This old Greek Revival house, built in 1852 and situated on a shady block at 586 East Town Street, was once a stop on the Underground Railroad. Today it's home to the headquarters of the Junior League of Columbus.

The ghosts here are largely those of the Keltons, who built the house and occupied it until the last of them, Grace Bird Kelton, died in the mid-70s. During renovation in 1976 the workers were plagued by problems, including the moving of furniture back into its original positions and the hiding of their tools. Later, both Oscar Kelton (dressed in his Union soldier's uniform) and Sophia Stone Kelton (in period dress) have been spotted inside or on the grounds. A secretary with the Junior League saw a man in a Union-blue infantry uniform standing close to the carriage house out back--probably Oscar, who died fighting the Confederates at the age of 18 and was brought back to Columbus to be buried. "Sophia's Room," one of the bedrooms with the most spirit activity, is where Sophia Stone Kelton appears, sometimes dressed in blue, usually with a veil over her face as she gazes out the window. Grace, the longest-lived member of the family, may also haunt the house.

Oscar's father, Fernando Cortez Kelton, who had his son's body returned from the battlefield, might also linger on East Town Street; a man in a flannel shirt once bumped into a volunteer and then disappeared, leaving an empty hall. The vague description of this man in flannel seems to fit with that of the elder Kelton.

Nowadays 586 East Town is rented out for weddings and parties and also gives tours. If you book your wedding here you might have an uninvited guest in Victorian dress; according to reports, it's a fairly common occurrence.

You can visit the grave of the real family behind the Kelton House legends at Greenlawn Cemetery. As you can see, the Keltons have their own plot along the main path. Grace Bird Kelton died on Christmas Day, 1975.

The Kelton House - Official Site
The Kelton House - Junior League
"Spirited Stories" - Columbus Alive article
"Haunted Columbus" - Columbus Outlook Weekly article



Maxon, Rob. "Haunted Columbus." Columbus Outlook Weekly Oct. 26, 2006. pp.22.

Ross, John. "Spirited Stories." Columbus Alive Oct. 26, 2006. pp. 22.

Rubio, Josie. "Ghost Stories." Columbus Monthly Oct. 2003: 32-39.

Smith, Robin. Columbus Ghosts. Worthington, OH: Emuses, Inc., 2002. pp. 11-18.