Can You Stay the Whole Night in One of These Haunted Ohio Hotels?
With Ohio’s long history and wealth of historic buildings, it’s no surprise that residents and tourists have experienced their share of ghosts here. Considered the fourth most haunted state in the country by the Travel Channel, Ohio has a long list of haunted places to visit. We pulled together a list of the coolest and creepiest haunted Ohio hotels and bed and breakfasts. Are you brave enough to visit these spooky spots?
If you're feeling particularly bold and you're not afraid of what lurks in the night, then spending a night at one of Ohio's haunted hotels is the perfect way to test your courage. To this day, many of these haunted hotels claim that visitors can still see, hear, and even feel the phantoms that plague their properties.
Punderson Manor - Newbury
This sprawling 1920s English Tudor style mansion was originally built as a private home, and now lives on as Punderson Manor hotel. The mansion has belonged to the state of Ohio since the 1950s, and it opened as a lodge in 1966. After closing for renovations in 1979, the manor reopened and has welcomed guests since 1983. In addition to ghost hunting, there are a bevvy of activities to enjoy including golf, tennis, basketball, swimming, boating, and fishing. During the winter, you can go sledding, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing in nearby Alpine Valley.
There have been at least a dozen different sightings over the years, but the apparitions have not been identified. The creepiest sighting was witnessed by a group of people who saw a man in “lumberjack” clothing hanging by his neck from a rope in the dining room. The ghastly vision lingered for three hours before disappearing without a trace.
Guests have frequently reported phenomena in the tower suites, in particular the Windsor Suite.
The Buxton Inn - Granville
A historic hotel in Ohio, the Buxton Inn has been rumored to be haunted as far back as the early 19th century. Built by Orrin Granger in 1812 as an inn and tavern, it also served as Granville’s first post office and later, a stagecoach stop.
While you’re there, you can reserve a haunted tour, which takes you through areas normally off-limits to the public.
The first ghost spotted in the Buxton Inn was the first owner, Orrin Granger. Other ghosts include the Lady in Blue, rumored to be former innkeeper Ethel “Bonnie” Bounell, Major Buxton, for whom the inn was named, and even a phantom cat seen slinking along the halls.
Strange activity like phantom footsteps and doors opening on their own have been reported in the Inn’s basement, where stagecoach drivers would often stay during their stopovers in years past.
However, the ghostly presence isn’t limited to the basement. Rooms 7 and 9 are said to be the strongest focus of activity, with apparitions appearing, and one patron reported a ghost cat showing up to cuddle and purr in the middle of the night. Guests have experienced other strange phenomena throughout the hotel, like their names being called out and hearing footsteps when they’re all alone.
Golden Lamb Inn - Lebanon
As the oldest hotel in Ohio, The Golden Lamb Inn has seen more than its share of famous guests, including Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Daniel Webster, and 12 American presidents. Death and tragedy also frequent the hotel, with some of those individuals still haunting the halls to this day.
At least one female ghost has been seen roaming the halls. She may be Sarah Stubbs, the niece of the hotel manager in the 1800s, or possibly Eliza Clay, a girl who died of a high fever at the hotel in 1825. The female ghost presents as a young girl in a white nightgown, often stamping her feet and knocking pictures off the wall.
The ghost of Charles R. Sherman, an Ohio Supreme Justice who died at the inn in 1829, is purported to appear in the hallways as a “grey, gaunt man” who conjures the smell of cigar smoke.
Though there’s no word of any sightings, Clement Vallandigham accidentally shot and killed himself in his room at the Golden Lamb in 1871 while attempting to prove that a man whom his client was accused of shooting had actually shot himself accidentally. Maybe irony isn’t a compelling enough reason to stick around in the mortal plane.
There doesn’t appear to be any particular area to hunt for ghosts here, as activity has been spotted all over the hotel.
The Rider’s Inn - Painesville
Dating back to 1812, The Rider’s Inn holds a long and storied history. It sheltered runaway slaves as part of the Underground Railroad, then later served as a retreat for returning Civil War soldiers, and even hosted a speakeasy during the Prohibition.
Suzanne Rider, the third wife of inn owner Joe Rider, died tragically just weeks after they were married. The former hostess said to haunt the property as a kindly spirit. Guests have also seen a soldier in either Revolutionary or Civil War era clothing around the inn.
The soldier is reported to stand at the windows and wave, while Suzanne has been seen all around the Inn. In one specific incident, she supposedly answered the door and ushered guests inside, proving she’s the ghostess with the mostess.
Hotel Lafayette - Marietta
Marietta is the oldest town in Ohio and it has more than its fair share of ghost stories to tell. The Hotel Lafayette is said to be one of the most haunted hotels in Ohio and its guests have been reporting strange happenings for a long time.
Some of the most common complaints include items going missing then reappearing in odd places, suitcases being overturned, doors opening or closing by themselves, and shampoo bottles being emptied onto the floor.
Durward Hoag, former hotel manager, is believed to have hung around Hotel Lafayette after his death. He often flickers and explodes light bulbs, then manifests by flashes of bright light. Elevators sometimes open on their own, and small objects are rearranged as well. There are also frequent reports of the apparition of a maid in a black dress walking the hallways of the hotel.
Mr. Hoag is said to be most active on the third floor, where a wing is named in his honor, though he’s been sighted in other areas of the hotel as well.
Don’t Be Scared. Take Your Ohio Real Estate Courses With The CE Shop Today!
Enroll in our Pre-Licensing program now to get your career started and begin connecting people with the real estate they’re looking for, or keep going strong with one of our comprehensive, 100% online Continuing Education packages. Stay up to date with what’s going on in Ohio by joining our Midwestern Facebook Group.