It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Haunted Athens, Ohio (Part 4)

page: 1

log in


posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 08:44 AM
It was brought to my attention that these haunted Athens threads should be combined into one or they would be blocked. I have much more stories to post so I'm going to post them all in Part 4 as a thread and then continued on in the comments section. I have contacted two admins to get my threads combined but have not recieved a reply yet. If anyone could help me with this, please do. Thanks!

The place where a house once stood outside Athens now has the evocative name of Screaming Hollow. According to legend, the woman who lived there died when her furnace exploded as she filled it with coal. Now the clearing at the dead-end of her old driveway is plagued by the sounds of her final screams, and the woman herself sometimes appears, running around frantically while flames consume her. Screaming Hollow is said to be "on or near" Luhrig Road just outside Athens.

One of the cemeteries in Athens, Ohio is regularly surrounded by ghost stories. It is not new information that Athens has been labeled as one of the world’s most haunted places. The city is home to hundreds of ghosts and some people believe that every spot in the community must definitely have a ghost. The town of Athens seems to deserve this label, from the college campus to the old mental asylum. The story of Simms Cemetery is one of the most popular and well-known stories in the area.

Simms Cemetery lies in Athens, Ohio and a lot of people say that it is one of the most haunted cemeteries and locations in the world as well. It is one of many cemeteries in the area and it’s located off of Peach Ridge Road. According to a local legend, five cemeteries in the area can be connected with drawing lines in the form of a pentagram on a map.
A local man, John Simms, is the one that gave the cemetery its name. He was one of the town officials and had a pronounced taste for capital punishment. He was known for sentencing to death by hanging people for the most common offenses. He was also well known for the awful prejudices towards the freed slaves that were living in the area. In fact, the majority of people hanged by him were African Americans.
Locals believe that the ghost of John Simms is still wandering in the cemetery in his hooded robe, still searching for criminals. Some legends even tell that he is carrying a sickle in his hand and that he chases people who trespass away from the cemetery. Mary Roberts is another ghost figure associated with this cemetery. Allegedly, she was a witch that was buried near the plots of the Simms family and she continues to haunt his family in death to this day. This legend was demonstrated and it is not true, taking into account the fact that she was buried along with her daughter and father on a piece of land that was part of her farm, outside the cemetery.
Another popular story that surrounds Simms Cemetery involves the Hanging Tree. This is said to be the spot the infamous John Simms watched his victims being condemned to death. This tree still exists in the cemetery and there are visible spots where the ropes were once hung. It is not a pleasant thing to imagine how the poor souls took their last breath there from the tree. The tree was no longer used after 1890s. Locals claim that bodies hanging from the tree can be seen late at night.
Some people even have said that the cemetery frequently moves itself and that it changes its location in order to elude any potential visitors. There are some stories of odd lights, of shadows moving inside and even of odd voices coming from it at night.
Simms Cemetery in Athens, Ohio is on private property and, if you want to experience ghost hunt, you need to ask for the owner permission to visit it, even though it’s less likely that you’ll get his permission to enter there at night.

Formerly The Athens Lunatic Asylum

Probably Athens most notorious location. Many mental institutions in the United States are said to be haunted and thus The Ridges from Athens, Ohio, is no exception to that. If you have ever watched a horror movie, you must have observed that these types of buildings are presented as hulking structures with lots of cobwebs and ghosts that are waiting and haunting at each corner. The abandoned buildings are even worse when it comes to haunting rumors. The Ridges from Athens, Ohio is one of the abandoned places that are said to be powerfully haunted.

The Mental Medical Centre opened here on January 9th 1874 and it specialized in the treatment of criminally and mentally insane patients. It was then known as the Athens Lunatic Asylum. It took over six years to be built and many people thought that a nice quiet place would be a benefit for the health of the insane patients. The majority of the original patients were admitted there by court order or even by their own families. Sometimes these kinds of mental institutions paid an amount of money for every patient they registered when they were lacking them so many families entrusted them with their disturbed family members.

Everyone knew that, despite the large number of disturbed individuals residing there, The Ridges was a calm peaceful place, where patients benefited from fountains and picnics on the beautiful grounds. But this idyllic scenery would not to last a long time. The Ridges soon turned into an overcrowded institution that was treating its patients in a cruel way. Ice water baths, electroshock therapies and lobotomies become regular practices. The kinds of patients submitted to treatment also changed, because children turned their older parents over to the asylum and teenagers that were considered rebellious were brought here by their parents as well.
Several other strange things have happened at The Ridges, besides the cruel treatment applied to the patients. On the 1st of December 1978, a patient named Margaret Schilling mysteriously disappeared. The legend says she was playing hide and seek with the nurses, who got distracted and forgot to look for her. Over more than a month, on the 12th of January 1979 her body was found by a maintenance worker.

Her death was not as mysterious as the marks her body left on the floor. An imprint of her clothes and hair are perfectly visible on the floor. Some said that her body decomposed and the outline was formed because of the reaction of the corpse to the sunlight. This is not a very good explanation, though, because the stain is still there and reappears even after been cleaned up. Margaret Schilling is not the only former patient that is said to be still haunting The Ridges.
The Asylum has a cemetery where those who died were buried and there are rumors it is haunted as well. Because many of the patients were admitted at The Ridges by the court system, they had no remaining family and no persons to pay the funeral expenses. They were thus anonymously buried in simple graves with a number attached. At one area the linear shapes of the graves form a circle, which is said to be a witches’ meeting point.


edit on 23-10-2012 by jtrenthacker because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 08:54 AM
Look what happened to Bob, went out on his scoot to clean his oil filter and hit a tree by the beach.
Must be a Spartan thing.
Good place to troll for ghosts though.

posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 09:03 AM
The Ridges was a formal mental health hospital and it has a place where they buried the deceased patients. Locals say that there are two or three asylum cemeteries at the Ridges. Yet the most famous of them is the one located at the rear corner of the grounds of the asylum. It is the only part of the Ridges that is still in the property of the state Department of Mental Health.

What is extremely strange about this cemetery is that the gravestones bear no names, but numbers instead. Very few of them have been substituted with some stones that are engraved with dates and names. This only happened when some relatives of the deceased decided to bear the expenses for the gravestone. The state only offered the deceased persons a white stone with a number and that was pretty much all that was on it. The hospital records keep the record of the names that are connected to each number and this is the reason several unmarked stones have some metallic veterans’ plaques.
The Ridges graveyard is the home of many Civil War veterans because at the time it was built there was a whole county full of veterans. There are some missing records of between 1 to 63 in the male patients so their identity remains unknown.
Approximately two thousand individuals were buried on the grounds of the cemetery before 1972. Men and women were recorded separately. Apparently the Ohio University buried the unidentified corpses used in the medical classes in this graveyard, but it is an unknown fact if they were assigned particular numbers.
The Ridges cemetery has a well-known reputation of being haunted, which might not be that surprising, taking into account the horrible conditions the patients lived in the asylum. Most of the morbid stories center on the strange circle of graves that is taking up the corner of a tombstone layout. Perhaps there was a center stone in other times, but all that is distinguishable today is a ring of graves. The local legends say that witches make use of this circle for holding séances in. The official Ohio University explanation is that the circle was created by some pranksters several years ago and this might be the most feasible explanation.
The place is also reputed for being visited by ghosts, especially at night. In the cemetery there is a weird section that includes a handful of graves of a little creek to the right of the main cemetery. There is a bridge made of wood and on the other side of it lay several graves hidden in the woods. People were reported to have seen strange lights and heard screams in the cemetery at night.
The main asylum building is inaccessible now, but the graveyard has always been there and pretty much is accessible by anyone. It is definitely a terrifying place to visit after midnight. If you feel real adventurous, you can head up the hill and after that across the driveway to take a look at the Tuberculosis Ward, the single one abandoned building that was left untouched on the property grounds.

When I lived on the West Green which was just up the road from The Ridges, a group of us found a way into an unlocked window while the University was doing construction on the buildings. Our goal was to find the stain of Margaret Schilling. I have to say, this is one of the most scariest things I have done. We underestimated the sheer size of the building and soon became lost. It took us a couple hours to find the window we entered in on the ground floor. Needless to say we never found the correct attic space but there were times we would hear what sounded like conversations taking place down a hallway. At first we thought it was security guards as the place was heavily patroled, but we never saw anyone inside or outside the place while we there.

A few weeks later (closer to Halloween) we tried again at night only to find the window locked. We decided to explore the cemetery instead. We located the graves hidden in the woods. One of these graves it is said to be of a woman who was suspected of being a witch. This would explain why they wanted her buries away from the others. One strange thing did happen. We sat down to rest in the witches circle (the ring of tombstones) and it began to lightly snow. After a while, we began to notice that the snow was sticking to the blades of grass everywhere but inside the circle. Not saying it was paranormal but just weird.

As a student I also volunteered at the Kennedy Art Museum located inside the main building (see the first picture above). Though nothing of note happened while I worked there, I always had feelings of being on edge or being watched. The place always made me feel uneasy.

posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 09:17 AM
(Ohio University, West Green)

The Ohio University in Athens is perhaps the most haunted campus in the world. The place was established in 1804, a year after the statehood. It was the first institution of superior studies located west of the Appalachian Mountains. The number of allegedly haunted places on the site is quite impressive and they are added to the numerous legends regarding Athens. Ohio University was one of the places presented in a FOX episode of the series Scariest Places on Earth. This show was highly criticized for twisting the facts and making up details. (Wow, that’s a shocker).
Wilson Hall is the most famous haunted place on the campus. It is the building that most people point to when speaking about haunted Athens, Ohio. The building is apparently located in the middle of an immense pentagram consisting of five cemeteries situated in the region. The graveyards are scattered around the area and, when looked at on a map, they form a pentagram. A pentagram is the ancient occult symbol of power and magic. According to the pagan tradition, a pentagram might create safe areas free from any paranormal activity. The center is extremely important and it’s no wonder that Wilson Hall resides in the middle of this cemetery pentagram.
Wilson Hall is said to be the home of a ghost that died in a mysterious way in the 1970s. He died in room 428 and years after that students residing in that room have said to hear strange sounds and hear footsteps as well as witnessing several objects moving by themselves on their own. Since these occurrences the room has been closed off and was not given to any new students again.
This is perhaps the only university room in the world that is sealed and closed. The school officials have proclaimed the room uninhabitable. The story says that the female student died in a violent way in that room after practicing occult. It is said that the girl made use of the room’s energy to practice a method where the human spirit travels on its own after separating from the body. This technique is known as astral projection. The student was also rumored to have repeatedly attempted to contact the dead and that she often dabbled in sorcery practices.
Another legend tells that Wilson Hall was built on the grounds of an Indian cemetery and the spirits are of this origin. Spiritualist experts claim that the geography of the area, with the layout of peaks, mountains and valleys makes the spot very conductive to psychic energy. At the beginning of the 1980’s a newspaper researched the property in a routine examination for the institute. They discovered that Wilson Hall is built on the same location as the original site of an early cemetery of the Athens Mental Institute.

This was one of the first stories I heard when I was a student there. I lived in James Hall which was right across from Wilson Hall. I had met a girl who told me Room 428 was down the hall from her room and it scared her so bad she didn't even like to walk by it. The other rumor was that you could make out a devil's face or goat head in the woodgrain of the door. I had her take me to her floor to check it out myself and sure enough, between rooms 427 and 429, a door with no number tag that was locked. Very odd. Also, there was clearly a shape of a goat head in the woodgrain. It could be the the way our brain works making sense of the patterns (matrixing), but it seemed pretty obvious to me. Creepy.

posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 09:35 AM

A slave named Nicodemus haunts the home of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. Once it was the Zeta Tau Alpha House, but before that it was a private residence and a stop on the Underground Railroad. They say that when locals found out that the house at 24 E. Washington was harboring fugitive slaves, they stormed it. They managed to find only Nicodemus hiding there, and shot him as he fled through a hidden tunnel. For years after that he haunted the building through its possession by several different sororities. The Zeta Tau Alpha girls had extensive encounters with him in 1972 and 1973. Later it was the Sigma Nu fraternity house, then Alpha Omicron Pi; now it's Sigma Phi Epsilon. Do the Greek groups keep moving because of the strange disturbances, or is it just a coincidence? I'd have to say that, if you're a ghost and you're stuck haunting someplace through eternity, you could do a lot worse than a sorority house.

Brown House

This house was donated to the University by Millie Brown, who spent a lifetime there and enjoyed watching local children playing in the swimming pool in her backyard. Her granddaughter dated Paul Newman during his time at OU--or so legend has it. Legend also has it that she can still be seen in the window, watching the college town she loved so much over the years. Some say they can hear the sounds of her long-gone swimming pool, filled with splashing children. It currently houses the Contemporary History Institute.

Jefferson Hall

The story behind this building says that students were exploring the attic shortly after the beginning of fall quarter, 1996. In an unused room, sitting at a desk, they saw a woman who looked like a schoolteacher, dressed in 1950s fashions. After they tried to talk to her they noticed that she was transparent and floating above the ground. They ran and got their RA, and then returned to find the door securely locked with no one inside. After that, more strange things happened: lights flipped on and off, toilets flushed by themselves. One girl in a bathroom stall had the rolls of toilet paper in the neighboring stalls unroll all over the floor. When hers began to unroll by itself she ran screaming from the bathroom. A common disturbance here is the "marble sound," which often occurs even on the top floor of the building: the sound of someone dropping hundreds of marbles onto the floor above you.

The stories of the "marble sound" caught my attention when I first read about it. When I lived in James Hall, my room mate and I had a similar experience for a couple weeks at night. We would here what sounded like marbles or ball bearings being dropped on the floor above ours. The first night it continued for hours. We finally went to the room above us to complain. A girl came to the door to explain they were sleeping and they had not heard anything. These buildings had thick concrete slabs between floors and though there was a hot water heating system, the pipes and radiators were on the exterior wall. I have never really mentioned this to anyone else until after I had graduated, somebody posted a story on a website about it happening in there room in Gamersfelter Hall. It should be pointed out that James Hall is located on West Green, Jefferson & Gamersfelter on East Green.

posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 09:43 AM
Washington Hall

This building has an entire ghostly basketball team, which haunts the whole building, but especially the hallway over the arch that connects Washington with Read Hall. The legend is that a girls high school basketball team visited OU years back and had such a good time that, after they were killed in a bus accident, they decided to relive their good time every night in Washington Hall, where they stayed in between practices. Another, more likely version of the ghostly basketball story is set exclusively on the top floor of Washington, the attic, which used to be a rec room when it was a men's dorm. This time the team is all men.

Bush Hall

A poltergeist haunts this women's dormitory, pulling pranks like turning water faucets on and off and playing with the lights. The mysterious "marble sounds" are present here, as is the sound of dripping liquid.

Shively Hall

A female student living in Shively in the 1970s participated in cult ceremonies at nearby Hanning Cemetery, and when she stopped, experienced a number of unexplainable things in her dorm room. She felt like she was being pulled to the northeast, back toward Hanning, though what eventually happened to her is a mystery.

Perkins Hall

Someone or something may haunt the halls of Perkins Hall. A student named Summer relates the following story from her time in the residence hall:
"I was an RA there one year and all RAs would move in 2 weeks before the students. All of the people on my staff were next door in Shively Hall watching a movie, so I was the only person in the building. I was in my room (corner, second floor) standing on a chair in my doorway hanging a cable for my TV around the door when I heard a female voice say. "Hey!" I looked down into the doorway and there was nobody there. I could see clearly down the hallway. There wasn't enough time for anyone to run and hide because it was literally the blink of an eye between the voice and me looking down. I called over to Shively where all the other RAs were and verified that I was the only one in Perkins Hall at the time. I still get chills.
"During the course of the year I had several other experiences in that room. Around Halloween, my residents and I were in the hallway decorating for a Halloween Decoration contest. I had a few items in my room that I wanted to show a few of the girls so we walked to my room. I walked over to my bed on the far wall to get the items and one of my residents was standing in the doorway when we suddenly heard a very strange laugh coming from somewhere between where I was standing and where she was standing. We both ran screaming from the room. About ten minutes later, one of my residents went to her room to get some tape when her stereo turned itself on.
"One night my TV turned itself on. Another night, I woke up when the door to my dorm fridge opened up on its own. Another thing that happened was one afternoon I had been in my room talking to a friend of mine. I went to the bathroom and my friend stayed in my room where she was sitting on my bed. After a few seconds, she came screaming into the bathroom and said that right after I left the room she was sitting on the bed when she suddenly got a cold chill, my box fan started spinning like it was on (windows were shut because it was winter, so it wasn't the wind) and she said that she felt like there was someone right in front of her face staring at her in a confronting manner. From that day on, she refused to stay in my room unless someone was with her."

posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 09:56 AM
Voigt Hall

Strange things have been reported by residents of Voigt Hall. The first-year student who experienced these things asked not to be named, but her roommate was good enough to vouch for her version of events and keep in touch.
"About a month ago I had an incident where I woke up during the night and heard things being moved on my desk. The next morning I found things strewn upon the floor and a newspaper was torn.
"Last night I awoke in the middle of the night and looked to my left. I saw a woman standing in front of my closet door. I rubbed my eyes, thinking I was just imagining the figure, but the woman was still there. She was wearing a dark, conservative, long-sleeved dress that came up to her neck. She was tall, resembling a thicker Susan B. Anthony. The woman had a cold blank stare. She and I held eye contact for about a minute.

Crawford Hall

A story with a more concrete basis in fact, freshman dorm Crawford Hall began to experience ghostly phenomena after the Easter 1993 death of Laura, a resident who fell from her fourth-floor window. Lights would flicker and doors would slam or open--especially on the first floor. One night an RA in a first-floor room was awakened at night by the silhouette of a girl who had opened his door. She said, "I'm sorry, I've woken you," and closed the door. The RA went into the hall but there was no one there. He later learned that his room's window faced the spot where Laura hit the sidewalk. CD and tape players there will refuse to play the Bob Marley song "Laura."
"Terrified, I decided to simply roll over, face the wall, and go back to sleep. I was completely freaked out. Again, things on my desk began to move. I continued to try to fall back asleep. My laptop rests on a table next to my bed. I began to hear the keys of my computer clicking. The typing sound lasted for a few minutes. Then everything stopped."

Cutler Hall

The sole ghost of this hall, in use since 1816, resides in the bell tower. Not too many other reports come from this building, which is surprising given its age.


Buildings on OU's West Green have good reason to be haunted: legend has it that the West Green is built on an Indian burial ground. The river which once ran near here can still be heard, as can the chants of native Americans.


A ghostly buffalo is said to be seen drinking from the stream at Stroud's Run. The buffalo, later named Stroud, was the last wild buffalo in the area. A law was passed that stated no one could kill Stroud, but some members of either the British or French army killed the buffalo anyway. Locals murdered those responsible while they were sleeping at their camp. One local took the buffalo's skull, hid the army's money in it, and buried it nearby. The skull nor the buried treasure have ever been found.

posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 10:17 AM
The Convocation Center
Known around campus as the Convo, this building is where the OU basketball team plays, and it also houses dorms along the outer shell. It is home to many spirits, including the ghost of a student who died in her sleep and whose ghost embraced a later resident who slept in the same bed. One of the rooms has a haunted closet, whose door opens and closes on its own and from which books and clothes fly. One of the legends about the Convo says that an RA was killed there by her former boyfriend, and that she still walks the halls, making sure doors are locked. An article about the Convo's ghosts ran in the Halloween 2001 edition of the Athens Post.

From the Athens Post, Thursday, November 1, 2001
Thursday, November 1, 2001
By Pat Mirrotto
Although Athens and Ohio University have more than their fair share of unexplainable stories and spiritual happenings, the truth of most rumors never has been proven.
One story about the alleged haunting of the Convo has not caught the attention of Residence Life staff.
Local legend and some Web sites claim that the Convo, which does double duty as a sports facility and a residence hall, is haunted by the ghost of a murdered resident.
Jim Michnowicz, an OU student from 1992 to 1998, runs one such Web site, which features stories, legends and explanations of more otherworldly experiences that are part of this town's tradition. Part of his site covers stories about ghosts and bizarre stories within the university's residence halls. Michnowicz draws the tales from personal experiences, friends and other contributors.
"When I moved in freshman year, we heard this story about it. Someone was stabbed by an ex-boyfriend. All that we heard is rumor," Michnowicz said. His Web site claims that an intruder, who proved to be a distraught ex-boyfriend, stabbed an administrative resident assistant in the Convo. The legend says her spirit still walks the Convo's curvy halls.
Pam Drake, OU associate director of housing, said she remembers the murder of an RA in the early 1980s. Drake said her room was not used in the following years as a staff room. But she also said that she does not know of any ghost stories or legends surrounding the Convo.
Drake added that she has not heard of any students requesting a room change because of ghosts or unexplainable events.
Michnowicz's Web site includes other strange experiences of his friends who lived in the Convo. He said one friend told him she experienced the feeling that someone was in bed with her, and had a terrible time sleeping. Later Michnowicz heard that a student had died in his friend's room the previous year.
He also knows of a legend about a student who used to sit in the room and talk to her closet for hours. This student, before leaving one weekend, warned her roommates to be careful because the closet was angry. Her roommates claim that the weekend she was gone, lights flickered, doors slammed, the television channels changed mysteriously and window shades moved around. The behavior stopped when the student returned.
"The girl talking to her closet? That is really strange. I believe this also happened at her home," Michnowicz said.
Some people have heard of these events, but many have not. The alleged haunting of the Convo does not carry such a notorious reputation as Wilson Hall or The Ridges.
Christine Reghetti Feyler, the West Green Director of Residence Life, said no hauntings or strange spiritual occurrences have happened at the Convo.
"Nothing like that has ever come to my attention," she said.

posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 10:20 AM
A large statue of an angel is located at the entrance. It is said that the statue weeps sometimes. The statue looks very sad, with its eyes downcast and its shoulders slumped. It's easy to see how a legend like this could get started, especially since the angel stands so close to the front and can be see just by driving by.
Although the angel is the focal point of the ghost stories, people do say that the cemetery as a whole is haunted. It's littered with broken and unidentifiable stones, but of the ones that can be read some have interesting life stories printed on them.

One example tells the story of Daniel Walden, who escaped from slavery in 1855 and lived free in Athens for many years under an assumed name.
This one you probably can't read from the photograph. It says: SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF ENOCH HANNAMAN. STUDENT OF THE O. U. LATE OF WOOD COUNTY, VA., WHO DIED JULY 3, 1827, AGE 21 Y. 5 MOS. 2 DAYS. HIS ELDEST BROTHER FROM SENTIMENT OF BROTHERLY DUTY CONSECRATES THIS STONE IN HIS MEMORIAL. I wonder how he died, way back in 1827. It's definitely an interesting and creepy cemetery; I'd expect no less from Athens.
On a Halloween weekend I went with a group to explore this cemetery at night (If you haven’t figured it out by now, Athens is known for it’s yearly Halloween party. It’s probably the biggest Halloween party in the Midwest.) So we go check out the angel and start walking around looking at the tombstones and we spot a somebody laying on a gravesite with his head by the tombstone! To say we were startled was an understatement. He appeared to be sleeping and we got him up. He appeared dazed and didn’t say much. He was dressed in all black with a black hat. We figured he was drunk or on drugs and decided to pass out in the cemetery (which is pretty creepy in itself). He followed us back to town for a couple blocks and then he vanished. We went back looking to see if he passed out in a yard or something and we couldn’t find him anywhere.

Thanks for reading these stories. Tomorrow I will post some stories of the Theta Chi house and the ghost of Thomas Wagner. I lived there for 2 years and gathered quite a bit of stories and experiences.

new topics

top topics


log in