Ohio’s Historic Haunts: Location #7 Revealed!

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Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 11.29.39 AM Seems like this one stumped a bunch of you. It’s the Bissman Building in Mansfield!

Of course, I might have made it a bit easier if I had included a picture of the outside of the building, but what fun would that have been?

Bissman Building exterior

For Ohio’s Historic Haunts, I was looking not only for haunted locations in Ohio, but those locations had to be historically significant. And boy, did I get that with the Bissman Building. It is truly an iconic building that was, and continues to be, an integral part of Mansfield’s history. There’s more to it, though. You see, the current owner, Ben Bissman, is a fifth generation Bissman, which means he literally grew up in the building. So he’s the one to go to if you want to get the scoop on the building’s history…or the ghost stories.

Small portion of the equipment we set up to cover the entire Bissman Building

Concerning the ghost stories, the Bissman Building has several. Perhaps the most intriguing to me is the one involving the ghost of a little girl who is said to haunt the building. While there are differing viewpoints as to who she is and why she chooses to hang around the Bissman, one thing is for sure: So many people have reported seeing her that it’s pretty hard to dispute that something odd’s going on in the building.

Some of the toys people leave for the “ghost girl” to play with at the Bissman Building

And guess what? While I was there for Ohio’s Historic Haunts, I just might have had an encounter with the ghost of a little girl! To learn more, you’ll just have to pick up a copy of Ohio’s Historic Haunts. Better yet, come to one of my presentations this fall and hear the story (and the “evidence”) for yourself!

Ohio’s Historic Haunts has finally been released, so you can snag your copy at Amazon, Kent State University Press, Barnes & Noble, or at most brick-and-mortar Ohio bookstores!

And if you want to check out all the other locations from Ohio’s Historic Haunts that I’ve revealed so far, click here!

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Ohio’s Historic Haunts: Location #5 Revealed!

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Welcome to location #5 from Ohio’s Historic Haunts: The Lima Adult Learning Center/Literacy Council Building on West Spring Street in Lima, Ohio.

This one stumped most of you, which is one of the things that attracted me to the building in the first place. You see, to be honest, the house doesn’t look like anything that spectacular from the outside. The inside, however, is an entirely different story.

Originally, the house on Spring Street served as the opulent home to two of Lima’s movers and shakers, Clair and Lulu Tolan. Clair was a successful businessman who would eventually become the owner of the Tolan Block of buildings near Spring and Main Streets in downtown Lima. Their home on Spring Street reflected that success and it was often home to elaborate parties.

Gorgeous stained glass along the main staircase

Upon Lulu’s death in the 1950s, the building began to be used as a commercial building and several different businesses would take up residence inside the home. And with each new tenant came new changes to the building’s interior. The last business to call the building home was Fred and Doty Accountants, who stayed until approximately 2005. After that, the building was boarded up and abandoned.

Several years later, the Northwest Ohio Literacy Council took control of the building and began attempting to restore the home to its original glory. After having sat abandoned for a few years, perhaps this restoration is what brought the ghosts back around: They wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

Upstairs Hallway at Literacy Council, showing position of multiple sensors we used during our night in the house

It’s hard to say with any certainly who the ghosts are at the house on Spring Street. One thing is for sure, though: They have made their presence known on multiple people on more than a few occasions. Having said that, I’m sure you’re all asking the same question: Did anything happen the night you spent inside the house for Ohio’s Historic Haunts. The short answer is “yes”, something did indeed happen. Several things, in fact. But you’ll just have to wait for the book to come out for more details from me!

Well, that’s not entirely true. I will be in Lima on Saturday, October 3rd for the Lima Lantern Tours. Rumor has it I’ll be giving away all sorts of secrets about what happened inside the house on Spring Street while I was conducting research for my book. So stay tuned!

Chimes that are said to ring on their own, even when there’s no one around them

Can’t wait to find out what happened inside the Literacy Council building? Grab yourself a copy of Ohio’s Historic Haunts right here.

Just want to catch up on all the other locations that I’ve revealed so far? click here!

Ohio’s Historic Haunts: Location #4 Revealed!

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Well, this one didn’t fool many people: It’s the Haunted Hydro in Fremont, Ohio!

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Let me just say that from the get-go, I was fascinated by the Haunted Hydro. Not only because it was unique in that it was a “haunted” haunted house, but also because of the rich history surrounding the building.

You see, the building was originally known as the Hydro Electric Power Plant. Created in 1911, the plant helped provide electricity to nearby Fremont, Ohio, with a little help from the nearby Sandusky River, of course.

That same Sandusky River would overflow its banks in March of 1913, bringing about one of the worst floods the area has ever seen. While there were no reported deaths at the plant that were a result of the flood, there are some who believe there were unreported drownings that led to the building being haunted. Some will also tell you that the hauntings predate the flood and even the building itself. In fact, there are whispers that the very ground the Haunted Hydro sits on is cursed.

Writing on basement beam showing how high the water rose during the flood of 1913

Regardless, step inside the Haunted Hydro and you might find yourselves face-to-face with the ghost of a little girl or any number of shadowy spectres, none of which are actual flesh-and-blood actors dressed up for the haunt. Although, to be fair, many guests and patrons have mistaken the ghosts for actors and actresses in costume. What’s more, one of the ghosts said to haunt the Hydro is believed to be that of a former employee.

I’m not going to tell you everything that happened when I spent the night inside the Haunted Hydro (at least not yet). What I will tell you is that it was a rather daunting task. For starters, the many twists and turns of the Hydro made it very hard to try and run all the cables for the video cameras and studio microphones.

Original placement of IR cameras inside the Haunted Hydro

Then there was the idea that even though I visited the Haunted Hydro off-season, many of the props were still on display. So let’s just say that no matter how many times I tried to make a mental note of where all the “monsters” were lurking inside the building, come the wee hours of the morning, I’d forget. The result was I would round a random corner, shine my flashlight upon a ghoul crouching in the corner, and promptly freak myself out!

Hydro Cemetery

Want to know more about what happened inside the Haunted Hydro? Grab yourself a copy of Ohio’s Historic Haunts right here.

Just want to catch up on all the other locations that I’ve revealed so far? click here!