Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Moonville, revisited

Moonville, Ohio, is one of those places I could visit repeatedly and never get bored. My first visit here was on a Geocaching trip, where I retrieved both the tunnel and the cemetery caches. Unfortunately, I don't think I have any photos from that trip, but my wife, Kim, along with a good friend, Jon, both got some great pictures on our latest trip on September 7, 2013. This entry is a bit of an update to the previous Moonville entry, and contains information from the defunct Geocities page as well as other sources, listed below.


In the late 1850's the Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad (M&C RAILROAD) was constantly striving to the west to reach the Cincinnati Area. The owner at the time was looking for ways to keep himself out of debt, so he made a deal with a man by the name of Samuel Coe. He allowed the M&C RAILROAD to be built through his property, he did this so he could use the train to haul out coal and clay that was on his property. As the railroad was constructed Coe began opening mines on his property, and soon people came to the area searching for work. This is how the small town of MOONVILLE began.1

Deep in the backwoods of Vinton County stands the Moonville Tunnel, a relic from an era long gone. The town it is named for was born when the Marietta and Cincinnati railroad was built through the coal- and iron-rich woods of southeastern Ohio in 1856. At its peak in the 1870s, the town boasted a population of more than 100--almost exclusively miners and their families. There was a row of houses along the railroad tracks, a sawmill just down Raccoon Creek, a general store, and a saloon. In its early days the residents of Moonville worked in the Hope Furnace nearby, but later on they turned almost exclusively to mining coal underground. The coal was then used in the many iron furnaces in the vicinity, usually the one at Hope, where weapons and artillery for the Union Army were made during the Civil War. 2


There are at least two major ghost stories related to the Moonville tunnel:

The ghost of the Moonville Tunnel is one of those legends that's based on historical fact but has been distorted by telling and retelling over the years. The major story is that someone--an engineer, a conductor, a brakeman, a signalman?--was crushed under the wheels of the train that used to go through the place. Apart from that basic fact, things get hazy. Was he drunk? Was he stationed in Moonville or was he a brakeman on the train? Was he an eight-foot-tall black guy named Rastus Dexter? Some sources say he was playing cards with other guys. It's been said that he was a conductor murdered by a vengeful engineer who asked him to inspect underneath the train and then started it up. One source even said that he was trying to get the train to stop because Moonville was in the grip of a plague and was running low on supplies. His death was the end of Moonville. This seems a little too romantic, especially since the actual newspaper article from the McArthur Democrat on March 31, 1859 tells a much more mundane story: "A brakesman on the Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad fell from the cars near Cincinnati Furnace, on last Tuesday March 29, 1859 and was fatally injured, when the wheels passing over and grinding to a shapeless mass the greater part of one of his legs. He was taken on the train to Hamden and Doctors Wolf and Rannells sent for to perform amputation, but the prostration of the vital energies was too great to attempt it. The man is probably dead ere this. The accident resulted from a too free use of liquor." 2

The other story is reportedly about a woman:

As for stories about the woman, there are documented cases where a woman was killed about a mile from the tunnel while walking the tracks in 1886. and though this ghost story is not as popular as the headless ghost from the tunnel, a park ranger did say that people have talked of a ghost that resembled a woman in a blue'ish night gown wandering around the area of the tracks.1

Other witnesses have claimed they have heard screams coming from inside the tunnel and around the area of the train tracks. many of the railroad engineers back in the early 20's reported stories of seeing the ghost waving his lantern and then disappearing.1


I know in the past I have read reports of the cemetery being haunted as well, but I currently cannot find any of those sources. But just because I cannot find any stories does not mean it wasn't an interesting place to visit.

One cool thing was that, upon bumping into my friend Jon and telling him we were going here, he stated that he had family that was purportedly buried there. We found a surviving headstone for the Stilwells, and, upon research, he discovered that William Stilwell was his great, great, great grandfather.

Another interesting thing we discovered were coins placed on some of the headstones. One had a penny, another had a quarter. I had never seen this before, and Jon postulated that it may have something to do with Charon, the ferryman of Hades according to Greek mythology. According to legend, he required payment of one coin to ferry a loved one's soul across the River Styx, which separated the living from the dead.

Another reason for coins on headstones is military tradition, which dates back to Roman times. In the US, a penny means that you knew the person, while a nickel means that you trained with them. A dime means that they were a friend in the another platoon within the same company. A quarter means that they were in the same outfit, or you were with them when they died.

The final reason is related to a family feud between the Black Donnellys and another family. According to legend, the Donnelly’s would grant a wish for anyone that leaves a penny on the grave of a Donnelly family member killed in the massacre by the other family. That superstition has since expanded to state that you can leave a penny on the headstone of a family member to either grant you a wish, or to watch over you and bring you good luck.


Our first stop on this trip was actually Ferguson Cemetery. We were looking for Moonville Cemetery when we came across a sign at the side of the road that simply said Cemetery with an arrow. I didn't recall having to hike to get to the Moonville Cemetery the last time we were here, but we decided that maybe there was an alternate way to get there. We parked off the side of the road and hiked what little was left of the trail to the cemetery. There were only a couple of small grave markers still there. If it hadn't been for the sign, we probably would have walked right past the cemetery.


If you are like me and you would like to see Moonville for yourself, here is how to get there..

Rt. 33 runs east and west from Columbus to Athens Ohio..
Nelsonville is a small town just west of Athens, it also is home to my old school Hocking College..
If you drive through Nelsonville you will see a road called Rt. 278
there will be signs pointing to LAKE HOPE STATE PARK.. stay on 278 and follow it past
Lake Hope, The first road on your left will be called WHEELABOUT ROAD.. turn onto this road and stay on it, it will turn into a gravel path, and just keep following it into the woods
and you will eventually come to a one lane bridge, immediately after the bridge, the old train tracks path will actually cross the road, park your car and get out and follow the tracks to the LEFT,, you will come to the creek, cross the creek, and the tunnel is about 100 yards up.. To find the cemetery stay on the gravel path and go past the tracks, about (20 yards) you will see another gravel road to the RIGHT,, it curves around and takes you to the cemetery...

1 from, which was mentioned in the earlier Moonville post. Unfortunately, Geocities is long gone, but the Wayback Machine saves us again.

2 from Forgotten Ohio.

There are plenty of other great sites out there with information on Moonville and its ghost(s). A great deal of information is provided here, specifically the section titled Tragic History.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Time to revisit some stories? Entries wanted!

Now that James A. Sheets' old Ghosts of Ohio site from Greenapple has been imported, I would like to solicit entries from my readers. You can email entries to me at Please let me know if you'd like to remain anonymous, or if you'd like to become a regular author on the site. Also, while name and email address are not required, they would be appreciated, even if you wish your entry to remain anonymous. This way we can discuss the potential entries and I can gather more information, if needed, before posting them.

In the meantime, I think it might be time to revisit some of the entries already posted, as there are plenty of other sources of information to fill in some details that might have been missed on the original entries. Tomorrow, I'll begin by revisiting Moonville. It's such a beautiful area, and one which is easy to visit yourself.

Again, please submit your entries via email address listed above.

Edit to add: In the meantime, after tomorrow's post, posting frequency will likely slow down a bit. My primary goal was to capture all the stories James A. Sheets had on his old site, and that has now been accomplished.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Legend Of Tinkers Hollow

As told by William Hughes.

One of the most popular topics on the Ghost Of Ohio discussion board is Ashtabula County's Tinkers Hollow. Every time Sylvester Tinker hears how he killed his wife and hid her in the corn field, I'm sure he wishes he were a ghost. But guess what? Not true! It's all nothing but an urban legend. Although the Tinker family were ingenious inventors in the iron field, they were by no means killers!

Silas Tinker came to Conneaut, Ohio in 1806 along with his sons, William, Julias, and Sylvester. They invented a process for making some of the strongest iron in Ohio history. They also manufactured tools, saws, stoves, and the first horse drawn mowing machine. Sylvester built the first foundry in Conneaut in 1833, then updated it in 1835 to work with cast iron. It is years after the brothers left town that the true haunting begins.

It seems that an old hermit took to living in the old ruins of the abandoned foundry. As the story goes, he was struck by lightning and lived through the experience, although one of his legs was badly injured. This forced him to drag his one leg behind him as he walked about. After many year the old hermit just seemed to have vanished and was seen no more, but people all claimed that if you sat under the Tinker Hollow Bridge long enough you would hear him returning home, with his donkey dragging his leg behind him. At one point the legend became so popular that Conneaut News Herald reporter Pat Williams camped under the bridge. For two nights he and the two other men he had brought along as witnesses saw nothing. The following weekend Pat and his companions returned to the bridge on a foggy, rainy night. Shortly after midnight the men heard the sound of someone making their way across the bridge. It sounded like the steps of man leading a horse with the man dragging his leg as he walked. The three men rushed to the top of the bridge with their cameras in hand to record the event, but all they saw was the rain soaked delapadated old bridge. What ever had made the sounds had vanished into thin air.

Research for this story done by Linda Siders, Fred Siders, and William Hughes.

Resource information provided by, The Ashtabula Historical Society, the Conneaut News Herald. The North Eastern Ohio Ghost Research Team (NEOGRT) would like to give a special thank you to the the wonderful staff of the Conneaut Public Library, who opened their doors for us to access the histories on Tinker Hollow.

Anyone wishing to reach NEOGRT may do so at the following e-mail addresses:

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Ashtabula Train Wreck

Submitted by William Hughes

This was a Christmas time disaster that took place in Ashtabula Ohio on the old Lake Shore Line.

It was a cold snowy day as the Pacific Express rolled in Ashtabula. The temperature was frigid and visibility was zero. Nothing could prepare the passengers for what was about to happen on December 29th, 1876. The time was 7:30 PM as the engineer brought the train across the Ashtabula Bridge. As the engine made it across the bridge, the engineer heard a loud crack and the bridge began to shake. He throttled the engine to full and it shot ahead jumping off the tracks and separating it from the rest of the train. The trailing cars plunged off of the bridge 100 feet to the freezing river below. The train cars made of fragile wood splintered as the crashed on top of each other. What made matters worse was as it was winter the passenger cars had their pot belly stoves running for heat. The red hot coals spilled onto the wooden wreckage igniting the the smashed cars. Within moments the entire wreck was engulfed in a colossal inferno.

Over 85 people perished in the flaming wreck that night. Many were so badly burnt they could not be recognized. To make matter worse many of the passengers had signed for their tickets by simply making an X. This made identification impossible. The railways records indicated that there were anywhere from 180 to 250 souls on board, but the grim facts were, 85 dead, 24 of who were identified. As Ohio watched in shock, the dead were taken to Chestnut Grove Cemetery for burial. A monument has been erected there. Its inscription reads:


The grave site as well as the location of the crash on the bridge are believed to be haunted to this day.

Myself and members of my NEOGRT Team have been to both sites. There we have detected Cold Spots, EVP, and a general feeling of uneasiness at both sites.

William and his group are still in the process of investigating this site. They plan on visiting it again as soon as the weather breaks. The investigation is going to be an overnight stay at the crash site. Any wishing to join them in this venture can do so by contacting William or one of his team at:

Linda & Fred:

NEOGRT (William, Micky, Fred, Linda, Stacy, Chris, and Michell)
Story by William Hughes
Research Materials: Henderson Memorial Library, Train Wreck by, Robert C. Reed. Ships And Men Of The Great Lakes by, Dwight Boyer.

I would personally like to thank Micky and NEOGRT for believing in me to make this research dream come true.

William Hughes

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Legend Of Mary Jane

Name withheld by request.

There is an old cemetery in Richland county just south of Mansfield that is said to be haunted by the spirit of Mary Jane. The cemetery is in an old forest back in the middle of no where, and has one giant tree in the middle of it . The tree in the cemetery is a pine tree, and it is the only pine tree in that whole area of the forest. It is said to have grown right through Mary Jane's grave. The tree is said be one of three or four like it in the country, and the only places they are found is supposedly the resting places of witches. As legend has it, any one who disturbs the tree or the grave itself will die. There is a story told of three young men who urinated on the tree while one stayed behind in the car. Later in a terrible car accident on the way home the three that urinated on the tree died, but the one that didn't walked away from the accident basically unharmed.

This one is pretty straight forward. It also sounds strangely familiar to the Dark Angel tale, or least the part about despoiling the grave resulting in a tragic ending for the wrong doers. Tales like this one could be based more urban legend than fact. Once again the name Mary has been attached to this haunting. Mary seems a very popular name for ghost sin the Buckeye state, along with Cry Baby Bridges. If anyone has more information on this one or a picture of the sight, I would love to have it. I can be contacted at[Editor's note: That email is long defunct. Email me at instead of the original author.]

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on on James A Sheets' site.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Waynesville House

Name withheld by request.

This happened in the mid -Sixties I believe, and it happened to our family. We moved to a rural stately farmhouse in Waynesville, Ohio. The house was built around the Civil War days, and had been added onto, but any way I was about 11 yrs old, the house had many rooms, attics etc. and about 3 fireplaces.. upstairs next to my bedroom was a playroom, a very large room with side attics on both sides of the room. The only way into the playroom was through my bedroom, which I shared with my sister. I would close the playroom door, because frankly the room gave me the creeps, even though it was decorated very nicely, but every time that I would enter the bedroom the play room door would be wide open. On many a night we would wake up and the door would be wide open. We started blocking the playroom door, like I said no one wanted to go in there.

My father said we were making it up, until one evening, actually the middle of the night I woke up to a heavy and constricting feeling. I remember screaming, as the heavy oak door from the playroom was on top of my sister and I. Well my parents just could not believe how that door (taken from its hinges) made its way on top of us. From then on other things started to happen, noises came from the attic surrounding the playroom. Sometimes it sounded like a small child crying very softly and at that point we started to sleep downstairs. When my father opened the little doors that had been bolted shut to the side attics, he found a few toys and a couple of broken dolls, but more interesting was an old passageway that lead down into a false chimney of some sort. It was a very odd house , oddly built inside, doors everywhere, some sealed and so on.

One night while sleeping downstairs, I thought that I heard piano music, we had no piano. We never seemed to get a good nights rest. My mother kept seeing what she said was someone playing with a flashlight. We finally moved into town (Waynesville). The kids we met there did not think that what we told them was at all unusual, everyone had a ghostly experience in Waynesville. After living there a couple of years we moved to a much less Ghostly town.

The author also had a different encounter when he was younger in Hillsboro, Ohio that is worth mentioning. Here it is in his own words.

Maybe ghosts or spirits haunt certain people, or maybe certain people attract spirits, but I have had my share of it. This is my first ghostly experience. It happened when I was around nine yrs. old. We were living temporarily in my mothers childhood home, it was really old and very damp and creaky. It had originally been an old Hotel in the late 1800's in Hillsboro, Ohio. The house needed to be torn down, but like I said it was just temporary, my grandmother had moved many years before and no one had lived there for some time. There were a number of rooms we kids could have slept in but we decided to double up. The upstairs bedrooms were so dark and there were mice in the attic, so right from the start I heard noises at night like some one banging on the wall next to me. My father said it was from a tree, but I looked the next day and there was no tree was near the house. Every night I would anticipate a noise of some kind, I took to sleeping with the pillow over my head.

Then one night I heard my name called I sat up and looked around, but my sister was asleep and I could hear my parents snoring in the next room. Several nights later, same thing happened, I heard my name called, and no one was there. I fell back on my pillow closed my eyes. I got that strange feeling like someone was watching me, so I opened my eyes. To my dismay standing right over my face and above me was the meanest looking old woman with gray scraggly hair. Her face had a green cast to it, and she appeared to be very angry at me. I swear she said get out, but this was coming from inside my head. No one but me saw her. I let out a big scream and ran into my parents bedroom. My father was very annoyed and told me that I was dreaming.

The next day my mother said describe this old lady, so I did. After a few moments she said that she used to see this old woman when she was very little, and in the same part of the house. She always thought that it had just been a bad dream, but I knew I was not dreaming!

The author of this tale may be correct in that some people seem to natural magnets to hauntings, ghosts, etc. Another view is that they are what provides energy for such phenomena to manifest physically. Both tales are chilling, but the face of an old haggard woman glaring down at you in bed gets my vote for the one I would rather not have happen to me. Also, how many of you have heard someone wisper your name in the night?

This post, including commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Two Tales From Clermont County

Submitted by Daniel Cope

In Clermont County, Ohio on SR 125 just West of the Village of Bethel, there is a small,unnamed, cemetery. The stones date back two centuries. There is a short dilapidated wooden and wire fence encircling the cemetery with a wooden frame for a gate at the entrance. The gate has long since rotted away. This is low lying flat river land and constantly very windy, but when you approach one particular grave marker the wind inside the cemetery stops, even though it continues to wail outside. The marker reads;


I have experienced this phenomenon personally on numerous occasions. It has happened each and every time. (Not me, but Daniel Cope.)

This is also a personal experience of mine and my parents, brother and sister. My Father purchased a house at #*** Arlington Dr. in the Sumerside Estates in Clermont County. I was 15, my brother 8 and my sister was 5. The trouble with this house began immediately. Our first night there, I kept hearing a baby crying but could find nothing. The next morning my Mother woke me up stating the she heard a baby's voice calling for it's mommy. I listed quietly and could distinctly hear the work "MOMMY". It sounded like a frightened child. We searched all around the house finding nothing. Mom even called the police who also heard the voice but found nothing.

This went on for weeks, any time we cared to listen and at night when the house was quiet, this child's voice crying for
it's mommy could be heard "distinctly". After a few weeks, the voice changed or rather was added to. First the child then an adult woman could be heard sobbing. Again, this continued for several weeks. My parents would invite friends over just to listen to the noises. It was a little eerie but somehow soothing at the same time.

The next change was a man's voice added to the chorus. First the baby, then the mourning woman the a male voice that seemed to be comforting the woman. Remember that all of this seemed quite benevolent and caused us little concern until after about 9 months of this. Then suddenly the voices changed, you could detect a note of panic in the sounds, we would get up and find the gas on but the pilot lights blown out, windows would break for no apparent reason. On more that one occasion, my Father and I would search around the outside of the house for the prankster who was striking the house with a hammer or other heavy object. We would never find anyone or any sign of anyone or damage. Our front picture window smashed from the inside out with the entire family sitting right there
with no explanation. The overhead garage door on our attached garage opened by it self one night and with a loud crash was torn from it's railing and dropped to the garage floor. On three occasions, a dark, menacing shadow would appear at the end of the hallway. These occasions were particularly awful for out family dog who eventually was found dead at the end of the hallway where the shadow would appear.

There were many more occurrences but I'll close for now by telling you that after one horrible night, my Father moved us into a hotel and paid movers to pack our clothes for us. We never went back. To this day, no one stays in this house for more than a few months then it is empty again.

I have omitted the numerals for the address of the Daniel's former house just in case someone has found a way to tolerate the above described phenomena, or if it has ceased as of now.

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Ghost In The Alley

Submitted by Judith Jasper

When I was growing up on Dewey Avenue, in Lancaster, Ohio there was a legend of the footsteps in the alley beside my house. On many a dark night when the moon was waning it is said that a man walks down the alley from Maud Avenue to Dewey Avenue, though it has long been forgotten why he treads his lonely journey. My father used to tell me this tale, and I have heard it from other people who used to live in the neighborhood.

When I was about ten years old I belonged to a little club made up of the girls who lived on or played with the children in the neighborhood around Maud, Dewey and Mulberry Avenues. One night we decided to see if there was any truth to the tale. The moon was in it's last quarter and it was dark and spooky when our little gang gathered in Joyce's garage to wait for the man to walk down the alley. We waited with hearts pounding and a little shiver would escape us with every scraping of a tree limb against the garage windows or any sound we could not immediately identify. To this day I don't know if it was Joyce's older brother or perhaps some boys in the neighborhood playing a prank, but somewhere in the murky darkness late that evening we heard the crunch of gravel outside the garage doors in the alleyway. A few of the braver girls peeked out the garage door...the footsteps crunched on the gravel but pale moonlight revealed no one in the alleyway! Needless to say we were quick to run from the garage to the safety of our homes!

There's a little aside to this tale that makes it very interesting.... one morning I was awakened by the garbage truck grinding away outside my bedroom window, which faced the alley... usually the truck would stop for a few moments, then be on it's way on down the alley. For some strange reason the truck stayed below my window for some time. I was amazed when a police car pulled up at the edge of the alley and two policemen came over to the parked garbage truck. The men in the truck led the policemen to a spot directly below my bedroom window. There in the alley was a deep rut, worn away over time by the flow of traffic in the alleyway. My father came over to the hole and handed one of the policemen a shovel. What could they be wanting to dig up the alley for, I wondered. Was it a buried treasure? As they dug, I watched and waited. Before long the policeman stopped his digging and bent over looking at something in the hole. He stood aside, and to my amazement, as I looked down in the hole, a human skull and other bones lay in the hole. I shivered, for the skull was very small and most surely a child's skull! To this day I have learned nothing of the skeleton found in the alley. My father only had a little to say about it. It was definitely human, of a child about my age. The policemen thought the skeleton had been there for quite some years. My father speculated that it was possible that the child had been buried there before our house was built, when the was a meadow there. Our house was over 60 years old then, in 1957 or so, when this happened.

Who was the little child buried in the alley below my window? Was it a little girl or boy? Could it have been the reason why the sound of a man walking up and down the alley was heard some nights? Was he perhaps searching for his lost child? Or was it the murdered pacing up and down the alley, trying to ease his tormented soul?

I have posted this one pretty much as it was sent to me. This is one have I have not heard of locally, but it does make for some chilling reading. As always I would love to hear from anyone that has more information on this tale. The location is of course the streets named above in Lancaster, Ohio.

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Headless Hattie

As told by David Robinson.

As the story goes, a lady by the name of Hattie was coming home after a day of shopping with her baby. They were traveling along the section of Watkins Road that crossed over Big Walnut Creek, in southeast Columbus, which at that time, about 25 years ago, had an old one lane bridge. As they approached the bridge, another car was traveling in the opposite direction as Hattie and her baby on the other side of the bridge. The elevation of the crest of the bridge prevented the two drivers from seeing the glow of the oncoming headlights of their cars headed in each others direction. As the two cars approached the bridge from both sides, neither knew of the other speeding right towards them. They both drew nearer to the bridge. The other car made it to the bridge before Hattie did, and her car was forced off the side of the bridge, which flipped over guard rail and landed on it's top in the creek. The accident killed both Hattie, who was decapitated, and her young baby. It is now local legend that if you go to the bridge on the night of a full moon, park your car, flash the headlights 12 times, and wait, you will see Headless Hattie carrying her head in the crook of her arm and walking around the area looking for her baby.

The old one lane bridge that the accident happened on has since been replaced by a unusually wide two lane bridge (the old one was much more scary!). The location of the bridge, Franklin County,southeast Columbus, is just off 104, south down Alum Creek Drive till you get to Watkins Road on the left. Go around the bend and take the first left, which will still be Watkins Road. The Big Walnut Creek Bridge will be the first bridge you come to. This bridge is approximately 150 yards from my apartment, where I sit right now.

(This tale sounds similar to the Headless Motorcyclist of Elmore, Ohio.)

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


As told presented in WSYX's Ghosts of Columbus and Beyond,
and Haunted Ohio [affiliate link] by Chris Woodyard.

The Moonville tale is one well known to the students of Athen's resident university "Ohio University" home of the Fighting Bobcats. The town of Moonville today is a ghost town, and yes the pun was intended. If in fact if my sources are correct, not even a building is left standing. It sprang up a 100 years or so ago to house the workers and their families of the local iron furnaces. The old B&O Railroad runs through the area in what is described as one of the most desolate sections of the old railway. What does remain is the old railway tunnel with the town's name embedded in the brick which covers the entrance to the tunnel. With an atmosphere like this one you couldn't help but find a ghost.

The most popular form of the tale is that a conductor of the B&O Railway was having a torrid affair with the wife of one of the engineers. The engineer became enraged when he discover out what his wife was doing with his fellow co-worker. On a dark night the engineer lured the conductor off the train on the pretext that something was wrong with one of the undercarriages of one of the cars. The conductor crawled under the car in question to inspect it for damage. The jealous and enraged engineer then climbed in to the locomotive and gave the old steam engine a full throttle. The conductor hearing the trains familiar rumbling attempted to extract himself from under the now moving train. His attempt as you can guess, failed. The poor hapless man was decapitated, and the engineers revenge on his co-worker realized.

The ghost description is that of a african american man around eight feet tall looking as if he is walking about on stilts. He has a miners oil lamp on his forehead, and can be seen staggering down the tracks on dark nights. Others have seen the more expected headless spectre carrying a lamp walking along the railway searching for his head. Some report just seeing a lamp either green or red in color bobbing up and down the tracks and adjacent woods. The poor mans screams imploring the train to stop can also be heard on some dark quiet nights.

Another variant of the story is that a brakeman had been playing card late one evening and became very drunk. He staggered out on to the tracks after the game had long ended waving his lantern in a vain attempt to stop a passing locomotive. The train ran him down cutting off his head. This one sounds more believable, but the jealous engineer version is more popular.

The last one is either a variant or a separate story all together. It involves a young girl who was struck and decapitated. No explanation of how her demise was achieved is told. Maybe she was caught in the Moonville Tunnel, or on one of the four trestles along the railway, and simply could not get out of the speeding trains way.

The location of this site is in the Zaleski State Forest in Vinton county. The tunnel lies several miles east of Lake Hope on the old B&O railway. I would advise asking one of the locals for directions, or invest in a good county map if you are interested in finding the exact location. My county map shows Moonville which surprised me. The old railway is shown running across Hope Road which is just south of Lake Hope off of Route 278. Moonville is just to the east, just follow the old railway to the tunnel. Here is a link to Rich Moeckel site at which has detailed information on this area.

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Couple of Southern Ohio Haunts

Submitted by Sam Logan that felt my site lacked information about the southern part of the state.

I notice your sight is lacking in stories from Southeastern Ohio, you know, we DO exist. We also have interesting ghost stories. Here's a few:

Top Hat

The man known as top hat has frequented the operating room of Scioto Memorial Hospital for years. He's dressed in 18 Century garb and sports (you guessed it) a top hat. One day a nurse going to the OR was walking by herself down the corridor to the OR and saw this man. The man politely said "Good day madam." and she responded likewise and walked on. It dawned on her as she walked that no one should be in that section of the hospital unless they were dressed in hospital garb. She turned around and saw him fade away.
No one has had unpleasant run-ins with top hat. He's polite and courteous but never stays long to chat. Unfortunately no one knows what happened to this distinguished gentleman.

The White Nun

The former intensive care unit of Mercy Hospital has been the home of the white nun. She's dressed in white and doesn't speak. When she is near, you feel cold and peace. You don't realize that you've been visited by her until she is gone.
Several people have seen her float by hospital rooms, over guards heads and she's been seen on the monitors as well. There was a connection made between the nights she was spotted and when a patient would die. It was theorized that she was the angle of death.

The counterpart to this story is there is the black nun that haunts the floor above her. No one has seen it, but THEY HAVE FELT IT. When the black nun is present, the room temperature drops and you are chilled to the bone with dread and fear. To my knowledge, nothing has happened with this creature. But plenty has happened on this floor, and it started in the early 1980's.

Year ago Our lady of Mercy hospital was ran by the Catholic Church. The hospital had the priest and nuns there as part of its administration. One night the nurses on the floor (I believe it was the step down unit) had a couple of slow nights, and one nurse brought in a Ouija board. The nurses were playing with it. I should add that there was always something wrong with rooms 5, 8 and 237 (I'm guessing on the last one) one nurse asked what was wrong with room 8. Bed sheet would crumple up and things would be misplaced and then placed back again. The board replied l-o-o-k i-n t-h-e m-i-r-r-o-r. The nurses were scared and understandably didn't want to go, but one nurse, a petite brave little redhead, said she would go. She marched up to the room and went to look in the mirror. Every one in the conference room waited for her to come back down. A bloodcurdling scream was heard across the hall. She immediately ran downstairs, quit her job and left. Last I heard, she had moved out west. The nurses were baffled but break was up, so they went back to work. Mother superior, on making her rounds, heard about the Ouija board in the intensive care unit break room, and marched up to get rid of the board. She asked with a furious voice, "Where's that board!". The nurse who brought it in said it was in the break room, where they had left it. Mother superior went into the room to destroy it, but it was nowhere to be found. She searched high and low, but it never surfaced. She went to the nurses station and asked vehemently where it was, but the nurses said it was in the room. The board had hid itself to keep it from being destroyed, or so the legend goes. Since then, odd things have been happening on the floor, particularly the rooms 5 and 8. Bed sheets crumple after being made, equipment and monitors go haywire. One night, and my mother can attest to this, the other hospital in the area was full and was sending a patient over, and standard procedure was to go to the room, turn down the sheets and turn on the monitors. When the monitor was turned on (it was back in the '80's, when it still used paper to print out on) it started to act like it was printing out a heartbeat, then it began to make upside down crosses. It did this several times before the patient was wheeled into the room. The minute the patient came in the room, the monitor quit and went back to a straight line reading.

Some would say that a portal to hell was opened up that day. Oh yeah, and the nurse? Years later after mom started working there and when the catholic church gave up control of the hospital, my mom asked a priest who had been there for a while if there was any truth to the story of the nurse who ventured to room 8. The priest confirmed this and when asked by mom what she saw, his answer was "a demon'. And he left it at that.

I have no first hand knowledge as to the location or authenticity of these tales. I simply have presented them as they were sent to me to provide some information on hauntings in the southern portion of Ohio in which my site is lacking. If anyone has information as to the exact location or to add to the above account, please feel free to contact me at [Editor's note: That email is long defunct. Email me at instead of the original author.]

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The first month

When I first launched the new version of the site, part of my goal, as mentioned, was to dump the contents of James A. Sheets' original "Ghosts of Ohio" site from Greenapple here, to give it a place to live. The first page of his site, coincidentally, had just enough stories to give me content for the first month. I really hope you've enjoyed these stories, but I am getting close to needing to find a new source for content. (Don't panic just yet. There's about two more weeks' worth of posts on the original site!) If you have any stories to add, or additions or corrections (or photos) for anything already posted or to come, please email me at I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Dark Angel

As told by Andrea *
(Last name withheld by request)

In Erie County there is a old graveyard that has the now ruined statue of an angel who stands guard over the graves placed in her charge long ago. There are two versions to the legend.

As one version of the story goes, a mother sometime in the early 1900's took the life of her young daughter. Stricken by terrible grief the family had the statue of a larger than life angel erected over the child's grave. The statue is slightly larger than a full grown man, with a melancholy expression on it's face. The eyes of the angel would appear to follow you no matter where you moved as if it were alive.

A few years after her daughter's death, the mother in a fit of sorrow took her own life. She was buried in a grave next to her daughter under the watchful eye of the lifeless stone guardian. It was shortly after her death that strange unexplainable things began to occur. Local cattle and livestock near the cemetery were being found slaughtered in a horrible fashion. Quickly attention focused on the statue over looking the mother and daughter's graves, as the hands and mouth of the angel appeared to covered in blood. The local people began to whisper that the evil spirit of the mother was condemned to live for eternity in the statute as punishment for her sins, and it was her vengeful spirit which stalked and slew their animals in an attempt to quell her rage. It was also rumored that if you climbed up on to the angel's back she would give a ride through hell.

After weeks of butchered animals being found in the fields, and rumors running rampant through the community, the locals authorities had finally had enough. They entered the graveyard and sawed off the statute's hands and wings. After this the killing of the livestock ceased. The angel now flightless had to remain in the cemetery. Shortly there after visitors to the graveyard noticed that rusty streaks marks appeared on the angel's face running down the cheeks from the watchful eyes. The local wives tales said that it was the tormented soul of the mother weeping for her sins.

The second version of the story claims that the graves beneath the angel are those of two sisters named Lydia and Alice. It is the spirit of Alice that is suppose to live in the statue, but the reason why is not given. The reason for the statue's disfigurement is as follows. In the early 1900's a cholera epidemic swept through the area. It sadly took it's heaviest toll on the young children. Bereaved mothers would enter the cemetery at night and lay their dead babies in the angel's outstretched arms, and implore her to take their souls to heaven. A local parson found out about the practice and declared that it was blasphemous and evil. He convinced his flock that it was the angel whom roamed about a night stealing the souls of their children and taking them to hell. It was then that the good people entered the cemetery and removed the hands and clipped the angel's wings.

It is considered bad luck to be disrespectful or damage the statue now days. A group of boys elected to go and torment the angel to see if the legend was true not to long ago. They decided to do this by vandalizing the statue. All the boys involved in this stunt were supposedly killed in a terrible car accident, except the one who remained in the car while the other were desecrating the graveyard.

Another tried the popular trick of placing a tape recorder at the base of the statue, and coming back later to pick it up. He was floored when during the first few minutes of the recording when a womans voice was heard to say "You with receive no harm."

The location of this site is in Erie County west of Vermilion, Ohio. Go west on State Route 2 to Route 60 and then head south. A few miles down the road you will run into Mason Road, turn right to Maple Grove Cemetery a few miles down the road. The angel sits far back into the cemetery under a tree. Vandals have since removed the angel's head I am told. The grave of Lydia shows she died in 1926 and Alice in 1918.

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Poltergeist Tale

*Source anonymous by request.
(Names of actual individuals have been changed)

Paul and his fiancee Gwyn, and their friend April were excited as they moved into the second story of an elderly home on Brown Street in Athens, Ohio. It was mid-June and as expected the temperatures where climbing into the upper eighties. The windows in the home had been sealed shut by repeated coats of paint, and since there wasn't any air conditioning, getting these open became a priority. Everyone in the house was working in separate rooms when Paul heard a loud crash. Coming to the conclusion that one of the others has freed one of the windows and let it slip causing the glass to break, he went to investigate. Meeting Gwyn who had also heard the noise they failed to discover it's source. The few windows that had been opened by the group remained open. April and another friend who was helping the trio claimed they had heard nothing. The group dismissed the incident as a fluke. (It should be noted that the downstairs apartment was at this time was unoccupied.)

A few days after the above incident Paul was awakened several nights in a row by what sounded like someone walking about on the roof of the house. Paul convinced himself that it was most likely a stray cat moving about on the top of the house, and at this point did not feel that anything was amiss with the house.

It was when Gwyn who worked just down the street from the house came home for lunch one day, that something occurred that convinced them that something was wrong with their new home. It was a normal weekday and the upstairs apartment was vacant as Gwyn came home for lunch. As she unlocked the door to the apartment she heard the sound of someone running up the stairs on the other side of the door. This was followed by an unholy racket coming from the apartment's interior. Thinking that Paul had come home early, she ran up the steps calling his name. It was then that she remembered that the driveway to the house was devoid of any cars. Feeling some what frightened she ascended the stairs, and conducted a quick search of the apartment's rooms and closets. The house was empty, but in the kitchen she found the source of the noise she had hear earlier. The dry-ease board and all of the magnets which had been on the side of the refrigerator were scattered in a heap on the kitchen floor.

Sometime later when Paul and Gwyn were out of town, April was at home by herself and was listening to one of her favorite audio tapes. While she lay on her bed listening to the familiar words of the song, she realized that someone was singing along with music on the tape. Sitting upright and opening her eyes the singing voice ceased. April replayed the tape thinking maybe one of her roommates had pulled a prank on her by dubbing over the tape. The tape played fine, and minus the unseen voice. April was so disturbed that she phoned a friend who had to come over and spend the rest of the night with her.

The trio still occupies their new home and hope they can come to grips with their unseen guest.

The location of the site is as mentioned is Athens, Ohio. The person who submitted the story wishes the exact location to remain unpublished.

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Burning House

*Source anonymous by request.

On one spring evening of 1997 a mother and her twelve year old son were making a routine trip into town to run some errands. As they approached an intersection and prepared to make the turn which would lead them into town, the boy's sharp eyes noticed an ominous glow emanating from across the road. Pointing this out to his mother, he urged her to go straight. Now noticing the glow for herself which resembled the halo of a large fire, she did as her son asked and headed straight on. Traveling only a short distance down the country road the glow turned out to be a two story house that was enveloped in flames. The mother was horrified at the sight. Flames were shooting out of the second story windows, and smoke was billowing from the lower windows and doors of the house up past the pillars on the front porch. Frantically the mother pushed the car's accelerator to the floor, urging the vehicle to move faster down the road. Her only desire was to rush to the aid of the poor family who's house was being consumed by a maelstrom of flame. The engine's howl was joined by the sound of the wind whipping though the car's windows, and rocks flying from the tires. The car plunged down into a depression in the road momentarily blocking the view of the burning structure. Hurtling up on the opposite side of the dip in the road both mother and son where shocked, and dumfounded at what they saw. The house had vanished completely, along with the ominous glow, sparks, smoke, everything!

Stopping in the middle of the road both mother and son attempted to gather their wits. Doing a reality check the mother realized that she had lived in the area for over seven years, and drove this very section of road at least twice a day. The area where she and her son had seen the burning house, had always been nothing but an empty field! Never the less both she and her son were sure of what they had seen. Rolling the windows down on the car they both attempted to see if they could smell smoke, or hear the sounds of approaching emergency vehicles. Nothing! Still not convinced they drove around the area to higher ground, but never regained visual contact with the burning home. It was as if the house had never existed at all.

Returning home the mother attempted to come to grips with what she had seen. She was tempted to call the fire department, but did not. The next day she scanned the local newspaper looking for any reports of fires in the area. Once again, nothing! A friend that she related the story to had traveled the same road within an hour of her trip, and had seen nothing!

Returning to the sight in full daylight sometime later, the mother questioned the elderly gentleman who farmed the land. He claimed that he had no memory of any house ever sitting on the spot where she had seen the burning house. Nor had he ever heard his parents ever mention such a structure. He did offer the strange fact of that once when plowing the area in question he had overturned a headstone of seven to eight year old boy who had died sometime in the 1800's of the last name McCoy. A check of local historical archives revealed nothing to the mother's dismay. Both her and her son are left to ponder at what exactly it was they had seen. Some have suggested that it might have been a trick of the setting sun, or a mirage. Both mother and son stand firm on what they saw that one spring evening to this day, a home engulfed in raging flames.

The location of this sighting is in Ross county just outside of Kingston, Ohio. The individual who submitted this tale has asked that the exact location not be published out of courtesy to the gentleman who owns the property.

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Haunted Cellar

As told by Beth Scott and Michael Norman in the Haunted Heartland [affiliate link]

In the November of 1957 a young music student Thomas Todd and his wife moved into apartment in Cleveland. It wasn't the greatest of places, but affordable. The young couple's stay would be a short one. They would flee the apartment in the March of 1958 never to return.

It seems that from the very start they were awakened at night by strange screams, and erie moans which seemed to emanate from the cellar of the apartment. Finally after months of this Thomas's young eighteen year old wife Geraldine was home by herself one afternoon, and decided to investigate what was making the sounds. Descending into the basement she found the old furnace surrounded by rubbish, and pieces of broken furniture. Then to her horror she saw a twisted and bloody human hand sticking up out of the pile of refuse. Geraldine stampeded back up the stairs, and collapsed into a chair where she spent most of the day crying until her husband returned home. After he had calmed his wife down she began to prepare their evening supper. While she was standing on the trap door which lead to the cellar, it heaved up and threw the poor woman on to the floor. Mr. Todd charged down the steps to confront the intruder to their home. He found nothing but the huge rubbish pile his wife had described. Returning upstairs, he nailed down the door to the cellar. The next day Mr. and Mrs. Todd moved out of the apartment to a local hotel.

Several of the couple's friends and neighbors were skeptical of their story. On March 31st they returned to the apartment with their friends in tow. This group of people gathered in the kitchen and stood around waiting for something to happen. They did not have to wait long as the trap door to the cellar heaved up with such force the wood bent from the blows, and the nails were loosened and bent. Everyone at this time rushed to safety into the living room. Several were horrified to see bloody fingers squirming from the cracks just made in the trap door. That was it for everyone and they all made a hasty retreat from the structure. The Todd's called the police who made a search of the building and found nothing out of order, except for the forced trap door. One officer later said he heard what sounded like someone shoveling dirt in the cellar, but wasn't sure. The police tried to assure Mr. Todd and his wife that everything was fine, and that they could return home. They flatly refused, and moved to better quarters.

Years later Thomas returned to the old neighborhood and spoke with a former neighbor about the place. She confided in him that it was the right thing for him to have moved out of the place. She related to him that in the years before he had occupied the apartment, it had been rented out to a couple who would have the most terrible quarrels. Rumor had it that the husband had killed his wife, and then buried her in the cellar. But after all this was only rumor, and the police had never been called to investigate the allegations.

In 1963 the famous ghost hunter Hans Holzer came to investigate the place. Entering into the abandoned building in the company of a local reporter the smell of decay, rot, and urine exploded on to their senses. Moving though the house some movement attracted the men's attention. Swinging a flashlight into the vacant room they discover a duo of winos who were sleeping of some of the local rot gut who promptly vacated the structure. Mr. Holzer insisted that the place was haunted by the ghost of a murdered woman named Edna, and that she was indeed buried in the basement of the house. No one ever bother to enter the structure for the purpose of investigating if Mr. Holzer was correct.

The location of this haunting is recorded as 4207 Mason Court S.E. in Cleveland, Ohio. It is suppose to be in a more run down part of town. I am not even sure if the building is still standing. If anyone out there has this information, or a photo of the place, please contact me at the following e-mail address. [Editor's note: That email is long defunct. Email me at instead of the original author.]

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Ghostly School Boy

As told by Chris Woodyard in Haunted Ohio II [affiliate link], and the Lancaster Eagle Gazette.

Ghosts of children to me can often be the most disturbing apparitions of all. Children are suppose to be things of delight ,and merriment, not trapped in some sort of limbo.

The following tale takes place at Amanda Clearcreek Schools in Fairfield County. It seems that a school counselor named Jim Flaningan had just finished his last day of work at the school, and had stayed after to finish up some unfinished paperwork. After an hour or so of work, Jim elected to go and exercise in the gym. After a short walk to the gym he arrived, and began to jog around the room. He had only been jogging a few minutes, or so when he noticed a boy of about fifteen years of age standing on the stage watching him.

Jim waved at the boy, and called hello to him as he continued to jog about the room. The boy never responded, but just continued to watch the man as he ran around the gym area. Several more times the counselor ran around the room, and each time the strange boy was there watching him from the stage. In the fading light of the day, Jim could see him clearly as he came around for another pass. The boy was standing near the stage curtain smiling. The clothes he was wearing, and hair cut which he had appeared to be very out of date. His blue jean bibs being the kind that buttoned diagonally across the shoulder, and a page boy style of hair cut.

Jim knew just about every kid in the school, but could not recall ever seeing this one. He increased the speed of his run, and made for the stage. The boy seeing his rapid approach, turned and walked behind the curtain. Jim reached the curtain seconds later to find that the boy had vanished. He checked, and found the back door to the stage locked and secured. By now the light in the gym was growing dim in the fading daylight, so Jim turned on all of the gym and stage lights. He then conducted a search of the area, which revealed nothing. Disturbed he called the assistant principal, and the local county sheriff.

Together they conducted a search of the school top to bottom which revealed no intruder of any kind. They also found no sign of forced entry into the structure. Soon the school's janitor joined the men in their search. Jim commented that he thought that the boy might have been bare footed since he heard no footsteps from behind the stage curtain when the boy had fled. The school's janitor who had been talking quite a bit suddenly clamed up, and never left the counselor's side from that point on. He was asked if he ever had seen anything strange when he was in the school at night by himself. The janitor replied that he had not, and appeared to be very disturbed.

Jim later on had the chance to query the janitor's son about his father's work. He was told that the janitor never liked working in the school late after hours. It seems he always felt like someone, or something was watching him in the empty school building.

Jim still works in the educational system, but not in Fairfield County. Other faculty members have stated that the story is based on a real break in that occurred, and has evolved into a ghost story. I for one doubt this, as I really don't think it would have been a wise career move on Mr. Flaningan's part, to bring in the local law enforcement to check out a local fairy tale.

Amanda Clearcreek School is located in Amanda just off of U.S. 22 to the west of Lancaster, Ohio. I must once again point out that it is a crime to be on school grounds after normal hours without the consent of the school.

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Mystery Walker

As told by Randy Hughes.

This is a story of a late evening encounter in Lancaster, Ohio. My wife and I had finished dinner at the Trader Cafe on Columbus St. We were dating at this time, and wanted to find somewhere to eat on this late Thursday evening.

We had finished our dinner, and paid our bill. We walked out of the cafe, and turned to the left. Coming out of the cafe you have to walk out a bit, and look both ways on the sidewalk to make sure that no one is coming. I stepped out and looked both ways. Nobody was there either way, so we turned left and headed down one block to where our car was parked.

It was getting dark and I was being pretty cautious of the surroundings, so I looked behind us. I did not see a single person on the sidewalk, or the street. Not a second sooner did this tall man with long hair come walking very swiftly beside us. I did not even hear him coming. He passed us with out making a sound. He was a very tall man and medium built. The man continued pass us, and turned the corner going left around a building. My wife and I probably took a matter of 15 seconds to reach the very same corner as this man. I looked left, and there was no sight of him. I looked at my wife and she looked at me. We both said where in the world could this person have gone. There was no doors for him to go into, nor anyway he could have ran without us hearing him.

This man was no where to be seen on either side of the street. It was a real scary feeling, we both hurried to our car which was 20 feet away. Still there was no sign of the tall man. My wife does not believe in ghosts, but if you are the only two people on the sidewalk at night, and you have looked up and down the street seeing no one. Then out of the thin air comes this man, and he does not make a sound, not even while he walked passed us. He had dingo boots on which do make noise when you walk with them on. Then he vanishes around the corner of a building within a matter of second.

The entrance at the rear of the Trader Cafe in Lancaster, Ohio.

The front of the cafe where the silent man walked past the late night patrons and into oblivion..

I have left this one pretty much as the author sent it to me. I have not heard of this ever happening before in this area. I would love to hear from anyone else who thinks they might have seen this solitary pedestrian. I have had someone e-mail and state that the man described by Randy resembles one of the locals who lives nearby. This would not explain the man's sudden appearance, or his silent walk. The location is of course the Trader's Cafe 416 N. Columbus St. Lancaster, Ohio. Look over your shoulder often!

This post, including commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheet's site.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Bott Brother's Billiards

As told in WCMH Channel 4's "Ghosts of Columbus & Beyond".

At the turn of the century the Bott Brother's Billiards was one of the most fashionable places in town. A lively place of drink, song, and cards. Our story takes place on a cold and frigid night in February of 1909.

A blizzard had been raging for two days and the all the electricity had been knocked out. The Bott Brother's Billiards was illuminated by candle and lantern light, but otherwise it was business a usual. At the bar sat a notorious womanizer, card cheat, and knave by the name of Colonel Randolf Pritchard. The Colonel was sitting alone not by choice, but partly due to his infamous reputation. Playing himself a game of solitaire he sat there drinking, and passing the cold night away. It was shortly after 10 o'clock that the door to the saloon opened. Cold air blasted in the establishment though the open doorway. The Colonel glanced up at the entrance to the place. He saw something that made him rise up and move towards the open door.

From the entrance a woman emerged, possibly one of the many jilted lovers of the Colonel. In her upheld hand was knife. Again, and again the knife plunged into the chest of Colonel Pritchard, his arms flailing about to fend off the deadly blows. Then the knife wielding apparition dropped the blade and fled back out the door, and into the frigid night. The Colonel immediately falling down on the dirty wet floor next to the knife which had taken his life.

Several of the patrons rushed out into the street in a vain attempt to apprehend the murderess, but she had disappeared into the cold night in a coach the had passed by. The only thing to mark her passing was her dainty footprints in the snow.

Legend has it that the lady is doomed to walk the Earth forever for her heinous crime. You cannot see her, but on the night of the anniversary of the murder, if you stand outside near the clock who's hands have been frozen at 10:05 since the night of the murder, and if there is snow on the ground. You can see her footprints appear in the snow as she makes her escape for all eternity.

The saloon still stands in the same place at 162 N. High Street Columbus, Ohio. It is still open for business as far as I know. The place is known to most Columbus natives simply as "The Clock" which hands are stuck at 10:05.

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


As told by James A. Sheets

It is only fitting that as the caretaker of this site, that I include a tale of my own. This one concerns the former residence of my maternal grandmother on my mother's side. This was a run down two story affair, with dirty green shingle siding. The first floor held the living room, sitting room and kitchen. The second floor housed the three small bedrooms, and bath. This is the area of the house where my story takes place in the early 1970's.

I have never been afraid of the dark all my life. Hollywood can do it's worst in any of it's films, and I'll still get a good night's sleep. My mother worked nights, and as she was divorced, and I had to spend numerous evenings alone by myself. Never once was I ever scared to sleep because no one else was in the house with me, but the second story of the old house in German Village was a different story. It was a place to visited for short periods in the daytime, and avoided at all costs at night. The problem as you may have figured out on your own, is that the only toilet in the house was up there! To complicate matters, the light to the upstairs was one of those pull string affairs in the center of the upstairs hallway.

I was around 14 years old or so when my mother elected to stay late at her mother's. Around 9 P.M. or so I couldn't hold off my expanding bladder any longer, and had to ascend the dark twisting stairs to the second floor. After entering door to the stairwell, the stairs were to your left, and a door to the alley adjacent to the house was directly in front of you. The only light in the stairs was provided by light coming in from this door from the street light outside. After ten steps or so the stairs twisted to the left at 90 degrees, and this delivered you to the head of the upstairs hallway. Like a drowning man clutching at a floating piece of wood, I would grab for the drawstring to the light. Quickly I would finish the call of nature, and then begin the trip back down the steps. This was the part of the trip that I dreaded. I always felt like someone or something was glaring at me from the darkened end of the hallway. On this trip I decided that I was acting like four year old and vowed not to hurry my steps down the hallway. As I moved toward the light in the center of the hallway my fear increased. I felt like I had a set of eyes boring into the center of my back. I stopped and turned looked back to the door to the spare bedroom. There in the shadows was a five foot column of dark mist, or more like a area of air that was darker than area surrounding it. I bolted for the stairwell. I leapt to the landing mid-way in the stairwell, and then jumped to the base , shaking the whole house. My mother promptly launched into one her lectures on what a brainless child she had. I received the how my grandmother was poor, and how I was a thoughtless boy for leaving the light on upstairs later on as well.

I never again left the light on upstairs, but you would have sworn that a herd of buffalo was coming down those steps everytime that I had to use the bathroom at night. I also refused to ever sleep upstairs, and the couch became my sleeping area. I think my grandmother knew more than she was willing to let on, as she always leapt to my defense against my mother, and step grandfather everytime they scolded me for leaping down the steps. She would have the blankets on the couch every time I went to stay the night, and I will always remember her whispering "Sweet dreams my angel" before turning off the lights and going upstairs to bed.

My grandmother past away when I was sixteen years old, and my step grandfather moved to a different house there after. The house still stands on Fifth Street just off of Livingston Avenue in German Village in Franklin County. I will not publish the address, or photo of the house out of courtesy to the current occupants whom I do not know. The area is somewhat nicer than it was back in the 1970's, and the house now has beautiful brick siding. I do hope that what ever dwelt in the bedroom at the far end of the hallway has departed with the remodeling of the old house. That is for the current owner's sake. I still would not stay the night on the second floor of that house by myself without a good reason even to this day.

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Late Night Encounter

As told by Dorothy Amling and Chris Woodyard in Haunted Ohio II[affiliate link]

This story gave me chills when I came across it, as I myself drive frequently late at night. It seems that in 1955 Dorothy's brother was driving home one foggy evening in the fall. He arrived in a state of shock. His mother had been waiting up for him and noticed his distress, and asked him what was wrong. He then related the following tale.

It seems that he had been driving down Van Wagener Road just south of London, Ohio. Near a sharp bend in the road the young man saw the figure of a woman standing in the center of the roadway. She appeared to be in need of some help as she was waving her arms and crying. The boy slowed and came to a stop. The figure of the woman then drifted to the driver's side of the boy's vehicle. When she was a mere five feet away from the rolled down window, the boy noticed in horror that she was not walking, but appeared to be floating. She also was translucent, and he could see the terrain behind her. Then the transparent lady spoke!
"I need help, please help me." the specter cried.
"What do you need?" the terrified boy replied. (How many of you would have just driven off at this point?)
"Help me , help me, I need help." the woman kept repeating.
"What's wrong?" the boy managed to ask.
The strange figure of the ethereal lady failed to answer the boy's question. Finally overcome with fear of the ghost the boy gunned the engine and sped for home.

At first the young man's family assumed that he had been drinking, but then came to the conclusion that he was telling the truth due to his shaken state. Finally after calming him down the mother convinced him to go with her back to the spot of his encounter. Arriving at the spot in the road which was only a mile and half from their house they were greeted by only silence. The place was deathly dark. Even the ramshackle house off the side of the road was dark and quiet. Then mother and son returned home.

The story does not end here though. It seems a few days later the boy's father heard the following gossip from a local sheriff's deputy. It seems that the darkened house near the boy's encounter was not unoccupied. A man and his wife lived there. They were a quiet couple and kept pretty much to themselves. The husband had reported that his wife was missing just a couple of days after the boy's encounter with the ghost. He claimed that he went to work in the fields on the day of the ghostly encounter, and when he returned his wife was gone. For some reason the man stated although he did not know were she was at, he was not alarmed until she had been gone for a few days, reasoning that he thought she would come back. A week passed before the local authorities decided to conduct a search of the man's property. His poor wife was found dead at the bottom of the couples well dressed in her white nightgown. The local corner estimated she had been dead for 6 to 7 days. Although the husband was suspected of some foul play he was never charged.

Dorothy's brother became convinced that he had encounter the poor woman's ghost just minutes after her death. No realizing she was dead her spirit wandered to the road and headlights of his car seeking for someone to help her.

The location of this encounter is Madison County south of London, Ohio between State Routse 38 and 56. The name of Van Wagener has been shortened to just Wagener now, that is according to a map which the Madison County Sheriff has posted on their website. This is located at for those of you that are interested in finding the site.

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

The Buxton Inn

As told by Chris Woodyard, Beth Scott, and Michael Norman

No Page devoted to Ghost of Ohio could go without mentioning this wonderful quaint Inn. The Buxton Inn located in Granville, Ohio is one of the most note worthy haunted spots in central Ohio.

The Buxton Inn was built in 1812 by Orin Granger. He was originally a native of Massachusetts who came to Ohio to better his lot in life. The site originally served as a post office and stagecoach stop on the Columbus Newark line. Drivers slept and made their meals in the basement of the structure. Cooking over a fireplace, and sleeping on the floor on straw pallets. The inn is one of the oldest continuous operating inn in the state of Ohio.

Major Buxton from of whom the inn takes its name operated the inn from 1865 to 1905. His picture hangs in the lobby of the inn to this day. You see the inn seems to be mostly haunted by the spirits of former owners.

Orin Granger has been seen as a elderly gentlemen in knee breeches sometimes dressed in blue. He has also been accused of the petit crime of stealing and eating pies from the inn's pantry.

Major Buxton has been seen as a shadowy figure in various parts of the house. Some staff members have seen him sitting in a chair near the fire place in the dinning room. Guest warming their hands by the fire have seen a ghostly disembodied set of hands appear next to theirs.

The ghost of Ethel (Bonnie) Bounell also haunts the site. She operated the inn from 1934 to 1960. Her favorite color was blue, and she died in room #9. She has been seen in various parts of the inn dressed in her favorite color, and at different ages of her life. Rooms #7 and #9 seem to be the best place to encounter her though. The odor of gardenia perfume sometimes manifests itself with her appearance. During a blizzard in the year 1978 she frightened an unbelieving cook of the inn by being in the bed he was attempting to get into in room #7. In 1991 a nurse was staying in room #9 when she awakened to find a woman dressed in white sitting at the foot of her bed. The woman asked, "Are you not sleeping well?" To which the startled nurse replied, "No I'm not!" The ghostly lady then vanished. The next morning the guest identified to the staff and her friends the lady in her room when shown a picture of Ethel Bounell.

The basement where the drivers ate and slept is also an area of paranormal activity. Staff have reported feeling something in the room with them after hours. They have also heard footsteps above when the inn was empty. Knocks have been heard on the front door that when opened by the staff reveals no one there. Once the front door was heard to open of its own violation and then close. Heavy foot steps ascended the stairs, then came back down. Once again the front door opened and close by itself. A ghostly cat has been felt by guest staying in room #9 as well. This is perhaps the gray cat that graces the sign of the inn.

So if your looking for a haunted place to stay try the Buxton Inn, and don't forget to ask for rooms #7 or #9!

The Buxton Inn is easy enough to find. It is near the intersection of Route 37 and Route 661 in Granville (Licking County), Ohio. Look for an oval sign with a gray cat on it. The staff will not talk about the spirits of the inn unless asked, and then they will stick to the facts. When I called the very nice lady stated that it would cost about $80.00 to $90.00 a night for two people depending on which room I was assigned. My wife and I plan to stay there sometime soon, but not because of the hauntings. As you see the Inn itself without the ghosts is worth the visit.

For information about the Buxton Inn's rates, cusine, etc. click the
following link:

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Two More Headless Tales

These two are short ones. No date has been given for either of these stories, but they go like this.

The Legend Of Shimp's Hill

(As Reported By The Eagle Gazette 1950)

An unidentified man was traveling north on what is now State Route 158 out of Lancaster. Near the summit of Shimp's Hill he was attacked and robbed. For some reason the Robber saw fit to not only kill his victim, but to behead him. Maybe it was to keep his and the poor victim's identities unknown. Needless to say it is said on the anniversary of the date of the murder, that the headless specter of the unfortunate man can be seen staggering about the top of Shimp's hill searching for his missing head.

Shimp's Hill on Route 158 just north of Lancaster, Ohio.

The Rush Creek Terror

(As Related In A Oral History)

In the small town of Sugar Grove just behind Berne Union Local Schools the little stream called Rush Creek meanders its way through the wooded hills of Fairfield County. Over the years on rainy and fog bound nights many of the local inhabitants of Sugar Grove have reportedly seen the semi luminous figure of a woman in a light colored dress walking along the north-western bank of Rush Creek. Once some of the high school students who happened to see her decided to investigate who this strange woman was. Drawing closer to the figure they discover to their horror that the woman's head, that should have rested on her shoulders, was instead carried in the crook of her arms. The terror stricken boys hightailed it across the football field to leave the woman to finish her nocturnal walk along the stream alone.

Shimp's Hill is located about 2 1\2 miles to the north of Lancaster, and just south of Coonpath Road. Its easy to find as the over the years the road has created a deep grove in the hills that road passes through. Unfortunately I cannot find out the date of the anniversary of the murder which spawned the haunting.

The Rush Creek ghost makes her nocturnal walks just behind the Berne Union Local High School down by the creek. I must warn you that it is against the law to be on school property after normal hours without the permission of the school.

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Ghost Of Alan's Knob

As told by George H. Lamb (Eagle Gazette 1950)

Additional information from Chris Woodyard's Haunted Ohio IV [affiliate link]

Just to the west of Lancaster lies Alan's Knob, a wood covered hill that rises above the surrounding countryside. This serene area just off State Route 22 is now part of the Schallenbarger Nature Preserve. Hikers can climb the steep dirt trails up to the very top of the hill, passing through some wonderful sandstone cliffs on the way to the summit. But this quiet peaceful spot was not always viewed this way in the not so recent past.

It seems an old fellow took a liking to the area and built a crude structure on the western side of the hill near what is now Beck's Knob Road. He would then spend a great deal of his free time up on the summit viewing the surrounding countryside, and reading scriptures from his worn Bible. Later as he was getting on in years he became depressed and frustrated with life. So over a period of the next few days he dug himself a grave up on top of the summit of his beloved hill. He then sat down and composed a note, asking that who ever found his remains to please give them a proper burial in the grave he had provided. He then placed the barrel of his old flintlock to his chest and ended his days on this earth, or so it was thought.

Shortly there after the spirit of the old man began to haunt the road to the north of the hill that ran from the Crumley Community to Lancaster. It was said the figure of the sad and lonely man could always be seen slowly walking east on what is now Crumley Road toward the bridge which spans Hunters Run.

The ghosts activities were harmless until one Sunday evening when a gentleman who had finished visiting a lady friend in the Crumley community was returning home. Not knowing of the ghost that haunted the lane, he happily upon encountering the old man walking along the road, stopped and offered him a ride. The apparition jumped up into the seat beside the unsuspecting man. The horses reared and plunged down the darkened lane at breakneck speed. The man was filled with terror when the ghost reached over and gripped his arm with an icy hand. He then lashed out at his tormentor and struck the grinning specter repeatedly with his whip, but the whip just simply past through the grinning ghost that only tightened its grip. Sobbing and pleading the man implored the spirit to release him, and depart. His unwelcome passenger refused to even reply or loosen it's grip. Then just before the horses and wagon crossed the bridge over Hunters Run the ghost vanished.

It was commonly believed in those day that spirits could not cross streams or moving bodies of water. For years afterwards some of the locals could still point out the spot on the summit where the old mans remains lay, but the location has now been forgotten. On dark nights the old man is suppose to still walk Crumely Road always moving from west to east towards the bridge at Hunter's Run. It is also said that a ghostly light can be seen moving about the summit of Alan's Knob during the night. It suppose to be the restless spirit of the old hermit going about his business carrying a lantern.

Alan's Knob viewed from the east on the bridge on Crumley Road.

Alan's Knob is the hill pictured on the right.

Beck's Knob Road which leads to Alan's Knob. The hill is on the left and shrouded in fog.

The country lane that the old man haunts would be the section of Crumley Road which runs east and west between Beck's Knob Road and State Route 22 just about a mile west past the Lancaster City limits. The area is still quite lovely to look at with Alan's and Beck's Knobs straddling Crumley Road. That is it is lovely in the day time. At night its a different story as I drive this stretch of road after the sun goes down frequently going to and from Columbus, Ohio. I haven't seen the old man's ghost, although the road at night looks like one you might expect to run into a ghostly hitchhiker. The true danger at night here is woodland spirits. Of course I mean DEER!

*Chris Woodyard in Haunted Ohio IV has mistakenly placed Beck's Knob in the Scallenbarger Nature Preserve, which actually lies north of Alan's Knob at the intersection of Beck's Knob and Crumely Roads.

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Sand Hill Headless Man

A story by George H. Lamb (Eagle Gazette June 3rd, 1950)

Just about six miles west of Lancaster and a mile or so south of the old abandoned Pennsylvania Railway on Delmont Road lies Sand Hill. It was here that there use to be an old distillery operation. A local eccentric named Kiger lived there in an old log cabin on the east side of the hill, and spent a large amount of his time at the distillery. It was said that he would consume large quantities of the vile brew, and then stagger on his way home.

Well on one evening he stayed on at the place well near to midnight talking to the men who ran the operation, and helping himself freely to the home brew. Bidding his hosts farewell he then began his lonely trek home to his cabin. He was last seen making his way up the road to the top of the hill towards his home.

The next morning some local timber cutters found Kiger's headless body lying in the middle of the road. It was felt that some local feral hogs which ran wild had happened upon the poor sod after he had passed out from the vast amount of moonshine he had consumed. The hogs had then partially eaten the old fellow where he had fallen in the road. Apparently they had packed of the man's head as it appears it was never found. Kiger's headless body was wrapped in a blanket and buried near his beloved log cabin.

There after on dark nights the spirit of the poor unfortunate man would haunt and terrify all who encountered it. It took the appearance of a headless man that would sometimes hover directly over the road, or float and drift back and forth across the road. Possibly he was searching for where the hogs had left the remains of his head. For a time the road was avoided at night. A then local doctor who claimed to be a psychic tried to make contact with the unfortunate Kiger, but never succeeded.

The ghost now appears to have gone his way giving up the search for his lost head.

SandhillThe location of this site is in the middle of a group of four haunted locations. Kind of spook central of Western Fairfield County. As best as I can tell the the road in the story is Delmont Road SW just off State Route 22 west of Lancaster. The railway is not visible, but I have it on a map in my home. The hill is not labeled, but from the description in the account, its the hill that has the graveyard on top of it just north of U.S. Route 22. Schadel Hill Cemetery. (According to a German acquaintance of mine "Schadel" is german for Skull Top.)

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Ghost Car

a tale told by Anna B. Hoffman

*(Addition information by Chris Woodyard from Haunted Ohio II[affiliate link])

In the years 1926 through 1930 a strange thing happened several times. On each occasion between 10 and 11 o'clock at night we saw a car coming down the road. It turned off into the lane then crossed the bridge. A man opened the gate, drove through, closed the gate, went up to the barn, turned around and came down, got out of the car, opened the gate and walked up to the house. It had been snowing, there was at least two feet of snow on the ground. A knock came at the door. A lady opened the door and wanted to know who was there. No one was there.

We looked and saw no car or anything. So we got the lantern and went out and followed the tracks. We could see where the car had turned around and gone away. We didn't know what to make of this.

The next year the same thing happened again. It happened each year up until 1930. That year, one member of the family passed away. Before the member passed away, on the post there were three owls. The first night the one owl hooted and then he left. The second night an owl hooted and it left. The third night the last owl hooted and left. That night one member of the family passed away.

Almost a month later another member of the family became ill. Then a few days later I saw seven owls on seven different posts. The first owl hooted and they all left. It continued that way until the last owl hooted and left. That night a member of the family passed away. (The two family members she is referring to are the family's two boys.)

It all seemed to be kind of odd and we thought maybe the car wouldn't come back. But sure enough, between 10 and 11 o'clock at night the same car came back. Only this time we heard a voice and the voice said that there wouldn't be anyone to occupy this place because there would be a disaster. Sure enough, the prediction came true. There were two accidents. After that, the car never came back again. (The two accidents that she is referring to in the above narrative are, the father getting caught under the teeth of a harrow blade in a field. He bleed to death from his wounds. After the fathers burial, the mother took her remaining daughter to an adjacent farm, and then went home to commit suicide by drinking some carbolic acid!)

This all happened between the time I was six and almost ten. This happened east of Lancaster on a large farm. There used to be a bridge, a covered bridge there, but it no longer stands. And I think maybe sometime or another if you would be there at that time of night and there's a lot of snow on the ground, you might see that ghost car. The years were between 1926 and 1930.

I have left the original text from Anna Hoffman unchanged. I don't know if she is retelling a story from her childhood, or is actually the surviving daughter. According to the Eagle Gazette the farm is located on what is now the south side of Lancaster somewhere off of State Route 793. It is possible that in 1930 that this would have been the southeast side of town. My narrative comes from a manuscript that a family member owns. This is possibly a copy of an oral history project. I believe the Fairfield County Library has a copy of this in their reference room as well.

This post, including commentary and photos, originally appeared on James A. Sheets' site.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Clarksburg Ghost

In the early days of Fairfield County a family lived in the Clarksburg community whose reputation was indeed quite bad.

Stage coaches ran over the old Hamburg Road and several of these had been held up.

A stranger who was traveling through disappeared, and legend has it that he was murdered and his remains were buried near the site of the old Clarksburg school house, although the body was never found.

As a result the old original school house was said to have been haunted and neighbors frequently heard strange sounds coming from the building resembling the tramp of horses on the floor. On numerous occasions the bell would toll lightly in the middle of the night and it was no secret that strange and unaccountable happenings were taking place.

A very highly respected gentlemen with his wife and son were walking home from Lancaster one night, and a large black dog said to be as large as a full grown steer followed them for some distance as they arrived in front of the school house.

So frightened was the family that they were afraid to speak. Suddenly the large dog disappeared as quickly as he had appeared. They then began talking, each wanting to know whether or not the others had seen the strange sight. All had seen it and to their dying day their story could not be shaken.

The writer, as a young chap, knew the old man who was the boy, along with the father and mother, who had seen the strange apparition. He told me the story a number of times and seemed much offended if anyone showed signs of not believing him.

This story was obtained by a manuscript given to me by a family member, and the source of the story is unknown. Hamburg Road runs Southwest out of Lancaster for around 10 to 12 miles until it intersects with State Route 159. I cannot find any reference to Clarksburg along its length. As a matter of fact the only Clarksburg I can find in the entire state is in Ross County just to the Southwest of Circleville. It's possible that the name of "Clarksburg" is a mistake, or that the story was transplanted from Ross to Fairfield County. Its still a great story, but if anyone can help with the actual location please e-mail me at [Editor's note: That email is long defunct. Email me at instead of the original author.]

Several people have been kind enough to write and claim that they have elders that remember that there was a road or small group of homes somewhere off of Boving Road which intersects Hamburg Road called Clarksburg or Clarksburg Lane. One writer desrcibes her Grandparents as remebering the old school house which later became a someones home being haunted. Candles or lights would be seen in the windows when no one was home.

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on on James A Sheets' site.