Ohio is considered by many to be one of the most haunted states in America. It seems every place, from big city to small town, has more than a few stories to tell. As the former “gateway to the West” and the first northern state on the Underground Railroad, Ohio has many historic places that are home to more than a few ghosts.
If you are interested in exploring, or evening staying overnight at, some of the haunted places around Ohio, then perhaps you’d like to start at one of the many haunted hotels and inns that are scattered throughout the state.
1. Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza - Cincinnati
The Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza | Airbnb/Hilton
This historic hotel is a fantastic representation of the art deco era that took over the city in the 1930s. Opened in 1931, it is home to one very famous ghost that employees refer to as “The Lady in Green.” She’s seen wandering the halls and the mezzanine area. It seems that the Lady in Green is looking for her husband who was a painter that died during the construction of the hotel. He was killed in an accident when he fell to his death in the Palm Court.
The Palm Court | Flickr/Jim Pater
Reports say that The Lady in Green has been seen speaking to guests in an attempt to find him, only to disappear moments later.
During a renovation in 1983, many of the construction workers claimed to have seen her.
If you visit, pay close attention when using the elevators. A hotel guest once shot out of the elevator, visibly shaken. He said he was alone in the elevator when he felt a cold breeze upon his neck. The man turned around and was shocked to find a woman in a green ballroom dress.
In a separate encounter, a server was making a room service run. When he entered the elevator, there was an African-American woman in a green formal dress standing there. As the elevator rose, they talked about how beautiful the Hall of Mirrors looked. The server looked away for only a moment, but when he looked back, she was gone.
2. The Golden Lamb - Lebanon
The historic Golden Lamb in Lebanon | Facebook/The Golden Lamb
Located among the tranquil backdrop of downtown Lebanon is a place known as much for its history as for its ghosts. Opened in 1803, The Golden Lamb is the oldest continually operating business in Ohio. Over the years it has played host to 12 presidents, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and others.
Some believe the ghost of Clement Vallandigham haunts the inn. In 1871, he fatally shot himself in a freak accident. Today the room where he shot himself bears his name. Many sightings of a ghostly apparition resembling him have been reported over the years.
Others believe that the spirit of Ohio Supreme Court Justice Charles R. Sherman roams the halls. Charles died suddenly at the inn, leaving his wife and 11 children penniless.
Several museum rooms are frozen in time | The Golden Lamb
Not to be outdone, the Golden Lamb even has reports of ghostly encounters with a young girl. In 1825, Secretary of State Henry Clay was traveling back to Washington. His daughter Eliza fell ill and forced the family to stop at the inn. Eliza succumbed to the illness while at the Golden Lamb and was buried in a local cemetery, far away from her Kentucky home.
3. The Hammel House Inn - Waynesville
This historic landmark in Waynesville was built on the site of a former log tavern originally known as the Jennings House. Parts of the building are older than the state of Ohio.
The Hammel House Inn has more than its share of ghosts, but two of them stand out the most to guests and employees. The first is a ghostly cat. Yes, a ghost cat. There’s not a single cat living on the property, so what the guests occasionally see roaming the halls is presumably the apparition of a friendly kitty that doesn’t want to leave.
Countless ghost stories continue | Facebook/Waynesville Area Chamber
Another notorious specter is that of a shadow person that has been witnessed on numerous occasions. Some believe he is the ghost of a merchant that stayed in room 4 and never made it out alive. The shadow person has startled more than a few people. Guests have even reported the shadow getting into bed with them!
In another incident, a guest was once awoken by the sounds of a large party. He sprang from bed and went out into the hallway. He stood there but was met only with silence. He even went downstairs, but not a soul was found. The very next morning, the same guest witnessed a dark shadow pass through the wall of room 2 and into room 3.
4. Punderson Manor - Newbury
The manor is as haunted as it is beautiful | Management/TripAdvisor
This 29-room, 14-bath English Tudor mansion sits majestically among beautiful scenery. The building gets its name from Lemuel Punderson, who settled the land with his wife Sybal in 1802.
It is now part of the Punderson State Park in Newbury. Lemuel and his wife Sybal are buried on a hill near Punderson Lake. The park boasts 741 sprawling acres of land.
The beautiful manor has had several odd occurrences, and for the most part, the owners can’t figure out where these ghosts are coming from! Guests and staff have sighted a teenage girl walking into the nearby lake and disappearing. One late night, three employees were shocked to see what they described as a man dressed in "lumberjack" clothing that was hanging by the neck from the rafters!
These apparitions are a mystery. As far as the owners know there have not been any tragedies reported on the property. As it’s part of a larger state park, one can never be sure. There have been many reports of the sound of disembodied children’s laughter, lights flickering on and off by themselves despite no power issues, and cold spots appearing and disappearing just as fast.
Apparitions have been seen here | Web/Ohio State Parks
A frightening apparition of a woman dressed in Civil War era clothing has been observed floating up the spiral staircase. Witnesses say the ghostly vision is accompanied by a blast of frigid air.
A former employee was sleeping in a room in The Tower one night when she awoke to a "bearded man in shabby clothes" standing at the foot of the bed. Terrified, she tried to kick the man, but her foot went through him! She then watched in horror as the man disappeared through a wall.
5. The Buxton Inn - Granville
The Buxton Inn | Flickr/timberwolf1212
The Buxton Inn was constructed in 1812. It was originally known as The Tavern and also happened to be Granville’s first post office and stagecoach stop. This Inn was a known stop on the Underground Railroad, and also housed a speakeasy during the Prohibition era in the cellar.
All that history means there has to be a few ghosts hanging around! Employees consider much of the activity to be caused by former owners of the Inn who aren’t interested in leaving just yet.
The Tavern Restaurant | Yelp/Buxton Inn
The "Lady in Blue" is a rather infamous apparition that appears throughout the grounds. It is believed that it may be the ghost of Ethel “Bonnie” Bounell, who was a former innkeeper. She died in room 9 and many guests have reported seeing a woman in blue, Ethel’s favorite color, showing up in their room.
Like the Hammel House, The Buxton Inn has its own ghost cat. Guests in room 7 have reported waking up to the feeling of a weight on their legs and the sounds of a cat purring. When they look closer, however, nothing is there.
The Inn also has many reports of heavy doors slamming on their own, disembodied footsteps, and people hearing their names being called out when no one is around.
6. The Lafayette Hotel - Marietta
The Lafeyette Hotel | YouTube/USA Hotels Directory
Opened in 1918, the Lafayette Hotel is the third hotel to occupy the site. According to employees, it is haunted by at least one former owner.
Patrons have reported moving objects, footsteps in empty halls, and the feeling of being watched. One stunned guest was roused from their slumber by the feeling of someone jumping on their bed.
Waitresses tell stories of coming in to work and seeing a wispy figure leaving the front section of the restaurant. From time to time, the swinging doors to the kitchen will open when nobody is near them.
Strange things have occurred in the restaurant | TripAdvisor
If you're brave, we recommended that you ask for a room on the 3rd floor. Every death since 1918 has occurred there. It’s where people experience the most paranormal activity, and many staff members refuse to visit that floor unless absolutely necessary.
7. Landoll's Mohican Castle - Loudonville
The beautiful secluded castle | Facebook/Landoll's Mohican Castle
Lastly, we have Landoll’s Mohican Castle in Loudonville. Opened in 2002, this castle is relatively new. The owner states that he receives reports of paranormal activity weekly.
You will find typical claims of disembodied voices and footsteps, but some encounters are much more alarming.
There are accounts of an elderly woman with shoulder-length, wavy white hair who has shown herself to several employees. The executive chef literally ran into her once. He stated that her apparition ran through his body. The woman with white hair has also been spotted staring at people through windows. Many of the employees at the castle say she tends to scream at them before disappearing.
The Haunted #13 Macbeth Cottage | Landoll's Mohican Castle
The Macbeth Cottage has had reports of everything from footsteps to unexplained voices. The nineteenth-century stone cottage is thought to be haunted by a former owner, and has made more than one skeptic a believer.
Our owner Dan Smith stayed in the cottage with his wife, and they experienced a few strange things. During their stay, a drawer kept opening on its own, and the television even turned on by itself!
The cemetery may contribute to the ghostly tales | cityskippergal
There’s also Samantha, a 6-year-old girl who is buried with her mom, Sara, in the cemetery on the property. She has been seen by employees and guests alike and is quite pleasant, in contrast to the woman with white hair.
A guest reported seeing a young girl walking through the snow one December night. Upon further investigation, no footprints were found in the snow outside. Another apparition that guests frequently run into is a young soldier who tends to show up in rooms or wander past windows at night.
Landoll’s hosts ghost tours on certain weekends and was recently featured on an episode of Ghost Hunters on A&E.
Have you visited any of these locations? We would love to hear your stories in the comments section below.