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Haunted Journeys

Butler County Historical Society

Butler County Historical Society

327 North Third Street
Hamilton, Ohio
45011 United States
513-896-9930

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History

Hamilton OH is home to one of the most haunted places in the state, the Butler County Historical Society. Come explore its mystery with Haunted Journeys.

The History

Constructed in 1862 during the Civil War, the Benninghofen House is an Italianate structure, one of the most prestigious properties in Hamilton, Ohio. It was built for lawyer Noah C. McFarland, who became a politician and public servant. He only resided in the house for twelve years before selling it to John Benninghofen in 1874.

An immigrant from the German kingdom of Prussia, Benninghofen had established himself as a textile magnate in the 1850s, and by 1874 the firm of Benninghofen and Shuler had branched out into the paper-manufacturing business that later became a mainstay of the local Hamilton Ohio economy.

When the last Benninghofen daughter died in 1947, she left the house to the Butler County Historical Society. In 1973, the Benninghofen House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is one of sixteen Hamilton locations on the Register.

Today, the Butler County Historical Society operates out of the historic Benninghofen House. It is a showcase of Victorian Era lifestyle and includes all the furnishings and decor appropriate for a late 19th century home. Some are actually original to the Benninghofen family. Other artifacts have a deep route connection to the significant local history. A tour reveals what life was like during the height of the industrial period.

The Hauntings

Staff and patrons of the museum have witnessed evidence of paranormal activity. A group visiting in early 2013 reported contacting John Benninghofen's wife and various other residents of early Hamilton, and locals frequently contact museum staff asking if it is haunted.

The director, Kathy Creighton, will openly explain who the ghosts are believed to be. She will also demonstrate how she communicates with them using divining rods. Creighton says one of the more active spirits is the ghost of Wilhelmina Benninghofen, who is said to be there all the time. Creighton said, "One of the things we have tested her with before is, having one set of the Benninghofen silverware, and we will purposely mis-set the table because every Victorian woman knew he correct way to set the table. When no one is looking Wilhelmina corrects the situation from the other side!

In the master bedroom, the spirit of James McBride is present. He is the first mayor of the city of Hamilton. He was also the secretary of Miami University for over 25 years. His spiritual activity does flare up when folks get too close to his desk. Everyone knows to respect his space.

It is not known how many spirits live within the beautiful home, but it is suspected at least a dozen have made permanent residency there. What is common though, are the "hijackers", which are phantoms that come in for a while and leave. It's almost like when new exhibitions and artifacts are displayed, they will bring new life with them.

The phantoms make their presence known with disembodied footsteps, misty apparitions, objects being placed in other formats (or missing) on their own. Voices have been captured on digital recordings. At times, there will be a sudden (and unexplained) cool breeze that grabs the attention of the staff or visitors.

The museum is packed full of ancient and diverse artifacts. Many of the furnishings in the home are from the original house itself. Other pieces are from regional estates that had an influence on Hamilton's history. This may explain the intensity of the hauntings.

This property has been featured in The World's Largest Ghost Hunt in 2017, 2018, and 2019. More info: http://www.nationalghosthuntingday.com/

 

The Big Book of Ohio Ghost Stories (Big Book of Ghost Stories) by [James A. Willis]     Ohio's Historic Haunts: Investigating the Paranormal in the Buckeye State Paperback – September 30, 2015   Haunted Ohio: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Buckeye State (Haunted Series) Paperback – March 14, 2008

 

  • Worlds Largest Ghost Hunt Participant
Understand This:

This property, as part of our network, has been added for they may have history, validation, or folk tales of having spirited activities. Please take caution in approaching and visiting these locations, since courtesy, respect, and caution should be a top priority in every Haunted Investigator's style. Also do realize, some of these places may have permanently closed, changed ownership and/or names, or just are not available for your visits. Please respect this.

We are not responsible for the accuracy of the information provided on this listing, but offer it as a first step in finding your next haunted travel destination. Please do confirm with the property before making any plans to visit. If you visit, tour, or investigate this property (or any of our properties), we are not responsible or held liable for any outcomes, lack of evidence, or injuries associated with your travels. This is only for entertainment purposes, and information provided is only as found in public domains (or as offered by the associated contributor (as a claimed property).

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Date added: Jul/28/2019 | Last time updated: May/25/2020

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