Punderson’s Haunted History
By Dominique King

Punderson’s Haunted History

Writers love intriguing stories, and I found plenty of stories to share after attending several writers’ conferences at Punderson State Park.

Legend says Lemuel Punderson, who settled in the area in 1802, drifted out on Punderson Lake one day in a bathtub before pulling the plug and drowning. This seems to be the first in a series of stories about mysterious deaths at Punderson, but it was by no means the last.

Punderson Manor Lodge

Here are few more Punderson mysteries:

The State of Ohio acquired the property in 1948, completing the mansion, opening it as a lodge in 1956 and adding a new wing in 1982.

Punderson hall.jpg
Haunted hallway

There are no death records or other evidence to support some tales, but many stories come from credible sources like long-time employees and visitors who know nothing of Punderson’s past.

Televisions, water faucets and lights inexplicably turn off and on in the middle of the night. Guests complain of loud noises coming from unoccupied rooms. Others report hearing ghostly laughter accompanied by cold blasts of air when there is no breeze or open window nearby.

A woman at one of my conferences sensed an unseen visitor sitting on the bed in her room in the lodge’s notoriously haunted older wing, an account similar to other stories I found online.

Punderson library.jpg
Library in Punderson Manor’s notoriously haunted Tower wing

Curious? Skeptical? Join Nick Fischbach, Ohio State Park Regional Manager of Law Enforcement and long-time park manager, for a “Haunted History Tour” at Punderson Manor. Tours are free, but reservations are required.

The lodge recently added October 14 to this year’s tour calendar and plans more tours for next summer and fall.

What is your favorite Ohio ghost story or haunted happening?


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About the Author

Dominique King is a metro Detroit writer, hockey fan and frequent visitor to Ohio. She began her writing career as a freelance writer for local newspapers, covering business, art and regional travel topics for the Mirror Newspapers, the Daily Tribune and Hour Detroit Magazine. She has a degree in Communications (M.A.) from Detroit's Wayne State University and an interest in history. You can find Dominique writing about Midwest travel at https://www.midwestguest.com or connect with her on Twitter @midwestguest.