Hometown Hauntings

There are many haunted places around the globe, but I would like to focus on my home state of Ohio.

The first place I would like to mention is that of the Masonic Temple located in Kent. The reason I have started with this location is because even before I found out it was rumored to be haunted, I saw something strange one evening while driving through the neighborhood.

I often traveled through Kent and sometimes quickly admired the old home when I was driving past. It is a beautiful old home and definitely stands out amongst the other century homes on the block. I always found that property to be intriguing, but then again I have always had a fondness for old homes. In all its glory, it is beautiful but there was always something I found odd about it.

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I remember sitting in my car one evening as I was stopped at a traffic light on the nearby corner. Something caught my eye in the upstairs window. I saw something move and I turned my head to look but then I didn’t see anything. Was it my imagination or did I just see the rustling of the curtains? The windows were closed and it didn’t look like anyone was there. There weren’t any cars in the parking lot or any signs of activity that evening at the Masonic Temple. It must have been my imagination.

I had no idea that place was rumored to be haunted until years later. This was the story I heard…

The house was built in the late 1800’s and Marvin Kent, one of the founding fathers of the city, and his wife Kitty unfortunately died in the home while filling an oil stove or heater located on the third floor. I have heard the story a few times, some call this woman Kitty Kent, and others have told the story and said her name was Bessie Kent. I am not certain, but I do wonder sometimes if that was her looking out of the window as I was driving by.

Another tale I have heard is that of the woods at the park named Towners Woods is haunted. A friend and I once tried to traverse the forest to see if we could get any evidence of this, but I have to tell you, we were so paranoid we didn’t get too far. Upon entering the woods, even during the daylight when the sun is shining and not a cloud is in the sky – this place is creepy.

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Upon entering the parking lot there is an old building that was once used for the nearby railroad and it is rather depressing looking. The sheer amount of trees makes it dark no matter the time of day.

We had been told the woods were haunted by a Native American princess. It sounds rather far fetched, but in all reality this park is home to a Native American burial ground that is over 2000 years old. One would never know by looking at it, all that is to be seen is a hill. Before this was a park, it was being excavated in the 1930’s and the remains of these early Ohio residents and their artifacts were found. Who is to know how many remain there? We heard that this princess has a guardian spirit watching over her grave and bad things would happen to anyone who disturbs her rest.

Another story we heard about the woods was that of a pioneer woman who had been killed by her neighbors. They say her spirit still wanders around the park.

I couldn’t tell you for sure, all I remember is not feeling so well when we got there and we were too chicken to go into the woods any further. It just didn’t feel right. Perhaps it is haunted, or perhaps it’s an urban legend. I won’t be the one to tell you. I’m not going back there!

Another place said to be haunted is the Akron Civic Theater located in Akron, Ohio. This beautiful place was built in 1929 long the Ohio & Erie Canal. The theater recently underwent some marvelous renovations making it even more beautiful. However, underneath the gorgeous facelift lies a creepy past.

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The Civic is said to house a ghost of a janitor named Fred who used to work here. He is the protector of the theater and is said to attack anyone who tries to vandalize the premises. Stories have been told of Fred chasing the perpetrators from the property.

Another ghost is said to be there with Fred and that ghost is supposedly is that of an actor. Employees and patrons have reported to seeing this otherworldly thespian at times sitting in the balcony and some have reported seeing him backstage.

Another tale I have heard is about the spirit of a young woman who likes to frequent the old canal that runs behind the Akron Civic Theater. I was told her ghost can sometimes be seen near the tunnel of the canal. The story is that she died upon throwing herself into the canal and she will sometimes come back to the site to weep.

Probably the most notorious haunted place in Ohio is the Mansfield Reformatory located in Mansfield, Ohio. A number of people have been died here, from prisoners to employees. Another reason for the notoriety of this prison that you may or may not know about is that the major motion picture The Shawshank Redemption was filmed here in 1993.

The Mansfield Reformatory hosts many ghost walks and overnight ghost hunting events. I have wanted to go to one of these events for quite some time; however they sell out almost immediately. Apparently a lot of people have heard the stories and want to have an experience of their own. There are many stories of haunting and generally odd things happening to visitors of the Reformatory.

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Most notably people who have visited mention being touched or pushed by the ghosts that inhabit this location. Some guests have heard footsteps or running and others claim that doors will slam shut. Other guests maintain that they hear voices or crying in certain locations.

Another popular story is that of the old warden’s wife. She was supposedly accidentally killed while looking through her closet and knocking a loaded gun off of a shelf. The gun fired and the bullet hit her in the chest, killing her. Her ghost is said to still roam the warden’s quarters and you will know she is there by the scent of flowers or roses being present. On another note, stories have been told that the warden killed his wife because he didn’t want to deal with the problems of a public divorce, but I am not sure what the real story is. Oddly enough, the warden himself died of a heart attack in his office shortly after his wife’s passing.

There is no shortage of haunted Ohio stories and I look forward to sharing more with you in the future. Until then, be safe, keep an open mind and don’t forget your flashlight.

Author: Allison Leigh Copyrighted © paranormalhaze.com

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