Prospect Place Ghosts – A Brief History and Why it May be Haunted
Prospect Place Ghosts, who are they, and why are they there? Kag Allwood and I were lucky enough to be able to spend a night exploring and investigating this fantastic piece of Ohio’s history.
This beautiful old mansion, also known as the Trinway Mansion, consists of 29 rooms and a very intriguing barn. It was built by the abolitionist George Willison Adams in 1856 and sits on the outskirts of Dresden, Ohio. The house standing there now was the second on that same site, as the first was destroyed by fire shortly after being built. It was ahead of its time, with indoor plumbing circulating both hot and cold water around the house.
George Adams was born in Virginia in 1800, and his father had been a plantation owner. Even when his father owned the plantation, he was very unsettled with the ownership of slaves. He eventually gave up his land, freed their slaves and moved to Ohio. Already this strong feeling about the ownership and treatment of slaves was ingrained in George, and he continued to be a strong abolitionist throughout his life. He even set up, with his brother Edward an Underground Railroad, which was part of a network of routes and safe houses used by slaves to escape to free States. George and Edward owned a flour mill, a boat yard and also numerous warehouses in Dresden. When they took flour on the boats to Louisiana, they would often return with refugees.
The house itself was used as part of the Underground Railroad, hiding many slaves over its time. Its belvedere (small room on the roof) served as a reassurance to slaves looking for safety. A lamp would be lit if it was safe to come out of hiding and find shelter there.
The Mansion passed through the Adams-Cox family (Cox being the surname of George Adams’s grandson) until the 1960s. It continued in the family until the 1990s. Sadly, over time it was neglected, and vandalism became so great, destroying the inside, that in 1988 it was going to be demolished. A local businessman called Dave Longaberger bought it to preserve this important part of Ohio history. Sadly, Dave passed away before achieving his goal of restoring this beautiful building, but the great-great-grandson of George Adams, another George Adams, purchased it and formed the non-profit organisation, G.W. Adams Educational Center, which continues to this day working on restoring Prospect Place and keeping the history alive.
Ghost Stories, Mysteries and Deaths
The Prospect Place ghosts first came to our attention after seeing episodes of Ghost Brothers and Ghost Adventures. Their main story centred around an angry bounty hunter who had arrived at the door accusing George Adams of illegally harbouring slaves and demanding they be handed over. His request was refused, and he had no choice but to leave empty-handed. It was then said that loyal ranch hands followed him, and he was overpowered and then dragged to the barn, where he was hanged through the hayloft opening (pictured in the photo above). His ghost is now supposed to be wanting revenge and remains within the barn. Was this true? To date, there have only been rumours passed through the generations but no factual evidence to back this up. However, who would ever admit to murder? Unfortunately, until the facts are uncovered, it remains just that, a rumour.
Another mystery was the disappearance of George Adams’s son-in-law, William Cox, who was married to George’s eldest child, Anna. For many years things went well, and he put a lot of money into Prospect Place, but then at the turn of the century, William Cox disappeared and was never heard of again. A friend of the family did spot him in San Francisco and tried to speak to him, but he brushed her off and hurried away. It is now thought that he did indeed move to San Francisco but was killed in the 1906 earthquake.
Legend has it that when the house burned down just after being built, it was because of an elderly Native American woman called “Satan”, who was angry they had built it on top of a Shawnee burial ground. However, this is just legend, and instead, it is believed that George Blackburn was the arsonist. He was a bricklayer, and it was thought that he was wanting more work. George Blackburn was also a criminal and had been involved in many crimes, eventually being imprisoned in the Ohio State Reformatory.
Would any of these account for the Prospect Place ghosts? More likely, it would just be family members who passed away there but remain attached to their home. Either way, there are many people who swear they have experienced strange occurrences there, including us, when we, too, went to investigate!
The Paranormal Investigation at Prospect Place
This was the second visit for me to Prospect Place. Unfortunately, on the first one, I managed to lock my keys in the boot of the car, so I missed most of the investigation. Now, I had a second chance to return to finally look for the Prospect Place ghosts myself. This time I was joined not only by Kag but also by Beth Darlington from Access Paranormal.
We started in the front room, and it wasn’t long before the Mel-meter (EMF Meter) triggered, but at the same time, a RemPod (proximity device) triggered upstairs. Kag remained in the hallway down below while Beth and I went for a walk to the barn and stables. Despite us not being in the house with Kag, there were still thumps from upstairs and what sounded like somebody moving around, and the Ovilus (turns EMF fields into words) spat out the word ‘Blaze’. Not only that, but upon doing an E.V.P. (Voices on recordings you don’t hear at the time) burst, she apparently captured two. What are they saying? We aren’t sure, so have a look at the video below and tell us what you think.
Meanwhile, in the barn/stables, Beth and I were having experiences of our own. I was looking towards the barn door towards the house, when I saw a small bright light which moved across in front of the house. I saw it a second time in the doorway of the barn about 4ft off the ground. It came in very bright white, undulated, turned and then vanished. I will add that this was seen with my eyes, not on the camera, and it wasn’t peripheral vision but full-on. A couple of seconds after this, the RemPod triggered. Without telling Beth, she also saw a white light moving around.
We swapped around, and Beth remained in the house on her own while Kag and I went to the barn to do a live stream. We were getting some interesting results on the equipment, but suddenly we heard what sounded like Beth shouting. We quickly turned off, thinking that Beth was in trouble and headed back to the house only to find that she was fine and hadn’t shouted out at all. As we were discussing this, a fire alarm went off, deafening us as we tried to find it. We called Jeff, our host, who was sleeping in a house close by, as we couldn’t fathom where it was coming from. As he walked through the door, although it had been screaming for over 10 mins, it suddenly stopped and did not trigger all night again. Jeff scratched his head as it was not that the batteries were going flat and there had been no source of the smoke. The only thing he could think of was that whoever was there was trying to drive us out of the house, especially as the noise was so unbearable.
Beth and I went down into the cellar, leaving Kag elsewhere, and it wasn’t long before we had equipment trigger, and at the same time, we had footsteps crossing above us. We took note of the time to cross-reference with Kag, but she was nowhere near the area.
It certainly was an interesting night, and we would love to go back sometime to explore further and try and communicate with the Prospect Place ghosts. We would like to thank Jeff Cole for helping organise and for hosting us. We would also like to thank the G.W. Adams Educational Centre for allowing us this privilege.
Video of the Investigation:
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Written by Alison Oborn
Author, Paranormal Investigator, Tour Operator