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Ghostly Sightings, Stately Surroundings Add to Seasonal Fun at Punderson Manor State Park Resort in Ohio

punderson state park oh

Punderson Manor State Park Resort, OH

You know there might be something unusual about a hotel when you see an image of a lumberjack hanging by the neck from a rope that appears to be tied from the rafters of the lounge.

That’s what employees of Geauga County’s Punderson Manor State Park Resort saw one early morning several years ago. They watched in horror for nearly three hours as the rotating image slowly faded with the morning light. The hanging lumberjack is arguably the most frightening apparition among the dozens of strange occurrences recorded at the elegant 31-room Northeast Ohio resort since it opened to guests 53 years ago.

Over the years, there have been enough “sightings” by both employees and guests to make even the most committed skeptic take a second look. Here is a sampling of other stories told by visitors and guests:

A park ranger whose job was to make rounds through the building said he heard a woman’s loud laughter as he climbed a circular staircase from the resort’s main lobby to the second floor. At the same time, the hallway turned unusually cold. “For a second, it engulfed us,” he reported. “Then it quickly went down the hallway and stopped. Once the laughter stopped, the hallway returned to its normal warmth.”

Employee after employee has reported strange and annoying occurrences such as fires going out, pencils flying through the room, doors opening and closing and faucets being turned on and off. Seasoned employees would sometimes get so annoyed at the disturbances that they would simply yell out for the “ghosts” to stop. Often, the disturbances would indeed stop. At least for a day or two.

The original mansion was built by Detroit millionaire Karl Long. Some historians believe Long built the structure to appease his wife, who was not fond of Detroit. Others say he commissioned the house merely because he desired a place to get away from the pre-Depression-era demands of his business. No matter what the reason, many visitors to the area claim that after Long started construction of his 29-room, 14-bath mansion, that particular spot on Punderson Lake was never quite the same.

Today, Punderson State Park appeals to hardy souls who don’t let a good ghost story get in the way of a good time. The year-round resort offers 31 rooms and 26 fully furnished two-bedroom housekeeping cabins.The park hosts  a wide range of recreational amenities including an 18-hole championship golf course that is recognized as one of the finest public courses in northeast Ohio. Other activities include swimming, tennis, basketball, boating, fishing, hiking and jogging. The resort also recently installed a disc golf course. The resort is particularly appealing during the winter with a hill specifically designed for sledding and tobogganing as well as trails for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

Try some ghost hunting of your own, or simply enjoy the fall colors with several special packages available at the lodge.  Mystery Weekend is coming up from  Oct. 30 – Nov. 1, 2009. The Mystery Weekend package includes two nights of accommodations, a wine and cheese reception, a murder mystery performed by a local theater company, lunch and dinner buffets on Saturday and Sunday Brunch. The package is priced at $243 per person based on double occupancy. Visitors should use the promotional code MYSTERY when booking the package.

To make reservations at Punderson Manor Resort & Conference Center, call 1-800-AT-A-PARK (1-800-282-7275) or visit

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