The season of ghosts, ghouls, and sugary goodies is upon us. Sure, you could celebrate by grabbing a pumpkin spiced latte with your girls at the Starbucks on E. Main St while you study statistics in a toasty hoodie and yoga pants; or tailgate out at Dix Stadium before the next football game- but this holiday is about so much more! Allow me to bring you back to high school. You’ve aged out of the trick-or-treat stage, and now Halloween means something entirely different; it’s time to explore what’s under your bed, not just hide from it. Witches and demons beware, Kent State students are venturing out to Northeast Ohio’s most famous haunts to see what the screams are all about! Keep reading for 9 of the most haunted places in Northeast Ohio!
Want to see the most haunted places in Northeast Ohio? Make a road trip out of it!
Haunted hideaways may be easier to find than you first thought. It’s your choice. Either choose to take a road trip, or stay on campus. Your Halloween fright night awaits. Come party with the undead.
If you’re looking for a real road trip, especially if you are a college student currently attending Kent State University, there are several locations that aren’t that far away…
1. Crybaby Bridge in Alliance, Ohio
There are actually 24 reported “crybaby bridges” in Ohio, but this one, located 40 minutes from the university on Webb Avenue crossing the Mahoning River, is a little closer to home.
The history behind the bridge’s haunting is up for debate. Was it a “dumping ground” for unwanted infants during the Baby Boom of the 1940’s-60’s? Or could it be where the local members of the Ku Klux Klan kidnapped small children and sacrificed them in secret rituals? Some stories are more outlandish than others.
What makes the place feel haunted? Legend goes, if you park your car on the bridge, it won’t be long until you hear a baby crying or perhaps a mother screaming for her lost child.
2. The Canton Palace Theater
The site has been routinely investigated by local paranormal experts. A 45 minute drive to 605 Market Ave N., almost the center of town, the theater has death in its past. In the 1930’s, organist Banks Kennedy was fatally shot in the basement of the theater under orders from a local mobster. In addition to this death, the mysterious figure of a young girl has been spotted lurking around the balcony. Local ghost hunters host tours of the haunted Palace in late September and early October with a minor admission price.
3. Molly Stark Park
What looks like the epitome of a haunted location, this abandoned and dilapidated psychiatric hospital is a 40 minute drive from Kent to Louisville. The building (or “sanatorium”) was established as a tuberculosis hospital in 1929.
As time passed on, patients were admitted for other ailments including mental illnesses and drug and alcohol abuse. A vast network of tunnels crawl beneath the hospital. But what is crawling through them? Sadly, you probably won’t find that out. At least, not under legal circumstances.
The building is heavily guarded, completely blocked off to the public due to dangerous health hazards. From the people who have investigated the grounds, there have been reports of former patients in their ethereal forms standing inside the windows, orbs of lights hovering in mid air, and the echoes of voices bouncing off hallway walls. At most, you might be able to snap a few shots of the balconies, outside grounds, and windows. But just being in the presence of this massive institution is haunting enough.
4. Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
Who knew such a serene place, surrounded by luscious gardens and overpowering greenery, THE place for holiday celebrations and extravagant weddings, could have such a ghostly past?
A 30 minute drive via Kent Road, the massive Akron estate is a sight of true high-class society with an elegantly decorated manor house, lodge, conservatory, and much more, both within and lying outside its spooky walls. Built in the early 1910s for an F.A. Seiberling, the co founder of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, and his family, the estate is now an accredited museum.
But the museum is not your typical Halloween haunt. The spirits, Stan Hywet staff says, are not looking to harm or scare their guests, but appear to be just checking up on the manor and making sure the estate is being well taken care of. The most common sighting of paranormal activity is the lady in grey who resides in the master bedroom. Perhaps this is the location for the more soft at heart.
Maybe you’re looking for something a little closer. Have no fear, Kent City awaits!
5. The Masonic Temple
Marvin Kent built the lodge in 1880 when he bought the land that became the city of Kent. The Victorian-style abode housed Kent and his family for many years. Sadly, it is also where his wife, Kittie Kent, perished, having suffered fatal burns when a kerosene heater exploded.
Visitors to the lodge report seeing the apparition of a woman, quite possibly Kittie, in proper era attire roaming the building. Members of the Mason Society, who use the club once a month to conduct their meetings, have also claimed to see mysterious phenomenons including figure sightings and hearing strange noises. Ghost walks and tours are offered during the fall.
6. University Plaza Theater
A local place that has been in business for years, the older part of the Plaza Theater located on Cherry Street is said to be haunted by a presence who lingers around the east-side theaters.
The eternal cinema aficionado gets a little antsy around horror movies especially, knocking over film reels and wreaking havoc in the projection room. Some theater goers have even experienced popcorn and coins being thrown at them from behind – when no one was there. Catch a thriller one of these cool, September nights, and see if the chills that run up your spine are really coming from beyond the grave.
Or you can avoid the road trip altogether and investigate the haunts on Kent State’s campus!
7. Clark and Allyn Hall
These two attached residence halls are said to be haunted by the same spirit. A young girl who goes by the name “Sarah” haunts these dorms, tugging on bed sheets and asking people to play with her. Don’t be surprised if you hear a sweet, little whisper in your ear wishing you a good night.
8. Koonce Hall
One of the dorms that branches off Tri-Towers, Koonce Hall is named after Judy Koonce, a previous student who is said to have passed away while saving a child during a flood years ago. She supposedly haunts the building, lurking the halls and playing with the elevators, only opening them to people who treat her spirit with respect.
9. Van Campen Hall
If you’re going to visit Van Campen Hall, try to meet someone who will take you to the third floor where all the magic happens. Stories of apparitions passing by and seeing figures in the bathroom mirrors are a few from former residents. The sound like marbles being rolled across a hardwood floor can be heard from overhead as well as the always unnerving sound of a disembodied giggle.
What are some other haunted places in Northeast Ohio that our writers should know about? Comment below and share this article with friends!
Featured image source: pinterest.com/pin/252342385346972728, mapio.net
Kathryn Monsewicz is a journalism major at Kent State University. Her goal is to give readers stories they can see, feel, listen to and love. Her focus is in magazine journalism with the ultimate dream of becoming a traveling journalist.