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Director's Column

PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.

Haunted Ohio

By Alan Hall, Director, PLSJ
Publish Date - Sunday, June 08, 2008

 

Ghosts, witches, monsters, and aliens from outer space are common topics in books in the library's collection.

 

Every one of them can be found in the new book, "Haunted Ohio: ghosts and strange phenomena of the Buckeye State," by Charles A. Stansfield, Jr.

 

The author states, "the realm of spirits is a constant and major theme throughout history, from William Shakespeare to Stephen King."

 

Whether you are a "true believer or a firm skeptic," you will find something interesting in this new book.

 

Ohio Presidents are found in this book.

 

James Garfield is supposed to haunt his college, his Ohio home, as well as the White House.

 

If you visit the Marion home of Warren G. Harding, don't make any negative comments about his Presidency, as Mrs. Harding has been known to deliver a painful rap to the person making such comments.

 

President William Henry Harrison is buried at North Bend near Cincinnati.  His son's life ended with an unfortunate incident.

 

His son, John Scott Harrison, was also the father of President Benjamin Harrison.

 

A Pastor that shows up when the regular Minister has an emergency haunts Mansfield.

 

The problems at a Cleveland haunted house were resolved by following Slovenian traditions.

 

Confederate soldiers buried at Camp Chase in Columbus regularly haunt the cemetery, as they never returned to the South.

 

And then there is Johnny Appleseed, continuing to haunt Ohio as he plants his apple seeds 150 after his death.

 

I was enjoying this new book as I came to a story near the end titled, "The Most Patriotic Ghost."

 

It turned out to be my ancestor, John Gray, who was the last surviving Revolutionary War veteran.

 

He died at Hiramsburg, Ohio in 1868 at the age of 104.

 

According to the book, Gray's ghost makes an appearance at the cemetery on special patriotic holidays.

 

John Gray was present at the surrender of Cornwallis where the British General Lord wouldn't shake his hand.

 

George Washington is supposed to have said, "Good!  He is not worthy of a good American soldier."

 

While I was pleased to learn this information, I contacted the publisher to determine the source of the information.

 

They were quick to respond and provided the information to the doubting librarian.

 

There are many more stories in this interesting book from Mike Fink on the Ohio River to why they had to move the medical school out of Willoughby.

 

Whether or not you believe in ghosts and hauntings, you will enjoy the stories of Ohio history.