Fairfield County Ohio Ghosts and Hauntings -Fairfield County Infirmary - Clarence E. Miller Building


Fairfield County Map

 

Fairfield County Infirmary - Clarence E. Miller Building

1587 Granville Pike

Lancaster, Ohio 43130

Fairfield County Infirmary

Word has it, the old Fairfield County Infirmary/Poorhouse (Clarence E Miller Health  and Human Resources Center Building) is haunted.

In fact, enough so, it was brought to the attention of the Fairfield County Commissioners in January of 2013:

From the notes of Fairfield County Commissioners’ Office  January 29, 2013

Mr. Davis stated that early last year a paranormal group wanted to visit the CEM building to view “ghosts” and the Board declined that request. Mr. Davis stated that county employees approached him and asked that the Board reconsider and showed him a picture of what was considered to be a ghost.

 

Ghosts. It wouldn't be surprising. The property had been used as a poorhouse farm before the 1840s. With over 170 years of  lives intertwining at the location, there has to be some sort of residual energy still hanging around.

In the mid-1800s, the first poorhouses began to pop up around Ohio like this one. They were built to be sustainable farms, taking in the poor, mentally and physically sick, elderly and orphaned. It isn't surprising that many of these pre-civil war era hospitals and poorhouses like Fairfield County's appear to be haunted. Many of those taken in were there because they were too ill or old for their families to care for. Many lived and died at the homes. Some, perhaps, linger.

 All in all, there is little to note tragically about the infirmary, no skeletons in the closet, no dirt to sweep under the rug. Not that disaster has to strike for a good old-fashioned haunting. There are plenty of ghosts hanging around that had rather mundane lives like the bible-reading Hermit at Beck's Knob at Schallenberger State Nature Preserve. He simply relives after death the climbs up the hillside that he did daily during his life.

 

 

Fairfield County Infirmary - Clarence E. Miller Building

Fairfield County Poorhouse and Infirmary - Clarence E Miller Building

Fairfield County Poorhouse and Infirmary - Clarence E Miller Building

 

Of course, there were few reported incidents. In an 1851 Lancaster Gazette article, 31 good standing citizens like the Foglesongs and Fetters living near the infirmary wrote a damning article about the cruelty of the superintendent working there. While harvesting their own fields, he was seen beating both the elderly working in the fields and those who tried to bring his cruelty to the attention of the community. The compassionate citizens named names and the brutality came to a halt.  Heartbreak and calamity averted. So mostly, those who lived and died there did so within the same ordinary routines of those living in the community surrounding them. 

 

 

Fairfield County Poorhouse and Infirmary - Clarence E Miller Building The Lancaster Gazette., September 25, 1851, Image 2

 

But ghosts? Perusing the internet and newspapers, you can find a few notes of employees working at the building (the health department) seeing a woman in period clothing. It has the typical fare of cold spots and a feeling of being watched. There are sounds that cannot be unexplained.  And voices.

 

So ghosts there may be, for those lucky or not so lucky to see and hear those things. And maybe a few driving past the old building during the night or day might peer toward the windows or dare to take a look behind the structures to the old cemetery. Maybe they will see something there. Word has it, they might.

Fairfield County Infirmary - Clarence Miller Building

Citing: Columbus Dispatch, Lancaster Eagle Gazette,  Ohio Exploration Society, Fairfield County Commissioners meeting Notes.