Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mudhouse Mansion, Lancaster, Ohio

Mudhouse Mansion, located on Mudhouse Road in Lancaster, Ohio, was no doubt a beautiful building at one point in time. Now, however, age and neglect have caused the once grand appearance of the red brick building to become foreboding and creepy. Not surprisingly, there are numerous ghost stories attached to this once fine home.

It is said that the original owner of the house continued to own slaves even after the Civil War. At night, he would lock the slaves in an outbuilding, but one enterprising slave spent his evenings digging a tunnel beneath the outbuildings floorboards. After many months of this, the slave finally managed to burrow out from the small structure and reach the mansion's yard. He snuck into the mansion and murdered all members of the family in their sleep before freeing his fellow slaves. The now former slaves fled into the night, never to be heard from again. From that night on, strange shrieks and other weird sounds have been heard emanating from the house, no doubt the ghostly cries of the murdered family.

Another story holds that a family of five moved into the house some time in the late 19th century. After they moved in, nobody ever saw them outside of the house. After five days, one of the neighbors looked across at the house and saw a woman standing at the window, staring out at here. Unnerved, the woman closed her curtains. The next day, she saw the same thing, and the day after that. Finally, on the tenth day, she suspected something was amiss and contacted the local authorities. When law enforcement officers entered the house, they found that the staring woman at the window was not standing at all, but had been hanging by the neck from the rafters. It appeared that the entire family had either hung themselves or been hung, and had been there in that state for the last ten days.

It is also said that a woman named Mary lived int he home with her three children. In a fit of rage, she murdered her children (or else her husband murdered her children), and through this act she damned herself. Now, she is known as Bloody Mary and her vengeful spirit can be summoned by those foolish enough to try.

Modern visitors to the house report uneasy feelings, strange sounds, and faces appearing in photographs.

All in all, a damnably eerie place.

Commentary: From the photos I have seen and the descriptions that I have heard, this appears to be one amazingly creepy house. This is the sort of house that horror writers dream of - a huge, deteriorating brick edifice in an isolated location, with an owner who refuses to reside in the place or repair it, but who is vigilant and will not allow anyone else to enter.

As fr the stories attached to the place - a the time of the Civil War, Ohio was not a slave-owning state, so the notion that someone in Ohio refused to give up his slaves after the war is, frankly, rather silly and shows a rather blatant ignorance of history.

Searching, I could find no reference to the hangings (or other suicides or murders in the house) other than those that are explicitly about the legend.

In fact, the true history of the house's ownership is, while interesting in its own right, rather prosaic. It was built in the early-to-mid 19th century (records don't indicate it's period of construction with certainty, but it was probably the 1830s or 1840s), and owned by a succession of families, each residing for a period of at least a few decades.

The claim that the house is the home of a mythological character is, of course, goofy to begin with. However, this goofiest of the stories also indicates the likely source of the other stories. This house has been a favorite destination for legend trippers for decades, and much of it's haunted reputation likely comes from the stories told by kids and teenagers to each other when they are daring each other to enter the place.

A sense of mystery is further maintained by the attitude of the current owner, who has no apparent interest in living in the house, and is unwilling to sell the house or repair it, but who is vigilant enough to ensure that those trespassing into the place are likely to encounter the local authorities upon their exit. While the reasons for this may be quite normal - perhaps she refuses to sell because of the house's significance to the family, perhaps she lacks the funds to refurbish it but does not want to let it slip into other hands before she has the opportunity to do so, perhaps any number of other explanations.

Regardless, an isolated house with the appearance that this one sports is bound to attract stories, and the added air of mystery lent to it by the owner's eccentric-seeming attitude to the house only further perpetuates such stories.

Sources: Associated Content, Internet, Internet, Ohio Trespassers


  1. Pretty scary, My brother & I drove past it yesterday & i bout peed my pants looking at it, he called his buddy & he said that there was this lady who went itto the house, to take pictures and she never came out. I believe its true cause this house is crazy! he also sent my brother a picture of a lady standing in the winndow while they were outside in there car.... True Story,!

  2. The house was built in 1900 according to court records