I am fascinated with old homes. I always have been. The architecture, the detail…and the fact that many of these homes, if they are properly maintained, can last for centuries. However, if they are not…there is nothing more beautifully nostalgic and sad than a home that has been abandoned and uncared for.
Thankfully Prospect Place (built 1857),in Trinway, Ohio has been gaining new life as a popular haunted spot. It has been listed in the United States Park Service National Register of Historic Places, and is in the process of being restored by the great-great grandson of the original builder, George Willison Adams. It also has the honor of being mentioned as a home used in the Underground Railroad, to help slaves escape to freedom.
The sadness from the past still remains on the property today. Perhaps it is the spirit of a young girl who was stricken ill with fever. She had been sleeping upstairs while her parents held a gathering in the ballroom. In her feverish state, she got up out of bed and began wandering the halls. She stumbled out onto one of the upstairs balconies and fell to her death over the rail.
It was winter…and the ground was frozen. Too frozen to do a burial at that time…so her body was packed in ice and kept in one of the basement rooms. It remained there until the spring thaw.
It is said by some who have gone to visit that the sound of a young girl crying can be heard..and some accounts speak of her apparition at the upstairs window where she must have looked out before she stumbled onto the balcony that fateful night.
Other apparitions have been seen, especially in the barn and in the basement. It is known that many slaves died from illnesses on their escape to freedom, and it is possible that some of those spirits remain there. There is a legend of a bounty hunter that came looking for slaves on the property. It is said that he left without finding any..but there is speculation that some of the workers for Adams tracked the bounty hunter down and killed him. If this happened, they would have certainly covered up their deed, as Adams was a man of non-violence.
One spirit is thought to be Anna Adams-Cox, the daughter of George Willison Adams. She married a man named William Cox, who for all appearances, seemed to have only married her for her money. When the money was spent and they were nearly broke…William left Anna behind and disappeared. He was last seen at a hotel in San Francisco, several months after he had left Anna. It is not known what is fate was (although it is speculated he died in the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906), but Anna grieved for her lost husband until her death. It is thought that her apparition is seen wandering the rooms of the home, waiting for her husband to return.
Haunted or not…I would love to go there one day. The history of the place alone would be enough to feed the imagination while wandering the ruins of what once was an enviably beautiful mansion. To imagine what it looked like in its glory…and feel the history and lives lived there.