion and accidents will be covered in a future article on the haunting of the old Peters Cartridge Factory.
15 West Main Street
Status: Famous Haunted Venue for Movies and Live Performances; Paranormal Investigations Available
Photo Courtesy of BreezeBabyBrie
Opened in 1892 this building dates back to the mid-19th century when the town and surrounding countryside was more populated and busy than it is now.
In the 1880’s it was decided that a Town Hall and Opera House needed to be built. In 1889 the section of town called the “burned district” – after an out of control kitchen fire burned half a block – was chosen for the building site.
The first floor would become the auditorium, the second floor the town’s offices and the third floor a ballroom. There was supposed to be a clock in the tower but the project was already over budget so the State Government refused to release any more funds.
The formal opening took place on Saturday, May 28, 1893 with a playing of “The Mikado”. Although the building was one of the first to have electricity in the area the local generating station failed making the grand opening not so grand at all. Electricity proved so unreliable that gas lamps had to be installed soon after the opening.
There are still scars of a fire in the early 1900’s when the ash pit under the stage – used for heating the theater – ignited and burned a hole in the stage before the fire department arrived.
In 1913 the theater was converted to allow the showing of silent films for as little as 5 cents a show. In 1930 the first sound pictures were shown although back then the soundtrack was separate from the video playing on a set of records.
In 1936 the Opera House was closed for the first, and only time, in it’s long history while the auditorium was updated and the building converted to add a sound system and projection booth so real “talkie” films could be shown.
First run movies are still shown at the theater – Top Gun: Maverick as this article is being written – and live performances are still given as well.
The Opera House has been on numerous paranormal tv shows and is considered one of the most haunted locations in Ohio.
In the basement – and in the now sealed of tunnels beneath it – shadow figures resembling masses of black mist are seen and photographed. These entities are known to growl and cause the room temperature to suddenly plunge.
Also in the basement is the ghost of Gloria who is said to be very possessive of her favorite chair.
A ghost named Charlie has also been identified in the basement; many believe him to be a dark entity.
The ghost of Marshal Horace Porter is seen as a shadow figure who comes in the through the alley door. On September 7, 1905 he was shot 4 times in the back by a man referred to as “the town mental”.
Red Wine Robert is known for interacting with the living and for often answering questions. He’s also known for being recorded saying “I’ve got red wine”. Robert has also lowered the surrounding temperature at the request of investigators.
The ghost of 10 year old Elizabeth – who died of a fever in the theater - and her friend Sara are known for their phantom giggles and peeking at people from under the catwalk. Her mother, Victoria, is known for eternally performing and singing on the stage.
Everett Miller – an usher for 30 years – eternally watches over the theater and is frequently seen.
Another ghost, John Leezer, who roams the building was stabbed to death in the ballroom in the early 20th century.
Trail Head for Moonville Tunnel
(740) 596-5033 Vinton County Travel
Status: Decommissioned Haunted Railway Tunnel; Ghost Town
All Photos Courtesy of BreezeBabyBrie
Moonville was a very small mining town, only reaching a maximum population of 100 by 1870. The Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad ran through the town transporting iron ore and coal. By the 1960′s Moonville was all but abandoned leaving only some foundations, the town cemetery and one train tunnel.
The tunnel was very small giving the train’s almost no clearance on either side and multiple fatal accidents happened in the tunnel. The most recent fatality was in 1986 when a 10-year-old girl was struck and killed by a train just outside of the tunnel.
The rail line was completely shut down and the tracks dismantled in 1988. The abandoned rail line trail has been converted a set of trails. Reports say over 20 people met their death in some way connected with the tunnel or the old railway – this includes people who succumbed to injuries gotten while train jumping or dodging the train.
The most famous ghost is that of the “headless conductor” who has been seen since the 1890′s. Some say he was killed by an engineer for having an affair with his wife although the more probable explanation is that he simply fell from a train; a very common accident. Either way he was decapitated by the train and now wanders the tunnel in a railway uniform carrying a lantern.
Another famous ghost is said to be that of a miner who was killed by the train in the 1920′s. He was walking home after work and was unable to dodge a train in the tunnel. This ghost is said to be a black man in a miner’s uniform and also carrying a lantern.
Other ghosts include a middle-aged woman who was killed on the tracks in 1905, a man who was beaten and left on the tracks to be run over by multiple trains and a young man who was killed crossing the tracks after the train went by. The second half of the train had become uncoupled from the first half and struck him.
Other activity – apparitions; strange lights; mysterious mists; disembodied voices; phantom sounds of trains and whistles; light anomalies and phantom screams.