Outlook Weekly article
From the Outlook Weekly, October 26, 2006


October 26, 2006
By Rob Maxon

In almost every city in Ohio, you can ask anyone if they know of a place that might be haunted. More than likely you will get a location along with a personal account to offer as an eyewitness of the haunting itself. They tell their tale of the abandoned church where devil worshippers would raise spirits. Perhaps about a mansion where the ghosts reenact a doctor who killed his family with an axe. From rural to urban areas, you more than likely can find some kind of ghost story.

Looking online you find just as many sites on the paranormal around Ohio. Prisons, mansions, inns, and cemeteries are most of what you will find. In Xenia, there is an old children's home reputed to have hauntings of kids and soldiers from when it was a Civil War military camp.

Around this time of year we like to hear about ghost stories, perhaps hunt them to experience them ourselves. Visiting these places gives us goose bumps, causes our imaginations to run away with us. We start to question what is around the next corner. Did we hear something that really isn't there?

The Buxton Inn in Granville is one of the oldest continuously operated inns in Ohio. It is said Major Buxton, for whom the inn is named, is a shadowy figure wandering various parts of the establishment. According to About.com, staff have found him sitting in a chair, and guests have seen disembodied hands next to theirs as they warm them by the fire. The ghost of Ethel Bounell is also believed to haunt the site, having died in room #9. She can be found in her favorite color blue and most likely to be found in rooms #7 and #9. The drivers ate and slept in the basement where other paranormal activities can be found. Often footsteds are heard in the inn above when it is empty. Knocks and the door being answered are also heard. There even seems to be a cat that caresses the legs of guests who pay a visit. Check out their website buxtoninn.com.

One place here in Columbus [which] is known for being a part of the Underground Railroad is the Kelton House. Kelton House, built 1852, also is known, so it is said, for hauntings that occur there. Story has it Oscar Dwight Kelton, 18, died while serving in the Civil War, 95th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. His father Fernando Cortez Kelton brought his sons [sic] remains to rest here at home. A junior league secretary said to have seen Oscar standing near the carriage house. According to the book Columbus Ghosts, volunteers as well as visitors have seen other apparitions around the establishment, including a man in a flannel shirt who is said to have bumped into a volunteer in an empty hall. The volunteer had barely caught a glimpse before seeing there was no longer anything there. In a room called "Sophia's Room" by volunteers, a woman watches out the window wearing a black veil. A child claims a woman wearing a blue dress appeared in one of the rooms. Hours to plan a tour are 1-4PM on Sunday. You can also make an appointment to visit during the week, Monday through Friday. Visit www.keltonhouse.com.

Now housing the Cultural Arts Center in Bicentennial Park, the Franklinton prison, built in 1834, and the women's prison, site of multiple executions, are among the most famous haunted Columbus sites. Some say you can see the ghosts of two [of] the infamous executions that took place there. James Clark, who killed a guard with an axe, and Esther Foster, who killed a fellow inmate with a fire shovel, both were sentenced to hang on February 9, 1844. The event drew [such] a drunken and uncontrollable crowd that one man was even trampled to death. According to paranormal experts, ghosts linger where they were killed in a traumatic way, so it's no wonder the ghosts of Clark and Foster still walk the premises today.

Stories and eerie tales are a part of any city's history. Robin Smith has written two books on the hauntings in Columbus, Columbus Ghosts I & II. In her books you can find the stories above and many others, including what facilities are open to the public and other resources that can make ghost hunting an essential activity when the air is cold and the moon is full.

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