- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From the playful spirits of the Kelton House Museum and Garden to the wavy-armed apparition who prowls the fourth floor of Ohio State's main library, Columbus is teeming with ghosts. Meet the deceased yet meddlesome stage manager at the Ohio Theatre and the tuxedo-clad ghost awaiting his ride on Franklin Avenue. Learn the horrifying secrets behind the jails cells in one Columbus home and the truth about a centuries old haunting near Dublin. Columbus Landmarks Foundation ghost tour guide Nellie Kampmann takes you ...
From the playful spirits of the Kelton House Museum and Garden to the wavy-armed apparition who prowls the fourth floor of Ohio State's main library, Columbus is teeming with ghosts. Meet the deceased yet meddlesome stage manager at the Ohio Theatre and the tuxedo-clad ghost awaiting his ride on Franklin Avenue. Learn the horrifying secrets behind the jails cells in one Columbus home and the truth about a centuries old haunting near Dublin. Columbus Landmarks Foundation ghost tour guide Nellie Kampmann takes you on a journey to meet mischievous souls and malevolent entities who aren't quite ready to give up the ghost.
Posted September 13, 2011
I don't believe in ghosts, but then I don't believe in dragons, either. That doesn't mean I can't enjoy a good ghost story or "The Hobbit". Even the most rational person can get a thrill out of a juicy ghost story told around a campfire deep in the woods, or in front of a fire on a winter evening. Now, just in time for Halloween, comes a collection of ghost stories one might almost call cozy: spooky enough to thrill, but not gory enough to keep you up nights. Nellie Kampmann's collection not only delivers some deliciously spine-tingling ghosties, it does so with a warm empathy that, in the end, gives the book more of the flavor of Caspar the Friendly Ghost than the malevolent spirits of Amityville.
Classic ghost stories anchor the spirit to a particular place: the haunted castle, the cemetery, the execution ground. In classic fashion, therefore, Kampmann begins with a short history of the capital of Ohio. Columbus, the largest city in Ohio, started out as a compromise and grew by means of prisons, madhouses, poorhouses and insane asylums. It also featured in the abolitionist Underground Railroad that helped runaway slaves escape to the North. Notable public figures, such as Lincoln-era Secretary of State Salmon P. Chase, lived in Columbus. Kampmann organizes her book by location, almost by neighborhood, so the result is a rich collection of ghost anecdotes that reads like a tour guide of supernatural Columbus.
The ghosts are not run-of-the-mill spooks. There's the haunted clothing of a costume shop, which frightens the girl who dares to try it on. There are friendly ghosts and friendly ghost-keepers, including one man who nonchalantly pours drinks for his otherworldly visitors. There's the invisible band playing tunes in an empty courtyard. A haunted vacuum cleaner runs without electricity. There are more conventional ghosts, as well: weeping maidens, Civil War era soldiers revisiting their earthly stamping grounds, as well as a Native American ghost (Chief Leatherlips). What we don't get is rattling chains (although a few teacups rattle), bloodsoaked walls, or gory apparitions.
All this makes for comfy reading. Kampmann's attention to history and location serves her well, as the histories of the people -- and ghosts -- of Columbus ultimately weave together, into a picture of a community that embraces both the living and the dead. By the time you finish "A Haunted History of Columbus, Ohio", you'll feel you've lived a lifetime -- and an afterlife -- in this spirit-friendly city.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.