On Friday, September 13th, the Ohio Herb Center offered a Gahanna Ghost Walk. With visions of ghost stories and strange phenomenon in our heads, we headed to meet our group. We were told it would be a 90 minute walking tour with light refreshments following.
Our tour started with the history of Bridgeport, Ohio, the name of the portion of Gahanna we were going to be exploring. After a brief overview, we headed out just down the street from the Ohio Herb Center to the site of what was once the Mifflin Inn. In front of the building is the oldest stone step in Gahanna. There are also two big windows where you may see a ghost cat. (The step and windows are not pictured because we talked about them from the back of the building because of traffic noise from the street.) First stop and already a ghost story? This was going to be great!
Our next landmarks were given quick mentions. We saw The Olde Gahanna Sanctuary (built in 1895 by Peace Lutheran Church) and the Shepard Street School, but no real stories or history of either was given. Our next stop was 120 N High Street at the former house of Harry Bower. Apparently Harry was known as a strange fellow that bathed in the creek and constantly had to kick kids out of his back barn. Kids were always trying to get a peek at the glider (think light airplane) he kept there. Interesting sounding fellow, but not exactly spooky or supernatural.
We learned a bit more history on the way to our next destination – the site that was once the apartment building where Dr. Sam Sheppard once lived. Apparently was a doctor living near Cleveland with his pregnant wife when he came home one day to find she’d been murdered. Sam was tried by 2 separate juries 10 years apart and eventually acquitted of the crime. After his release from the State Penitentiary, he took up residence in The Executive apartment building in Gahanna, where he once again began seeing patients as a doctor. In our current day, the apartment building was tore down and that land now holds a parking lot and office building, so no photos there. No ghosts, either, apparently, although this was at least a true crime type of story.
Next we traveled back to the Ohio Herb Center, which is housed in the Naffzger-Miller House. They have an old butcher shop that was relocated to the backyard when the building was expanded by the family that lived there. No ghosts mentioned in the butcher shop, though. There is a potential ghost in the upstairs of the Naffzger-Miller House, so we were allowed to see that room. We were also given some lovely ginger snap ice cream sandwiches and lemon balm iced tea.
Overall, we were pretty disappointed in this tour. If we had gone in thinking we were going to learn about just the history of the area, it may have been more satisfying. Our guide definitely knew her history and was extremely passionate about preserving it. But only 2 ghosts and a questionably spooky doctor (who was acquitted for a murder that did not occur in Gahanna) do not really make a 90 minute ghost tour live up to its name. We would recommend it to history buffs, but not to ghost entusiasts or thrill seekers.