Cincinnati has a long and colourful history. It was founded in 1788 and holds the distinction of being the first city that was built from scratch, following the declaration of independence. It grew rapidly, right up until the Wall Street crash in the twenties.

From that point on, the population began a steady decline. However, many believe that some of the historical residents have lingered, even though many of the living have not!

Join us as we take a closer look at the 10 most haunted places in Cincinnati:

10 – Cincinnati Subway

There is something insanely unsettling about abandoned subway tunnels! The Cincinnati Subway has been totally abandoned since the early part of the 20th century. In fact, it has never been in operation, considering its construction was never completed.

All work on the subway system ceased during the Great Depression. In the years that followed, the city went through a period of decline and work never resumed.

Every so often someone suggests completing the project or turning it into something else, but nothing ever seems to come of it.

There are some who say that the real reason the tunnels have been abandoned, is that there is something paranormal running loose in those tunnels, that has scared the developers away for good.

This is also the largest abandoned subway in all of North America and attracts many urban explorers wishing to photograph the tunnels.

However, many of them report being chased out of the tunnels by terrifying spirits.

9 – Cincinnati Zoo

Cincinnati Zoo

Usually, a visit to the zoo is great fun for all the family. However, if it’s ghosts you’re hoping to run into, then we probably would not recommend bringing your kids.

This is America’s second oldest zoo, having been open since 1875. It is hardly surprising since a zoo is essentially an animal prison and there is no telling what sort of horrific things have happened here.

However, it is said that there is a ghostly lion who haunts the zoo and is often seen passing through the walls of the lion enclosure and scaring visitors!

8 – Stenton House

The Stenton House is an old house, which has experienced more than its fair share of misfortune over the years. It was built in the 1800s and in 1880 a man committed suicide inside the house.

A short time later, in 1900 the property was converted into an all-girls school. During its stint as a school, one of the girls committed suicide and another was murdered inside the house.

All of these deaths have contributed to the alleged hauntings, that are happening here.

Stenton House is now a multi-unit apartment block and is not open to the public. Though residents say that they have experienced various unexplained noises, including phantom footsteps and a sound they describe as someone or something falling on the floor. Creepy!

7 – Buffalo Ridge Crematorium

Buffalo Ridge Crematorium

This particular one is a little bit confusing, because it seems that people have the story behind it all wrong. Although it is known locally as Buffalo Ridge Crematorium, the building that once stood here never served that purpose. It was actually an observatory that was never finished!

The building was supposed to be built using materials that were salvaged from the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. Which was destroyed by fire in 1911, six people died in the blaze. It has been suggested that the spirits of Buffalo Ridge were brought there, since they were attached to the materials salvaged from the fire.

Perhaps the fact that these people burned to death, is how the story got confused along the way, as people believed the building had been a crematorium. It has also been suggested that the site was at one time, used for Satanic worship and rituals.

6 - Lick Road

Lick Road

Lick road has long been considered one of the most haunted places in the state of Ohio. It is the site of a legend, that pretty much everyone who lives in Cincinnati has heard of and a large percentage have probably gone there to investigate it for themselves.

There are some variations of the story itself, but it always revolves around a ghost known as Amy. It is believed that Amy, may have been murdered here, some say at the hands of her boyfriend.

People have reported hearing a disembodied screaming at night, seeing glimpses of a woman in white and perhaps the most chilling of all – the suggestion that if you park there, the words ‘help me’ will appear in the condensation on the windows.

There are no records of any death natural or otherwise at this spot. But some have suggested that perhaps her body was simply never found and that is why she is haunting the road. Or perhaps it is simply an urban legend. Either way, it is an eerie tale!

5 – Elsinore Arch

Elsinore Arch

Talk about a grand romantic gesture! Elsinore Arch was built in 1883 as a symbol of love and was modelled after the castle in Hamlet. This was a popular thing to do in the Victorian era. They loved to build medieval style buildings.

It is said that Elsinore Arch is haunted by the spirit of a mentally unstable gent, who has convinced himself that he is an important European Lord! He is not of noble birth, but acts as though he is.

His apparition has even been known to scream ‘Kneel to me, peasant’ at anyone who sees it!

4 – Spring Grove Cemetery

Spring Grove Cemetery

We love a good spooky cemetery and Cincinnati’s Spring Grove Cemetery certainly does not disappoint. The burial ground was founded in the 1850s and it is said to have taken inspiration from the traditional French style cemetery.

The main spirit that is said to be responsible for the strange happenings here is thought to be Jacob Ammen who was a Civil War General, that happens to be buried in Spring Grove Cemetery.

He is often seen marching around the cemetery, as though he might be protecting it from enemy attack.

Some visitors have assumed, that there was some kind of civil war re-enactment happening near by, when they first saw him, but soon released, what they were actually seeing was a ghost!

3 – Cincinnati Music Hall

Cincinnati Music Hall

Cincinnati Music Hall was built in 1879 and it has long been considered to be one of the most haunted places in Cincinnati.

Apparently, an orphanage once occupied the land, on which the music hall is now built. During its construction 200 pounds of human bones were uncovered, as the foundations were dug out. Many of these bones belonged to children.

This probably explains why the building is so haunted.

There are documented reports of various paranormal experiences, but everyone agrees that the spirits here are friendly and never cause anyone any harm.

2 – The Golden LambStay a Night

The Golden Lamb

The Golden Lamb dates back to 1815 and has played host to some very well known guests including Mark Twain and Charles Dickens in addition to some more recent celebrities such as Sarah Palin.

As well as having a significant place in Cincinnati history, the inn is also one of the cities most haunted locations.

It is believed that there are several ghosts haunting The Golden Lamb, including the spirit of Sarah Stubbs, who is said to haunt the fourth floor.

Sarah did not actually die on the property but she lived here with her uncle, who managed the inn which could be why she has remained here – it just feels like home.

It has also been claimed that Eliza Clay who passed away on the property in 1825 and also a former Ohio Supreme Justice named Charles Sherman who died in 1829.

1 – Sedamsville Rectory

Sedamsville Rectory

If there is one building that deserves to top a list of the most haunted places in Cincinnati, then it surely has to be Sedamsville Rectory. Hell, it’s without a doubt one of the most haunted places in Ohio!

Some of the stories coming out of this place are absolutely terrifying! The house has stood for over 100 years and at one time it housed local priests from the area.

There are also rumors that the priests that were sent here, were those who had been accused of sexual abuse and other sins. At least one of those priests died here in the 1800s.

The current owners have claimed that while it lay empty in the 1980s, it was also used as a venue for illegal dogfights.

Many believe that this combination of abuse against the most innocent of creatures – children and dogs – has left a very dark stain on the property. Some might even say it is something demonic.

The current owners began restoration work on Sedamsville Rectory in 2011 and they say that their lives have been profoundly affected since taking ownership of the building. They have allowed various paranormal investigators access to the house and they have documented their personal experiences on their blog.

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If you’ve done all the local ghost tours or haunted mazes, the next step up for you has to be booking a night in a real haunted hotel in Cincinnati! Not only that, check some of the hotels in this list then request the most haunted room!

Learn more on the most haunted hotels in Cincinnati OH