Malabar Farm

Lucas, Ohio

On October 10, 2003 I went to Malabar Farm State Park with my parents to see the Ceely Rose play performed by the Mansfield Playhouse. While we were there we took a tour of the house, took a wagon tour to Pleasant Valley Cemetery, and of course ended the night by watching the play in the main barn.

As usual, I took too many photos, so I have divided them into the following sections:

Louis Bromfield, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, built Malabar Farm in 1939. Today visitors can tour the home, which still contains the original furnishings, and take wagon rides of the farm. You can learn more about the farm and Louis Bromfield by visiting these websites:

Malabar Farm and the nearby Pleasant Valley Cemetery are supposedly haunted by the ghost of Ceely Rose, a young girl who murdered her family in 1896. Ceely Rose and her family lived in a house on the grounds of Malabar Farm State Park. Ceely Rose had a huge crush on a local boy named Guy Berry. Guy, however, did not feel the same about Ceely. Ceely was so in love with Guy that she told her family, friends (in fact, anyone who would listen!) that she was engaged to him. Guy was afraid that he'd hurt Ceely's feelings if he told her he had no intention of marrying her, so instead he lied and told her that they could never get married because her family did not approve of him. That made Ceely furious, she couldn't believe her family would keep her from her true love. So she decided to soak flypaper in water and then pour the arsenic-laced water on the cottage cheese she served them. Within three short months her parents and brother died. Guy left town for several years, he was afraid what Ceely might do to him if she ever found out the truth. Some of her neighbors eventually got her to confess to the murder. She was locked away in a mental hospital for the rest of her life, which was about 41 years!

On February 28, 2004 I met Mark Jordan at Malabar Farm to discuss the Ceely Rose haunting. Mark wrote the Ceely play that was performed in October 2003, and he had experienced some pretty strange things while rehearsing the play in the old barn. He is a little bit of a skeptic when it comes to ghosts, and that made his stories even more believable!

Before I get into Mark's stories, I think it's interesting to mention that the big barn at Malabar Farm was originally constructed using beams from the old Schrack Mill. Ceely Rose's father was the last operator of the mill, and it was located right down the road from the barn. The barn burned down sometime in the 1990's, but they were able to salvage some of the original beams. Maybe that connection to the Rose family is part of the reason why the cast of the play experienced strange occurences while rehearsing there?!

On to the stories. The first odd thing that Mark witnessed during the rehearsals was a pulsing light. He said it wasn't flickering like a lightbulb that was about it go out, it was steadily pulsing on and off. The rest of the lights on that strand were fine. And to make it a little more creepy, it started the pulsing during the scene where Ceely poisoned her mother a second time!! The light never did the on and off thing again. If it was a short it probably would have continued to pulse until it went off for good.

Mark did have another interesting encounter with the lights though, however the next time it was a different light. The original plan for the opening of the play was to have all the lights out in the barn so everyone was sitting in the dark. Then electric signs would light up one at a time around the stage with words like "murder", "mysterious deaths", etc. However, this plan didn't end up working out since there weren't enough channels on the lighting equipment to use for all the signs. Mark came up with another idea to replace the lights (which was actually eerier, but I'm not going to tell you what they did instead of the lights in case you go and see it this year!). Anyway, the weekend before the play opened Mark was covering up an opening in the barn with black fabric to keep out light. One of the signs, "mysterious deaths", was still hanging up where he was stapling the black fabric. Instead of messing around with taking the sign down, he decided to just leave it up and cover it with the fabric. When he was stapling near the sign, he noticed that the sign flashed on and then went out quickly. Mark thought it might have just been his imagination, but after researching everything that could have caused the light to flash he discovered that there was no logical explanation!

The last creepy thing to happen during the rehearsals was only a few days before opening night. No light problems this time...the sound board stopped working! Mark tried to play around with the sound equipment to fix the problem himself, but he couldn't get it to work. He called the sound director at the Mansfield Playhouse, and the next night he came to Malabar Farm with replacement sound equipment. Mark and the sound director unplugged each piece of equipment one at a time and plugged in the replacement piece. And guess what...none of the replacement pieces worked either! They were both pretty frustrated by this point. Mark walked over to the other side of the barn and whispered (so no one would hear him and think he was crazy!) "Please Ceely, we can't tell your story without your help". When he went back over to the sound board, his friend turned the board back on and everything was working correctly!! They didn't have any problems with the sound after that.

In addition to the eerie barn experience, Mark told me about another strange incident reported around the time of the 2003 performance. A friend of Candy Boyd's (Candy is the actress who played Ceely) who came to the show said to Candy afterwards, "That was a good idea for you guys to have someone in costume looking out the window at Ceely's house when the wagon tour came by...". However, no one in costume was in the Rose house!!

Mark also told me about his trip to Lima, Ohio to visit Ceely's grave. They went to the indigent patient's cemetery where the old Lima Mental Hospital was on a gray, cloudy day. When Mark took his last photo of Ceely's grave, the clouds parted a little and a bright ray of sunshine hit her grave.

Are all of Mark's stories just coincidence? Maybe, or maybe not! I'll let you decide :) I really want to thank Mark for sharing his stories with me to post on the site!!

In July 2004, I received an interesting story about Malabar Farm in my inbox from Myrrha Lisbon, a website visitor:

I live about 15 minutes north of the farm and my boyfriend works as a Naturalist there. I am there quite often and love the place. He loves working there as well. I have been aware of the Ceely Rose story for quite some time and have something else to add. The family that lives in the house at present has a 6 year old son who has seen "a strange lady" in the upstairs of the house. I do know that kids seem to be more suseptible to phenomenom, or maybe they just aren't afraid to talk about their experiences. But I know the family and trust what they have told me. The boy still sees her at times but the parents have not.

Also, the Bromfield house is another thing. I was given a "private tour" of it one night and it is a beautiful place. I love the double stair case in the foyer. I didn't see or hear anything unusual and felt that if there was anyone still lurking about he/she was anything but hostile. Just a few days ago, on the day of the New Moon, my boyfriend was working at closing up the house when he came to Louis Bromfield's favourite room and found one of the end table lamps on even though he had not turned it on. He had been the only employee giving house tours that day and had not turned it on. He bent to turn it off and the other desk lamp clicked on. These lamps are not switch operated, they must be turned on manually by individual knobs. There is no way that it could happen without assistance by someone or thing. By this time, my boyfriend was certain that he was not alone in the room. He is not a skeptic, but had never had any experiences out of the ordinary. He then noticed that the cushion on the old elegant couch between the lamps had an indent in one of cushions. This whole side of the room is roped off and no one sits on that couch. He was not afraid, but aware of a presence. He turned off the lamp and left. We had a date right after, and he didn't stop talking about it for about 3 hours. I utterly believe him and think that its awesome!

Myrrha's story is the first one I've heard about paranormal activity in the Bromfield house. Now I'm ready to go up there for another tour to see if I catch anything strange in my photos! I want to give Myrrha a big "thank you" for sharing her story with me!

In October 2004 I received an e-mail from Mark Jordan about some of the creepy things that happened at this year's Ceely performances:

Ceely has been going well up here on the farm, but things had been surprisingly quiet until recently. I thought I would let you know a couple of odd things that happened. Saturday night our performance was going great, but about half way through the first act, the right channel of my soundboard (or the speaker) went out. Then a while later, I noticed it was back on. Then back out. It never shorted in and out while music or sound effects were playing, it was always either completely on or off, no matter what I did to the switches and connections on the board. Toward the end of the second act, Amy (who is one of my backstage people) got annoyed with it and whispered at the speaker, "Knock it off, Ceely!" It worked perfectly the rest of the night and all day Sunday. Amy says she's also heard a girlish giggle in the barn at times when there's no one else there. She is convinced that it is Ceely, but is also convinced that Ceely bears us no bad will-- she just wants to play and get our attention.

However, Amy, Gretchen, and my stage manager Laura all say that they don't like the "feel" of the women's restroom in the little building next to the barn. Gretchen says that there is something in there and it is not happy. She says every time she walks in there, it feels strange. Sometimes it is much stronger and at those times, she says it is like walking into a cold wall. All three of them were in there one night and felt an overwhelming sense of dread that followed them back to the barn as they went to lock up. Gretchen says she can't tell exactly who or what this ghost is, but she doesn't think it has anything to do with Ceely, and Amy agrees. I was trying to get more details about their "encounter" but they didn't want to talk about it until it was daylight, so maybe I'll get some details this weekend. Meanwhile, late Sunday, the backstage crew was washing the dishes from the play in the sink in the men's restroom, so I went into the empty women's restroom to wash my hands. I had to agree that there is something less than cozy about the room. It feels a bit like that over in the men's room, too, but not as strong. Gretchen said it was "pretty mild" that evening, so I'll have to try and catch it some time when it is stronger.

In January 2005 I received an e-mail from Laura Callahan, the stage manager for Ceely, with more stories about the paranormal encounters experienced during the 2004 performances:

The Tuesday before we opened the show, I was out at the farm doing some painting and random stage work. I usually went to the farm with Gretchen (spoken of in other Ceely stories) but I went really early that day, around 1 pm, so I was alone in the barn except for tourists. Malabar Farm closes at 4:30, so the rangers came and told me they were leaving. That was fine with me. I was in a bad mood anyhow, so I kind of wanted to be left alone.

About a half hour after they left, I closed the barn door to do some work with the lighting. I needed it dark inside to work on this particular cue, one at the end of the show where all the lights go red. I turned off the CD I had playing and killed all the lights in the barn except for my light board. I was working on the cue when I heard footsteps coming from the other end of the barn. I stopped what I was doing and listened, and heard nothing. I shook my head, started working again, and again I heard the footsteps. I got up this time, walked out to the center of the barn, but of course there was no one there. I usually freak out beyond all belief at anything even remotely supernatural, but for some reason I wasn't really scared this time. I could feel a presence in the barn, but I could somehow feel that this presence was not there to harm me, but rather to play with me. Mark and the others had told me the stories of Ceely, so I just asked her to please be quiet so I could keep working...and I had no more problems that day. I heard the footsteps again from time to time after that first occurrence.

On opening night, we had a fantastic performance. I walked outside the barn as the audience was leaving, on my way to do the dishes from the show. There is a hedge by the house, and I swear up and down I heard a girl laughing behind it. I stopped, waited a second, and walked over to investigate, but there was nobody anywhere near that bush.

Also, in addition to the bathroom story Mark posted...The last stall in the bathroom is the worst. There is something about that building that just feels wrong...sad...I don't know. None of us can really put our fingers on it, but from about mid-September on, none of us girls went into that bathroom alone. Amy and I were in there one night doing dishes and we heard knocking on the wall, Gretchen (who is really sensitive to this kind of thing) has heard people in there when nobody's in there but us. We are fairly sure that this is not the same presence as we experienced in the barn.

Amy (one of the backstage crew) and I took the wagon ride every night before the show because we felt it took us closer to the characters in the show and the people they portrayed. We saw the curtains move in the Rose house almost every night, and there was never anyone home in the house. We found out that the curtains we saw moving were in what had been Ceely's room.

Ceely has convinced me that there are "good ghosts" out there, she's definitely one of them.

A few days after I received Laura's first e-mail, she sent me another story about strange things she experienced at Malabar Farm:

The last week of the show, we came in Thursday night for what we call "brush up" rehearsal. The weekend before had been the SUPER creepy weekend, lots of inexplicable things going on, not all of them nice. We don't usually use the lights or sound during brush ups, but for some reason I decided to run the lights that night. I sat down at the light board and had somebody turn off all the other lights in the barn. I turned the light board on and brought up the lights for the first scene. The light board is kind of hard to explain, I have 2 sets of switches, one up and one down. I can set the lights for the next scene while the current scene is going on. When I want to switch from scene to scene, I pull the master switch from top to bottom, or vice versa. Well, making a long story short, The first scene was over and I switched the lights...only nothing happened. I tried blacking out then, killing all the lights...and nothing happened. So we stopped the rehearsal for a few minutes while I checked the breaker box, even though I knew that wasn't the problem. I thought maybe something wasn't plugged in all the way, but everything was fine. Mark and I just kind of looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders. I played with the board for a few minutes, but nothing would go out - everything stayed on once it was turned on. I sat there for a minute, trying to figure out HOW IN THE WORLD I was going to run lights for a sold out show the next night when I couldn't turn anything out. I asked Ceely to PLEASE stop messing with the light board, that I really needed it and we couldn't tell her story without it. Then I called my tech director and asked him to hightail it out there to bail me out. He was on his way, so we continued with rehearsal with me calling the light cues out instead of actually doing them. In the last scene of Act 1, I decided to try the lights again on a whim...and they worked. Just fine. The next night, the lights did the same thing...stayed on and wouldn't shut off. Of course, I panicked. But they started working just fine about 15 minutes before the show started. They did exactly the same thing the night after that. I think Ceely was just playing with me, I have this feeling that she wanted to make sure we knew she was still there and still in control. It sure was weird, though. I've never had that happen, before or since then.

If you go to Malabar, I would check out the bathroom IN THE DAYLIGHT WITH A FRIEND. It's the women's bathroom that is the worst. And the back door of the barn, that leads down to the hay...there's something there, too...not sure what, but most definitely not always friendly!

Also in January 2005 I heard from Amy Stauffer, who worked with Mark and Laura on the 2004 Ceely production:

My 'station' was back-stage right (the audience's left... by the door that goes down the back to the outside). After the performance started on that "creepy" night, the back door was constantly banging and slamming, even though there was no breeze. My mind automatically switched to wind-tunnel effect, but when I stood near the door there was no air movement at all, just bitter coldness. It slammed especially hard when I stood by it. During the intermission I asked Laura if she could hear it from the booth, but she couldn't. I also opened the door, stood back, and said "Come on Ceely, you know you're welcome here. Come on in and please stop playing with the door." I think I may have upset the presence even more because it was even louder during act 2.

Unfortunately...the same night was my turn to do the dishes...

The bathroom was always really warm, so I was a little shocked when instantly it felt like ice was running through my veins, and it happened repeatedly in a span of about 5 minutes. Laura had come in and I wouldn't let her leave until I was done with the dishes. It was deffinatly NOT Ceely, she had never had a negative vibe towards me before. Laura and I contemplated what to refer to this spirit as, thinking if we talked to it every night like we did Ceely, maybe it wouldn't be so angry. She suggested "Friend of Ceely", and instantly ice shot through my body again, I knew that that was NOT acceptable. We finally settled on "Ceely and company", which seemed to be ok because things calmed down after that... however the knocking sound is what convinced us to grab the dishes and make a run for the barn. After that the back barn door even stopped slamming like it had been earlier that night. Whatever it was definetly wanted us to know that it was present and didn't like being ignored. Laura thinks that it might be old Phoebe Wise, I think its possible, but not too sure. In a way I kinda think it might be the guy that Phoebe had killed, but I know very little about the story. I'm sure I'll learn more as Mark works on his new play!

Little side note, as you walk from the barn to the bathroom, up by the sidewalk is a statue of a little boy. Every single time I walked out there at night I had to do a double take because it looked as though that statue was moving. It creeped me out every single time!

When Mark read Amy's story about the barn door slamming, it made him remember something similar that happened to him:

As for that door in the back that Amy mentions, that reminded me of how one evening I was standing at the bottom of the stairs on the other side of that door. Now, granted, this particular night it was windy, so the fact that the door opened may not mean anything, but it did slowly swing open and hold there for a second and just as slowly close again. It was as if someone had opened the door, looked down the stairs to see who was there, and then closed it. For some reason-- possibly nothing more than a writer's overactive imagination-- I pictured a tall, strong man in farm work clothes, wearing a hat as he opened that door. But I couldn't picture a face. The face was a blank, and I felt the whole image was malevolent. But like I say, this could have been nothing more than the wind and my imagination being fired by the creepy atmosphere of the place.

In April 2005, I received an e-mail from Chevy Troxell about her strange experiences at Malabar Farm:

I'm a ghost hunter myself as well a a photographer. One September evening I decided to take a ride out to Malabar Farm to take some pictures for a project I was making for the play that was being performed out there. I have done many shows with Mark and we have shared plenty of stories. This night was a spooky night, there was a light fog rolling across the farm land. Well I pulled into the parking lot about 8:30 pm, it wasn't real dark and I took some pictures of the Bromfield home, the farm animals, and strangely enough there was and old couple out for an evening walk. It started to get darker the closer we got to the Rose house, and the man was talking about how he was in some way related to the Berry Family. Wow I thought! He asked me if I was out there trying to see her. No, No thank you...It wasn't that thought hadn't even crossed my mind. He was telling me how Ceely was going to kill the Berry Family as well as her own...I said out in front of her house "Wow she sure was crazy", without even thinking about where I was. I had walked with the couple a little past the house to where that other barn is and that small pound when I stopped to tie my shoe. I said, "well you two have a nice and safe walk"... when I looked up and they were gone! By that time it was about 9:20. I went to turn my camara on and take a picture. When I heard my name being called. Loud and clear I heard "Chevy". From across the pond. I was sure my ears were playing tricks on me. So I ignored it and went on with going to take my picture of the house. When the camera would not work I pushed every button there was to push. I tried it one more time and it took in a real slow motion. I decided then to walk back to my car as fast as my legs could carry me. My camera would work again until I left the park, more til I was back in the city. I walk into my apartment and then my roommate said "what's wrong with you, you look like you've seen a ghost.quot; I thought you have no idea! I went into the living home with my camera and took a picture just fine. When I got the pics back there was a huge blur across it and scattered lights.

Matt Roberts also experienced some strange things when he visited Malabar Farm:

I met Mark out at Malabar with Laura. There was some kind of reception going on in the barn, so we took a slow walk towards the Rose house and the Berry house while Mark and Laura shared their experiences with me. All the while I was snapping pictures of the Rose house.

Since I'm keen to the "6th sense" I tried to key in on something around there, and I did pick up a tiny bit of energy near the Rose house. Of course we couldn't go in, so I'm not sure what was going on there. However, looking at the front of the house, I kept being "directed" toward the top middle and top right windows, but mainly that middle one.

We then walked back towards the barn and we saw the people clearing out. We headed downstairs to the livestock and played with them for a short while, then headed back up top. Laura told me of the bathroom, but I couldn't really go in. I did go into the mens room and as Mark said, I felt a little something in there, but it wasn't enough to go on, almost like it was leftovers from all the energy in the women's room.

I noticed a couple of times in all of your emails that people mentioned a laugh coming from some bushes. That's funny, because while we were sitting outside I kept looking at the bushes, almost expecting something there, though I had no idea about the laughter, and I didn't hear it, so it was kind of ironic.

We then decided to go in the barn since most of the people had cleared out. I immediately walked over to the back door that everyone had the problems with and I felt a little presence there. I started taking pictures and Laura and Mark just kind of walked around a little bit. Suddenly I got a strong feeling of a serious presence right near the front corner of the stage on the side of the door. I'm at work now and don't feel like thinking back to my theater days to figure out what corner it was, but it was actually right next to that beam there.

I got lightheaded quick, as sometimes that happens with me and strong energies. I grabbed for the beam and realized I had to sit down. Mark had just walked past me so I turned to him and told him I needed help, but I think it all happened so fast that he didn't know what to do and so I just sat myself down on the bench. The feeling stayed with me, almost tormenting me.

I got up and said I had to leave the barn and I walked out as fast as possible without running into anything, because at this point my mind was very clouded with this energy and the pictures and thoughts pouring into my head. When I got outside the energy was still with me, though going away. It felt like the presence was making sure I left the barn.

And the vision in my head of who it was...chilling. I only experienced this kind of anger in a "spirit" one other time and that was scary was the Bobby Mackey ghost. So I definitely wanted to leave. But this is what I saw. It was a woman for sure. She was wearing a bonnet and a dress, both of the period when I guess Ceely would've been living. Both seemed to be a dark red color. All I saw past that was the look on her face, and it wasn't friendly. She had her teeth gritted and a very angry look on her face.

Whether this was Ceely or someone else, I don't know. I didn't get a name. Actually, I didn't get anything more than what I just described. That and the thought that whoever this woman is, she doesn't want me there and she was VERY angry. Come to think of it, the feeling was also kind of like she was just very mad that there were all these people there, probably all day, and she didn't want any more company, so she escorted me and my company out.

I don't know. Whoever it is, it didn't seem like Ceely to me. And I only say that because everyone that emailed you seems to like Ceely's ghost and say she's playful. This one wasn't nice or playful, at least to me. I want to go back sometime though to do a more thorough investigation.

Just a few minutes later, I received another e-mail from Matt:

I just did a yahoo search on Ceely Rose because I was interested to see if there were any known pictures of her so that maybe I could figure out who the hell I was visited by in the barn at Malabar.

OMG OMG OMG....I saw this link and clicked it and look what came up... THAT IS WHO I SAW IN THE BARN!!!!!! So it WAS Ceely that I ran into! I can't believe it! That is the face that I saw, only VERY angry! I'm getting so chilled when I look at that picture!

In March 2006 I received an e-mail from Brian about his trip to Malabar Farm:

I recently took a trip up to Malabar Farm, in search of Ceely Rose's house. I did not know which house it was, so I asked some locals. They provided NO information, and denied all accounts. Well, my friend and I drove around passing her house several times, without knowing it. Then, for no apparent reason, my cell phone starts playing "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" by Chicago. Just rang "Hold me now, hard for me to say I'm sorry, I just want you to know"...freaked me out! Nobody has that ringtone. There was no reason for it to just do that while we were there.

In June 2006 I received an e-mail from Dawn about her trip to the farm:

I believe my 12 year old daughter had an encounter with the presence in the ladies restroom yesterday while we were at the Malabar Farm. We had driven to Mansfield to have dinner, and while we were at the restaurant I begged my husband to take me to Malabar Farm. I had always wanted to see it but we never had time while on trips to Cedar Point. After I told him it was either Malabar or the old Mansfield Reformatory, he picked Malabar :) My daughter wanted to know about the Farm and the story about the ghost, so I simply told her that the Farm was the home of a famous author and the ghost was that of a young woman who murdered her family for a boy that really didn't love her. I explained to her that Ceely lived in a house near the farm and, if we had time, I would show her what house it was.

When we got there my husband decided he would just wait in the car while my daughter and I walked around. First stop was the gift shop, it was almost closing time. I had to pick up post cards. Well me and Peyt (my daughter) both had to use the restroom. I DID NOT know the story about the women's restroom at this point. IF I HAD I would NOT have let her go alone. She begged me to let her go while I was still shopping. I usually still go with her but there was hardly anyone still at the Farm and I let her go by herself. I was checking out when she went to the restroom alone. I met her right at the little bench outside of the restrooms. She wouldn't go back into the restrooms with me so I told her to wait right there with my stuff until I finished and NOT to go anywhere. I went in and went to the last stall. I heard the main door open and Peyt called out for me. I told her I was there. I didn't hear anything strange while I was in that stall, but man there were some STRANGE vibes. I hurried up and got out of the stall. While I was washing my hands, Peyt told me she had gone to the same stall as I did. She said she heard someone banging on the wall, and that is why she didn't want to go back into the restrooms. I told her it was probably just someone messing around and there was nothing wrong. I did not know anything about the ladies restroom or I would NOT have let her go alone in there.

We looked around the Farm and took some pictures, looked at the map, and off to Ceely's house we went. It didn't look like anyone was living there right now so we got out and snapped some quick pics. My attention kept getting drawn back to the middle upper window. While I did not see anything unusual or capture anything on my camera, I did get a strange feeling about that middle window. The main barn is strange also. We went in there while at the Farm and my daughter, being the typical adventurous kid, wanted to go see the animals. The petting area was already closed so that wasn't happening. She found a door at the left rear of the barn that led down to the horses and started going down it, all at once she turned around and ran up the few steps she had gotten down. She looked at me, her face was totally pale and told me I'm not supposed to be down there. I told her she was right and NOT to do it again. I don't know what changed her mind but whatever it was THANK YOU. We are going to Cedar Point mid July and I plan on spending a whole day at the Farm on the way back. I can't wait to take the tours. It is such a BEAUTIFUL place.

In October 2006 I received the following e-mail from Brett Mitchell:

Last winter I made a typical after hours visit, along with my girlfriend at the time, to Malabar Farm. Going back to the 'office' is never an arduous endeavor when your 'office' is Pleasant Valley. Well, that night was one of our typical routines of looking for adventure in a seemingly mundane area. Of course this always meant pulling out those ancient 19th Century Plats of Richland County that have long ago been stored in my mind and searching for mounds, cemeteries and dilapidated farm houses.

Well, after wearing that rag for awhile and unsuccessfully locating all of our destinations for the evening, our last stop, as normal, was Malabar. Of course, I never have trouble finding this spot. So, popping out of my little Corolla (38MPG) we began that brisk walk towards Mary's porch. For some reason, that porch soothes me. I have always taken comfort in sitting outside of her window. Keeping her company and all.

So in my normal fashion, serious discussions of the meaning in life and all that great crap were soon abandoned. I will be leaving that topic to the preachers and philosophers. I'd rather shoot some pictures. And so, in a matter unbecoming of a professional photographer (of which I am not), I began carelessly snapping the shutter of my new Nikon haphazardly towards the window of the red room. (For some reason we both got a kick out of that. Must be the cornbread, grits and water). So you now see where I am going with this.

A few days had gone by and I decided it was time to clean out the SanDisk so I could shoot some more later. While shuffling through the preview something caught my eye. I zoomed in and saw what would soon and completely change my point of view. It was not another story. It was not another tale. No, there it was right in front of me...a boxer.

I still look at that photograph nearly everyday. When I do, I just shake my head. I'm not sure which dog it is. But as it stands there in all of its glory, frozen by my Nikon lens, I cannot help but wonder why he or she stayed behind. I am resigned to the fact that the boxer dog, standing in the red room just outside of his master's bedroom, knows more than me. Its clipped ears, towering on his head and fully alert to our actions. Its white chest flared out as if it was warning us not to disturb 'the boss'. And the eyes. The eyes! They tell it all. With a shimmering glare, this boxer dog will not dare allow his eternal home to be disturbed.

Brett showed me the photo of the boxer. Now, you can ask almost anyone on the message board and they'll tell you I am HORRIBLE at seeing ghosts in photos. I can usually come up with a logical explanation. However, the photo Brett showed me is so clear - there is definitely a dog there! And it's also clear the photo isn't altered. There are no pets in the house now, so this dog is definitely a ghostly guardian.

In November 2007 I received the following e-mail from Michelle W. regarding her experiences at Malabar Farm:

My mom is a ghost hunter with a local group, and they were given permission in either 2005 or 2006 to investigate Malabar Farm. My boyfriend and I went along with them since we are avid ghost hunters ourselves. The men in the groups never experienced anything, but weird stuff did happen. One of the motion sensors went off, and when we went to check it out no one was around. In one of the bedrooms, I believe it was the honeymoon suite, we were sitting there, just waiting for any sign of activity. I had a video camera, and after shooting with no prevail for at least 15 minutes I went to shut it off. We deicded to leave. As me, my mom, and another woman were getting up to leave, the woman's audio recorder flew out of her back pocket and slid at least 10 feet on the hardwood floor, almost going completely under the bed. I managed to capture the very end of the recorder sliding on the floor. We tried to get it to slide that far again, but it wouldn't. On the way down the main stairs, my mom felt like she was pushed and almost fell.

I received the following e-mail from Lisa Leech in August 2008:

We visited Malabar Farm this morning. What a beautiful place to visit. We hadn't been there since the new Visitor Center had been built. Before we returned home, we stopped by the Malabar Inn for a delicious lunch. Afterwards, we called our daughter on our cell phone to tell her that we were returning home and that we wouldn't hear her calls for 55 miles (we rode the motorcycle). After I stated that to her, our conversation was broke up by a frightening, ghostly sounding voice that said about two sentences of garbled words. It was a demonic sounding male voice that sent chills up and down my arms. My husband heard it as well when I held the phone outwards toward him. We have no idea what that was all about? In fact,I suspected that we were interrupted by someone from the spirit world. That is how I found your website. I wondered if others had other experiences with them?

I received the following e-mail from Gloria L. in May 2009:

My son and I were visitors to Malabar Farm about four years ago, during the July summer. I took many pictures, which I need to fish out of storage to see if any unusual things appear. I am clairaudient and sensitive to touches on my body that have no logical explanation. I very strongly sensed spirit activity in the bedrooms, stairs, and especially the kitchen and surrounding area.

However, I want to focus this email on the hostel down the road from the farm. My son, Charley, and I decided to stay over night there, because the drive to Reynoldsburg was too long in my weary state. The owner of the hostel said that we were the only lodgers, and that since my son was a minor, she would relax the separate male-female rules so that we could rest in the same room.

I closed the door to our bunk/bedroom, because I had the uncanny feeling that something or somebody was "with" us. I also lowered all the shades, yet felt that we were being watched. My son fell asleep. I had a hard time staying asleep. I am a "watcher," and frequently at night I am alert for unusual sounds and unseen presences. When I feel that I am being watched, I watch back, and pray to Jesus for protection. After about an hour and a half, I decided that no evil would occur, and I fell asleep.

I felt strongly that there was a "viewer/listener/presence" in the second floor bathroom. Nothing really unusual happened, just my heightened sensitivities and awareness at work.

I looked at the Malabar Farm property map online after reading a small mention in "The Columbus Dispatch," Life & Arts section where Ceely Rose was mentioned. Then I read your online posts about unusual activity at Malabar Farm, barn, outside restrooms, near the little boy's statue, etc., and that's when I decided to look for Ceely's home on a map. I was surprised to see that the hostel is very near to her house. So I write this email to start a discussion on the hostel as another paranormal site. Can't hurt, can it?

I received an update from Gloria L. in June 2009:

I would like to thank Beth Santore for her reply to my experiences at the hostel near Ceely Rose's house. It turns out that the hostel was once the home of Guy Berry, Ceely's love. This validates my intuitions about the paranormal feel of the hostel. Curiously, that would also explain why the hostel owner (a really sweet lady) totally locked herself in her living area downstairs while we settled down for the night in a second floor room. It all makes sense now.

I received an e-mail from Aubrey in February 2010 with an observation about one of my photos:

I might have found something in your pictures. It's the Bromfield House Interior. In the "looking down hall" picture I believe I see a man. His head is on top of the 2nd doorway. Sort of at the center. Maybe I'm just seeing things. But I thought I'd let you know.

If you ever visit Malabar Farm, maybe you'll get to "meet" Ceely Rose too! If you do, be sure to send me an e-mail and I'll post your story on the site!

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