Have You Seen Ghosts At Any Of These Cincinnati Spots?

Oct 29, 2018

The Head of the University of Cincinnati's Archives and Rare Books has worked with a ghost for more than 30 years. He brings his unique perspective as he takes WVXU along on a mini-ghost tour.

Kevin Grace does not claim to be an expert when it comes to Cincinnati ghosts. But the historian has some credibility given a deceased professor haunts the 9th floor of Blagen Library, where UC houses 50,000 rare books.

The temperature-controlled area is kind of spooky.

"At one point we had a student assistant who wouldn't even come up here by herself to shelve books or retrieve them," Grace explains. She may have felt the presence of a classics professor who used to frequent Blagen 60 years ago. He's described as 5'5" wearing a tweed jacket and hat. Grace says he presents himself in a couple of ways, including a cool breeze on the back of your neck.

3517 Cornell Place used to be a school for girls. After something tragic happened, the past remained.
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU

Next we move on to 3517 Cornell Place in Clifton. It's an old girls school converted into apartments. Grace says in the 1940s a girl told her mother she was playing with a friend. That friend may have been a ghost. Later people saw daffodils in the dead of winter in the front yard.

Cornell Place currently is decorated for Halloween, making it even spookier.
Credit Kevin Grace

"So they started doing some investigation and found out many of the girls had been wiped out during typhoid or some other illness, and when they had all died it had been the height of summer," Grace said.

It's unclear if the current residents know about the history of the building. It didn't help it was already decorated for Halloween and even in daylight looked kind of scary.

Every ghost needs a cemetery. Grace took me to Wesleyan in Northside. "The ghost part of this is that at night sometimes the caretaker or other people here have heard laughter and have caught sight of children running around and playing with tombstones."

For years Wesleyan Cemetery was in disrepair. The property is being better maintained now but the ghosts remain.

The children, as the story goes, are from the 1900 fire on Front Street in the Salvation Army Orphanage, where seven people died. They were buried at Wesleyan Cemetery and have a marker.

Even people on the outside supposedly have heard the children crying for help. There's a sidewalk outside the cemetery that goes very close to their graves.

"I've walked along there around midnight or one o'clock and also came into the cemetery when I could and (heard) nothing," Grace admitted, adding, "but you never know."

Kevin Grace kneels down beside a monument to the children at Wesleyan.
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU