If any place in Ohio is haunted, this is certainly the most compelling candidate. Built over 200 years ago, the Golden Lamb has tragedies, accidents, and the air of mystery within its walls. You can get a bite to eat, stay in a luxurious hotel room, or have conversations with ghosts that wander the property. With appearances on the Travel Channel and more, as well as a steady stream of paranormal investigators, evidence and stories captured at the Golden Lamb are frightening and fascinating. Today, let’s take a look at all of the spooky happenings in this historic hotel.
The Golden Lamb was built in 1803, giving it 218 of history behind its walls. Its name comes from the sign hung outside to help assist those who were illiterate to find the pub and inn, catering to a community that embraced the hotel and kept it in business for such a long and storied history. Famous and notorious visitors give the hotel and restaurant a prestige that’s hard to find in the midwest. Presidents, writers, and legal minds have called it a temporary home, and the ghosts of some of those visitors are still wandering the halls and speaking with guests as if their afterlife never began in the Golden Lamb.
Twelve American Presidents have stayed under the Golden Lamb’s roof; William Henry Harrison, Benjamin Harrison, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, Warren G. Harding, William Howard Taft, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush all stayed at the inn at one time or another while touring the country. Even presidential candidate John McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin have given speeches at the historic hotel. It helps that Ohio is a big swing state that presidents visit often, but the Golden Lamb still stands as the place where prestigious visitors lay their head. On top of heads of state, several famous writers have also been to the Lamb, including famed British author Charles Dickens, American Author Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and more.
One of the more famous incidents in the Golden Lamb include a well-respected lawyer accidentally killing himself during a demonstration for the court- Clement Vallandigham. Clement was preparing a defense for a client accused of shooting and killing another man, and Vallandigham was eager to demonstrate how the victim could have accidentally shot himself while pulling his pistol out. Thinking the gun was unloaded, Vallandigham attempted the same action and shot himself in the stomach, a wound that would prove fatal. Many claim that his ghost still haunts the upstairs room where his accident occurred, sealing him in history as a cautionary tale and interesting fact for many in the region and the larger world as well.
Another famous ghost in the Golden Lamb includes an Ohio Supreme Court Justice, Charles R. Sherman, the father of another famous name, Civil War General William T. Sherman. Sherman’s death in the inn at the young age of 41 left his family penniless, and some say the guilt may have driven him to remain in the inn for his afterlife, still mourning his children that were put up for adoption after his death. Many reports have been made about the tall man who wanders the second floor with a gray color to his skin and sometimes smoking a cigar that many have also smelled the smoke from when heading to their rooms at night.
Finally, the spirit of a young girl is said to be seen in the hotel and restaurant, running happily through the hallways and causing reports from guests of the loud playing of children outside their rooms, only to be told by the front desk that no children were in the hotel at the time. The girl appears in a flowing white dress and occasionally taps the shoulders of guests eating at the restaurant, only to be gone when they turn around. A young boy staying with his parents in the hotel once asked his father if he could go play with the girl on the stairs, but no child was found when the family investigated. Another story tells of a full-bodied apparition of the girl asking a patron of the restaurant iif she could pet their fur coat. Her hands were cold as she touched the fur, and when the guest turned away for a second, the girl disappeared and could not be found.
A prankster and playful spirit, many believe the young girl is the ghost of Eliza Clay, the youngest daughter of Henry Clay, who was President John Quincy Adams’s Secretary of State and a U.S. Senator for Kentucky. While traveling to Washington DC, the Clay family made an emergency stop at the Golden Lamb when Eliza took ill during the journey. She would pass away soon after and seems to have remained in the hotel where she took her final breath before the illness took her.
Famous ghosts and famous visitors, the 218 year old Inn still continues to offer hospitality to both the living and the dead. The ghosts of the Golden Lamb are seen as another quirky feature of an old hotel, and guests who experience the paranormal activity leave with stories they could tell around campfires and fireplaces at night. The employees and owners of the Golden Lamb look upon their ghostly visitors as guests and even taut their antics on their official website, inviting more paranormal enthusiasts to visit the historic hotel and see for themselves. Maybe they could see the lawyer with the accidental and tragic end, or the penniless Supreme Court Justice. They might even hear the laughter and running of a little girl, lost to illness but still upbeat as she spends her afterlife at the Golden Lamb.
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Born in Death Valley and raised on the prairie, Deborah is a Wyoming-based paranormal researcher and a senior at the University of Wyoming, studying Communication. Her interests lie in folklore, history, rhetorical analysis and research. With an obvious love for ghost stories, frequently those interests combine with her work on Ghostlandia.