What is it about unusual, abandoned and inaccessible places? When something isn’t open for public observation, it only makes it that much more intriguing. The following places in Ohio are fascinating for their history, mystery and/or unusual appearance—but they are on either private or highly patrolled property.
1. Chippewa Lake Park
Tucked away in Medina County there’s a rusted, long forgotten ferris wheel. What what was once Chippewa Lake Park is now just a few piles of amusement park ruins and the lone ferris wheel. From 1878 to 1978, the amusement park was a popular, thriving destination for family entrainment. Today, remnants of it creepily stand abandoned, rusted and long forgotten. (If you think this abandoned amusement park would have been the perfect location for a horror film, you’re exactly right. In 2008, a cast and crew from Los Angeles filmed “Closed for the Season" here.)
2. House of Trash (Philo)
Also known as Ohio's only "Earthship," this eco-friendly home in Philo is made entirely out of recycled materials.
3. Cincinnati's abandoned subway
Not many people are aware of the dark, lonely and long-forgotten subway beneath the streets of Cincinnati—the country’s longest abandoned subway system that never transported a single individual. Located under Central Parkway in downtown Cincinnati, (from Walnut Street to just south of Hopple Street,) sits the incomplete, eerie series of tunnels, which have been abandoned since 1928.
4. Franklin Castle (Cleveland)
While driving down Franklin Boulevard in the city of Cleveland, you might pass what’s considered to be Ohio’s most haunted house without even knowing it.
Partly hidden behind trees at 4308 Franklin Boulevard, the recently renovated and infamous Franklin Castle (also known as the Hannes Tiedemann House) still houses a dark past. Built in the late 1880s for German immigrant Hannes Tiedemann, the historic home still stands four stories high with more than 20 rooms. The house is full of secret passageways and hidden rooms, and has seen its fair share of death and tragedies. In March of 1982, Franklin Castle was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the castle stands renovated and is under video surveillance. It is not open to tours or public observation, and it is unclear as to what the house will be used for in the future.
5. The Mushroom House (Cincinnati)
This whimsical home is located in the Hyde Park section of CInnicati, and was designed by architect Terry Brown, a professor of Architecture and Interior Design at the University of Cincinnati.
6. Newbury Airplane Boneyard
In Newbury, Ohio resident Walter Soplata hosted a collection of military aircraft from the 50s, 60s and 70s. The graveyard featured approximately 20 stray aircraft that Soplata collected from his scrapyard job in Cleveland, “junking thousands of warplane engines that were declared surplus,” according to his son Wally Soplata in a November 2007 issue of Air and Space Magazine. Soplata used to open his property to the public, but in recent years the aircraft boneyard has been kept private. Today, it is unclear exactly what remains of the aircraft graveyard.
7. Carpenter’s Mill (Delaware)
Very little is left of this early 1800s mill town in Delaware County. Stone bridge pillars and the skeleton of Bieber's Mill are all that remain of this long forgotten town. The ruins of the old mill, which was built in 1840, (pictured) sit along the Olentangy River in Delaware near the Ohio Wesleyan University.
8. Futuro House (Carlisle)
Also known as the UFO house, this home in Carlisle was created by Matti Suuronen in 1968.
9. The Ridges Cemeteries (Athens)
The grounds of the former Athens Lunatic Asylum are still home to a few unusual—and extremely eerie—cemeteries. Patients of the former insane asylum were buried on the facility's grounds, and their restless spirits are left to wander to property. Most of the graves are without names, and merely display the number of the former mental patient buried beneath.
10. Lima Tuberculosis Hospital
Hidden behind a small neighborhood on Lima's far west side sits this abandoned TB ward, where it is said the ghosts of patients wander the halls and hospital grounds.
11. Geauga Lake Amusement Park
What was once the world’s largest theme park is now an overgrown land of decaying roller coasters, empty concession stands and abandoned ticket booths that welcome visitors no more.
Geauga Lake Amusement Park has stood abandoned since 2007, after a long history of beloved family vacations (since 1887) and multiple expansions and redesigns. From 2000 to 2004, the park was expanded and became Six Flags Ohio. From 2004 to 2007, it became known as Geauga Lake again, under the ownership of Cedar Fair. Today, Wildwater Kingdom is the lone functioning park in Aurora and what's left of Geauga Lake is fenced in and highly patrolled.
Have you explored any of these unique locations? What other fascinating places are there in Ohio that most people can’t visit? Share your experiences and photos with us in the comments below!