Monthly Archives: April 2015

Haunted Ohio Hotels – Part II

Haunted Ohio Hotels – Part II

Ghosthunting-OH2If you are thinking of taking a tour of haunted Ohio hotels you will  not be disappointed.  Ohio has plenty of ghostly dwellings to pick from. Here’s is Part II of some of the spookiest from Ghosthunting Ohio – On the Road Again a book by John B. Kachuba:

The Old Stone House Bed & Breakfast -Marblehead
This bed-and-breakfast is supposedly haunted by the ghost of a little girl who fell out of a window and flew three floors to her death. Guests claim to hear flushing toilets on the third floor, and some have reported photographing orbs in haunted Room 11

Rider’s Inn – Painesville
The Rider’s Inn was built in 1812 and has seen its share of travelers pass through. Suzanne Rider was the original landlady of the establishment, and apparently she has found it difficult to leave. At least one modern guest has reported a silent lady who looks like Suzanne admitting the guests to the inn late at night.

Granville Inn – Granville
Right across the street from the haunted Buxton Inn—which has, among other ghosts, a ghost cat—the Granville Inn has its share of spooky visitors. Cold spots, odd tapping noises, and a piece of glass that floated from a hanging lamp to the floor are just some of the paranormal pranks reported here.

Candlewood Suites – North Olmstead
The land upon which the hotel was built was formerly woodlands. The story behind the haunting says that a woman hanged herself in the woods and that her body was later discovered by construction workers. There are reports of cold spots in the hotel, and some employees say they have been touched by the ghost.

The Inn at Cedar Falls – Logan
The Inn, located in the scenic Hocking Hills area of southeastern Ohio, has several cabins and a main house that incorporates an original 1840 log cabin. Unsettling, eerie guitar music was first heard as the cabin was undergoing renovation in 1987 to become part of the inn. Beneath the birdsong you might hear Guitar Man still playing his haunting tunes.

Westgate Hotel – Sylvania
Maids working on the fourth floor of the hotel often see the apparition of a woman in old-time clothing; they call her “Isabella.” The maids think she may be the ghost of Olive Ward, a local woman murdered by her husband in 1857. They also hear their names being called by unseen persons.

Author John Kachuba
Author John Kachuba

About the author:  John Kachuba is the award-winning author of twelve books and numerous articles, short stories and poems. Among his awards are the Thurber Treat Prize for humor writing awarded by The Thurber House and First Place in the Dogwood Fiction Contest. John teaches Creative Writing at Ohio University, Antioch University Midwest and the Gotham Writers Workshop. He is a member of the Historical Novel Society, the Horror Writers Association, and the American Library Association’s Authors for Libraries. John frequently speaks on paranormal and metaphysical topics and is a regular speaker at conferences, universities and libraries and on podcasts, radio and TV.

Want to read more about haunted hotels and ghostly places in Ohio? Get your own copies of John’s books  Ghosthunting Ohio and Ghosthunting Ohio – On The Road Again

Missed Part I of our Haunted Ohio Hotels? You can find them HERE

Feeling haunted, Hamline University?

Blog by Keen intern Sarris Balcerzak based on a story from Twin Cities Haunted Handbook by Jeff Morris, Garrett Merk and Dain Charbonneau

Well there’s a reason for that eerie feeling, and it’s not exams! Both Drew Hall and the Old Main Building have stories to tell.

Hamline University Old Main Building
Hamline University Old Main Building

True to its name, the Old Main Building at one point long ago hosted classes, the dining hall, administrative offices and most other school functions. A fire demolished the building in 1883, but it was rebuilt the following year.

Since the fire, there have been a number of strange sightings. The most entertaining of which concern goblins who cause mayhem (think Peeves from Harry Potter). These creatures push stacks of papers to the ground, spill coffee onto laptops and engage in other mischievous behavior.

Less troublesome, but perhaps more creepy is the portrait of university president George Henry Bridgman, which hangs in the auditorium. Students claim the man watches them as they walk by, sometimes leaving his portrait to stroll around the building and even occasionally plays the auditorium piano. Perhaps he even disciplines the troublesome goblins—though no account of this activity has been reported.

Hamline University Drew Hall
Hamline University Drew Hall

The spookiest sighting is that of the average student who is milling around with his feet hovering above ground and a noose around his neck. Nobody seems to know what happened to this student or why he continues to haunt Hamline. By contrast, Drew Hall’s ghostly activity has a much more logical story.

Although Hamline is the oldest university in Minnesota, Drew Hall is a newer addition built in the mid-1900s. But it wasn’t until the 60s that the elevator was installed, which led to a fatal accident.

A freshman (naturally) thought it would be funny to put his hand in the closing doors to test the sensors and show off to his friends. The elevator sprung open each time he did this, except for once. Just once is all it took to sever the hand of the freshman boy. But the hand was never found…

Today, residents of Drew Hall (particularly female residents) can feel the icy touch of the pranker’s hand on their feet at night. Some claim to see the hand crawling through the stairwells—it’s not like the hand would take the elevator! The phantom hand may be searching for its body, but to no avail.

The best chance to bear witness to supernatural activity on campus is to be a student of Hamline University, however, both buildings are open to visitors during normal school hours.

For more ghost stories, check out Twin Cities Haunted Handbook by Jeff Morris, Garrett Merk and Dain Charbonneau

Bush House Museum: Salem

A History:

Bush House Museum SalemMany historic homes-turned-museums are refurbished to at least some extent. Visitors of the Bush House Museum will find that this is not the case, they will see what the Bush family saw day-to-day in the late 1800s.

After his wife died of tuberculosis, Asahel Bush II bought his partner’s share of their business and became horribly successful. Asahel innovated the Bush House, which he and his four young children moved into after the very accomplished architect Wilbur Boothby built it.

The home is both Victorian and Italianate in style and reflects the independence and elegance of the family who lived there. The home had what was then “modern” conveniences like heating, hot and cold water, and indoor plumbing. These were quite the luxuries of the 1870s.

The children, Asahel III, Estelle, and Sally made their father proud growing up and did well in their lives after college. Sally moved back home and managed the estate, Estelle married, and Asahel III went into banking. Eugenia was the only one of the four who was ill-fated. She developed a mental condition during her school years in Massachusetts and returned home.

Fact or Fiction?

What happened to Eugenia went she returned home is unknown, but there are two versions of the story:

1. Her father kept her in the basement, for he was embarrassed by his daughter’s mental condition. Besides the freedom to go outdoors, she was well cared for down there. There are no reports of abuse or poor conditions.

2. Her father shipped her away to a mental institution in Boston—where only the wealthiest were cared for. She received the best psychiatric and medical care available. She only returned home to the Bush House after her father’s death.

Ghostly Occurrences

While the Bush House is largely an area associated with good memories, pleasant parks, varieties of rare flowers and even houses the Salem Art Fair and Festival, there have been countless reports of the extraordinary presences over the years.

“I did see a vase on a table in the living room slide about three inches across the table-top, and I heard it moving. I would have thought I was going a little crazy if my husband hadn’t seen it too!” said one woman.

Others report that a shadowy figure of a man in a suit fidgets with a pocket watch. One woman even said to have looked up what the senior Bush looked like upon seeing that presence and knew instantly—that is who she saw.

There have been reports of a young woman “crying and sobbing breathlessly.” Is this Eugenia? Perhaps, but more importantly is it the same woman who has been seen looking out a top-floor window in the evenings or floating through the rooms in a mist-like presence?

Frequently, visitors have heard whispers, cries, and even spoken conversations coming from a room around the corner. These occurrences have been reported too often to deny signs of the paranormal.

Now try your best to guess these interesting facts about the Bush House and Family!

1. There are __ bedrooms in the Bush house open to the public.

a. 1
b. 3
c. 12
d. 0
e. 7
f. 10

2. The 100-acre estate does NOT contain which of the following:

a. The barn
b. The original Bush House
c. The greenhouse
d. The garage
e. Many kaleidoscopic gardens
f. Pasturage for cattle

3. Asahel Bush II, a very successful and renowned inhabitant of the Bush House, did NOT have which occupation?

a. Attorney
b. Banker
c. Doctor
d. Democratic National Convention delegate
e. Oregon Statesman Journal owner
f. Oregon Statesman Journal publisher

4. Eugenia’s mental condition was:

a. Depression
b. Schizophrenia
c. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Excerpts from Ghosthunting: Oregon by Donna Stewart
Blog by Sarris Balcerzak

 

 

 

 

Answer Key:
 1. c 2. d 3. c 4. b

Sleepy Hollow Indiana

MoreHauntedHoosierTrailsThe Ghost of Sleepy Hollow – Clinton County, Indiana

Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a permanent part of our literary history. The town of Sleepy Hollow along with the headless horseman have become part of our national folklore.

The spirit that haunts Irving’s Sleepy Hollow is the ghost of a Hessian trooper who has been decapitated by a cannonball during a Revolutionary War scrimmage. He rides wildly through the countryside at night seeking his head, but must return to his burial site before daybreak.

Indiana has its own Sleepy Hollow located just outside of Frankfort, and it, too, has a haunting tale. You won’t encounter a headless horseman, but what they say you’ll find there is much more frightening. Clinton County’s Sleepy Hollow is located on a lonely road near a bridge spanning the South Fork of the Wildcat Creek.

The story has its origin sometime in the 1800s. A farmer’s wife had just prepared and served the evening meal. No one knows why it happened or how it happened, but the seemingly docile wife had killed her husband. Had she taken all she could from a domineering, demanding man? Or had she simply gone mad? Did she use her iron skillet to end his life?

To cover up the crime and dispose of the evidence – the body – she decided to cut him up into manageable pieces. Once this was achieved, she waited until it was dark. Then she loaded him onto the wagon and proceeded to Wildcat Creek bridge. Once there she began to toss him, piece by piece, over the bridge and into the creek.

Later, she became fearful that someone would find the pieces. Night after night she went to the bridge to make sure there was nothing to be found. Even if she wasn’t out of her mind when she killer her husband, her guilt most certainly drove her insane. In fact, even after her death, she still protects her secret.

Many have said that on this lonely road as you approach the bridge, she’ll appear as a light floating toward you in an attempt to scare you away. But if you’re really “lucky,” according to some stories you might encounter her husband rising from the creek – piece by piece.

To find Sleepy Hollow, follow these directions – if you dare. Take State Route 28 west out of Frankfort until you reach West Mulberry – Jefferson Road. Turn right and follow the road until you come to 600-West. Continue on 600-West until you see the bridge – and perhaps something else.

In More Haunted Hoosier Trails the author Wanda Lou Willis has many more chilling Hoosier tales waiting for you!

Sleepy Hollow Indiana
Wanda Lou Willis and Joy

About the author: Wanda Lou Willis is a folklore historian who specializes in Hoosier folktales and historic research. She is a feature writer for the Indianapolis Star’s “Seniority Counts” Section and regularly appears on WXIN-TV’s early-morning show.

She has taught folklore for thirteen years through the continuing-education division of Indiana University – Perdue University Indianapolis and OASIS. A popular folklore presenter at schools, universities, libraries and historical societies, Willis has received recognition from National Geographic Magazine and the Smithsonian Institution. Wanda Loui Willis lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.