Ghostly haunts abound in and around the Akron area – here are a few ghost stories – Akron Beacon Journal


It’s that time of year once again.

Time to devour Reese’s Pumpkins, candy corn and ghost stories.

And there are certainly a fair number of haunts where ghosts and spirits are believed to tread in and around Akron.

Some are famous and some are not.

The Beacon Journal has retold some of these yarns over the years and even sent psychics in to explore the lore.

Here is just a sampling of ghostly tales dug up from our crypt of ghost stories. 

Stan Hywet Hall

The minstrel balcony in the Great Hall is one area of Stan Hywet that is believed to be haunted.

Surely a place as huge as Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens in Akron has room for a ghost or two.

There are some who believe Goodyear co-founder F.A. Seiberling and his wife, Gertrude, are still looking over the place.

Over the years, some volunteers and staff members who look over the historic manor house say they have had a ghostly encounter with the so-called Gray Lady.

One of the most-told stories is the night a worker was shutting down the house after a Christmas tour and out of the corner of his eye saw someone cross the balcony overlooking the Great Hall.

When he turned to look closer he saw a woman’s hand trailing along the balustrade leading to Gertrude’s bedroom.

The Gray Lady is said to be the ghost of a woman who supposedly died in a home in England from which the woodwork was spirited from and reconstructed in the master suite at Stan Hywet.

Others believe it was actually the spirit of Gertrude making sure everything was tidy inside the home before retiring for the night.

Akron Civic Theatre

Akron Civic Theatre is believed to be home to a few ghosts. [Courtesy of Akron Civic Theatre]

The massive historic theater on Akron’s South Main Street is said to be home to a number of ghosts.

There have been strange encounters over the years at the top of the grand staircase, in the projection booth and in the basement dressing room beneath the stage.

One of the spirits is said to be Paul Steeg who helped open the theater in 1929 and worked there until his death in 1972.

More:Beacon Journal reporter recounts ghostly encounters in a Kent State dorm room

It is said that he continues to do chores inside the theater just as he promised before his death when he said “I’ll always be here. I’ll come back.”

Another spirit is said to haunt a small room in the theater’s basement. 

Workers in the past have said they have felt uncomfortable when venturing down there and even spotted a woman in an old-fashioned dress in the room.

Perkins Stone Mansion

Lambs frolic at Summit County Historical Society's Perkins Stone Mansion in Akron.

There’s a lot of history in Akron’s Perkins Stone Mansion and for a good reason as it is home to the Summit County Historical Society.

The ghost that reportedly calls this place home is not your typical spirit.

Some workers and staff over the years have said the place is haunted by a cat.

They believe the ghost pet is the spirit of Simon Purrkins, a black cat who once prowled the mansion’s grounds and was befriended by staff until its death in 2013.

Folks have said they have seen a black cat inside the home built for Col. Simon Perkins that appeared in one instant and then simply vanished the next or have heard meowing in otherwise empty rooms.

Hower House

Hower House is a Victorian mansion located on the University of Akron campus.

The Hower House, located at Fir Hill and Forge Street on the University of Akron campus, is said to be another popular haunt for ghosts.

The lifeless occupant of the 28-room Victorian mansion is said to be Susan Hower.

Susan’s sad tale of eternal grief started on her deathbed when her husband, John Henry, promised that he would never remarry — a promise he broke just four years later in 1900.

The ghostly encounters include a door that workers could not budge suddenly flying open, mysterious footsteps and a security guard hearing a voice in the otherwise empty house telling him to “get out of my house.”

Goodyear hangar

A Goodyear blimp hovers over workers inside the Wingfoot Lake airship base in Suffield Township in 2005.

There are plenty of workers inside the ginormous Goodyear blimp hangar at Wingfoot Lake in Portage County.

Some living and, well, some in spirit.

It is said the spirits of some of the long-gone workers still dutifully show up for work each day and roam about the structure the size of several football fields.

The hangar’s history of building lighter-than-air crafts is also tied to the enduring mystery of Goodyear’s “Ghost Blimp.”