Columbus Ohio is a town which is full of haunted locations that can provide you with all of the bone-chilling entertainment that you could ever ask for! It is more or less littered with ghosts, spirits and strange paranormal activity.

Let’s take a look at the 10 most haunted places in Columbus, Ohio.

1. Thurber House

Thurber House
77 Jefferson Ave, Columbus, OH 43215

You actually get a two-for-one deal when you visit Thurber House because there are two separate buildings, both of which are said to be haunted!

Thurber House is a nonprofit literary center which once served as the home of author and cartoonist James Thurber. Mr Thurber himself said that he experienced paranormal activity in the house while he lived there and today visitors are also experiencing phantom footsteps and other activity.

Some guests have had books thrown at them and they have seen an indistinct figure moving as well. It is a similar story at the Thurber Museum, suggesting that the same entities are moving between both buildings.

The general consensus is that the source of the hauntings is that several people died in a fire at a mental institution that once stood very close to where Thurber House now sits.

See also: Ohio’s Haunted Hotels

2. Old Governor’s Mansion

Old Governor’s Mansion
1234 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43205

Without a doubt one of the most haunted places in Ohio is Old Governor’s Mansion. The spirit haunting the Old Governor’s Mansion is described as an African American woman wearing a blue dress from the 1900s.

She has been seen in many different rooms throughout the house and during the renovation of the house she actually appeared to the workers and spoke directly to them.

She apparently wanted to tell them how happy she was about the remodelling work that they were planning.

She is also said to be responsible for moving paintings around inside the mansion during the night!

3. Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake
Mirror Lake, Columbus, OH 43210

One of the most haunted locations in Columbus Ohio is Mirror Lake which is located at the Ohio State University. There are a couple of different ghosts that are linked to the location including a student of the university who drowned in the lake during the sixties.

Visitors to the lake say that they have heard frantic splashing and even muffled screaming as though the drowning is being replayed over and over.

The other spirit is said to be that of a jogger who was killed close to the lake. He is often said to create a cool rush of air as he runs past the visitors to the lake and some say that they have seen his apparition and say that he looks back over his shoulder as he runs. Is he looking back at his killer?

4. Red Brick Tavern

Red Brick Tavern
292 E Gates St, Columbus, OH 43206

The Red Brick Tavern was built in 1836 and since then it has served a variety of purposes over the years including a tavern, an inn, a school and even a private residence.

These days it is home to a restaurant where the signature dish is a steak dinner that is named after the 6 presidents known to have visited – John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor and Warren G. Harding.

In terms of the building’s haunted aspect, there is said to be a female ghost in the upstairs area of the restaurant.

She’s often seen looking out of the upstairs windows and customers have heard her footsteps walking above them while they are eating downstairs.

t is believed that she is someone who lived in the house at one time and committed suicide after being betrayed by her lover.

Rumor has it that she actually created an embroidery sampler before her death that read ‘Remember Me’. Her spirit has certainly made sure that those words ring true!

5. Watkins Road Bridge

Watkins Road Bridge is also known locally as Headless Hattie Bridge and it is apparently haunted by a woman and her baby who died in a car accident here. It is said that if you stop on the bridge and flash your lights twelve times, then the woman will appear and you will hear the screaming of her dying baby.

However, she is not the only spectre here. There is another ghost story that dates back to before this one, back when the bridge was a covered one.

The story is that a young couple had stopped to carve their initials into the inside of the bridge. The boy was struck by a passing car and died instantly.

Now it is said that the girl can be seen sitting in the same spot sobbing over her lost love.

6. Blind Lady Tavern

Blind Lady Tavern
22 E Mound St, Columbus, OH 43215

UPDATE: Closed as of March 22, 2023

Some say that the Blind Lady Tavern has been plagued by bad omens right from the very start! This all stems from the fact that it was built on top of a Hopewell Indian burial mound back in the 1930s!

Anyone who has ever seen a horror movie already knows that this is just about the worst idea ever! The tavern was originally built in order to offer accommodation to those attending court cases in town.

It has always been a tavern, but at some points during its history some sections have been put to other uses such as a brief stint as a brothel.

It was during this time as a brothel that a prostitute found herself accused of manslaughter after killing a drunk who attempted to kick down her door. He is thought to be at least one of the spirits that is haunting the Blind Lady Tavern!

Female employees and customers have been pushed by unseen hands and some have even seen the tall shadowy figure in the tavern. Staff also say that the burners of the stove have been turned on or off by an unseen force!

7. The Elevator

The Elevator
161 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215

Over the years, The Elevator has gone by many different names, but with each rebranding there is one thing that always stays the same – the clock that is stuck at 10:05!

It is said that a colonel who was a well known womanizer died at exactly 10:05 pm when he was stabbed outside the bar by a disgruntled ex-lover! The only evidence in the crime was bare footprints in the snow!

These days the brewery taproom is said to be haunted and customers have seen the Colonel’s ghost in the building.

Others say that mysterious footprints appear outside the restaurant whenever there is a fresh snowfall!

8. Green Lawn Cemetery

Green Lawn Cemetery
1000 Greenlawn Ave, Columbus, OH 43223

Green Lawn Cemetery is the second largest cemetery in all of Ohio and it is one of the most haunted locations in Columbus.

The paranormal activity here seems to be more or less centred on the main mausoleum and the Hayden mausoleum.

It is something of a rite of passage for local teenagers to walk up to the door of the Hayden mausoleum and knock.

More often than not, there is someone or perhaps something that will knock back in reply!

9. Children’s Hospital

Children’s Hospital
700 Children’s Dr, Columbus, OH 43205

There are a number of rooms in Columbus’ Children’s Hospital which are said to be haunted. There are some corridors where nurses refuse to go by themselves at night time!

The park right next to the hospital is also said to be haunted by ‘The Pink Lady’ and children staying in the hospital often report seeing her from their rooms.

It is thought that the park and possibly part of the hospital was actually built on top of an old Confederate cemetery which could certainly explain why the building is haunted.

See also: Haunted Places in Ohio

10. Old Ohio Penitentiary

Old Ohio Penitentiary

The old Ohio Penitentiary stood in Columbus from 1834 until 1998, starting off life as a log built prison which later evolved to stone cell houses constructed by the inmates themselves.

Around 1900, the prison saw its heyday with Warden E.G. Coffin being considered something of an expert in penology. This prison was seen as the model for an efficient prison and became something of a tourist attraction!

However, the reality of life inside of Ohio Penitentiary was much different from the image that was publicized. It was over crowded and by 1955 it housed 5235 inmates – more than three times its official capacity of 1500.

Aside from the overcrowding and poor conditions, the prison also saw fires, riots, beatings, suicides and of course executions so it is not at all surprising that the building was said to be haunted by the spirits of its former inmates.

The prison closed in 1979 and was demolished in 1998, but the site where it once stood is still said to be a hotspot for paranormal activity.

Strange sounds and apparitions are reported with some degree of regularity here, especially echoes of the terrible prison fire of the 1930s which is said to be one of the worst prison fires in history.