As the leaves turn shades of crimson and gold and the chill in the air grows sharper, it’s that time of year again when we embrace the spookiness of the season.
In fact, Columbus is home to more than a few haunted locations that will send shivers down your spine. From the historic Ohio Statehouse to the ivy-covered walls of Ohio State University, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most haunted places in Columbus. So, if you’re ready to explore the supernatural side of the city, grab your flashlight and join us on this ghostly adventure!
- Address: 1 Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 43215
- Website: Ohio Statehouse
When it comes to haunted history, the Ohio Statehouse is a star player. Built on the grounds of a former Civil War hospital using prison labor, it boasts an impressive roster of resident spirits. From Civil War soldiers to weeping apparitions in grey, this place has it all. The most famous ghost? None other than the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln himself!
Kelton House Museum
- Address: 586 E Town St, Columbus, OH 43215
- Website: Kelton House Museum
Located in the Discovery District, the Kelton House Museum was once a stop on the Underground Railroad. It seems some members of the Kelton family still linger in the home. Visitors have reported apparitions, unexplained voices, and even furniture that rearranges itself, offering a glimpse into the past.
Ohio Governor’s Mansion
- Address: 358 N Parkview Ave, Bexley, OH 43209
- Website: Ohio Governor’s Mansion
The official state residence for Ohio’s governors is not without its own spectral stories. The ghost of an African American woman, believed to be a servant who met a tragic end, is said to haunt the mansion. Reports include the scent of smoke and burning hair, sightings of the woman in various rooms, and even conversations with staff members.
- Address: 546 Jack Gibbs Blvd, Columbus, OH 43215
- Website: Fort Hayes
Fort Hayes, now an alternative high school for the arts, once served as a military training post and arsenal. The spirits of former soldiers are said to linger in some of the old buildings, including the Shot Tower and the Drill Hall. Prepare for encounters with soldiers from the Civil War to World War II.
- Address: 77 Jefferson Ave, Columbus, OH 43215
- Website: Thurber House
The Thurber House, now a literary center, was once the residence of writer and cartoonist James Thurber. Thurber himself reported paranormal encounters during his stay. Footsteps, shadowy figures, and flying books are just a few of the eerie occurrences at this historic site.
Green Lawn Cemetery
- Address: 1000 Greenlawn Ave, Columbus, OH 43223
- Website: Green Lawn Cemetery
With over 150,000 burials across 360 acres, Green Lawn Cemetery is one of Ohio’s largest. The final resting place of prominent Columbus figures, it’s no surprise that paranormal activity has been reported. The Gay Mausoleum and the Hayden Mausoleum are said to be particularly haunted.
Orton Hall at OSU
- Address: 155 S Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210
- Website: Ohio State University – Orton Hall
In addition to the eerie happenings at Mirror Lake, Ohio State University’s Orton Hall has its own share of ghostly tales. The building’s namesake, Edward Orton, is often seen reading by flickering candlelight, accompanied by chilling gusts of air. Another entity, a prehistoric-looking figure, creates disturbances by slamming doors and banging on surfaces.
The Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield
- Address: 100 Reformatory Rd, Mansfield, OH 44905
- Website: Ohio State Reformatory
While not in Columbus, the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield is worth the short drive for ghost enthusiasts. The prison, famous for its role in “The Shawshank Redemption,” has a dark history that continues to haunt its corridors.
Buxton Inn, Granville
- Address: 313 E Broadway, Granville, OH 43023
- Website: Buxton Inn
Guests at the historic Buxton Inn in Granville have reported flickering lights and mysterious noises. It’s said that the ghosts of two former innkeepers still roam the halls, leaving a sense of the past lingering in the air.
- Address: 530 E. Town St, Columbus, OH 43215
The Snowden-Gray Mansion, located on East Town Street, stands as an architectural gem in the heart of Columbus. Built in 1852, this magnificent mansion exudes the grandeur of the antebellum South. Its construction reflects the Greek Revival style, which was prevalent during the mid-19th century.
The mansion has a rich history, with various owners and uses over the years. However, it’s perhaps best known for the lady in pink. This spectral apparition, often seen in the mansion, is believed to be a woman from its past. Her story remains shrouded in mystery, making her appearances all the more intriguing. The lady in pink adds a touch of elegance and eeriness to this already captivating piece of history.
Westin Great Southern Hotel
- Address: 310 S High St, Columbus, OH 43215
- Website: Westin Great Southern Hotel
The Westin Great Southern Hotel, with its elegant architecture and timeless charm, has been an integral part of Columbus’s history. The hotel first opened its doors in 1897 and quickly became a hub for local and traveling dignitaries, as well as a venue for numerous social events.
The seventh floor of the hotel has gained a reputation for being a paranormal hotspot. It’s believed that this floor was once the site of a grand ballroom where guests would dance the night away. Many of the stories surrounding the hotel’s hauntings are connected to events that took place during the grand ballroom’s heyday. Guests have reported encounters with phantom classical bands, unexplained noises, and ghostly apparitions.
Whether you’re a believer in the supernatural or a skeptic, these haunted places offer a fascinating journey into the unknown. This spooky season, why not embark on your own ghost hunt and experience the eerie side of Columbus for yourself? Just remember to bring your courage and a camera – you never know what you might capture!