We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. The Ohio State Reformatory (Mansfield)
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.
2. Hotel Lafayette (Marietta)
Ohio's oldest town 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.
3. The campus of Ohio University (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.
4. The Ridges (Athens)
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.
5. The Golden Lamb (Lebanon)
Ohio’s oldest continuously operated hotel and restaurant was established in 1803. Supposedly, the inn and restaurant are haunted by a little girl and the ghost of a former Ohio Supreme Court Justice who died at the inn. (Visitors say you can often smell his cigar smoke.) The Golden Lamb is located at 27 S Broadway St., Lebanon, OH 45036.
6. 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.
7. Franklin Castle (Cleveland)
You can 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 in downtown Cleveland, 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.
8. Greenlawn Cemetery (Columbus)
Many notable locals and Ohio governors are buried at this large graveyard, which was established in 1848. One of the most infamous private mausoleums in this cemetery is the Hayden Mausoleum, located by the pond at the edge of the graveyard. Legend has it, if you knock on one of the mausoleum's doors after dark, some members of the family will knock back.
9. The Buxton Inn (Granville)
If you're feeling particularly brave, check into
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.
10. Lockkeepers (Cleveland)
Located at 8001 Rockside Road in Cleveland, this beautiful upscale eatery is said to be haunted by the ghost of Sophie Sarnacki, who was the owner of a former tavern across the street from Lockkeepers. She was murdered in Zimmerman's Tavern in the 1950s and supposedly stops by Lockkeepers frequently, today.
11. Mount Union-Pleasant Valley Cemetery (Chillicothe)
April Dray/Only In Your State
This off-the-beaten-path, rural cemetery is home to the infamous "Elizabeth's grave." Few people take this road less traveled, unless they are in search of this particular grave's headstone, which supposedly moves itself to the front of the cemetery after visitors move it to the back. (There is also some dispute about which headstone is the legendary "Elizabeth's grave," which is often spelled as "Elisabeth." There are two Liz's in the cemetery with detached headstones, one of which is pictured above.) Regardless, Elizabeth is said to haunt the cemetery because she hung herself from a tree in the area—and is likely unhappy with visitors moving her headstone. (To find the cemetery, follow Union Lane off of Egypt Pike, which turns into a left turn that passes a residential area. After you pass the blue water tower on the right, the road will turn into gravel and the cemetery will be up ahead on the left where the road dead-ends.)
12. The Oliver House (Toledo)
With its five-star dining and award-winning brewery, this 150-year-old restaurant is renowned among locals and visitors. The Pool Room is said to be haunted by a ghost known as "The Captain," and spirits were particularly active during the building's renovation. The Oliver House is located at 27 Broadway St, Toledo, OH 43604.
13. Punderson Manor (Newbury)
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.
14. Woodland Cemetery (Dayton)
More formally known as Woodland Hills, this graveyard also serves as a resting place for several notable individuals such as Orville and Wilbur Wright. Close to the graveyard's entrance, a distinct grave marker can be found (pictured above.) The grave of Johnny Morehouse, according to legend, is haunted. Johnny, legend holds, was a five-year-old boy who fell into the Miami Erie Canal and froze to death—in spite of his faithful dog's efforts to pull him out. After Johnny was buried, the dog is said to have frequently visited and laid by Jonny's graveside. Consequently, when the faithful dog died, a special stone was carved in 1861 to commemorate the dog's devotion. Today, some grave watchers claim that Johnny and his dog wander the cemetery after hours.
15. Spitzer House Bed and Breakfast (Medina)
At 504 West Liberty Street in Medina, a former servant girl of this 19th-century Victorian home is rumored to haunt the halls of this beautiful bed and breakfast. Guests and employees have even reported hearing her play the piano.
16. Spread Eagle Tavern & Inn (Hanoverton)
This historic inn was originally built in 1837 in the Federalist style by masons of the canal boom. Throughout the years, it has been frequented by a handful of U.S. presidents. Today, its rumored to be haunted by the ghost of a woman who hanged herself from a third-story bedroom window. The Spread Eagle Tavern and Inn is located at 10150 Historic Plymouth St., Hanoverton, OH 44423.
Have you explored any of these creepy places before? Where else can you easily spot a ghost in Ohio? Share your experiences with us and be sure to take our
Ultimate Terrifying Ohio Road Trip—if you’re up for it, that is.