In case you hadn’t noticed, Ohio is downright creepy compared to other states. It’s full of spooky, abandoned places nature is reclaiming, haunted hotels and eerie houses that have been restored in hopes of chasing the restless spirits away. If you enjoy some spooky thrills, then you’ll want to pay a visit to the following haunted destinations along this road trip—but beware, because they’re some of the creepiest places in Ohio. The total trip takes a little more than nine hours of drive time. We’ve included a link to the Google Map
Plan now for a long-weekend road trip of four days and three nights to explore some of Ohio's most haunted destinations—if you dare.
1. The campus of Ohio University and The Ridges (Athens)
Ohio University is arguably one of America's most haunted college campuses, (probably because it's located in one of Ohio's most haunted cities.) Several residence hall rooms and other buildings on campus are said to be haunted. Wilson Hall, Washington Hall and Jefferson Hall are some of the most haunted buildings on campus.
What was once the Athens Lunatic Asylum is now owned by (and a neighbor to) Ohio University, but parts of the facility still hold shadows, stains and spirits of former mental patients who often suffered from violent treatments such as lobotomies. The grounds of the former 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.
2. Moonville (McArthur)
The abandoned coal mining town of Moonville in southeastern Ohio (Vinton County) was founded in 1856, when the Marietta and Cincinnati railroad ran through the area's woods. One structure of the town that remains today is the Moonville Tunnel; a haunted tunnel where legend has it the ghost of a man who was killed instantly by a train passing through the tunnel wanders along the track bed near the old tunnel at night.
3. The Buxton Inn (Granville)
After a day of exploring Southeastern Ohio's hauntings, drive to Granville and rest up for the night at one of the state's most historic (and haunted) inns. Founded in 1812, this historic hotel is reportedly haunted by former innkeepers—and rooms 7 and 9 are popular with guests seeking paranormal happenings.
4. The Ohio State Reformatory (Mansfield)
Begin day two of your journey with one of the state's most popular haunted attractions. Formerly known as the Mansfield Reformatory, this historic prison is home to the state's most violent ghosts. Spirits of rioting inmates who often fought each other to the death in overcrowded isolation cells haunt the halls and cells of this former prison. Visitors can explore the reformatory via formal tours, ghost hunts and The Haunted Prison Experience in October.
5. Franklin Castle (Cleveland)
Head up to Cleveland to observe Ohio's most haunted house from the outside, (which is unfortunately not open to public tours at this time.) 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.
6. Punderson Manor (Newbury)
Rest up for your third day at another one of Ohio's infamously haunted overnight getaways. Employees and guests at this Tudor-style state park lodge in Newbury have frequently reported several strange occurrences including doors opening and closing on their own, faucets turning on and off on their own and sounds of laughter when no one is around.
7. The former town of Boston Mills (“Hell Town”)
The area known as Hell Town today was once known as Boston Mills, before the town was bought out by the U.S. government to make way for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The once thriving town eventually turned into a ghost town. Today, some people claim that the government actually closed the town after some sort of chemical accident that caused the citizens to mutate—and some people claim to have actually seen disfigured, mutated people still hiding in the area. Legend has it, there is also a decaying church with an upside down cross within the abandoned town that was once (and possibly still) used for satanic worship.
8. Hotel Lafayette (Marietta)
End your haunted Ohio journey with an overnight stay in the state's oldest town—which is bound to host a haunted hotel or two. At Hotel Lafayette, guests have reported unexplained oddities for years. Missing items, suitcases turned upside-down and emptied shampoo bottles are just a few of the reported occurrences. The third floor is also supposedly haunted by a former owner of the hotel.
What do you think? Are you brave enough for this road trip? How many of these haunted destinations have you been to before? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!