Ohio’s Top 13 Most Haunted Spots
Although Ohio might not be the first place that pops into your mind when you think about ghosts, it is a great choice. Chris Woodyard, author of Ghost Hunter’s Guide to Haunted Ohio, and the four-volume Haunted Ohio series, will tell you that there’s enough paranormal history here to fill a book. In fact, there are five of them. Here you can read more.
To compile a list listing the most haunted locations in Ohio, we did some research on our own and were surprised by what we discovered. We’ve seen some of the most intense paranormal activity in Ohio, from haunted music halls and prisons where long-gone inmates can still feel their presence.
One of the most haunted homes in Ohio can be traced back to its original owners for the dark energy. Hannes Tiedemann, who lived in Franklin Castle with Louise in 1881, built it. According to Cleveland’s Channel 19 News, the couple was grieving the loss of four of their children as they lived there. Louise and Hannes also lost their mother in the fortress.
After the family had sold Franklin Castle, the sorrowful energy that was trapped within Franklin Castle began to flare up for many decades. Atlas Obscura reports that the estate was flooded with sightings of female apparitions, unseen babies crying and mysterious footsteps in the 1960s. It was abandoned for many years after a fire at the house. However, new owners purchased it in 2011 and it is now used as a private residence.
Cincinnati Music Hall
Matthew Zory is a member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He also wrote Through the Lens: The Remaking of Cincinnati’s Music Hall in 2016. In 2016, he was photographing in Cincinnati’s Music Hall when he saw what he believed to be paranormal activity. Two photos he took during renovations show what appears to be apparitions. The spooky incident was covered by WCPO 9 News, which provided important background. Music Hall has a long history of being haunted. It was built on the same land as Ohio’s first insane asylum. The Cincinnati Hospital was next door, and the surrounding grounds were used for the burial of the homeless.
Bones were found in the excavation of the area for the construction, which took place in 1876. According to The Guardian, more human remains were found during renovations in 1969 as well as 2016. The spirits were certainly disturbed by the disturbing bodies that had been buried under Music Hall so many times.
Ohio State Reformatory
In 1990, the Ohio State Reformatory was shut down by a court order. It was to be demolished a few years later. The Shawshank Redemption filmmakers seized the opportunity to film there in 1994. The reformatory was built in 1896 and is known for its brutal treatment of inmates. Most of them were first-time offenders. Its notoriously inhumane conditions led to its closure. The reformatory can be toured today, which reveals both the filming locations as well as the cramped cells real prisoners had to endure.
According to the Travel Channel, many of the prisoners who died in the 94 years that the reformatory was an operational prison were numbered and buried outside the property. Many believe that those who died in prison are still angry and restless. There have been numerous reports of people being forced to move by unknown forces, cold spots, and doors being slammed.
Spring House Gazebo
Spring House Gazebo was built in 1904 and is the oldest standing structure in Cincinnati’s park system. It is also the most haunted outdoor location in the state. The story began when George Remus, a lawyer, and bootlegger, shot and killed Imogene in the Gazebo in 1927 on the day that their divorce proceedings were to begin. It is believed that her ghost haunts the gazebo and that her black-clad ghost can often be seen in the area where she died.
Granville’s Buxton Inn was built in 1812. It is a great place to rest your head at night. According to the state’s official travel website, the Buxton Inn in Granville is a famous haunted spot that ghost-hunters love. Guests have reported hearing footsteps and coins falling to the floor while they are not there. Particularly rooms 7 and 9 are popular for paranormal activity. TripAdvisor reviewer, who stayed at Inn 2019 in 2019, said that it was the most haunted hotel they have ever stayed in. It even featured ghostly meows by a friendly cat.
Chateau Laroche (also known as Loveland Castle) took more than 50 years to complete. Harry D. Andrews was a local eccentric who started it as a passion project back in the 1920s. The castle was given to the Boy Scout Troop of the local area, which now offers guided tours. Andrews’ ghost is often seen wandering about his old residence. Doors are heard creaking, as though he is moving from one room to another.
The Dent Schoolhouse
The Dent Schoolhouse, built-in 1894 was the scene of a horrible tragedy in the 1950s. ABC News reports that several schoolchildren went missing and that their decaying remains were found in barrels in the basement of the janitor. After the murders, the school was closed and is now a haunted attraction. It claims to have some ghosts in its revolving cast, including Charlie, the janitor, and some of his purported victims.
Akron Civic Theatre
Marcus Loew, a movie and theater magnate, had ambitious plans in the 1920s for the Akron Civic Theatre. John Eberson, a famous architect, was hired by Loew to design the building. He took inspiration from Moorish castles in order to create the striking theater. The Akron Civic Theatre, one of only five theaters left in the country, features a ceiling with a night sky, complete with twinkling lights, and intermittent clouds.
According to legend, the theater is home to one ghost. Fred, the Janitor, reportedly died while working there and continues to oversee things. Tip: Make sure you clean up after you use the toilet. Fred is said to be known for chasing down people who leave messes in the facilities. You can also hear other visitors, such as the “well-dressed” man and the ghost of the girl who is said to have committed suicide jumping into the theater’s canal.
The Athens Lunatic Asylum
From 1874 to 1993, the Athens Lunatic Asylum operated. It was known for controversial procedures such as electroshock therapy and lobotomies. Margaret Schilling, a patient at the asylum, was reported to have disappeared in 1978. Her body was found 42 days later by a maintenance worker in an abandoned wing of the asylum. According to the legend, her body was so decayed at the time it was discovered that it left a mark on the ground that can still be seen.
The Athens Lunatic Asylum is now known as “The Ridges”. Ohio University uses the building complex for classrooms, offices, and other purposes. The Kennedy Museum of Art, where Schilling died, is believed to be haunted by her ghost.
Camp Chase Cemetery
WBNS 10TV, a local news station, reports that a paranormal investigation team captured photographic evidence of what they thought was a soldier at Camp Chase Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio, in 2014. According to some ghosts, the cemetery is also the final resting spot of at least 2,600 Confederate soldiers. The Lady in Gray is one such spirit, and she frequents the gravesite of Benjamin Allen. Peggy Maguire, who is a member of the Central Ohio Paranormal Society claims that she was standing next to this grave when she captured the ghostly image of the team.
Twin City Opera House
The Twin City Opera House, McConnelsville, Ohio, opened its doors in 1892 and is still operating today. It is believed that the building houses up to 14 ghostly spirits within its historical walls. Season one, Episode 5 of Portals to Hell on Travel Channel, features hosts Zach and Katrina investigating the opera house. They are left with no doubts about its many otherworldly inhabitants. This includes “Red Wine Robert”, who had an affair with one of the regular performers at the opera house around the turn of the 20th century. Local news channel WHIZ interviewed Marty Myers from the Central Ohio Ghost Squad. He said that the opera house is “pretty haunted.”
The Palace Theatre in Canton, Ohio was a thriving business when it opened in the 1920s. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places. According to The Lantern (the campus newspaper of Ohio State University), Harry Blackstone Jr., a magician, performed a public séance in the theatre in the mid-1970s. His father was his archrival, and he tried to reach Howard Thurston. Legend has it that Blackstone summoned the spirit of a man who had been killed in the theater many years ago and is said to still haunt this building. Blackstone originally intended to contact the elusive spirit, but he told his family and friends that once he died, he would like to be contacted.
You wouldn’t believe the horrors that occurred at the serene, beautiful house on Walhalla Road, Clintonville. A man called Dr. Mooney was said to have suspected his wife infidelity sometime between the early and mid-20th centuries. Dr. Mooney is said to have killed his wife and their two children using an axe. He then walked down the road to hang himself. Legend has it that his relatives’ spirits haunt the house and Dr. Mooney can sometimes be seen hanging from the bridge at night.