Fairfield County Hauntings & Legends

On this page you will find haunted locations and legends of Fairfield County. Many of these are genuine and documented haunts, but others may be legend or hearsay. Remember, we do not condone trespassing. Always seek permission before entering private property. If you know of a haunting or legend not listed for this county, please submit them through our Haunting Submission Form.

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Amanda Clearcreek High School – A little boy in old fashioned clothes is said to haunt the school. Staff members have seen the boy on several occasions, but they do not know who he is.

Amanda Elementary School – The larger, condemned school that sat next to the current school was home to a few spirits. Children on recess at the current school reported seeing small children dart past the condemned school’s windows and sometimes heard strange noises coming from within. A mysterious mist sometimes appears along the treetops of the woods directly behind the school. The school children often blamed this on a mother who put a curse on the former school after her daughter was made fun of. NOTE: The old school building has been demolished.


Route 22 – In March 1897, the body of a murder victim was washed out into an open culvert under what is now Route 22, then called the Zanesville-Marysville Road. He was a well-dressed, middle-aged man who had his throat cut wide open. No one ever identified the man, so the townspeople buried him in Elmwood Cemetery. His murder was never solved. Shorty afterwards, travelers on Route 22 began seeing the ghostly figure of the man pacing the highway. His ghost can still be seen at times to this day.

 East Rushville 

Bishop Hanby House – This house is said to have belonged to a doctor during the antebellum period. A conductor on the Underground Railroad, the doctor helped many slaves escape to freedom. One slave died on the way to Canada. The slave had wanted to earn money to go back and buy the freedom of his girlfriend, Nelly Gray. In response to the tragedy, the doctor’s son wrote the Civil War song “Darling Nelly Gray,” which became very popular in the North. Since that time, the house has been haunted by an unknown ghost. So much activity takes place there that the deed of the house notes that it is haunted. (Credits: Scott)


Baldwin Run – The wooded area at the intersection of Marietta Road and State Route 188 is said to be haunted by the spirits of those killed at an inn that once occupied the site. A reformed pirate named John Baldwin built the inn in the early 1800s. Travelers often stopped there on their way to and from the farm market. It was not uncommon for those carrying large sums of money to come up missing after a visit to the inn. Many believed John and some accomplices murdered those who were missing and buried them in the woods nearby. The inn and the ground it once stood on has been haunted ever since.

Becks Knob – About half a mile north of Shallenberger State Nature Preserve, Beck’s Knob is said to be haunted by a hermit who lived there in the mid-1800s. He read his Bible every day, but did little else. One day the old man climbed to the top of the knob, dug a shallow grave and took his life with a rifle. Neighbors found his lifeless body and gave him a proper burial. A marker remained at his grave site until it was destroyed by vandals sometime in the 1960s. Known as “Hermit On The Knob,” his ghost now carries a lantern as he walks from the knob to Hunters Run.

BIS House – In 1899, a sixteen-year-old maid named Gail Parish and her father came from Athens County to work for the family of the mansion. Her father, a blacksmith, hired a young man named Johnny Kelly to assist him in the smithy. Gail and Johnny became lovers. When her father and the owners of the mansion discovered the romance, they forbade the two from ever seeing each other again. In a craze, Johnny broke into Gail’s room one night and slit her throat with a shaving knife. Using her blood, Johnny wrote, “If I cannot have you, no one can,” on the stairwell. It is said that Gail’s calico dress sometimes appears in the closet. Witnesses have also reported seeing the ghostly figure of a woman in the home and have reported hearing strange sounds when no one else is there. The property is now part of the Southeastern Correctional Institute and is off limits.

Clarksburg Schoolhouse – Just outside Lancaster, this schoolhouse was said to be haunted by a man who was thought to have been killed by stagecoach robbers who ran rampant in the area. The school’s bell tolled by itself, mysterious noises and the sound of horse hooves could be heard near the school at night. Once a man walking home reported being chased by a huge black dog. When he reached the schoolhouse, the dog vanished.

County Infirmary – Also known as the County Poorhouse and most recently occupied by the Fairfield County Department of Health, the oldest section of the Clarence E. Miller building was constructed in 1840. Many people who have worked in the building have encountered the sound of people talking late at night, when no one was supposed to be in the building. The second and third floors are said to be haunted by a ghost named “Willy.” A ghostly woman wearing 1800s-style clothing with her hair in a bun has been spotted on several occasions. A female employee working late one night saw a little girl standing in the doorway. When the woman asked the girl if she needed help, the little girl vanished. Many employees were afraid to go into the attic, where the old health department records were stored, due to a coldness and strange feeling about the place. The women’s restroom on the second floor is also avoided due to the same feeling. Related: OES Visit

Crawfis Institute – Built in 1899, this former school and teacher’s college is often misidentified as an old mental institution or hospital. The building sat vacant for a number of years and is supposedly haunted by a wide variety of ghosts. It is now a private residence.

East King Street Residence – This home is haunted by at least three ghosts. One is a little girl who plays with children living in the home. A man who wears a brown suit has been seen, as well as the nanny of the little girl who appeared as a skull and bony hands. Cold spots are frequent and children’s toys operate by themselves. Related: Contribution

Elmwood Cemetery – Established in 1838, Elmwood Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Lancaster. People have reported seeing a ghostly little girl in the cemetery. Others have reported seeing something more sinister…a dark hooded figure.

Forest Rose Cemetery – Witnesses have reported seeing the ghost of a woman wearing a flowered pink and white dress. OES members have photographed a shadowy apparition standing on a hillside mausoleum. Related: OES Visit, Contribution

Hawk’s Tavern at the Mill – This former warehouse-turned-restaurant is said to be haunted. Workers have reported hearing mysterious footsteps and some have seen a ghostly man in brown attire. The basement is haunted as well.

Madison Avenue Home – A home near the corner of Madison and Sixth Avenue is reportedly haunted. It is said that there was a fire there in the early 1900s and two children were killed. Some people who have slept in the home claim to have felt the children sleeping in bed with them. (Credits: Heather Howard)

Mickey’s Bar & Grill – Employees and patrons alike have heard voices and strange sounds. A ghostly woman has been spotted by staff on several occasions. It is also believed a man was killed in an accident at the building sometime in the early 1900s. The building had previously been used by an oil company and a market. (Credits: John Ridenour)

Mudhouse Mansion – Perhaps the most notorious haunting in Fairfield County is that of Mudhouse Mansion. During the Civil War, a general had supposedly kept slaves in an outbuilding during the night. It is said the slaves dug their way out one night, went into his house and murdered his entire family. The ghosts of the family are supposed to haunt the place. Some say that this was the original home of Bloody Mary (you know…the legend that when you look in a mirror and say her name five times, she is supposed to appear behind you). A word of caution, the property owner has been known to shoot at trespassers and has police and security guards who patrol the property frequently. UPDATE 2016: Sadly, Mudhouse Mansion has been demolished.

New Lexington Road – Ghostly bells and shotgun blasts can be heard as you drive down New Lexington Road. It is said that many years ago, a boy walking down the road with his unloaded shotgun passed a church with no bell. Minutes later his mother heard the blast of a shotgun followed by church bells ringing. She hurried down the road only to find her son dead of a gunshot wound to his stomach. It was never known of the boy somehow shot himself despite the fact the weapon was unloaded or if some more sinister act was committed. From that day forward, the sound of a shotgun followed by church bells ringing can be heard, almost nightly.

Pleasant Valley – The area known as Pleasant Valley is said to be haunted by an old hermit and his mule. He is most often seen carrying a keg of rum and singing a song. He is believed to be the ghost of a man who went off-course one night and disappeared into the swamp.

River Valley Mall – Employees and security guards working late at night have reportedly encountered many ghosts at the mall. The moaning of a woman in agony has been heard by many people. It is believed she is connected to a worker who was crushed to death by a piece of machinery when the mall was being built. Other potential spirits haunting the mall are connected to a teenager who was abducted from the mall parking lot and later found dead and a man who died near a fountain inside the mall in its early years. (Credits: Steve Campbell)

Samuel Bush House – Also known as the Herbert M. Turner Residence and Spook Hollow, this house is located at 1934 Cold Spring Drive, just north of Old Columbus Road. Built in 1806 and expanded in 1830, a ghostly horseman is said to haunt the valley where the house sits. It was said that he had a buried treasure in the area between the quince and apple orchard. Both of those landmarks are no longer in existence. There is a family cemetery on the property as well. The horseman is said to ride through the valley at night, protecting his treasure. The house was abandoned for some time in the 1950s, but is occupied once again. It is located on private property.

Stillhouse Hollow – This story dates back to the 1850s when a man named John Ornsdorf disappeared. His horse arrived at his home in Lancaster with his blood and pieces of his body on it. A search party traced the blood trail to a man’s house named Crowley. Upon inspecting Crowley’s home, neither Crowley nor Ornsdorf were anywhere to be found. The search party did report finding a dead yearling calf in a back room and the smell of sulfur was strong. Ever since, sightings of a human-like calf have been reported. There were several reports of the creature jumping onto the back of the rider’s horse and riding along. These sightings occurred primarily between the years 1850 and 1880 when Foglesong Road closed. Since the closure, the hauntings seem to have subdued, but current day Stringtown Road from Coonpath Road south to State Route 37 roughly follows the old road.

Stonewall Cemetery – This cemetery is said to be haunted. Legend says that if you climb on top of the wall during the night and walk around the cemetery so many times (some say three times), the ghosts will try to pull you into the cemetery. People have also reported seeing odd things inside the cemetery. Related: OES Visit


Abandoned House – An abandoned house near Slate Run Metro Park is said to be haunted by the ghost of a girl. She supposedly killed her family, hanging her father in the bell tower and killing her baby sibling in the barn. She then hanged herself. Ghostly figures can be seen in the windows and doorways, and the ghosts will sometimes physically touch people in or near the house.


England Insurance – Formerly the private residence of W.B. “Doc” Taylor, this building on West Columbus Street is rumored to be haunted. Employees of the insurance company that now occupies the home say doors mysteriously open on their own and strange noises are often heard in the foyer and kitchen area.

Harmon Road – Witnesses driving along Harmon Road have reported seeing a man in a white hoodie walking along the road, just north of the middle school. They have even swerved to miss hitting the man only to see no one there when they pass. Related: Contribution

Olde Parsonage – The old parsonage for the Evangelical United Brethren Church at the corner of Church and Center Streets is said to be haunted by the ghost of an old woman.

Pickering-Hizey-Ackers House – This home built in the late 1880s is currently home to law offices and perhaps a few ghosts. Workers have reported the scent of lavender and the sound of classical music playing (one of the home’s former occupants was a famous concert violinist). Others have reported seeing a woman’s face appear in the first floor window and the sound of scratching on the bathroom door.

Ramar Acres – Residents of this suburban neighborhood have reported hearing mysterious footsteps on the streets when no one else is around. Others have reported the feeling of being watched while sitting on their porch. One resident has claimed to see a shadowy apparition darting around their house. Related: Contribution

Ricketts Schoolhouse No. 7 – This schoolhouse was the last one-room schoolhouse built in Violet Township. It replaced an older building that was located in the middle of the intersection of Busey and Pickerington Roads. Also known as the Busey Road Schoolhouse, it is reportedly haunted. Witnesses have claimed to see the apparition of a young boy in and around the school. The boy has approached several witnesses only to disappear.


Johnson Covered Bridge – A woman is known to haunt the covered bridge that now resides in a small roadside park. It is unknown who she is, but there are two legends in regards to her death. One legend says that the woman fell into Clear Creek while helping to guide her family’s horses across the bridge during a thunderstorm. The second legend says that she discovered her husband’s infidelity and hanged herself from the bridge. Witnesses have seen the ghostly woman pacing about the bridge, standing at one end, or even calling out to them.

 Sugar Grove 

Blue Light Ghost – The ghost of a woman who cut her lover’s head off, carried it down a hill and then cut her own throat is said to haunt the hill. Located near a bridge on Sugar Grove Road (where the old Mae Hummel Covered Bridge once stood), it is said that if you call her name, Anna, her ghost will appear as a blue light and come down the hill toward you.

Rushcreek Headless Woman – A headless woman is said to haunt the area near Rushcreek and Berne Union High School. She has often been seen carrying her head under her arm while walking through the woods at night. The sightings of her began to take place in the 1920s, but no one knows who she is.

Sugar Grove Cemetery – The cemetery is said to be haunted by an old warlock who is supposedly buried there.