Whenever I have a day off, my goal is to see or do something interesting and new- preferably with a bit of history of the haunted nature tacked on for good measure. I call my little excursions “Adventuring”, and I generally have at least 4 of my family of 5 with me at the time, so I have to take into consideration the cost of these places as well as nearby attractions that can be used to appeal to the less odd members of my family. Who am I kidding, though? We’re all odd here.
I have compiled a list of some of my favorite spots- along with a little bit of history and a little bit of creepy- to share with my fellow Travelbugs. But wait, there’s more! I have also included important information like cost and hours to help make your Adventures a little easier to plan. I’m just super sweet that way. Without further ado, my top 5 Thrifty haunted locations in Ohio.
5. Spring Grove Cemetery– Free
4521 Spring Grove Avenue in Cincinnati- Open from 8 am to 6 pm
This sprawling cemetery is over 700 acres of absolutely astonishing beauty. In fact, photographers frequent the cemetery because of the lovely grounds and trees on site as well as the collection of artistic headstones, monuments, and mausoleums.
There is a lot of history at Spring Grove because it was not just designed as a final resting place but was also meant to be a park for citizens of Cincinnati to linger, meet, walk, and spend some leisure time. At one point, the foot traffic was so plentiful that visitors had to have a token proving that they had family buried there, but now guests are simply able to drive in and walk about at their own pace. There are several different maps that guests can pick up in the lobby of the main building. These detail the history of the park, identification of notable people buried there, and explanations of some of the more artistic or outstanding monuments within.
This cemetery is known for several interesting and potentially paranormal hot spots:
– The first is the great Norman Chapel at the main entrance. Below the chapel was a holding cell for people who were arrested for going too fast through the cemetery. Visitors today have claimed to hear a moaning or crying sound emanating from between the window bars which are still visible.
-The Dexter Mausoleum is another potential hot spot. It is rumored that people who sit on the steps of the mausoleum will see two white dogs appear. They may run towards the mausoleum or simply stare and growl.
-And, perhaps the creepiest looking headstone is that of optometrist Charles Breuer, whose likeness is cast in bronze on the face of his headstone. The eyes of the bust are glass, but look eerily real. There was a legend that he asked for his own eyes to be placed in the bust, but the eyes in place are glass. Even so, there have been claims that the bust turns his head to watch those passing by or even speaks to people.
There have also been reports of footsteps, unexplained mists, and of course, many pictures with unidentifiable shadows, fogs, or shapes in them.
4. Promont House–
Adults $5, Children $1
Open Sunday from 1-4 unless booked for a private party.
(Call 513-248-0324 to check or to arrange a group or personal tour)
The former home of Ohio’s 43rd Governor, John M. Pattison is a Victorian mansion which is now owned and maintained in its original state with authentic victorian furniture by the Milford Historical Society. The building is used as a museum with changing exhibits, gift shop, and reference library. Suffice it to say, the building is worth a visit for the fantastic architecture alone.
The building is said to be haunted by members of the Pattison family. The most common story shared is that there is a woman who appears in the tower window, looking over guests as they arrive. Stories have been passed down from tour guides who have set objects down only to find they had been moved. Footsteps have been heard and visitors have described an overall eerie feeling of being watched. The current guides do not generally discuss the haunted aspect of the place- so maybe keep it low key when you go. 😉
3. Stonelick Covered Bridge– Free
Stonelick- Williams Corner Road- Crossing Stonelick Creek
This is a haunted road story. You know, one where you have to go at night, stop in the middle of the bridge, flash your lights, and then you’ll see a thing. The original covered bridge had been built in 1878, and crumbled over time. The bridge seems to have some amount of bad luck. In 1983, a garbage truck driving over broke through the bridge. A 1991 fire caused still more damage. In 2010, the bridge was officially down and set to be rebuilt. Even during the reconstruction the bad luck prevailed. In 2014, the upper shell of the bridge fell off the supports and into the creek below. No one was injured, and the bridge is now standing and operational.
It is said that visitors to the bridge at night will hear a woman singing or hear a baby’s cry. Another story says that if a person stops their vehicle on the bridge and flashes their lights 3 times, a ghostly figure can be seen hanging from a tree at the end of the tunnel. Their vehicle will stall and will not start again until the apparition goes away.
While these stories may be urban legend, the bridge itself is less than 20 minutes from the Promont house, so a stop during the day might be warranted just to see this piece of history. While there, there is a church nearby with a lovely little cemetery, as well as another ‘dead’ bridge still standing next to its replacement. Use care, and be respectful, as there are many homes around these locations.
2. Loveland Castle
$5 per person and kids 5 and under Free
April. 1st.thru Sept. 30, open 7 days a week. 11 am-5pm
Oct. 1st. thru March. 31st. only open sat.&sun. Open all holiday except for christmas (Weather Permitting)
The Loveland Castle, officially titled Chateau Laroche, was a labor of love for Sir Harry Andrews. There is a long history behind how Chateau Laroche came to be, but most importantly, he built it brick by brick for the group of boy scouts to which he devoted his free time. He designed and built the castle completely on his own, and even today it is maintained by the group, Knights of the Golden Trail, that Harry had established. Not only is this castle just stunning to look at, but it is also easy to get into and tour because of its friendly working hours, and tour guides don’t seem to mind answering questions about the ghosts of the castle.
I use the word “ghosts” liberally because there is only one who steadily sticks in the castle, and that is Harry himself. Harry did not die on the grounds, but he died due to complications from a fire that happened there. He is best known to respond when people talk directly to him, specifically if they tell him how much they love the castle too. He has been known to swing a light in time to music he likes being played, and there have been sightings of a shadow walking up the castle’s winding stairs towards his room. Harry seems to readily respond to typical ghost hunting devices, such as flashlights or K2 meters. He can also be seen is some photographs. Outside of the castle is another potential ghost; that of a woman killed by an explosion of the moonshine still. This happened in the home she and her husband had made in the mouth of a cave on the creek bed that runs beside the castle. It’s been said that she is seen walking along the creek when the moon is high, and she has even been seen in the garden at Chateau Laroche.
1. Dayton Air Force Museum –
Free, but some activities have a ticket cost.
Open 9-5 seven days a week
Located at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, the Air Force Museum is a great way to experience history through technology. Even those who aren’t looking for a haunting experience can enjoy walking through the displays of airplanes, uniforms, and military history. In this case, it is not the building that is haunted, but the objects inside the building- for these airplanes were often the cause of death, and occasionally the site of death.
The Prisoner of War exhibit is said to be the most often noticed, as it causes a feeling of dread and sadness in visitors, but there are specific airplanes that are said to be haunted too.
-The famous Strawberry Bitch B-24 from WWII is said to be haunted by someone unknown; possibly the gunner because the guns have been heard rattling in the belly of the plane. This ghost appears to be angry because one security guard claims to have been hit in the face by something unseen while standing near the Strawberry Bitch.
-The helicopter called Hop-Along was a Korean machine that still has the blood of the pilot on the seat. People have seen the pilot sitting in his seat, pressing buttons, perhaps trying to get home.
-Bockscar, the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, is said to be haunted by a little Asian boy who runs past it.
These are just a few of the strange things that have been reported here. One former third shift security guard has shared his story that the entire museum seems to come alive with pilots, shadows, and even airplane engines revving when the lights go out and no other living thing is there.
So, there are 5 places to get you started on your Thrifty Travels! Let us know which ones you go check out!
(Written by guest author and fellow Thrifty Travel Bug: Michelle Bellamy)