Special Events to Commemorate Spirited Legacy of Northeast Ohio’s Punderson Manor State Park Lodge This Fall
Punderson Manor State Park Lodge’s haunted history has for years attracted those with an interest in the paranormal, and the northeast Ohio lodge has introduced several special programs and events that allow guests to find out just what they believe for themselves. If they dare.
Paranormal sightings and bizarre events have been reported by guests and employees of the lodge since the 1970s.
Passport to the Paranormal
Guests participating in the lodge’s Passport to the Paranormal program are invited to stay in all six of the lodge’s Manor House Estate rooms, the allegedly haunted rooms in the original wing of the one-time private home. Guests staying in each of the Manor House Estate rooms over a three-year period will receive a free night’s stay in the Windsor Suite, which has the most and scariest reports of hauntings. Participating guests receive a Passport to the Paranormal stamp at check in.
Haunted History Tour
For guests who want to get their haunts on immediately, Punderson Manor offers the Punderson Manor Haunted History Tour on select days from now through the end of the year. The free tours begin at 8:30 p.m. and begin with a walk through the original reportedly haunted wing where guests will hear about strange events that have supposedly occurred in lodge rooms, the small library and the rotunda. The evening culminates with more stories told around a bonfire – stories of early Ohio history and explorers, Ohio Indian tribes, wars and conflicts fought in the Ohio territories, and famous military officers and presidents of Ohio’s past.
All Hallow’s Eve and Halloween
Ghost enthusiasts can also choose special packages in the Tudor-style mansion on All Hallow’s Eve on Friday, Oct. 30 and Halloween on Saturday, Oct. 31. The All Hallow’s Eve event includes an evening with world-renowned psychic medium and paranormal investigator Laura Lyn, and the Halloween package includes an evening with former park manager and resident historian Nick Fischbach, who has personally experienced numerous paranormal events in the lodge. Both packages include accommodations in a standard lodge room with upgrades to cabins and Manor House Estate rooms available, catered group dinner, question-and-answer sessions with Lynn or Fischbach and behind-the-scenes lodge tours. The packages start at $138 per person based on double occupancy.
Punderson Manor State Park Lodge was originally built as a private home by W.B. Cleveland in 1898. The house and property were sold to Detroit millionaire Karl Long in the late 1920s. Long built the 29-room, 14-bath mansion that now comprises the state park’s Manor House, but he lost his fortune during the Depression and died before the home was completed. The house was eventually sold to the state of Ohio, and the property became the state’s second park. In 1956, the state turned the house into a resort with lodging and dining, and it became a popular getaway for Clevelanders and a stop for travelers. Reports of paranormal activities began in the 1970s.
Here are a few examples of some of the incidents reported by guests and employees:
- Employee after employee has reported strange and annoying occurrences such as fires going out, pencils flying through the room, doors opening and closing and faucets being turned on and off. Seasoned employees would sometimes get so annoyed by the disturbances that they would simply yell out for the “ghosts” to stop. Often, the disturbances would indeed stop – at least for a day or two.
- A restaurant hostess dozing on a sofa in the employee lounge located in the Manor House wing said she was awakened by the sounds of children laughing and running around the sofa. There were no children to be found in the room or anywhere in the wing.
- Guests and employees alike have felt a chill breeze while walking a hallway or entering a room on some of the hottest days of the year.
- A little girl’s parents noticed her talking to a make-believe friend several times in their room while staying at the Manor House. Upon returning home from their vacation, the little girl kept telling her parents about her new friend she made at the Manor. The little girl’s parents asked her to describe to them what her make-believe friend looked like; the little girl described former owner W.B. Cleveland in detail. Mr. and Mrs. Cleveland loved children and operated a summer camp for many years on their property.
Most guests don’t experience, nor even seek out, these ghostly occurrences. They’re too busy playing on an 18-hole championship golf course or on the park’s disc golf course, playing tennis or basketball, swimming in the pool, boating, or fishing at one of Ohio’s few natural lakes. There’s also great hiking in the summer and sledding, snowmobiling or cross-country skiing in winter.
The lodge is managed by Xanterra Parks & Resorts and is open year round. To make reservations at Punderson Manor State Park Lodge, call 1-800-282-7275 or visit www.pundersonmanorstateparklodge.com/.