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Meet the phantom of ONU

Apparently things do go bump in the night in Ada



Ohio Northern University in Ada apparently houses several ghosts we don’t believe, but are fearful of. Consider these stories taken from several ONU oral legends:

Here is the third preview story from the recently-released book "Where Bluffton's Ghosts Sleep," by Fred Steiner. The 196-page book is available for $24.95 plus tax. A listing at the bottom of this story tells where to purchase the book.


Click here for previous selections from the book.


“I don’t believe in ghosts, but I’m afraid of them.” That statement comes from author Edith Wharton.


No doubt several readers of the column feel the same way. With that thought consider the following ghost stories generated about 12 miles southeast of Bluffton.


Ohio Northern University in Ada apparently houses several ghosts we don’t believe, but are fearful of. Consider these stories taken from several ONU oral legends:


Clark Hall

Clark residence hall, constructed in 1949, may have been haunted by a ghost named Phoebe. She is said to walk the halls and watch people in their rooms. The building was razed in 2018. We don’t currently know Phoebe’s whereabouts.



Presser Hall

Next comes Brad, the phantom of Presser Hall. One story is that he died there on the way to a recital. As a soloist, and on the director’s cue, he often bangs – or if you prefer, performs – on the building’s pipes during music scores written in D minor.



Watch the performance hall’s chandelier. When he’s really swept up in the performance he swings it to the tempo of the musical selection on the program.


Another version of the swinging chandelier is that the building enjoys taking part in the performance, rather than Brad, the musical ghost.


Lima Hall

Then, there’s a cheerleader visible at times on Lima Hall’s center roof, and unexplained noises on the third floor of Maglott Hall. Those unexplained noises apparently accompany a red liquid at times seen dripping from the ceiling.


Stambaugh Hall

There’s a spirit in Stambaugh Hall reported to frighten incoming students on move-in day in ways not yet explained.


Lehr Hall

Finally, Lehr Hall is thought to be haunted by the ghost of Henry Lehr, ONU’s founder. Footsteps have been heard in this building late at night. Lights turn on and off in certain rooms and mysterious music can be heard at times.




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