Popular Hauntings in Ohio

Popular Hauntings in Ohio

No matter where you travel in the world, you're sure to stumble across a good ghost story or two. Ohio has its fair share of ghostly sightings and hauntings, which makes it a favorite place for paranormal enthusiasts.

Pick any area of the state, and you'll find a haunted location. Here are some of the more well-known ones. 

Ohio State Reformatory 
This is probably one of the most famous haunted location in the state. It was here that Hollywood filmed scenes for movies such as Air Force One and The Shawshank Redemption.

Located in Mansfield, the land was first home to a Civil War camp before the prison opened its doors in 1896. Until the 1990s, it served as a lockup for inmates who were too old to be housed at the industrial school for boys in Lancaster but weren't dangerous enough to land in the state penitentiary.

But while it may not have housed many infamous criminals, the building has experienced violence in its history. There was a riot in the 1930s, and some officers were killed by prisoners while on duty.

But solitary confinement - often called "The Hole" - is the most notorious area of the prison. Inmates attempted to hang themselves in their cells (and sometimes succeeded), and one even lit himself on fire.

There's a cemetery on-site with more than two hundred graves marked only with prisoner numbers, leading some to believe that these are the souls haunting the prison.

The Hole is said to be the most active location, but visitors also hear muffled voices and footsteps throughout the building when no one else is around. Women are frequently targeted by these spirits, and shadows have been seen running from place to place. 

Bloody Bridge 
Crossing the Miami Erie Canal outside of Spencerville along Route 66 is a bridge said to be the site of a shocking murder in 1854. A plaque sitting near the bridge tells the story of what happened.

Supposedly, two men, Jack Billings and Bill Jones, were vying for the attention of the same woman, Minnie Warren. When Minnie chose Jack, Bill came to hate them both. As the couple headed home from a party, Bill surprised them on the bridge - and he was carrying an axe.

After he decapitated Jack, Minnie tried to run but fell into the water and drowned. Bill vanished, and his presumed skeleton was located years later.

After the murder, stories began to surface of ghostly images being seen on and near the bridge. One is that of a headless man, while another says that if you look into the water, Minnie Warren will be looking back at you.

The bridge was eventually dubbed Bloody Bridge and is still called that, even though a new bridge has replaced the original one. 

Wickerham Inn
Opened in the 1790s, Wickerham Inn was a favorite stop for coaches traveling along the nearby road. The stories as to what exactly happened here vary.

One claims a stagecoach driver bragged about carrying a lot of money. Another says the man was a victim of circumstance. Whatever the case, the end result was a bloody murder.

When the driver failed to check out, an employee went to check up on him - only to find the room covered with blood. On the floor within the blood was the outline of a body without a head.

But the body itself and the head were missing. It didn't matter how many times the room was cleaned - the outline would not fade. Visitors to the inn began to report seeing a headless man watching from the upstairs windows.

When renovations were done in the 1920s, workers pulled up the stone flooring and found human remains. The only thing missing was the skull. 

Lincoln Funeral Train
In one of the most well-known residual hauntings, it's said that every April 29th, the funeral car that carried Abraham Lincoln's body back to Springfield passes through Urbana.

The claim is that the ghost train is following the same route it took in 1865. Every year on this night, dozens of locals line up along the tracks, hoping to catch sight of the funeral train. 

Drury Mansion 
Built in 1912, Drury Mansion is one of those locations that just looks like it would be haunted. Francis Drury spared no expense to build the place, but the paranormal reports didn't start until after the Drury family no longer occupied the house.

Visitors to the property claim to feel like they're being watched and that they hear footsteps when the building is empty. Windows and doors close on their own and blinds move up and down without any visible help.

The first ghost was seen in 1978 by the main staircase - a woman with her hair pulled into a bun. She has been sighted in other rooms of the house since then. So far no one can identify who she is or why she is there.


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