Haunted Hype: the Best Scary Places in Athens< < Back to
Behind the small town, good-vibe, hippie culture that’s often associated with Athens, there lives a much freakier, creepier, and cringer side: the Athens that’s known, not for its friendly faces and sustainable initiatives, but for its many spooky sites.
Trust us, there are many.
With a rich history of lobotomy practices, murders, blood stains, and ghost sightings, Athens has frequently been regarded as one of the most haunted cities in the world. It comes as no surprise that much of the haunted hype is associated with the university itself. From dormitories to Greek Life houses, to an old insane asylum, Athens County and O.U. have proven themselves to be meccas for fright… and we’re here to tell you some of our favorite freaky finds.
Located on a brooding hill across from Ohio University’s campus, the Ridges are a series of buildings that once comprised an old insane asylum. The Asylum operated from 1874-1993 with the purpose of treating mentally ill patients, and records have shown its practices to have, at times, been inhumane. Lobotomies, electroshock therapy, and hydrotherapy are all arcane methods of treatment that were conducted at the asylum. One of the most notorious legends of the Ridges is the story of Margaret Schilling, a patient who went missing in 1978. Her body was found weeks later decomposing in a long-since demolished portion of the hospital. An outline of her body was allegedly stained into the ground, haunting the building.
The Ridges Cemeteries
As a functioning insane asylum for over 100 years, naturally The Ridges has its own burial grounds. In fact, it has three. Located on grassy hills surrounded by trees, each cemetery becomes quite terrifying at night. Gravestones date back to the mid 1800’s, creating an old, mysterious feel to the grounds. It’s a truly eerie experience to walk past so many decaying stones- you can’t help but wonder what the place looked like so long ago, and what the people laying beneath the grass really lived through. From what we know of the treatment of patients at the Ridges and the general attitude toward the mentally ill in the past, walking through the cemeteries is inevitably thought-provoking. There have even been stories of students stealing headstones and becoming haunted, and there are legends that say the ghosts of the patients walk through the hills at night. Whether you spot one or not, exploring the Ridges cemeteries at night will surely give you chills.
The infamous haunted dorm. Located on West Green, Wilson Hall has been deemed one of the most haunted places on campus after University officials permanently closed off room 428- the room where a student mysteriously died in the ’70s. The legend goes that the room was deemed “uninhabitable” after multiple students reported a series of paranormal activity. Moving objects, slamming doors, voices, and foot stomps were reported amongst students… and some even said they saw the ghostly figure of the student who died. The haunted feel still remains throughout the building and students have reported strange happenings all throughout Wilson Hall. Walking past the boarded up doors will make you shiver… the University may have locked us out, but surely those walls won’t stop the spirits.
Additional haunted places in Athens include Simms Cemetery, the Moonville Tunnel, and West State Street Cemetery…but the haunted stories aren’t just contained to these places. Overall, Athens has been regarded as one of the most haunted places in the world, leaving the possibility to experience some paranormal activity open to just about anywhere.