For those of you who have wondered what the Ohio Exploration Society is, we have decided to put together this page to let you know what we’re about. If you have any other questions about the OES that is not answered on this page, please feel free to email with your inquiry.
What is the OES?
The Ohio Exploration Society is a group of urban explorers and paranormal investigators residing in and around Ohio. Members of the OES vary in age, education, and profession, as to include people from all walks of life. We all share one thing in common: the desire to explore and preserve the history and legends of not only historic, but abandoned and forgotten sites in Ohio. Click Here to meet our members.
Is the OES non-profit?
The OES is a non-profit organization in the sense that we are a free, volunteer-based organization. We are not a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, although we hope to be someday. We are currently working on the documents that need to be filed to officially register with the United States and the State of Ohio as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, but it has been a slow process. Since we do not charge for anything we do, any revenue generated from donations, purchases made at our online stores or advertising go directly back into the OES for things like paying web-hosting fees, covering travel costs, and upgrading equipment. Any donations or purchases made are not tax deductible since the OES does not yet possess 501(c)(3) status.
What is the history of the OES?
The Ohio Exploration Society was formed in the summer of 2000 in Columbus, Ohio. Originally consisting of three members, the OES began exploring old cemeteries around Franklin County. During the first few months of the society’s existence, no photos were taken and no historical information was researched. Then in October of that year, the three members decided to create a website to document the locations they were visiting. The original six pages of the website were uploaded and the OES’ presence on the Internet began. The OES had always investigated the reportedly haunted locations that we explored, but it wasn’t until the fall of 2004 that we offered private paranormal investigations to property owners. With over three gigabytes of material on the website today, the OES has grown dramatically as a group and as a resource of information to those interested in the lost and forgotten histories of Ohio.
What does the OES do?
In the most basic sense, the OES explores and documents the history and legends of locations we have visited. Sometimes in full gear, wearing coveralls and respirators and other times armed with only a camera, the OES visits man-made and natural wonders around the state. We have visited everything from well-known historic sites to abandoned prisons to dilapidated cemeteries to beautiful parks. We photograph and document these locations, publishing them on our website for all to view and enjoy.
Why does the OES do this?
The OES wants to raise the general public’s awareness about all of the wonderful, but forgotten sites in Ohio. Every day thousands of people pass these types of places on their way to work, while walking their dog or enjoying vacation. Some may notice these places, ponder about them for a few moments and go about their lives. They will never know that the namesake of the road they’re driving on is buried in that old run-down cemetery at the corner. They will never know that there was once a bustling factory or ancient earthwork on the site of the new shopping center where they just purchased their Gap jeans. That is why we do this. So these places that are being overcome by new development, or just plain forgotten, will survive in the photos that we take and in the minds of those who know about them.
The Ohio Exploration Society enjoys giving back to the community. The OES has adopted several lots at a cemetery in Columbus. Our members are responsible for the care and upkeep of these lots. The OES has also helped clean mausoleums around central Ohio.
How can I help?
If you would like to help the Ohio Exploration Society, there are a few things you could do. If you know of a lost, forgotten or historic place that you would like to see on the website, fill out our Exploration Submission Form. If it’s a haunting or legend you know of, use our Haunting Submission Form. If you have photos that you would like to contribute, please email . Any contributions will be credited to you if you so desire. If you would like to help financially, please consider making a donation. We also have several Online Stores that sell OES-branded merchandise and an online Gear Shop where you can purchase equipment needed to explore abandoned locations or investigate the paranormal. Any funds generated from donations, the online stores or advertising revenue go directly back into the OES.