Madison Seminary, Ohio

The historic site of Madison Seminary is known for its hauntings and paranormal activity, but what is it about this building that has so many spirits haunting the hallways? Ghost Hunt USA wanted to find out for ourselves what it was this location made it one of the most haunted locations in the Madison, Ohio area. Learn more about this historic location below, and then go and sign up for one of the ghost hunting events that we have scheduled at the Madison Seminary, where you’ll be able to experience, first-hand, some of the most well-known stories in this haunted Madison location.


Established in 1847, Madison Seminary was a small frame building that was intended to provide the men and women of Lake County with a higher education. In 1859, an additional structure was added to the original building and served as a boarding hall for the 150 students that were enrolled there. This building continued to serve an educational purpose up until it was purchased by the Women’s Relief Corps in 1891.

Women’s Relief Corps

When the building was purchased by the Women’s Relief Corps it was given an entire makeover and repurposed to render help for any Army nurses that had served in the Civil War, as well as wives, mothers, sisters and daughters of soldiers. As you might have imagined, taking on a task like this required more space than the building initially allowed. This led to the idea that every state opens a building that provided these types of services. While this did eventually happen, another addition was made to the building that still stands today. It is easy to recognize with its stone archway and the signing that read “Ohio Cottage”. This remained a sanctuary for many women for quite some time, but in 1904 the building was donated to the state because the Women’s Relief Corps were no longer able to maintain the facility.

In 1962 the Women’s Relief Corps Madison Home was done operating and the Ohio Department of Mental Hygiene and Corrections. Any residents at this time were returned to sent back to their relatives and left to their care, but for those that did not have any relatives, a nursing home was usually the next step. Unfortunately, most of the people that had been staying at this home had family that had long since past, and most of them were required to go to nursing homes or were sent to mental facilities.

While the building no longer served as a home for women after the Civil War, it was rarely ever empty. It changed owners and functions several times in the years that followed. There was a time where it was known as the Ohio Women’s Reformatory, and female inmates were housed there. Later it was used as a medical facility as an extension that housed mentally disabled, aged or older and senile women. While it was accustomed to providing a roof over the head of women, that wasn’t the only purpose it served.

In 1970 it became a commissioner's office for the town's administration until they were able to build a new facility. At this point in time, the building had stood for so long that it was officially registered on the National Historic Register. Up until this time the building had so many years of being unused and gone without serving a purpose that it began to have areas of the building that were entirely unrepairable. It was at this time that the fate of the building was waiting to be decided upon that word of the hauntings arose.

Shortly after, the property quickly went up for sale with a sign that mentioned it would be available for cheap leasing. Its future remained unknown up until 1998 when a man by the name of John Cassel purchased the property for a total of $28,500.

This building that was once found as a sanctuary for women and children that had lost a brother, spouse or father in the war, is now known for being one of the most haunted locations in the Madison area. It’s the haunted memories of these souls that seem to linger in the building and interact with all of the visitors that stop by.


With so many individuals that were left haunted from the Civil War, the memories that remain contained in this building are ones that radiate off the hauntings of those individuals that once called this space a home. From orbs to disembodied voices asking questions to guests and saying their names, people have often encountered various spirits while walking through the halls of this large building. There are different areas that are cool and places where knockings and footsteps can be heard. Some of the craziest paranormal experiences in the space are related to EVPs and technological difficulties. From flashlights turning on and off, to technology losing all functionality, the teams that have gone out to the Madison Seminary have experienced quite a bit of action.

One of the most well-known spirits that haunt the Madison Seminary goes by the name of Sarah. A young girl with a room that still has toys in it is said to communicate with people when they take the time to visit her room. EVPs and playing around with flashlights has been noted and document, but she isn’t the only one that stays in this room. One of the spirits is said to be an old man that protects the young girl, and can often create some tension within the space.

Aside from Sarah, there is said to be a ghost of a young boy named Steven. The tale tied to this young boy goes along the lines of a boy whose father died in the war. After that, his mother went to the Madison Seminary in order to have a roof over their head. For some reason or another, his spirit still haunts the building and those that come and visit. Aside from these spirits, there are many other spirits that linger in the cemetery right next to the building that also lingers when people come and visit the location for tours.

If you are interested in visiting the many rooms that housed Civil War nurses, family members and those that were mentally ill, then it’s time that you visit the Ghost Hunts USA schedule. We have a variety of dates where you can go to Madison Seminary and experience some incredible paranormal activity and hauntings. Check out the schedule and start planning out your ghost hunting event today.