A Spirited Tour of Lucas County Hauntings, Hysterics, and All Things Eerie!
Greetings, fearless adventurers and thrill-seekers! Are you ready to embark on a journey through the spine-tingling corners of Lucas County? Grab your torches (or, let’s be real, your smartphones) and dive into yesteryear's shadowy tales. Lucas County promises a buffet of paranormal delights, from ghostly apparitions whispering secrets of ancient scandals to mischievous poltergeists playing tricks in creaky old mansions.
Why is Lucas County such a hotbed for haunted happenings, you ask? Well, every nook and cranny of this historic county holds a story waiting to be told—and some of those tales just refuse to stay buried. Whether you're a seasoned ghost hunter or just in it for the chills and thrills, this list is your ultimate guide to the most spooktacular sites on this side of Lake Erie!
So, dust off your bravest face, invite your most daring friends, and let's embark on an otherworldly escapade through Lucas County's eeriest haunts. Who knows? You might even make a few spectral friends along the way!
Remember, we do not condone trespassing. Always seek permission before entering private property.
Gunn Road –Local legend says that a young boy was killed on this road after being hit by a truck. A chalk outline of his body can sometimes be seen on the road labeled with the name “Chalky” written in child-like handwriting. Trouble is, no one ever tells you exactly where to find the spooky artwork. Witnesses have visited the chalk outline during rainstorms and swear the chalk does not wash away. As the story goes, if you stop your car on the spot, it won't start again until you push it off. Some say "Chalky" hangs out on Coder Road not Gunn, why not visit both?
Nazareth Hall – Dedicated in 1928 by Bishop Stritch as a Catholic boarding school for boys, this massive building saw thousands of students pass through its doors until the Ursuline sisters were forced to shut it down in 1982 due to overwhelming expenses and low enrollment numbers. Today, mysterious noises are often heard, along with eerie shadows. Supposedly, a ghostly nun moans gloomily as she floats down the halls at night.
The Governor’s Inn – One of Maumee’s oldest buildings and the oldest commercial building in Lucas County. Built in 1836 by Levi Beebe, this building has had several names, including The Commercial Building, The Governor's Inn, The Inn, The Old Plantation Inn, The Eagle House, The Bismark, The Eagle, or The Schieley House, depending on the era being remembered. It has served as a stagecoach inn for travelers, a general store, a bank, a post office, a restaurant, and supposedly a bordello back in the 1930s. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. It is said to be haunted by a woman who can be seen hanging from the rafters with a noose around her neck. Also, a ghostly woman known as the Lilac Lady wanders around the second floor, spreading the smell of lilacs. Some say Levi also haunts the place and loves to drink people’s whiskey when they are not paying attention.
Fallen Timbers – Supernatural soldiers are rumored to gather here at night at the site of the 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers on or near August 20th, the anniversary of the last battle of the Northwest Indian War.
Wolcott House –Built by James and Mary Wells Wolcott, this handsome Federal/Classic Revival home overlooks the Maumee River, where Wolcott built steamships and operated a Forwarding and Commission warehouse. Originally constructed as a 2-room log house, the building evolved into a 14-room “mansion” by 1836. Today, this home is a museum that some say features ghostly hands that touch visitors and workers on the shoulder and a shadowy figure that appears and disappears throughout the home. Visitors have also reported hearing creepy noises inside the Wolcott House.
Joy Cemetery – Established in 1853, this cemetery is said to be haunted by a lake boat captain who limps around looking for his wooden leg. It seems his family removed it when they buried him, and he’s been looking for it ever since.
Carland Beach – This rocky shoreline is supposedly haunted by a young female ghost who appears almost every night at sundown. She glides across the rocky shoreline barefooted in a bright white evening dress. Legend has it that the love of her life set sail in the 1800s on a Great Lakes schooner but never returned. Now she wanders the shoreline hoping to catch a glimpse of his return.
Gibbs Bridge – Supposedly haunted by the victims of a nasty car accident, this bridge is in an out-of-the-way rural area west of Sylvania. Day and night, visitors report hearing phantom cars crashing into each other, the ghostly giggling of children, and seeing dark figures and mist appear out of nowhere.
Ravine Park Cemetery – This cemetery is haunted by a 19th-century woman dressed in a flowing white robe who is upset that her family refused to decide which of her three husbands to bury her with—instead they chose to bury her between her parents in the families plot. On each husband’s death anniversary, she wanders the graveyard searching for her lost love.
Uptown Business District – Back in 1856, Olive Ward tried to leave her second husband, Return Ward, but he killed her, dismembered her body, and burned it in a wood-fired stove in their home on what is now Main Street, and where now sits several local businesses. Ward then attempted to hide his crime by scattering Olive's ashes along the central business district and throwing some of the remaining bones in a nearby creek. Today, many believe that Olive Ward still haunts the local uptown business district, including a hotel, where staff have reported guests seeing a shadowy woman standing at the end of their bed.
Wolfinger Cemetery – The graves of two parents and their three children line the wooded edge of this cemetery in Secor Metropark. According to the gravestones, the family members all died within days of each other. Some say ghostly images of children have been seen playing around this part of the graveyard.
Collingwood Arts Center – The former convent for the Ursuline Order of the Sacred Heart, and later home to Mary Manse College and St. Ursula Academy, this building has several ghosts inhabiting its rooms, stairways, attic, and auditorium. Some say it is the most haunted building in Lucas County.
In the auditorium, a nun can be seen walking down the aisle from the balcony to a specific seat in the theater. She then sits down and promptly disappears. Witnesses feel a very negative and angry vibe when she appears, and reports of orbs appearing in photographs shot in the theater are not uncommon.
A friendlier spirit is said to haunt the attic, spending her eternity happily sewing.
The west hallway in the resident section of the Arts Center is haunted by the ghost of a bride who was left at the altar and later killed herself.
People have also claimed to see a man in black in the basement, and like his fellow ghost in the auditorium, he gives off a very sinister vibe.
Commodore Perry Building – The old ballroom and restaurant located on the upper floors are said to be haunted by the ghost of a young girl dressed in a white dress. She appears on the steps of the bar area where a piano still sits from years ago. Witnesses have heard this piano play on its own.
Hillcrest Hotel – Rumors of hauntings and spooky encounters have circulated for years around the hotel-turned-apartment building in Uptown Toledo. Why? Well, maybe it has something to do with the building sitting atop a long-abandoned and mostly forgotten cemetery.
Maumee Bay Brewing Company – A grand hotel in the mid-1800s, this building was converted into restaurants and event venues in 1995. Constructed in the Greek revival style, The Oliver House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the only remaining hotel designed by Isaiah Rogers, who designed the Maxwell House in Nashville. This pre-civil war hotel houses Maumee Bay Brewing Company and Rockwell’s Steakhouse today. During the Spanish-American War, the Oliver House served as a medical center for the wounded, and as a result, this historic hotel has a haunted reputation. Numerous apparitions have appeared to guests and diners over the years. The most common is a soldier who has come to be known as “The Captain.” He is said to show up most frequently in full dress uniform. A woman also haunts the fireside room in Rockwell’s, one of the restaurants that operates within the historic Oliver House, although her origins are a mystery.
Toledo Repertoire Theatre – This former church, built in 1906 and transformed into a theater in 1934, is said to be haunted by three ghosts. A man who hangs out in the back corner of the theater’s house, a woman who frequents the prop room, and the ghost of a six-year-old girl. The woman in the prop room is often heard walking from the rooms below and has been heard asking people to “turn off the lights” in an eerie whisper. The little girl is the most mischievous of the three, known for making all kinds of noises. It’s believed she died in the early 1900s after being hit by a streetcar at Washington and 10th Streets.
Toledo Yacht Club – The Toledo Yacht Club is one of the oldest yacht clubs in the US. The club’s history dates back to the mid-1800s when rowing was much more popular, and power boats were still a dream. Sadly, a disastrous fire destroyed the frame building on the current site in 1906. The present masonry clubhouse was completed in 1908. As one of the country’s oldest yacht clubs, it is reportedly one of the most haunted. In 2016, the SyFy Channel filmed Ghosthunters – Children in the Attic on location here. They investigated the ghost of Jacob, a young boy who says he fell to his death on the clubhouse stairs. They also reported that staff and club members have seen the spirit of a grouchy commodore who comes to the bar demanding a Manhattan.
Woodlawn Cemetery – A ghostly woman wearing a white dress supposedly creeps around the cemetery at night, primarily around the gates. It is said that she is looking for her lost daughter. Many have seen her in the daytime as well and have even been asked by her if they have seen her daughter.
Columbian House Restaurant – Several ghosts are said to haunt this historic stagecoach inn built in 1828. One belongs to the old village drunk. One of the second-story rooms was used as a jail and a lock-up between times when the village drunk needed a sobering-up. They say he liked to pound on the door throughout the night, demanding a doctor. But one night, his pounding suddenly stopped, and the following day, he was found dead in the "cell." Since then, there are nights when you cannot keep the door to that room closed.
There is also a matter of ghostly footsteps through the upstairs halls, which seem to echo the fate of a traveler who suddenly disappeared after going up to his room one night. Years later, a local farmer confessed on his deathbed that he had murdered the guest and told where he had buried him. As the story goes, a skeleton was found at the exact spot where the farmer said he had disposed of his victim.
Finally, this nearly 200-year old inn is home to a ghost named Jenny who moves furniture in the upstairs attic, pinches people, and plays pranks on employees.
So, as our spine-tingling journey draws to a close, remember this: in every whisper of the wind, in every shadow cast by the moonlight, there lies a story waiting to be uncovered. And Lucas County's spirits will always be eager to share theirs, should you dare to listen.
Until our next haunted adventure, stay curious, stay brave, and never forget the magic of Lucas County's ghostly legends!