A tale told by Marjorie George Beougher
This story took place at the old Baldwin House (known as the haunted house on the corner of Marietta Road and the Pleasantville Pike or Route 188.
The Baldwin House was a tavern or inn or whatever they called them in those days. Farmers would drive their pigs or sheep to market and then would return here to spend the night and have a good bit of money in their possession.
The reason this inn was so handy was because this road was known to go clear to Marietta, Ohio, clear to the Ohio River.
One night two men were sleeping in the same room and one man was known to have a lot of money from having sold his cattle. The next morning, there was no noise out of the room, so the caretaker went up and looked and one man was dead and the other one had disappeared and there was blood on the floor. He had been killed somehow. Always after that it seemed like they could never scrub that floor, that no matter how they scoured, that stain was still there.
It went on for a while being a tavern and they wouldn’t tell the people that came there to stay but the men who stayed in that particular room would get up and say, “Something kept walking around in the room and I couldn’t get any rest.”
In time no one would stay in that room. It’s thought that they finally quit using it and across the windows to it they closed it up with tin. Now whether that was to keep out the spirits or not, I don’t know.
The people that were living there were ancestral relatives of mine and they said they heard noises, unusual noises, and they thought there were ghosts in that room. Later, my uncle married the daughter of the family and they didn’t believe in ghosts. She said that the whole time they lived there they never saw anything unusual. That was in 1918.
But around when the story I’m going to tell you took place, the people that lived there thought there were ghosts. They said the stove lids would just jump on the stove and come open all by themselves and have no reason to and they would hear strange noises from that room.
My grandfather, Olivet Perry Nichols, was a young man and he was visiting or staying there the night and they heard these terrible, horrible noises from out in the barn behind the house. They said, “Oh my, the ghost has gone out there now,” and they looked out the back door and they could see something real white and oh the folks were so scared. My grandfather said, “I know that there’s nothing to these ghost stories and I know there’s no such a thing as a ghost and I also know for every noise there is a reason and I’m going to investigate. “Oh,” the people said, “You’ll be killed!” And the ladies tried to hang on to the straps of his overalls to keep him from going out because , he would never live through it, they felt. So when he got out of their grasp, he went out towards the barn and the noise got louder and the white spot was still there. When he got up real close he discovered it was a large, white mother sow with indigestion. She was making terrible groans so he went back and told them they should go out and doctor the hog. This was the ghost and the story of the one ghost that had gone to the barn. I think maybe we’d find a lot of ghosts stories are like that. They’re real animals or real people in distress.
I am sorry to say that the old Baldwin House no longer exists. It stood at the intersection of Marietta Road and the Pleasantville Pike or Route 188 in Lancaster, Ohio. I have no idea as to when it was torn down. I have driven past this site most of my life, and have not seen or heard anything. I also do not know of anybody who has.
I have seen another article on the Baldwin House that is more detailed. As soon as I locate it I will replace or update the story above.
This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on on James A Sheets’ site.