Licking County has fair share of paranormal activity

Licking County has fair share of paranormal activity
October 31, 2010

GRANVILLE -- Orville Orr loves ghost stories.

But he didn't read his stories in a book. The Granville man has experienced many of his spooky tales firsthand.

Since 1972, Orville and his wife, Audrey, have owned The Buxton Inn in Granville.

The house is believed to be haunted by two of its former innkeepers, Maj. Horton Buxton and Ethel "Bonnie" Bounell.

"It's nothing really bloodcurdling; they just appear as real people," Orville said.

Countless guests have told the Orrs they've seen Buxton or Bounell in their rooms or around the inn.

Bounell, whose favorite color was blue, often is seen wearing a blue dress. The ghost of her cat also has been seen walking the halls and jumping on beds, Orr said.

Often lights and electronics will turn on and off on their own, Orr said. Footsteps can be heard in the halls when no one is there.

The Buxton Inn isn't the only place in Licking County with a ghostly reputation. Several locations in Newark, Granville and even the village of Hartford are said to be haunted.

Around Halloween, people are very interested in hearing the stories of Licking County's spookiest locations, said Jason Robinson, founder of the Ohio Exploration Society.

Founded in 2000, the society conducts paranormal investigations and collects haunting stories.

"I call the period from the beginning of September until the beginning of November our peak season," he said. "Our website doubles in traffic, and we have lots of people sending us their stories."

People always have been interested in ghost stories and haunted places, but in recent years, TV shows such as "Ghost Hunters" have made the paranormal much more popular, Robinson said.

"In the past, people would keep these things to themselves," he said. "Now it's a lot more acceptable to talk about it. People are more willing to share their experiences with the unknown."

At first, Orville and Audrey were hesitant to talk about the ghosts they claim frequent their inn. But as more people expressed interest in the story of the Buxton, Orville realized his ghostly tales were worth telling.

"I think we know there is more to us than what we are when we stop breathing," he said. "And we don't know a lot about that other being."

For the Orrs, Halloween is a busy time. Guests check in to explore the inn and catch a glimpse of its ghostly residents.

But you don't need to check into the Buxton to get your fill of Licking County ghost stories. On this page, The Advocate has compiled a list of some of the county's most mysterious myths and hair-raising haunts to make Halloween just a little bit spookier.
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