Fans of spooky, adrenaline pumping adventures or strangely unusual museum collections will find plenty of opportunities to enjoy Ohio this year. From authentic haunted adventures with histories dating back to the 19th century to cemeteries with a chilling cast of characters, Ohio is bustling with plenty of unexpected places to explore.
Following is a listing of some ghoulish tourism attractions and events throughout Ohio. For more ideas on places to experience this fall, visit DiscoverOhio.com, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoverOhio or like us on Facebook.
One of Ohio's famous haunted houses is located in a rural section of Muskingum County. The 19th- century mansion known as Prospect Place was built by abolitionist George Willison Adams and served as both a family home and an Underground Railroad station for runaway slaves. Prospect Place can be rented out for ghost hunting with proceeds going towards the building's restoration.
At Fort Meigs in Perrysburg, strange lights and sounds have been reported, along with the appearance of soldiers long dead during the fort's history encampments. The Garrison Ghost Walk taking place Oct. 18-19 and 25-26 provides visitors with a tour of the fort with an 1812 guide and plenty of ghost tales.
The Haunted Prison Experience is offered through Nov. 2 at The Ohio State Reformatory, which ceased prison operations in 1990. The tour inside the prison is complete with narrow hallways, old stairs, uneven surfaces and lots of prison bars. Public ghost hunts and walks are also conducted at the reformatory and sell out quickly.
Nestled in the historic river town of Marietta, Ohio, the Cawley & Peoples Funeral Home opened the Peoples Mortuary Museum to provide a way for people to explore the history of what is often perceived as a "creepy" profession. The museum includes 1920s to 1940s-era hearses, an 1895 horse-drawn hearse and other funeral memorabilia from the early 1900s.
The Famous Endings Museum at Toland-Herzig Funeral Home and Crematory in Dover, Ohio, has a unique collection of more than 1,500 celebrity-death-related items including photos/related documents connected to Abraham Lincoln, George Burns, Evel Knieval, Dave Thomas and more. Also included are audio recordings and photographs from famous funerals, as well as celebrity gravesite markers and monuments.
Run for your life through the end of October at Punderson Manor State Park Lodge in Newbury. Zombies have taken over the disc golf course and are waiting to attack, so visitors must arm themselves with paintball guns to fend off the live zombie attacks! Reservations required.
For zombie fun at a slower pace, head to the 5th Annual Yellow Springs Zombie Walk on October 19. Leading up to the walk there will be free live music, costume contests, face painting, games for kids, food and craft vendors and plenty of "brains" to eat. A zombie wedding will start at 7:30 p.m., followed by a zombie walk through the Village of Yellow Springs. Walkers are asked to make a suggested donation of $5 and two non-perishable food items that benefit Yellow Springs Home, Inc. and a local food pantry.
During evenings this fall, Central Ohio's popular paintball facility SplatterPark will transform into ZombiePark. Visitors begin their mission by taking practice shots at the Zombie Target Range Test Facility and later board the Zombie Hunting Vehicle, also known as Z.H.V., to shoot live zombies. For additional paintball fun, head to Mapleside Farms in Brunswick, Ohio, and purchase a Zombie Paintball "Hunting Permit." The public can take on the zombies at Mapleside Farms every weekend through Oct. 27.
Grave Sites and Cemeteries
Ohio's Mount Union-Pleasant Valley Cemetery, better known as Elisabeth's Grave, is located off of a rural road in Ross County. According to a legend, a woman named Elisabeth died near a tree located in the rear of the cemetery and her tombstone moves to different locations within the cemetery. Visitors have reported seeing her ghost roaming the property and other strange activities.
Downtown Cleveland's Erie Street Cemetery is the city's oldest surviving cemetery and the final resting place for nearly 8,000 people. In addition to its appeal to history buffs, the cemetery also holds the title of being one of the oldest haunted sites in Cleveland. Among the overabundance of worn and broken tombstones, visitors will find a tombstone that belongs to Chief Joc-O-Sot, chief of the Mesquakie tribe who fought in the Black Hawk War. Chief Joc-O-Spot's spirit is said to angrily wander around the cemetery as a result of not being buried closer to his tribesmen in Minnesota and Wisconsin.