Gerber House, another part of the arts center, is located very nearby. It was built in 1872 and is haunted by a ghostly bride who appears in the main parlor, and the ghosts of children who run out of the closets in the back room. A malevolent nun haunts the back rows of the theater, sending "sparks and images" at those she doesn't like. Employees sometimes see strange blurry things, "molecular windstorms."
Chris Woodyard talks about a visit to this building in Haunted Ohio III, and she claims it was one of the most frightening places she's been.
After hearing so much about the place, I was pretty anxious to go. So on June 29, 2000 I visited the Collingwood Arts Center with Hoss. We parked in the side lot and walked around, assuming it was a museum of some sort and that people wouldn't mind if we just walked in. There's a regular house out front which serves as sort of a facade in front of the gigantic, gothic Arts Center, which definitely looks haunted, if nothing else.
Unfortunately, all the doors were locked, and looking inside we saw nothing but empty rooms. We walked around the side and examined the place. Some windows were open; some were broken out. There were no lights on, and no cars in the parking lot. It looked abandoned.
We slipped around to the back through a hole in the gate and happened to see, up in one of the second floor rooms, the silhouette of a man and a boy facing each other. The didn't move. Eventually we realized that this was a statue of Jesus and a little boy, left in the window--maybe to scare people away.
A boy and girl of about eight and five came over to play in the playground behind the Arts Center, and we asked them if they knew if the Arts Center was abandoned or haunted. The boy told us that he hears piano music there sometimes. He also suggested that ghost Pokemon might inhabit the building, and that we should be careful.
We were going back to the truck and had just about made up our minds to return that night and sneak in when a car pulled up and two bearded guys used keys to open a side door and went inside. A couple of minutes later one opened a window and we could hear them talking.
So that's my experience at the Collingwood. We didn't make it inside this time, but I may be able to get into the basement through an invitation sometime. Hopefully I'll have a further update soon.