Located in downtown Cincinnati, the Taft is a few blocks from the center of the city. Follow Fifth Street east (it’s one way) until just past the Taft Theater. Turn right onto Pike Street. The Taft Museum of Art will be on your left. There is a parking garage behind the building.
This building was built as a house in 1820 by a man named Martin Baum, who would become an important figure in Cincinnati history because he is responsible for bringing many Germans to the city to work at his businesses, accounting for the large German population in Cincinnati today. Eventually, though, Baum went bankrupt and lost the house.
The house was then bought by a man named David Sinton, who eventually gave it to his daughter Anna and her new husband Charlie Taft (the brother of President William Howard Taft). The Tafts lived in the house for many years, all the while collecting art. In 1927, the Tafts gave the house to the city of Cincinnati to be used as an art museum in the heart of downtown. The house has operated continuously as a museum through the present day.
Many strange things happen throughout the museum.
People will see strange figures or hear footsteps echoing throughout the hallways. Probably one of the most frequently reported hauntings takes place in the gift shop. The person who opens the gift shop in the morning will find that many items have fallen from the shelves onto the floor. This happens so often that the person closing up the shop for the night will make sure that nothing is perched precariously on the edges of any shelves. Despite these extra precautions, the items still somehow fall from the shelves at night.
The most widely reported figure in the building is the “woman in pink.” Some people claim she is the ghost of Anna Taft. She appears on the balcony in the back of the building, most often when there is some sort of event in the courtyard. People will recognize her from old photographs.
Other times, people will see Anna walking through the hallways of the house in a pink dress. She will seem as surprised to see the visitors as they are to see her. She will run into a room and slam the door behind her. When someone tries to check that room, a chair has been shoved underneath the door handle. When they are finally able to get the door open, they find the room empty. There are no exits to the room. Even the windows have long ago been painted shut.
The museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but it is open from eleven a.m. until five p.m. the rest of the week. Admission is eight dollars for adults and six dollars for students. It is free for anyone under eighteen years of age. The best way to investigate the building is to simply pay admission and enter during regular museum hours. Be aware that you are not allowed to take photographs within the building, so if you happen to see Anna, you won’t be able to take her picture.
Make sure you visit the courtyard and look up to the haunted balcony and visit the haunted gift shop while you’re there.
Taft Museum of Art is located at 316 Pike Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202