Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment that one developed a new interest. But I know when my love of architecture was awakened. It was in the seventh grade and my art teacher was presenting a slide show of the cathedrals of Europe. I was mesmerized and imagined a day when I would travel overseas and tour Notre Dame de Paris, Rouen, St. Paul’s and Reims Cathedral. That day hasn’t come, but that hasn’t stopped my husband and me from touring several “American castles” as well as many historic homes with amazing architectural features.
When I ran across the manor at Punderson State Park during an internet search for historic homes in Ohio, I knew it was someplace my husband and I would want to visit. How cool would it be to not only tour a historic property, but also spend the night there? Pretty cool, right? There is only one catch. The Punderson Manor State Park Lodge is rumored to have guests that ummm…never leave. If you know what I mean.
Punderson Manor, located in Punderson State Park, a short 50 minute drive southeast of Cleveland is said to be haunted. This beautiful, historic English Tudor Style Mansion features 31 guest rooms with seven located in the original wing where the ghosts are said to occupy. The lodge was originally built as a private home by W.B. Cleveland in 1898. When he passed away, his widow moved back to her home state of Tennessee. Not ready to sell the property, she arranged for Detroit millionaire Karl Long to care for the property in the 1920’s. The agreement was upon her return if she decided she did not want to sell, she would pay him for any upgrades he made to the home. Long completely renovated the property from a humble home to a 29-room, 14-bath mansion that is now the Manor House at Punderson. He lost his fortune in the Great Depression and the home once again fell into the Cleveland family’s hands. Eventually the home was sold to the state of Ohio, becoming Ohio’s second state park. The state turned the house into a resort and opened for guests in the mid-1950’s, but there wasn’t any reported paranormal activity until the 1970’s.
Thankfully, there were no spirits other than the ones that flowed through the bar during my visit, but I was able to tour the rooms where the instances are said to occur. If you want to hear those stories, you can visit yourself and take the Punderson Manor Haunted History Tour, led by a former skeptic turned believer of ghosts, Nick Fischback, after an incident he witnessed one wintry night at Punderson.
The original wing is lovely and reminiscent of a boutique hotel. Each room is beautifully decorated with nooks and crannies not seen in the newer wing where my husband and I resided during our stay. I would love to stay in the Windsor Suite, the most elegant of the rooms with its own sitting area with fireplace and a Jacuzzi room. There is one minor detail holding me back from making that reservation- the room is said to be “the most haunted” of all the rooms. To some, that’s a deterrent and to others, that very rumor makes the room that more desirable.
What about you? Would you stay in a hotel that was said to be haunted? If you answer “YES!” than continue reading.
If you answered yes, give Punderson Manor State Park Lodge a call at 1-800-282-7275 or visit this website for more information or to make your reservation. Just tell them you want to stay in one of the haunted rooms.