We research, explore, and promote the preservation of the coolest ghost towns and historic locations in Ohio! Our group also goes on several road trips every year to discover what’s physically left of them. If you’re planning a trip and need more info or have any other questions, message us through the contact form, email to ohioghosttowns@gmail.com, or find us on Facebook. Everyone is welcome to post pictures, videos, and info about anything historical in Ohio on there. We also accept research requests for towns in Ohio, abandoned or still around, and can assist with getting started on genealogy and working through roadblocks.

GPS coordinates attached to the town listings are linked to Google Maps and open in a new tab, as do all of the links on this website. The coordinates usually either pinpoint the center of the town, or its most recognized landmark, and best starting point for exploring an area. With the exceptions of state routes (SR) and national highways (US), road names and waterways are recorded exactly as they appear on Google Maps with applicable alternative names next to them in parenthesis. Distances between places recorded in miles, and sometimes with fractions, were measured by their shortest current road route.   

Info is continually added to this website on a weekly and usually daily basis. Initial completion of the County Data Charts, also listed by county on their respective pages, occurred in August of 2019. Many more resources were added to our list since starting on them in early 2017. The descriptions have since expanded to include more info such as where important buildings were that are no longer around, who owned or operated them, and lots of postal info. We’re currently in the process of running the counties through our resources for a second time and have 16 left to go on that. The Top 10 lists also occasionally get amended as needed. Any info deemed to be inaccurate either gets corrected or removed upon verification.

Counties updated in October: Athens, Defiance, Madison, and Pike

Counties updated in September – Adams, Allen, Ashland, Fairfield, Huron, Mercer, Monroe, Williams, and Wyandot

Counties updated in August – Auglaize, Ashtabula, Crawford, Darke, Fayette, Hamilton, Hardin, Henry, Highland, Lake, Noble, Preble, Union, Sandusky, and Shelby

Some of our group members and website fans are interested in the potential for paranormal activity at the locations, but it’s a very small percentage of the massive historical research we do. The listings usually start with the founding of the towns, then moves on to their heyday, and ends with what physically remains today. Reports of ghost stories are included in applicable listings, but it’s not something we look for to begin with or seek out exclusively. We don’t do private residence ghost hunting investigations. There are links to traditional paranormal groups which offer them free of charge on our Research Resources page.

This website isn’t flashy or overstated by any means. The dark background wasn’t chosen to create an atmosphere or mood. It’s simply to make the words pop better on screens and easier to read. Our pictures are unedited and we don’t try to turn them into art. They’re intended to show exactly what the structures and objects looked like when we were there, purely for the historical purpose of visual documentation. Every town listing is intensely scrutinized and cross-referenced with as many resources as possible. The info and its accuracy is always our top priority.

It’s a treasure trove for history buffs, genealogists, metal detecting enthusiasts, ghost hunters, and anyone in Ohio looking for different than usual things to check out and do. The towns are categorized into 4 classifications: ghost, semi-ghost, historic, and small towns. We prefer to research and explore completely abandoned towns, but during our travels over the years we’ve discovered that almost every town has at least a little bit of a ghost town within it.   

One of the best ways to learn about history is to go where it happened. The people who lived in some of the towns are long gone, but the stories continue to be told through the buildings and items that were left behind.

Company motto and favorite quote: “Hold this rope and pull me out if I start screaming.”

Please take as many precautions as possible when exploring ghost towns and abandoned places. It can be a dangerous hobby at times with many different ways to get injured, which can quickly ruin a trip. If you’re going with a group, splitting up responsibilities such as navigation, safety, and designating a medic adds to the fun and gives each member something particular to focus on.

*Some Things to Keep in Mind While Exploring*

*You Can Never Be Too Prepared*

Many of the locations listed on this website are out in the middle of nowhere and a long way from main roads and hospitals. Carefully examine your trip route, make sure your vehicle is rough roadworthy, and take everything you might need to be prepared for any travel or exploring emergency. Some suggested items are: at least a small medical kit, extra batteries, flashlights, a hiking stick, water, snacks, a cell phone, GPS, compass, and maps of your planned destination. 

*Rough Terrain and Dangerous Indoor Environments*

Watch every step you take, especially when going off trail or into abandoned buildings, and be mindful of any potential hazards. Don’t go anywhere that might be harder to get out of than it is to get in. Never engage in rock climbing or mine shaft exploring without proper education of the location and without sufficient gear.

*Keep Track of Where You Are*

Getting lost is one of the worst things that can happen while exploring and greatly increases the chances of injury. Look for natural and human-made landmarks, the easiest way back to a main trail, and make sure you know the way back to your vehicle at all times.

*Take Warning Signs Seriously*

Don’t venture beyond any no trespassing or warning signs, do not enter, dangerous area, or closed trail signs at any location. It’s disappointing running into them at cool places sometimes, but they really are there for your safety. On top of the possibility of injury, you could ticketed and fined or even arrested.

*Encountering Wildlife and Vegetation*

Snakes, bees, spiders, and animals also love ghost towns and abandoned buildings, so do sticker bushes and poison ivy. Keep an eye out for any signs of life. Be careful when moving plants or objects and watch where you place your hands and feet. Always wear pants or jeans and durable shoes or boots. We also recommend taking air horns and animal spray repellents. Black bear and bobcat sighting have been rising for several years, especially in southeastern Ohio.

*Being a Respectful and Responsible Explorer*

Give respect to all public and private property. Many of the places on this website have historical values that can not be replaced. Leave them the same or better than when you got there. If you take a garbage bag when visiting ghost towns or cemeteries and pick up any trash you find, you can make a good difference for the environment, local wildlife, and other visitors. We don’t expect anyone to clean up an entire location themselves, but any bit helps and every bag counts.

Ohio State Map 1888 Bridgman's Atlas