A stroll along the New England style downtown corridor of Granville, Ohio almost always leads visitors to the giant wooden marquee for the Buxton Inn.
This spot, which was once the town’s post office and a main stagecoach stop between Columbus and Newark, showcases carefully landscaped gardens and historic buildings decorated for the season.
What started as a small tavern on a patch of land during the early settlements in 1812 has transformed into a stunning five-building complex. When you walk into the lobby at the Buxton Inn, you feel like you are home. It’s this inviting hospitality that draws guests here from around the country.
But, these days, guests flock to the Buxton Inn for more than just a comfortable night’s rest and a great meal. They come here to see for themselves if the stories of the haunted Inn are true.
In ghost-hunting circles, the Buxton Inn is notorious for many strange events reported by guests. Guests who have stayed here have reported visits from the afterlife in their rooms and orbs appearing in their photos. Some guests have reported hearing invisible footsteps in the hallways or coins spilling onto the floor when no one was there.
Most of the haunted stories originate from the main building and Tavern. An Inn worker tells me that guest rooms 7 and 9 have the most frequent unexplained events and ghost sightings.
I am told that the courtyard and the wooden balconies are other areas where guests have reported supernatural sightings.
The two most frequently reported ghosts are the Lady in Blue and Major Buxton, the owner of the Inn from 1865 – 1905. The identity of the Lady in Blue has fluctuated over the years as those who have seen her can only provide a vague description of a woman in a blue dress.
It is believed that the Lady in Blue is likely Ethel Houston “Bonnie” Bounell, a fomer light-opera star and previous owner of the Inn. Bounell was notorious for her affection of the color blue.
For many years, ghost-hunters, mediums, psychics and paranormal experts have studied the haunted history of the Inn.
Visitors who are specifically interested in the Inn’s haunted past –and present – can request and reserve a “Haunted Inn tour” which takes you through areas not normally open to the public.
The quiet town of Granville that surrounds the Buxton Inn adds to the ambiance of this tucked-away retreat. The town is pedestrian-friendly and small shops and boutiques selling one-of-a-kind gifts, teas and candy dot the landscape. I stopped at Brews Café for a delicious lobster roll sandwich and enjoyed a coffee and dessert at the Village Coffee Company.
I peered out the window with the Buxton Inn in view and enjoyed the rich and intriguing history that is found here.