The OES originally visited Glen Echo Park on October 10, 2003. We have since returned numerous times. Located in Clintonville, Glen Echo Park is in one of three scenic ravines north of the Ohio State University campus. The park’s story began in 1908 when the Columbus Real Estate and Improvement Company acquired and developed 47-acres of land at the northern edge of Columbus. The area was annexed into Columbus in 1910 and marketed as a scenic region accessible by streetcar while still being part of the city. In 1912, Columbus accepted a 3.9-acre tract of undeveloped land along the ravine and Glen Echo Park became part of the Columbus park system. Nearby Parkview Drive originally snaked through the ravine’s earthen walls, but the road was removed and partially replaced by a bicycle path.
There have been several documented tragedies in the Glen Echo ravine over the years. In May 1961, an eight-year-old boy drowned in a five-foot pool of water in the park’s creek. The boy’s older brother tried to rescue him but was unsuccessful. The city later filled in the pool to make the waterway less dangerous. City officials even considered closing the park for a short time in 1962. Some residents suggested damming the ravine to turn it into a like while officials wanted to enclose Glen Echo Creek to turn it into a storm sewer. The park was cleaned and reopened. Sadly, it would not be long before another child would drown. In June 1964, a 10-year-old boy fell into the rain-swollen creek near the Indianola Avenue bridge and washed away. His body was found by fishermen fifteen days later near the west bank of the Olentangy River north of King Avenue.
In April 1964, the body of a 52-year-old man was found at the foot of the Indianola bridge. We have not been able to find any documentation as to the cause of death of this individual. In January 1965, a couple of teenagers found the body of a 64-year-old man in a culvert near the railroad tracks and I-71. The man’s body was frozen, but we were unable to find an official cause of death.
At least three suicides have been documented along Glen Echo ravine. In January 1962, a 48-year-old woman jumped to her death from the Calumet Street bridge, some 50-feet above the ravine. Five year prior, she had been a patient at the Columbus State Hospital when she tried to take her own life via overdose. A 16-year-old boy took his life in the ravine in October 1975 with a zip gun he had made from a 5½-inch piece of galvanized pipe. His body was found by a woman walking through the area the next day. The last documented suicide actually occurred in front of a home on Glen Echo Drive when a 47-year-old woman shot herself in the street.
Like the more-notorious Walhalla Ravine, Glen Echo has its fair share of legends. Ghostly figures have been seen in the creek between the Indianola Bridge and the park’s bridge near the center of the park. Our very own Jason Colwell witnessed this figure for himself one night. Unfortunately, he did not have a camera with him at the time. Colwell described seeing a man walking in the creek. He decided to run around a bush to get a better view of the person, thinking the man was a vagrant, but the man had disappeared.
The ghost of a gothic girl is said to hang out on or near the bridge at the center of the park. The ghost of a homeless man who reportedly froze to death has been seen around the tunnel that carries Glen Echo Creek beneath the Indianola overpass. This area is on the opposite end of the park from where the frozen body was found in 1965. “Ten Pin” is an area of the park where a set of concrete barriers were installed to prevent large objects from clogging the nearby tunnel. The spirit of a witch who once conducted ceremonies at “Ten Pin” supposedly haunts the area. We did see two dark figures emerge from around a corner as we checked out the park’s central bridge during our nighttime trip. They ended up being some drunk guys using the park as a shortcut through the neighborhood, not anything paranormal.
Location Information: Public Park
Glen Echo Park is located at 510 Cliffside Drive in Clintonville; Franklin County.