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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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