1. Satan’s Hollow — Blue Ash, OH
Known as Cincinnati’s portal to hell, this site is actually located just fifteen minutes away from my hometown. I have always been way too creeped out by it to ever actually scope it out, though (also I’m pretty sure it is trespassing). The “hollow” itself is actually a series of sewers that lead to the infamous “altar room.” It is here where cultists supposedly sacrificed animals, and eventually a human, all in the name of Satan. Apparently their activities managed to open a “portal to hell,” which summoned Satan himself as well as a gatekeeper of sorts known as “The Shadow Man.” Legend states that the Shadow Man still patrols the tunnels.
People claim to hear screams echoing throughout the sewers, as well as seeing floating faces near and inside the tunnel system. The area is so notorious that David Scott of the Illinois Paranormal Research Association visited this site for his YouTube show “Believe.”
2. Mansfield (Ohio State) Reformatory — Mansfield, OH
Built in the late 1800s as a rehabilitation center for first-time criminal offenders, the “reformatory” soon developed a reputation for being a place filled with rampant abuse.
As the facility aged, more than a few people died grisly deaths within its walls. Ghost hunters claim to frequently hear footsteps around the whole building, see “shadow people” wandering about, and sense angry (maybe dangerous?) presences. Perhaps one of the most notorious locations on the site is “The Hole” a tiny holding area for inmates who were misbehaving. Countless prisoners took their own lives in these chambers. According to legend, after one prison riot, over 150 inmates were crammed into these tiny cell blocks, and at least one was murdered with his corpse unceremoniously hidden under the bed.
A former prisoner talked about his time in the prison.
Understandably, many of the spirits here are incredibly hostile. A “Munroe Falls Paranormal Society” video shows a Reformatory tour guide talking about a time where he was physically assaulted by a spirit while giving a tour.
Other haunted areas in the building include the infirmary, the chapel, the cell blocks, and the administrative areas.
“I was showing the last handful of people around on a ghost hunt and we got up into this area and I didn’t feel anything, didn’t seem like anything was going on, and I’m just standing there in the main hallway and next thing I know I am punched in the left kidney, and pushed down on the ground, it left a bruise.”
Fun fact: the Reformatory was the filming site for the popular movie “Shawshank Redemption.”
3. Majestic Theatre — Chillicothe, OH
During the Spanish flu epidemic this theatre was used as a temporary morgue for the dead bodies. Embalmers would work on the stage, dumping the blood of the victims out an adjacent alley that is still referred to as “blood alley.”
Guests claim to see a man in a top hat and dark suit float down the aisles, and multiple patrons have claimed to witness a dead body appear on stage. The ghost of a girl has also been seen putting on makeup in the dressing rooms.
The theater continues to operate to this very day!
4. Gore Orphanage — Vermilion, OH
Subject of a 2015 film, the “orphanage” is considered one of the most haunted sites in the midwest. Legend states that two parents founded the orphanage after their own children died, but it soon closed due to financial troubles. The orphanage reemerged a few years later, but a spiteful man who despised children set fire to the building and it burnt to the ground.
People say that you can hear the screams of the burning children when passing near the site, and rumors have surfaced that satanists have used the area as a place to conduct rituals. Mysterious figures and audio sounds have been reported frequently in the area.
On the other hand, there is also quite a bit of skepticism with these stories. No credible historical evidence has surfaced that suggests there was ever even an orphanage in the area, and many claim that the whole story comes from the name of a road called “Gore Orphanage.”
5. Franklin Castle — Cleveland, OH
Franklin Castle was built in the late 1800s by German immigrant Hannes Tiedemann. Within a few years of its completion, however, four of his children and mother had all died within its walls, leading many to theorize that the deaths were not of “natural causes.” When Tiedemann himself died in 1908, nobody was left alive in his family to receive his inheritance.
Visitors claim to hear babies crying through the house, and the spirit of Tiedemann’s wife is said to occupy a room that is consistently ten degrees colder than the rest of the house.
Rumors have surfaced recently that the building’s new owner is looking to restore the building and use it for a personal residence. Adventurous guy 💀.
6. Old Chestnut Grove Cemetery — Cleveland, OH
Apparently the location of a witch’s (some legends say multiple witches) execution, the condemned sorceress is said to have never left this place. Instead of giving her a proper tombstone, the townspeople merely erected a fence around the land where her body was buried. Rumors warn that terrible things will happen to people who approach to close to her “grave.”
The remains of this “fence” may have been found by DeadOhio.com.
Many people claim that there are frequent unexplainable bangs and clashes throughout the graveyard. Certainly not somewhere I would want to be alone.