Haunted Cincinnati Zoo Story
There is a haunted Cincinnati Zoo story out there and the ghost that haunts this location is that of a lion. That’s right – a ghost lion walks the paths at the zoo and will often watch passersby from the safety of the thick foliage that lines many of the paths.
Witnesses claim to have been walking alone down a remote path and heard what sounded like the footfalls of a large lion behind them. Sometimes these witnesses have become so terrified that they broke into a run, hearing the sounds of the lion’s footsteps keeping up with their every step. When they feel that the lion is about to strike, they turn to face their attacker only to see that there is nothing following them.
Other times, witnesses will see the glowing eyes of a lion looking out at them from the brush down a dark, out-of-the-way path. These witnesses slowly walk the other way, hoping the lion doesn’t follow them.
The Cincinnati Zoo was the second one built in the Western Hemisphere, after the zoo in Philadelphia, and it contains the Western Hemisphere’s oldest standing zoo building, today’s reptile house. From the time the zoo was built in 1875 until the present day, many animals lived and died there. This zoo also housed the world’s last passenger pigeon the world’s last Carolina Parakeet. After these animals died at the zoo, they were considered extinct.
Visiting and checking out the Haunted Cincinnati Zoo Story
The zoo is open to the public, of course, but it charges an admission fee, whether you’re there to see the animals or to research the ghost stories. The zoo closes at six p.m. during the spring and summer and at five p.m. during fall and winter. If you want the added spookiness of being there at night, come to the annual Festival of Lights, which is held every November and December. At this event, the zoo is open until nine p.m. and so the place is open well past dark. The zoo also holds an event on weekends in October called “Hallzooween” where the zoo is decorated for the Halloween season. This event is only open until five p.m., however, so you will have to leave the park before dark.
If you hope to find the ghost lion, linger on the more remote paths that weave through thick foliage. If you see the lion, it’s all right to get scared. After all, this is a zoo, and it is entirely possible that the lion may not disappear before it attacks.
For more spooky stories such as the haunted Cincinnati Zoo story check out Jeff & Michael Morris’ book Cincinnati Haunted Handbook.