My two greatest interests are, first, the paranormal and, second, history. The reason I have placed these two fields of study in this order is because, essentially, this is the order that they became my top interests. In 2005, I lived near a road in Cincinnati that was reputed to be haunted. I cannot explain in great detail why this rumor excited me so much beyond the fact that it seemed to be something completely unexplored in my own mind. For me, ghosts were the stuff of horror movies and television shows. When I heard that there was supposedly some real paranormal entity within walking distance from my house, I was very excited. I probably drove down that road hundreds of times hoping to experience something paranormal. Though I never did, I kept going back again and again. It did not matter that I had not seen anything. Other people had, so the possibility was there that I could.
Through my interest in this road, I began to learn that there were many haunted places all over the city. My brother Mike and I would take little paranormal road trips at night, visiting these haunted locations in hopes of somehow running into a ghost. As we began to explore these places, we became more and more interested in the ghost stories themselves. The stories were great, and the possibility that there was really a ghost at these places was exciting, but we decided to look further into the stories themselves. We wanted to see if there was any truth in them—not so much in the ghosts but in the history of what happened at these locations and the reasons that, perhaps, ghosts lurked there among the living. This is where my interest in history was born.
As my brother and I started to uncover the history of these haunted locations, the history of the city itself came to life for us. Therefore, I guess I owe thanks to the ghosts of Cincinnati for teaching me so much about this city’s history.
The ghost stories and the histories of these locations make up a major part of this book, which I feel they definitely should. The ghost stories are more interesting with a historical background, and the reason that any of these locations are in this book is that they are haunted. That being said, this book also contains a couple of other facets that I have not really seen in other ghost books. The locations, histories, and ghost stories are quite interesting in themselves, but this book also offers the opportunity to visit these locations. Each chapter includes detailed directions on how to get to these places and descriptions of how to visit them. All the directions begin from downtown Cincinnati to give you a common place to start your road trips.
When my brother and I were looking for these haunted locations, we would have been thrilled to have a manual to explain how to find them. I cannot even estimate the number of hours we spent looking fruitlessly for a location. For those readers who are not great at following directions but who have a GPS unit, we have also included the addresses, which you can plug into your GPS.
The other section in each chapter details how to visit these haunted locations. Mike and I certainly could have used that information during our moonlight searches. We had to learn the hard way which locations closed after dark and which ones the police frequented at night, hoping to catch cars stopping in the middle of the road flashing their lights. This section in each chapter tells you the best way to visit these locations and gives you what we feel is the best chance of actually encountering a spirit.
Perhaps my favorite aspect of this book is the daunting number of locations included in it—and all of them just a short drive away. In the past, I’ve found myself flipping through many other ghost books looking for stories of nearby locations. I would end up reading only a couple of stories, ones focused on places I knew.
In the Haunted Handbook you’ll find one hundred locations within the Greater Cincinnati area, which is large enough to offer quite a number of stories but small enough that local people have some sense of where to go. We did our best to ensure that no two locations in the book were more than an hour apart. We’ve found at least one place in nearly every area of the city.
We feel that this book is the quintessential guide for hunting ghosts in the Greater Cincinnati area—as well as an entertaining and informative guide for those hunters who don’t want to leave their chairs. We hope you find it interesting, and we hope future ghosthunters learn about the history and the ghosts here in this great city.