Haunted America: The Rumors of Hauntings in Athens County, Ohio
Every local community has its rumors of haunted buildings and areas, but some have higher concentrations of paranormal activities than others do. Athens, Ohio, home to the Ohio University, among other things, has been listed on many lists as an area that is much higher in ghost/haunting activities. Ghost hunters have traveled to the area for some of the rumors and legends made all the more famous as the ever changing climate there adds or omits key elements to the stories and then carries them back home. This is a listing of some of the most famous as well as most controversial of the haunted sites located in the Athens County, Ohio Area
The Millfield Coal Mine Site, Millfield, Ohio
Once a flourishing town, Millfield was the site of a horrific mine disaster that killed nearly one hundred men in November of 1930. The mine was closed and a memorial sign erected there, but rumors of haunting continue to circulate among the long time residents there. Forget the brightly lit, day trip to stand next to the sign, smiling as you get your photo taken next to a memorial of one of the worst tragedies in the area- instead, wait until twilight, the time when all of the miners would have been getting off work. According to legend, a line of ghostly miners, still wearing their head lamps and carrying their lunch pails with them can be seen trudging up the dirt path and then disappearing completely before they leave the actual property. Other legends say that the sound of a distant whistle, perhaps signaling quitting time can be heard before the men are seen.
The Cemetery at the Ridges
Opened in 1874, the Athens Lunatic Asylum, (later renamed, for obvious reasons) housed many varieties of mentally ill people from all around the area. But, it soon became a dumping spot for the elderly as well as rebellious teenagers. Overcrowding became a major problem leading to a decline in the care that patients were getting. That led to a number of deaths, many resulting from the strange treatments that were considered normal for the day as well as the stranger deaths that are the basis of many legends. Of those: there is reportedly a stain on the floor of the Asylum that is the perfect shape of a woman. In late 1978, that patient, a young woman, disappeared at some point and was not found until mid January. When found, Margaret Schilling was nude, her clothing folded neatly beside her. To this day, the floor in that room bears the distinct imprint of her body with no reasonable explanation for why.
The Concord Church and Cemetery in Glouster, Ohio
Rumored to be a favorite site for satanic rituals, the story often says that the church is an active site for tortured spirits. Rumors include church music, often heard played one way first and then backwards after a thirteen second silence. Other rumors include the continued strange deaths of rodents and stray pets at the steps of the church, with no visible trauma to explain their tragic ends.
West State Cemetery Angel
In the West State Cemetery stands the Angel of the Unknown Soldiers. The large statue reportedly weeps and flutters her wings as people pass her by. In this same cemetery, a stone featuring two little, pigtailed girls is also rumored to move from time to time, with the younger of the two girls waving.