Local Legends, Lore and Ghost Hunts Haunt Ohio’s Hocking Hills

Travelers can stroll through history with some of Ohio’s shadowy and intriguing characters at Logan’s 4th Annual Tombstone Travels, Saturday, Oct. 12 in downtown Logan.

Travelers can stroll through history with some of Ohio’s shadowy and intriguing characters at Logan’s 4th Annual Tombstone Travels, Saturday, Oct. 12 in downtown Logan. More than a dozen talented costumed storytellers, guides and docents bring to life some of the town’s more ghostly stories, such as that of Amanda Brown, who may — or may not — have killed her husband. (Though legend says, if she did him in, he probably had it coming.) Tours depart from the Logan Central Elementary, directly across the street from the cemetery at 3, 5 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under and are available at the tour or at the Hocking Hills Welcome Center, 13178 State Route 664 S, Logan, www.ExploreHockingHills.com, or by calling (740) 385-2750.

Every Saturday night through Nov. 9, daring Hocking Hills visitors can take a horse-drawn Ghost Story Wagon Ride. Scary tales are punctuated by the eerie clip clop of the Percheron’s hooves as the wagon sways through the deep, darkness of Zaleskie State Forest and into haunted Moonville Tunnel. Tours depart at 7 p.m. from the historic Hope School across from Lake Hope Dam and cost $10 for children 12 and under and $20 for adults. Reservations are required via www.hutchisonshorses.com or by calling (740) 818-8280.

Haunted Hocking Weekend takes place Oct. 25-27 as the Haunted Hocking “HHIT” team leads travelers on the search for the unexplained at Ash Cave. The team will lead visitors on night hike into the pitch black of Ash Cave, which is best known for its beautiful, cascading waterfall, winding trail and spacious recess cave. But those hemlock-lined trails are also reported to harbor goose bump-inducing spirits, with recent night hikers reporting shadowy apparitions of a hand creeping out from under the bridge and a woman dressed in 1920’s attire. The HHIT team will search for spirits using crystals, divining rods and other more high-tech ghost hunting equipment.

In nearby Old Man’s Cave, campers and hikers are encouraged to listen for the baying hounds of Richard Roe. The so-called “Old Man” of the cave, Roe reportedly shot himself in more than 100 years ago as he scrambled down into the gorge wall to get water from the stream below. On full moon nights, guests of the park campground have reported hearing Roe’s hunting dogs cry for their master’s return. Oct. 25-27, Old Man’s Cave Campground registered campers and cabin guests can enjoy a hayride, pumpkin decorating, a family fun spooky movie, camp site decorations contest and trick or treat.

On Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. Halloween on the Hocking takes place at Hocking Valley Canoe Livery Fun Center, featuring a five-mile canoe trip on the darkest stretch of the Hocking River, with only forbidding full moon to light the way. Guests are encouraged to stay close together, since no one knows what may be lurking around the river bend. Afterward, a costume contest, cocoa, snacks, live music and a roaring bonfire greet those lucky enough to make it back from the trip.

Located 40 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio, Hocking Hills offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences that make every day feel like Saturday, with plenty of Admission: FREE activities. The region boasts a wide variety of affordable lodging, from camping, cabins and cottages to hotels and inns. In addition to hiking trails, parks and forests, the Hocking Hills is the zipline capital of the Midwest, with 50 ziplines being offered via three distinct guide services. Unique gift and antique shops, canoeing, horseback riding, golf, spas and more add to the allure of the Hocking Hills as the perfect place to unplug. Complete traveler information is available www.ExploreHockingHills.com or 1-800-Hocking (800-462-5464).