Fairfield County Ohio Ghosts and Hauntings - A ghostly ride through Lancaster's Scariest Places

Fairfield County Map

Start out on South Broad Street in Lancaster until it turns into BIS Road (5055-5999 S Broad St, Lancaster, OH 43130  39.696614, -82.603664). Along the twists and turns of BIS Road, look for the Hanging Tree. It should be easy to find. A glowing noose hangs from it. Legends tell that a man committed suicide along the road – A 1985 Lancaster Eagle Gazette tells the story like this:
“It was late on a Friday night and the four high school boys were restless. They had already visited their friends but were not ready to return home. Jim’s father had loaned them the car, an occasion for celebration. As often happens on chilly fall nights, their thoughts turned to ghost stories and the boys related the grisly tales, enjoying the shivery feeling the stories gave them. One such tale concerned a man who had reportedly committed suicide on the old BIS Road. Looping a rope over a tree limb near a curve in the road, the man had hung himself, ending his miserable life. To the best of their recollection, the event had occurred on exactly that night many years ago. It was the thought of the grisly anniversary which sent the boys on a trip to the suicide scene. As they traveled down the winding road, the four spied a glowing noose hanging from a tree limb which stretched over the road. Stopping their car beneath the ghostly rope, Jim, the bravest of the four, declared he would climb to the roof of the car and pull the noose down. He clambered to the top of the 1956 car and one of his friends took over the driver’s seat, putting his foot on the brake of the running vehicle. As Jim yanked on the noose, his friend’s foot slipped from the brake and the car lurched forward and down the road. The three boys turned to see Jim hanging, dead, his neck caught in the noose of the ancient rope. Little did they know that to touch the ghostly rope meant death. According to legend, that rope, which has already killed two people, awaits more victims as it appears on one special night each year at its deadly place near a curve on BIS Road.”



Hanging Tree



After your search for the Hanging Tree, you’ll pass the Old Boys Reform School (5055-5999 S Broad St, Lancaster, OH 43130 39.642335, -82.621553) on BIS Road. The property is now owned by the State of Ohio and is part of a correctional facility. Due to security reasons, it is off limits and I wouldn’t slow down. However, BIS Road goes straight through the property and grounds. Watch for the mansion on the left not far from the gate. Strange bangs, booms, and wails were once heard inside the old mansion on the Old Boys Industrial School property. The ghost of a woman has been seen outside the old home.



BIS Road Haunt




Just past the mansion, you’ll turn left on Revenge Road SW. Follow that for about 5.3 miles and you can make a slight detour by turning right onto Clearcreek Rd SW to Johnston Covered Bridge: (Johnston Covered Bridge, Co Hwy 69, Lancaster, OH 43130   39.613416, -82.658869). The lady of Johnstons Bridge (built in 1887) has been spotted pacing back and forth along the bridge or peering out of one end looking back and forth as if she is waiting for someone to meet her. She has also been seen with her hand waving eerily in the air, gently beckoning those outside to come in. It is your choice to follow. And if not--



Johnstons Covered Bridge



And then, there’s the Witch’s Rock at Clearcreek Metropark aobut 5.2 miles away (23400 Clear Creek Rd, Good Hope Township, OH   39.591998, -82.58337) on Clear Creek Road. Just go back the way you came along Clear Creek Road and follow it southeast.  You may want to drive past this one slowly before stopping completely to ogle at the rock . . . or before traveling onward after dark. This huge rock sits there, a towering tan-brown chunk of sandstone cut from a cliff above and settled into a gentle curve in the road.  But if you stop to gaze at it, you might find another surprise. Just beneath, you may see a row of sticks. It is said the sticks are placed there by area witches. If they are lying straight up against the rock, it is safe to pass along the roadway. If the pattern varies, or they are slightly turned to the left or right, you may want to rethink the route you are taking. It isn’t safe to go any further. And certainly don’t move them. If you do that, bad luck will soon follow.



Leaning Rock Clear Creek




And lastly, you can head to Sugar Grove (7082-6800 Old Logan Rd SE Sugar Grove, OH 43155   39.620510, -82.552969 )and in another 4 miles see if you can catch sight of the ghostly form of a dead peddler that once scared the bejeebus out of carriage riders in the 1800s along the hillside and roadway not far from where the Sharp cemetery stands now. The peddler stopped for the night at the old cabin of a man named Pierre and the peddler disappeared. There was no sign of him save a small pool of blood found by a spring near the road. The August 6, 1875 Ashtabula Telegraph wrote this: “--many a night when the sky was hidden by the clouds, and the wind soughed and mourned lugubriously around the hill, has the passing countryman seen the ghost of the missing peddler, which would flit along in front of the horses until the spring was reached where it would vanish. . . The old jewelry peddler had been murdered and robbed, no one had the least doubt, and that his troubled spirit had taken this mode to scare the murderer into confession and repentance. . .” For many years, farmers coming through the area after dark still took a two mile detour away from that lonely spot on the Logan Road to avoid the ghost of the peddler.
Now, you can head on out to Sharp Road SE and make a right just up the street and you’ll see Route 33 to take you back to the safety of home! If you make it out alive, Happy Halloween!