RESTLESS GHOSTS

 

This final section of "Haunted Ohio" owes another large debt of gratitude to author Chris Woodyard. One of the best parts of her books about this spooky state are the collections of small tales and stories that not much information is available about. So many of these stories are too good to not be mentioned, although like Woodyard, I would suggest that you investigate these stories further on your own. Many of the stories are probably only local legend and folklore... but a good ghost hunter knows that these types of tales can sometimes point them in the right direction.

Because many ghostly legends..... have a basis in fact.

- A headless horseman is said to haunt a place called Cherry Hill or Ghost Hill in Fayette County. He was reportedly decapitated by thieves who found that his body was missing when they pretended to "discover" his death. He has been haunting the area ever since.

- Near Yellow Springs, another headless ghost is said to haunt. This ghost is Charlie Batdorf, a Civil War soldier who has been seen walking up the path to his house.

- A ghostly soldier and his wife have been seen walking and holding hands on the Eaton-Gettysburg Road. They have also been seen seated under a large oak tree on the road. The legends say the young woman was killed and a stake driven through her body by Indians. She is said to have died near the tree.

- The old train depot in Galion has a haunted room called the "coffin room" and it is haunted by the ghost of a man in a long coat and reported "inhuman things". It has also been said that ghostly trains have been heard and have shaken the building.

- At Miamiville, the ghost of a railroad man who was killed during the Civil War has been seen standing along the railroad tracks.

- The Village House Restaurant in Ashville is reportedly haunted by the late owner of the establishment. His ghost is known for pulling pranks and getting the attention of the staff members.

- The Ridge Street Bridge in Dayton is said to be haunted by the ghost of Bessie Little. She was killed by her lover and thrown into the river. It is reported that you can still hear her falling to her death.

- A place called the Old Stone Front Home in Piqua is said to be haunted by the ghost of a weeping child. He was abducted many years ago, on the evening before his mother's funeral. Twenty years later, workmen who were cleaning out a well found the bones of the child there.

- Fort Hayes in Columbus is reportedly haunted by the ghost of a young solider. He was killed in 1865 when he was firing a cannon salute for the assassinated President Lincoln. The cannon was overheated and exploded, killing them man. His ghost is still said to walk because of his love for the fort commander's daughter, who allegedly knew the cannon would explode.

- Library Park in Miamisburg is said to be haunted the ghost of a murdered girl wearing a white dress. In 1894, the apparition was seen almost every night by thousands of people, appearing among the tombstones in Miamisburg Cemetery. She has been seen as lately as the 1980's and may still appear today.

- The Wood County Historical Society Museum is said to be a very haunted place. From around 1900 to 1937, the building served as the Wood County Poor House and was later used a nursing home. Staff member have heard slamming doors, have felt as if they were watched and one reportedly saw and old lady shuffling down a hallway and then vanish. One part of the building was used as the Lunatic House and staff members have reported the sounds of people scratching on doors. One people saw the face of a crying, retarded boy looking out of a window.

- The Cornell place Apartments in Cincinnati are said to be haunted by several ghosts. It was a mansion at the beginning of the century and was the scene of a suicide and a murder. It gained it's ghostly reputation in the years that followed and was sold to the Ealy School for Girls in 1900 and became an apartment house after World War II. The house is the scene of unexplained footsteps and strange voices.

- The United States Air Force Museum in Dayton is reportedly haunted by ghosts who are attracted to the old Air Force relics that are on display here. Guards have reported moving objects, unexplainable voices and eerie sounds.

- The "Our House" Tavern, now a museum, in Gallipolis is said to be haunted. The structure was built in 1819 and volunteers and visitors here have reported disembodied footsteps in the front hall and the sound of a woman singing in the empty ballroom on the second floor.

- The Hinckley Library in Hinckley was built in 1845 and belonged to Vernon Stouffer of the Stouffer food company. It became a public library in 1973 and stories of the place being haunted became well-known. The ghosts of a man and woman were seen on the stairs, a workman encountered a figure in the basement and others have felt and seen strange things like objects moving about on their own and various apparitions. The ghosts are believed to be those of Dr. Nelson Wilcox and his sister Rebecca, who lived in a cabin at the site before the house was built.

- The McConnelsville Opera House is one of the state's most haunted theaters. The building was used a stop on the Underground Railroad, prior to the Civil War, and renovations in the early 1960's stirred us some ghostly activity. Workers reported the sound of a woman singing and piano playing. A man in a white suit appears in the auditorium, along with a white apparition who was once seen by more than forty witnesses.

- The camping area of the John Bryan State Park is said to be haunted at dusk by a man who walks out of the west gate and then disappears before reaching Meredith Road. He is dressed like a farmer and is believed to be the ghost of the man who donated the land to Greene County for the park.

- A ghost light is said to appear at Weidler's Passing track M.P. 1054 near Arcadia. Trains have been said to be stopped by a lantern swinging back and forth over the tracks. When the train was stopped for the brakeman to investigate, the light would disappear into the woods. At other times, the light is reported to stay just ahead of the train and they when it reaches Weidler's, the light shoots off into the sky. The light is believed to be the ghost of a railroad worker (not surprisingly) who was killed in an accident years ago.

These stories are just a sampling of tales from Chris Woodyard's "Haunted Ohio" series and other sources that simply weren't long enough for an entire section to be devoted to them. There are literally dozens (or even hundreds) of other ghostly tales from Ohio. I urge you to discover them for yourself.......

Copyright 1998 by Troy Taylor

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