Madison Seminary Ghost Hunt | Madison, Ohio
Are you brave enough to walk through the doors of Madison Seminary? Investigated by some of the most well-known paranormal teams including the new Ghost Hunters, Dakota Laden from Ghost Adventures, Nick Groff, and others, you can experience what this place is all about — with us!
The structures on this property date back to the mid-1800s, and the stories within these walls are waiting to be told. Rife with history, Madison Seminary has filled several different roles over the years, and countless people called it home. Question is, how many of them still roam the halls? And are you ready to try to make contact with them? Maybe you’ll encounter Elizabeth Stiles – a Civil War spy who worked for the Union, and find she still has something to say. Or perhaps any one of the many people who stayed here when it was a school, or a hospital for the mentally ill, or the vocational rehabilitation facility for the women’s prison?
Volunteers, visitors and paranormal investigators alike claim a wide range of activity at Madison Seminary, including knocking in response to questions, footsteps heard down empty hallways, and disembodied voices in their ears. Many people report they feel uncomfortable in certain areas and the distinct feeling of being watched. Seemingly intelligent interaction with investigation equipment is common; motion detectors going off in empty rooms, EVPs captured on recorders in response to questions, as well as equipment malfunction such as brand-new batteries being drained unexplainably.
Others say they have witnessed doors opening and closing on their own and lights turning on and off. It is not uncommon for people to assert they have been touched, their hair pulled, or their clothing tugged. More than once, visitors have maintained seeing a female apparition, or shadow figures lurking within these rooms. Often, the sound of children’s laughter can also be heard.
Madison Seminary is calling to you. Are you ready to try to communicate with the child spirits who still dwell here using the toys in “Sarah’s Room”? Spend some time in the basement and see who shows up. Stories abound on every floor of this historic institution. Come with us and see if you have what it takes to undertake a vigil in the top floor “asylum” – if you dare.
Consisting of two historic buildings – “The Ohio Cottage” and “The Civil War” building, Madison Seminary has a rich and varied history. The Civil War building consists of 23 rooms on three floors, measuring 6,120 square feet. The Ohio Cottage boasts 63 rooms comprised of 25,136 square feet.
The Ohio Cottage has served many purposes throughout its extensive history, but it was first constructed in the mid-1840s to provide a space for secondary education and housed Madison Seminary from 1847 until 1891. In 1859, the brick boarding hall was added to the east side of the building, which is now referred to as the Civil War building. Due to the rise of public education, the seminary closed its doors and the building was sold to the Ohio Women’s Relief Corps (WRC) in 1891.The structure was then renamed Madison Home. It offered assistance and a place to live for those women who were displaced by the Civil War, including mothers, wives and sisters of soldiers, as well as Army nurses. At this time, the west wing was added onto the building.
One of the building’s most famous residents was a woman named Elizabeth Stiles – a Civil War spy working for the Union. Her husband was killed in front of her by Confederate sympathizers upon learning that Elizabeth was pro-Union. She was recruited by Abraham Lincoln to spy for the North until her identity became known in 1864. In 1865, she moved to the Madison Home and she died there in 1898.
However, in 1904, the WRC was no longer able to afford the upkeep on the property and it was donated to the State of Ohio, even though a part of the building continued to be used by WRC. The new name for the facility became the Home of the Ohio Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Their Wives, Mothers, Widows and Army Nurses. The state maintained the building until 1962 as a home for military widows and veterans’ children in need. A one-story center section which connects the Ohio Cottage and the east wing was built in 1959.
When the Madison Home ran into financial difficulties in 1962, the property was acquired by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, and the women who were residing there at the time were forced to live with relatives or sent to nursing homes.
The building was used to rehabilitate mentally ill patients from Cleveland State Hospital from 1962-1975, and it became part of Apple Creek Institution. At this time, the name of the building changed to Opportunity Village, and it was additionally used as a residence for women with milder forms of developmental disabilities. It was also briefly used as an extension to Cleveland State Hospital for elderly women suffering from dementia in 1964. In addition, inmates from the Ohio Women’s Reformatory in Marysville, Ohio who were model prisoners were allowed to live here and participate in vocational rehabilitation programs which taught them occupational skills to help them become productive members of the community. Due to funding problems, Opportunity Village was closed in April of 1975.
In 1977, Lake County purchased the property, and Madison Township leased it in 1978, using it for government offices until 1993. Part of the building was used by the local police station in the early 1990s. But from 1993 until 1998, the buildings remained vacant, perhaps because when the property was listed for rent, the ad stated: “can be leased cheap, caution – building may be haunted”. In 1998, it was sold to the owner of Cass-Mill Nurseries and it was used for storage and office space for several years. Madison Historical Society was allowed to use a portion of the building as a museum during this time.
In 2016, Adam Kimmell purchased the property and began to turn it into a virtual “time capsule” – filling the rooms with period furniture and protecting the beautiful details of the architecture. Since that time, he has worked diligently, along with the “MAD crew”, to preserve not only the buildings, but also the stories of those who lived and worked in this amazing, historic place.
Many of the volunteers and visitors will tell you that when you walk into Madison Seminary, you are walking into history – and that there is no shortage of spirits who are waiting to tell their stories and let you know you are not alone. Join us and see who you might meet within these walls. With so many souls passing through these doors over the past 170 years, there is sure to be someone waiting for you…
Your ghost hunt at Madison Seminary includes the following:
- Access to the most haunted areas.
- Historical Tour.
- Dinner (Pizza).
- Psychic Medium Vigil* (if psychic present).
- Group Vigils With Experienced Investigators.
- Lone Vigils.
- Use of our equipment which includes, trigger objects and EMF Readers.
- Free time to explore this location and to undertake your very own private vigils.
- Unlimited Refreshments, Including Coffee, Bottled Water and Soda.
- Selection of snacks.