Want to put an extra chill into your October? Try these four creepy history tours.
From our state’s history coming to life in a darkened Ohio Statehouse to the Queen City’s favorite haunts, here are four tours that will help get you in the spirit of the season.
Haunted Statehouse Tours
The Ohio Statehouse offers nighttime tours (pictured left) that provide a new perspective on the 1860 landmark. “The first thing that people like is just being in the building after dark,” says Luke Stedke, deputy director of communications for the Statehouse. “People kind of feel like they are getting away with something.” Tour conductors guide guests by lantern light as re-enactors roam the building. Oct. 16–17, 23–24; visit website for tickets (advance purchase required); 1 Capitol Square, Columbus 43215, 614/728-9770 ohiostatehouse.org
Sandusky County Jail and Dungeon Tours
Prison reformer President Rutherford B. Hayes contributed to the design of this 1892 jailhouse in which the cells are located next to the sheriff’s residential quarters. “The whole idea behind that was to try and teach the prisoners what a family life was like,” says Peggy Courtney, executive director of the Sandusky County Convention and Visitors Bureau. The tour starts there before moving on to the nearby courthouse, where guests visit the 1840s-era dungeon that once served as the county’s main jail. Oct. 12 at 5:30, 6, 6:30 and 7 p.m.; $3; 622 Croghan St., Fremont 43420, 419/332-4470, sanduskycounty.org
The Ghosts of Cincinnati Tours
A three-hour bus tour travels to the 1820 Taft Museum, 1878 Cincinnati Music Hall, Eden Park and three other stops. Guests are provided with ghost-hunting equipment in order to search for specters along the way. “We’ve gotten some pretty surprising pictures that people have sent us after the tours,” says Rebecca Smith, co-owner of Haunted Cincinnati Tours, adding that the evening ends at the always spiritually active Music Hall. Visit website for ticket information and tour schedule; 520 Vine St., Cincinnati 45202, 877/891-3374, tristatehumanitours.com
Haunted Hocking Weekend
Every autumn, visitors to the Hocking Hills get to sample its ghostly side. A night hike leads visitors to Ash Cave, where an apparition known as the White Lady has been reported. Other tales are tied to Richard Rowe, who is believed to have lived in Old Man’s Cave during the 1700s. “In 1910, a couple of young men [reported] they saw an old man walk around the ledge and sink into the floor of the cave in front of them,” says park naturalist Pat Quackenbush. It’s not all scares, though. Weekend events include trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving and a family-friendly Halloween movie. Oct. 30–Nov. 1; visit website for more information about weekend events; Hocking Hills State Park, 19852 St. Rte. 664 S., Logan 43138, 740/385-6842, explorehockinghills.com