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Haunted Historic Mansion In Akron

 

Last year in 2023, when a lot of the pandemic restrictions were lifted, my two friends, and I went to the beautiful Hower House in Akron, Ohio that sits not too far from Akron University with a Sorority house nearby.

I feel I should supply you with some significant background (I know, I know. Here she goes with another history lesson!). However, I feel this background may supply some possible insight as to the nature of the hauntings. Not only in the house, but, allegedly on the property itself.

Before the house was even built it was all Indian land. Lets face it. Indians were the indigenous people before the Settlers moved in. Thus, there may be some possible paranormal fodder for thought associated with that fact also.

John Henry Hower moved to Akron from Doylestown, Ohio in 1865 with his wife Susan Youngker Hower. They had three sons. The house, actually a mansion, was constructed in 1871, and consists of 28 rooms that the Hower family filled to capacity with lovely, and exotic souvenirs/artifacts from all over the world (If I had their money-I'd burn mine.). Well traveled family. John was a Miller/Reaper who processed grain turning it into cereal. A lot of cereal. Enough cereal that it made him extremely wealthy. He became known as 'The Father of Akron Industry'. With that vast wealth he needed a dwelling in keeping with his status in the community. A very grand dwelling, indeed.

The building is a Victorian mansion constructed in the Second Empire Italianate style. It is gorgeous-forgive me, but I love those kinds of houses. I would never want to live in one. Too much upkeep. Alright to visit them though.

John's first wife, Susan, died of one of the many fatal illnesses/diseases that were prevalent during those years. However, Susan made John promise that he'd never marry again. A rather unreasonable request I think. He got lonely and remarried 4 years later to his second wife, Rebecca. I mention this little tidbit for a specific reason, so bear with me, please.

The mansion required a lot of servants therefore requiring that a structure be built to house them. The Servant's quarters were a separate building nearby. The former servant's quarters were, much later, turned into a sorority house, but more on that later.

John Hower's second son, Milton Otis Hower, moved in with his wife and two children, Grace, and John, many years later.

In 1900 John wrote a letter to his son describing some unusual happenings, such as floating lights, that were appearing in the house that his mother witnessed. However, they didn't feel threatened by the events. The Hower family lived in the mansion for 100 years until the last matriarch of the family, Grace, passed on and willed the entire estate to the University of Akron in 1973. It was turned into a museum, and has been operated in that capacity since the 1980's. Here, my friends, is where it gets really interesting.

The University of Akron would send two female students from the nearby sorority house to live and work in the museum for a year, or two. The two young women would get room and board while working there, as well as keeping an eye on the place after tours closed. However, before I continue I would like to contribute the fact that this house and it's paranormal history has been documented long before this post I submit here. One of the stories written about it was in a book on Ohio's paranormal events titled 'It Came from Ohio' written in 2012 by James Renner, a paranormal researcher and writer. He would go to allegedly haunted locations, interview witnesses, and try to gather his own first-hand information. Ohio's haunted history goes all the way back to the Revolutionary War. Just supplying some facts in the event any of you may be interested. You may be surprised what has gone on in good old Ohio.

Now, to continue. Mr. Renner interviewed one of the two young women that were staying in the mansion around the late 90's. The young woman he interviewed, Ashley, started working/living at the mansion in 1998 and stayed for two years. She told him that she never believed the ghost stories associated with the place until-as usual-she had her own experiences. She claimed that she would hear persistent knocking on the inside of her closet door every night. It spooked her. She learned that a century ago, a housekeeper would lock her children in that closet to punish them. One of the children, a boy, had a hammer and would pound on the inside of the door pleading to be let out. The reason for the knocking she surmised. After she learned that she slept with the closet door open. Also, her and another roommate would sit up some nights listening to someone downstairs playing the piano. They called the police. Before the officer entered the house he called on the radio for back-up, and to bring their Proton Packs. He informed Ashley that it was not the first time that the police were called to that house for such disturbances as that and many others that go back for decades.

One night she had her boyfriend over. They were sitting in her room and her boyfriend was facing the door when she noticed that his face froze while she was talking to him. He was staring at the open door. She looked up and they BOTH saw an elderly woman walk by in something like a long nightgown trailing behind her. Yet they heard absolutely no footsteps. The woman they saw matched the portrait in the hallway of the last matriarch of the family, Grace. Somehow she was out of the portrait and walking about the house. Ashley called her friend who worked there before her. Her friend told her that Grace didn't like men in the house. That's why they always took in female caretakers to stay there. It came to a head when, one night, this ghost attacked her boyfriend. He woke her up one night covered in sweat and white as a sheet. He told her that the bed sheets were yanked up around his neck so tight as to begin choking him while he heard a female voice whispering something horrible in his ear. Ashley left shortly after that, and another young women took her place. Thus adding to the long line of witnesses to the activity in the house.

The last event that took place was when a school security guard responded to check out a disturbance late one night. He removed his shoes so as not to soil the lovely carpeting in the entrance way. While he was inspecting the floors he clearly heard a female voice sternly say "Get out of my house". He was so scared that he left without his shoes. Some have theorized that the ghost may be that of Susan Hower, the first wife of John, upset by a broken vow to never remarry. Therefore taking offense to all men who enter her home.

Now that I've laid a fairly respectable foundation, on to my personal encounter with my friends, while we were touring that astounding mansion. We wanted to take a self-guided tour, but, guess what? You have to be accompanied by a female student Monitor. She was very nice, and apologetic about having to go with us, and my friends were a bit put off by this. I took them aside and explained to them that, possibly, some less than honest tourists may have come through and stolen some of the many beautiful antique artifacts during some past tours. Therefore making it necessary to have a monitor come along to prevent any further thefts. After all she didn't know us personally. Let alone know how honest we were. We accepted it on those grounds and let her follow us around. She would gladly answer any questions that we asked of her in regards to the house.

I was in Victorian Paradise just gawking at all the fantastic antique furnishings, dishes, China, jewelry, Ivory carvings, candelabras, family portraits, Tiffany lamps, crystal lighting fixtures and personal items of the family. Right on!

We gravitated to the second floor to enjoy the other lovely rooms and what have you. While we were standing in the hallway admiring a gorgeous Walnut Parlor table with delicate lamps, and picture frames, outside of a room with a closed door. We all heard some rather noticeable and loud knocking inside that room. We questioned the monitor, but she just said that the room is always locked and nothing is in there. We countered with the fact that there was loud knocking in there so someone has to be in that room, but she just went pale, and said she didn't possess a key to enter it, and seemed somewhat shaken. We realized that she was spooked at this point and let it drop.

It was a bit spooky, but did not detract from our enjoyment of touring that wonderful place. However, just before we left for the day I sent a mental request to whatever, or whomever, that we enjoyed the house, and told it to continue to stay in it's beautiful house, and be happy, and not to follow us home. I thanked it for letting us see their beautiful home, and wished it well. Might sound silly, but I don't like to take chances.

There have been other accounts of visitors encountering what they thought were Indians outside roaming the outer perimeter of the grounds, but I, personally, cannot confirm, or deny those claims. The Hower House in Akron is well worth the cost of admission. Even without the spirits. I apologize for this lengthy narrative, but I had a lot to impart to you. Again, I thank you for being tenacious enough to read this account!

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Linjahaha, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Linjahaha (24 stories) (138 posts)
 
1 month ago (2024-04-16)
Dreambird, & Rajine: Yes! It was a very enjoyable house to tour as well as beautiful.
Zander: By all means. Do check out the book. Thanks to all for reading!

Best Regards! 😁 😁
Rajine (14 stories) (798 posts)
 
1 month ago (2024-04-15)
Hi Linjahaha

As very interesting and intriguing account, going back to ancient times, one can imagine what it must have been like during those times and the experiences people went through.
Zander (7 stories) (146 posts)
 
1 month ago (2024-04-15)
How fascinating! Another great story! I'm going to check out that Renner book! ❤
DreamBird (7 stories) (25 posts)
 
1 month ago (2024-04-15)
Hi Linjahaha,
Thanks for another wonderful account! That house sounds amazing.

-DreamBird

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