Haunted places known for their otherworldly residents make these sites in Ohio spooky. These hauntings happen at some of the scariest places caused by tragedies and disasters.
Majestic Theatre, Chillicothe
The Majestic Theatre is one of the oldest operating theaters in America. It was built in 1853 and has continuously operated in spite of weathering a Civil War. It was originally known as the Masonic Opera House. There are a few mysterious paranormal incidences that happen on a regular basis. For example, a disembodied voice is often heard calling for Andrew. There are many sightings of the ghost of a little girl. One of the oddest things seen is a strange fog or mist that appears and disappears.
Moonville Tunnel, McArthur
Moonville Tunnel is near Lake Hope State Park in the surrounding woods along a trail that skirts Racoon Creek. The tunnel stands as the last sign that the small mining town of Moonville ever existed, save the overgrown town cemetery. With no more than 100 residents, the town never expanded, leaving it lost along the railroad tracks. In fact, the town was so remote, there were no roads leading to it. In 1870, the railroad tracks on the hill were the only way in and out of town through the tunnel.
As you might imagine, with folks walking to other townships via the train tracks, there were quite a few tragic deaths. The railroad tunnel created its own set of deadly issues for those on foot since it was too narrow for pedestrians to walk inside the tunnel when a train was passing through. About 26 people lost their lives while walking in or near the tunnel. The ghost of a man caught in the tunnel when a train came through has been seen at night wandering about the tunnel and old track bed.
Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery, Columbus
Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery is said to be haunted by the confederate troops who perished in the Union prison during the Civil War. Overcrowded conditions and a lack of rations made the life of the Confederate POWs torturous. The prison was dismantled in 1867 and the area surrounding the cemetery has been built up over the passing century with various industries, as well as residential areas. With over 2,500 graves of Confederate soldiers, reports of seeing uniformed Confederate soldiers isn't surprising. There is also the Lady in Gray who wanders about the cemetery, pausing to read the grave markers in search of her lover's grave. The young woman is said to carry a white handkerchief and appears garbed in gray. You may just run into her if you choose to visit the cemetery.
Malabar Farm State Park, Lucas
The Malabar Farm State Park is the epitome of sustainable farming implemented by conservationist Louis Bromfield. He was also a Pulitzer Prize author. The park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Some of the paranormal activity includes closet doors open on their own, cold spots, and EVPs have been captured. A male apparition dressed in military uniform with boots is often seen and phantom footfalls on the staircase, various shadow figures, pieces of disembodied conversations, and flickering lights are often reported.
Mansfield Reformatory, Mansfield
The Mansfield Reformatory is also known as The Ohio State Reformatory. It was known to imprison some of the roughest, meanest, and toughest criminals. The Shawshank Redemption was filmed onsite. You have several choices of ways to participate in a ghost investigation. There are also self-guided or guided tours available. The prison has a long history of paranormal activity. Some of the many types of paranormal activity include strange sounds, reports of shadow figures moving about, disembodied voices, phantom footsteps, and being grabbed or touched.
South Bass Island Lighthouse, Put-in-Bay
The Lake Erie South Bass Island has a lighthouse in the southern point of the island It was built in the late 1800s due to large increase in tourists on the lake. Two light keepers died on the 8-acre property. After the lighthouse was deactivated in 1962 and the Ohio State University (OSU) took control of the property. It serves the OSU research facility. The lighthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places. The lighthouse is open for public tours from June through October, although group tours can be arranged from April through November. Visitors are allowed to climb the staircase of the lighthouse to enjoy the lookout views of the lake.
Two light keepers died on the 8-acre property. The lighthouse was deactivated in 1962 and the Ohio State University took control over the property. It serves the OSU research facility. The lighthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places. There are stories about the lighthouse keepers. One is of the lighthouse keeper's assistant named Sam, who supposedly committed suicide in 1898 by jumping to his death into the lake out of fear of the smallpox outbreak on the island. Another version of the story claims Sam was depressed and hopeless during the smallpox quarantine and couldn't take the confinement.
The other story is about the lighthouse keeper, Harry, who supposedly went insane not long after poor Sam killed himself. Harry was said to be hospitalized but later recovered and returned to his job, only to die shortly afterwards. A different version says that Harry died in the state hospital. For decades, people have claimed to see Sam's ghost wandering about the lighthouse and the docks where he jumped to his death.
The Ashtabula Bridge Disaster Site, Ashtabula
The Ashtabula Bridge disaster of December 29, 1876, was a horrific tragedy when the bridge spanning the Ashtabula River collapsed during a blizzard with a train carrying 160 passengers. The lead locomotive was the only car not to fall into the river. The coal-fueled heating stove and oil lanterns set the cars on fire. Unfortunately, many of the passengers who survived the crash into the icy water either died from the fires or hypothermia. Ninety-two people died in the disaster. It was the worst recorded train accident in America up until the 1918 Great Train Wreck. The bridge collapsed was blamed on the railroad president's improper bridge design, poor construction, and an insufficient inspection.
Over the years, people have claimed to hear disembodied screams, groans, moans, and wailing of people near the site. Some have smelled an acrid fire burning. Some people who visit the memorial site report seeing people dressed in period style clothing who slowly vanish before their eyes.
Molly Stark Park, Louisville
The Molly Stark Park is the former site of a hospital. In 1929, the Molly Stark Sanatorium was opened to care for local tuberculosis residents. It was built by General John Stark and named after his wife, Molly. The campus had 1,200 feet of tunnels for traveling between buildings, especially during inclement weather. Eventually, tuberculosis sanatoriums became obsolete due to medical treatments, and it was renamed the Molly Stark Hospital. The hospital served physical therapy patients, and later accommodated elder care, and drug/alcohol addiction up until it closed in 1995 and the grounds were converted into a park.
The abandoned hospital was fenced off after over 60 arrests of curiosity seekers and ghost hunters trespassed. A razer topped fence was finally installed to deter would be ghost enthusiasts. Ghost hunting inside the building is dangerous due to the building decay, and it is illegal. However, you can always chance a run-in with a ghost patient wandering the park trying to get fresh air per their tuberculosis treatment. Over the years, there have been stories of strange encounters in the park. Odd sounds, disembodied voices, and shadow figures have seen seen in the park and in the earlier years when the hospital was open.
Spring House Gazebo, Cincinnati
The Spring House Gazebo is located in Eden Park and was opened in 1904. The oldest park structure within the Cincinnati park system, it is the logo that the city's park board uses. The gazebo is located in the middle of the park beside Mirror Lake. Attorney/bootlegger George Remus was sentenced to prison for two years. He bragged to his fellow inmate about his wife guarding his assets until he was out. The inmate turned out to be an uncover agent, Franklin Dodge, sent inside the prison to discover where George had stashed his cash.
Instead of reporting what he learned, Dodge resigned and sought out Imogene, George's wife. Dodge wooed Imogene and convinced her to liquidate all of George's assets, including his distillery. Imogene ended up with millions but only gave George $100 while he was in prison. The couple then hid the money, while Dodge hired a hit man to kill George. Imogene then filed for divorce in 1927. George chased down Imogene's car on the way to their divorce hearing and shot her in front of the gazebo, killing her. As an attorney, George was able to claim temporary insanity and was acquitted of murder charges. Imogene's ghost is seen around the gazebo. She's been seen wearing a black 1920s style dress. She's often seen by Mirror Lake, gazing into the water.
The Ridges of Ohio University, Athens
The Ridges of Ohio University were once known as the Athens Lunatic Asylum. The mental hospital operated from 1874 until 1993. Some of the patients included children, Civil War veterans and other mentally ill patients. Today, some of the buildings have been renovated, and the process is ongoing. The Kennedy Museum of Art, an auditorium, various classrooms, administrative offices, and several storage units now occupy the buildings.
When the facility served as an asylum, lobotomy procedures were commonplace for people who ended up as patients. Other treatments included ice water baths and electroshock therapy. There is an adjoining cemetery with over 2,000 gravesites, with markers bearing only a number to identify the patient buried there.
Some of the ghostly happenings include screams from the woods surrounding the cemetery and strange lights and orbs moving through the cemetery. EVPs have been captured in the cemetery. Inside the building, people report seeing shadow people, doors slamming, objects moving on their own, and disembodied voices and wails.
Scary Haunted Places in Ohio
There are numerous places in Ohio said to be haunted. The spirits of those who died in these places often appear to visitors or make their presence known by moving objects, slamming doors, or whispering the person's name.