It’s always nice to find a paranormal story that’s close to home and this one is right down the road from where I live in Ohio. A local businessman wants to turn an abandoned sanitarium, long said to be haunted, into a year-round haunted amusement center. What could possibly go wrong?
The site in question was first known as the Springfield Lake Sanitarium and is located in Lakemore, Ohio, a town in Summit County near Akron and south of Cleveland. The facility was opened in 1915 as a tuberculosis hospital. Fear of the contagious disease drove governments to build these sanitariums to isolate the infected. Even at the best ones, death rates were high. Springfield Lake Sanitarium’s cemetery, suspected source of some of the hauntings, had 246 graves, some for TB victims and others for abused children and orphans housed there in later years who died or committed suicide.
Paranormal activities reported there while the sanitarium (renamed the Edwin Shaw Hospital in 1934) was open include doors opening and closing, the sounds of meals being served in an empty mess hall and various noises and footsteps in the halls and on the grounds.
The old sanitarium/hospital has been vacant since December 2009 when a new facility opened in nearby Cuyahoga Falls. That’s where Pete Karakis with his haunted amusement complex comes in. Karakis – owner of a scrap recycling company and a tilapia farm – offered the county $600,000 for the property. Why?
The location. The history. The creepy facade on the place. It’d just be perfect for what I have in mind.
What he has in mind is to invest an additional $1 million to cleanup and renovate the buildings and grounds, then add a retail shop and restaurant and turn it into a year-round center for paranormal investigations and a regional haunted attraction like the nearby Ohio State Reformatory and the Haunted Schoolhouse & Haunted Laboratory in Akron.
So far, the county has rebuffed his offer, saying the property is appraised at $3.89 million.
How do they collect taxes from ghosts? If the price drops, I might be interested. A haunted dining room sounds like the perfect weight loss clinic.