Ohio, known for its rich history and culture, holds within its borders not only tales of the past but also eerie stories of ghosts and hauntings. Among the myriad of spooky locations in the Buckeye State, the Lafayette Hotel in Marietta stands out with its spine-chilling reputation.
Unraveling the Lafayette Hotel’s Past
Originally erected in 1892 as the Bellevue Hotel, a luxurious riverside haven for affluent travelers, the Lafayette Hotel has a history shrouded in both grandeur and tragedy. Named after the French hero Marquis de Lafayette, who graced Marietta with his presence in 1825 during his U.S. tour, the hotel’s initial splendor was cut short by a devastating fire in 1916. Rising from the ashes, it was rebuilt and reopened in 1918 as the Lafayette Hotel, maintaining the Victorian elegance and style of its predecessor while incorporating a ballroom and restaurant.
Under state ownership since the 1950s, the Lafayette Hotel has undergone multiple renovations. Today, it continues to welcome guests seeking a blend of historic charm and scenic views along the Ohio River.
The Ghostly Encounters of the Lafayette Hotel
However, not all who check into the Lafayette Hotel are among the living. Numerous reports suggest the presence of several ghosts, some identifiable and others shrouded in mystery.
A recurring apparition is that of the handyman, who met his demise in 1910 after an unfortunate incident involving a barrel of cleaning acid in the basement. His spectral form is often observed engaged in various tasks, from working on maintenance to shoveling coal in the boiler room, providing harmless but startling encounters for unsuspecting visitors.
Another ghost, identified as the governess, appears in Victorian attire, particularly drawn to children within the hotel. Believed to be the nanny of the Hoag family, former owners in the early 1900s, she exhibits a friendly and protective demeanor, occasionally tucking young guests in at night.
The most enigmatic figure is the man in the dining room, found hanging by his neck from a rope. Thought to be a lumberjack who met a tragic end within the hotel, his identity and story remain elusive. His ghostly presence is the most unsettling, witnessed simultaneously by multiple individuals.
Supernatural Experiences at the Lafayette Hotel
Guests and staff alike have recounted a spectrum of paranormal encounters over the years, ranging from benign to terrifying. Common phenomena include:
- Audible footsteps, voices, laughter, or music in seemingly empty areas.
- Sensations of cold spots, breezes, or unexplained touches in specific hotel locations.
- Sightings of orbs, shadows, or figures in hallways, rooms, or windows.
- Movement of objects, their disappearance or reappearance without apparent cause.
- Unusual odors like perfume, tobacco, or sulfur wafting through the air.
- Autonomous opening or closing of doors, windows, or faucets.
- Feelings of an unseen presence or pressure on beds or chests.
- Incidents of nightmares, visions, or sleep paralysis.
The third floor reportedly hosts the most paranormal activity, prompting some guests to request room changes or leave the hotel after unsettling experiences. For the brave, the Lafayette Hotel offers ghost tours and paranormal investigations, providing an opportunity to delve into the haunted history of this Ohio landmark.
The Lafayette Hotel, with its historic significance and haunted allure, stands as a unique destination in Ohio. Whether seeking a peaceful retreat or a thrilling encounter, the hotel offers an unforgettable experience for those captivated by history, adventure, and mystery. Just be prepared to share your accommodations with some spectral companions.