Top 10 Haunted Places in Cincinnati
Top 10 Haunted Places in Cincinnati
The city of Cincinnati is known among many things as the birthplace of director Stephen Spielberg, as well as for its rich cultural scene. From zoos to botanical gardens to art museums, this city truly has it all. And it’s not just for the living. The city’s ghosts seem to be among the more cultured, and you can find them haunting the halls of art galleries, music halls, and posh hotels in downtown Cincinnati. Of course, there’s always room for the less culturally inclined ghost, and the city’s dive bars and nightclubs boast their fair share of paranormal activity as well. Think you’re ready to explore Cincinnati’s unexplained? Read on, if you dare.
10. Cincinnati Music Hall
The Cincinnati Music Hall, or simply Music Hall as it is affectionately known, is a gorgeous gothic building housing Cincinnati’s ballet, symphony, and opera, as well a few of its ghosts. Originally built in 1878, the hall was constructed over a Potter’s field, or a burial site for unidentified immigrants and the poor. Beneath the stunning gothic architecture and crystal chandeliers, hundreds of human bones lie buried. And many believe their spirits linger behind.
Staff of the Music Hall report strange, unexplained occurrences such as music playing from nowhere and ghostly figures appearing in the audience. One employee recalls taking his young son to visit after-hours. The two were standing on the stage when the boy asked his father who was in the audience. His father looked around at the empty theatre, confused. But the young boy insisted there was a man in one of the opera boxes waving to him. Terrified, the man scooped up his young son and rushed out of the theatre as fast as he could.
9. Taft Museum of Art
The Taft Museum is a local historical landmark and art gallery constructed in 1820. Anna and Charles Taft were a well-to-do couple with a penchant for the arts. The pair amassed an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures and left their home, and everything in it, to the city following their deaths in 1927.
Many patrons of the museum think the couple never left, opting instead to hang around and keep an eye on their vast collection. Visitors report feeling watched as they wander the museum, and others have spotted the couple’s ghostly figures watching them from the balcony.
But the Tafts apparently aren’t too keen on the kitschy commercialism of the museum’s gift shop, and employees report items flying off the shelves or mysteriously going missing.
8. Arnold’s Bar and Grill
There doesn’t seem to be much to do in the afterlife, since so many bars, pubs, and nightclubs tend to be haunted. Arnold’s Bar and Grill in downtown Cincinnati is no exception. Employees and patrons of Cincinnati’s oldest operating bar claim that an otherworldly presence likes to hang around.
Eyewitness accounts detail lights turning off by themselves, and doors suddenly slamming shut. One employee remembers closing one night and hearing a strange pounding noise coming from the bathroom. She put her hand up to the wall and the sound stopped. When she looked inside, no one was there.
A long-time bartender at Arnold’s has gotten pretty used to the inexplicable happening and likes to leave out a shot of bourbon to appease the spirits.
7. Eden Park Gazebo
Located in the Walnut Hills of Cincinnati, Eden Park is an oasis of green offering 186 acres of picture-perfect picnic spots. Just as long as you pack up before dark. After hours, the park is said to become a serious paranormal hotspot.
According to legend, a woman named Imogene Reums haunts the old gazebo in a secluded corner of the park. In the prohibition era, Imogene was the bride of an infamous bootlegger, who shot her to death near Eden Park.
Her spirit remains there to this day, and visitors report feeling her spectral finger tap them softly on the shoulder. When they turn around, there’s no one there. Others report spotting the figure of a weeping woman dressed in black.
6. The Golden Lamb Inn
The Golden Lamb has the distinction of being the oldest continually operating inn in the city, and 12 U.S. presidents have enjoyed stays here. The inn also happens to be one of the most haunted places in Cincinnati.
One spirit believed to enjoy a more permanent stay is that of Sarah Stubbs. Sarah lived at the inn in the late 1800s when her father was the owner, but later moved away and had a family of her own. Although she died at 79, her ghost appears as a 5-year-old girl. Paranormal experts believe that people who suffer a traumatic event in life often return as the same age as when the trauma occurred. Visitors of the Golden Lamb report seeing the spectral figure of a young girl. Scared and confused, she asks why they are in her room before vanishing.
5. Hilton Netherland Plaza
Known for its Art Deco architecture, fabulous food, and the notorious ghost of the so-called “Green Lady,” this historic downtown hotel is a must-see for any Cincinnati ghost hunter.
According to legend, the Green Lady is the wife of a construction worker who died working on the hotel in the 1930s. Devastated by the loss, she returned every day following his death wearing a green dress – his favorite color. She was so devoted to him that her spirit continued returning to the hotel even after her death, endlessly wandering the halls in search of her long-lost husband.
If you take a trip downtown to see the Hilton, be sure to venture into the Hall of Mirrors, where the Green Lady is most likely to appear. Just hope she doesn’t mistake you for her husband! The Green Lady is said to follow young men who resemble him in the mirrors.
4. Spring Grove Cemetery
As the third-largest cemetery in the United States, Spring Grove is a beautiful, sprawling love letter to its dead. The lush rural grounds are decorated with sculptures, spectral trees, and winding pathways. Chartered in 1845, the cemetery is officially recognized as a National Historic Landmark, as well as home to its fair share of spirits.
One of Spring Grove’s creepiest hallmarks is the bust of Cincinnati real estate tycoon Charles Breuer, who watches over the cemetery with eyes of glass. Visitors to the cemetery claim that the eyes of the sculpture follow them wherever they go, and others even claim the eyes are real!
Spring Grove’s second-most popular legend involves the mausoleum of the Dexter family, a private crypt with roots dating back to 1869. Legend holds that if a visitor stands at the mausoleum’s stone steps, a pair of fierce white dogs with glowing eyes appear at the entrance, snarling and growing until the intruder leaves. The loyal creatures are said to have watched over the Dexter family in life and now continue their duties in death.
3. Lick Road
The oddly named Lick Road is a winding, precarious back street said to be treacherous for more reason than one. The road is located on private property and is notoriously dangerous to pass through, especially at night. But there might be more to watch out for than just sharp turns on Lick Road. Many believe it to be haunted.
A woman named Amy was reportedly murdered in the area years ago. Locals sometimes refer to the area around Lick Road as “Amy Land,” in her honor. Those unlucky enough to pass through at night have reported hearing footsteps in the woods, and eerie, disembodied screams.
If you find yourself driving down Lick Road late at night, flash your headlights. According to legend, Amy will write “help” in the condensation on your window. Just don’t turn around, as she has been known to appear in the backseats of those who don’t believe in her.
2. Sedamsville Rectory
The Sedamsville Rectory is a historic Cincinnati building that once served as a home for the priests of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church. As the site of horrific abuse of both children and animals, it’s no wonder the place is host to some wicked demonic energy.
Reports detail strange, howling cries, and deep scratches appearing in the flesh of workers. The current owner of the building, Terrie Scott, even claimed that she was pushed by an invisible force. The presence haunting the rectory is so evil that a priest was called in to perform an exorcism. But his efforts did little to keep the demonic energy at bay, and whatever monster lurked in the rectory still remains.
1. Bobby Mackey’s
Built in 1850, Bobby Mackey’s is said to be the most haunted nightclub in America. When it was first built, the building served as a slaughterhouse and meatpacking facility. The standard for most slaughterhouses of its day, the facility featured a well to collect the runoff of animal blood, innards, and other waste. If that image wasn’t icky enough, there have also been several murders in and around the club throughout the years.
The place harbors energy so dark that a portal to hell is rumored to swirl somewhere within its basement. Hauntings include strange, suffocating heat, a trashcan flying through the air, and the apparition of a man with a handlebar mustache appearing in the mirror. Though he claims not to believe in ghosts, country singer and owner Bobby Mackey wrote a song for ‘Johanna,’ one of the spirits said to have committed suicide in the basement.
Aside from being the cornhole capital of the world, the city of Cincinnati has plenty of paranormal activity and haunted hotspots to check out. Whether you’re in the mood for dive bars or fine dining, you’re sure to experience something spooky, just as long as you know where to look.