Malabar Farm offers more than family friendly day-time farm tours. Night-time "haunted" tours are also available for those who dare.

Getting a good scare at the Malabar Farm Night Haunt

I was recently searching the Internet for horse-related story ideas when I stumbled upon the Malabar Farm website. My search brought me to the site because of their draft horse events. I was reading about their Spring Plowing Days when I noticed that the next item on their calendar was a Night Haunt.

I started laughing and continued to read aloud about the event to Matt Reese, the editor of Ohio’s Country Journal. He said the event sounded like it would be perfect for me. I watch paranormal shows quite often at home and often relay stories at work about how my viewing of these shows plus my overactive imagination has led me to get myself into a few pickles at home.

The description of the Night Haunt at Malabar Farm on their website was “Dare to explore the ‘normal to the paranormal’ murders, cemeteries, haunted houses, hot dogs & s’mores and stories around the campfire.” Matt dared me to attend; the staff at Malabar Farm agreed to welcome a reporter along for the tour; and my husband, Mark, agreed to attend the event with me. It seemed there was no way out of going without looking like a huge chicken.

This is the home of Celia Rose. Celia Rose was a mentally ill person who murdered her family in in the late 1800s.
This is the home of Celia Rose. Celia Rose was a mentally ill person who murdered her family in in the late 1800s.

We started out the tour with a wagon ride. Our side of the wagon had a group of high school girls that were celebrating a birthday. I figured I was going to be OK if high school girls were in attendance. That was until I noticed the man sitting next to me had a bag filled with strange looking multi-colored flashlights and other gear that looked sort of like ghost hunting stuff.  I asked him about it and he did assure me that his hobby was ghost hunting. GREAT! The last thing I ever want to see is a ghost. Just imagining them gets me into enough trouble.

Our first stop on the tour was the hostel located on the property. There we sat around a campfire and waited for it to get dark while we were told haunting stories about the murders committed by Celia Rose. Apparently she still haunts the barn and house on the property that was her home at the time of the murders. The home in which darling Celia murdered her family is located on the Malabar Farm property and its location was our next stop on the tour. As a special treat our group was going to be allowed to go inside the home. No tours had been allowed inside the home for years. EVEN BETTER! Ugh.

The next thing I knew I found myself sitting in Celia’s former home near a door for a stairway while another farm employee told us all about Celia’s murdering ways. Of course, he had to mention that the stairway led to her bedroom. I nearly panicked as I imagined her hands reaching through the door for me, because the stories at the hostel seemed to make it seem like Celia wasn’t always too happy about folks messing around on her property. No one else seemed at all concerned.

After that stop, we visited a cemetery. It was mostly a history lesson with actors in costume giving details about some of the folks buried in the cemetery. Mark was having a great time while I was trying not to run screaming from the cemetery. Really people, what were we thinking? We were in a cemetery in the dark. Have you never seen horror movies?

I was about on my last nerve at this point. I was enjoying the wagon rides and the history lessons, but I couldn’t stop thinking about what was coming next. We made a stop at the visitor’s center for hotdogs and s’mores and that was great but I really couldn’t enjoy it. Everyone else was talking in excited tones about the final stop. We were headed to the main house on the farm to tour it on our own for 45 minutes in the dark. Several members of the staff and volunteers were telling stories about their past ghostly encounters in the house. How was I going to get out of this?

S'mores and hot dogs were one of the highlights of the evening.
S’mores and hot dogs were one of the highlights of the evening.

Well it was already 11 p.m. I had been at the farm earlier in the day for the Spring Plowing and I was kind of tired. I also knew there was a NASCAR Race on television that Mark wanted to see. We could just catch the end of if we left soon.

I totally chickened-out and claimed a long day and not wanting to interfere with the other participants on the tour and got the heck out of there before the tour headed toward the main house. There was no way I was going to be anywhere near that house when I knew there were folks actively looking to provoke or wake possible residing spirits.

In truth, it was a fun event. Mark especially enjoyed it and it really seemed like I was the only person that was scared. That may have changed at the main house, but I’ll thankfully never know.

If you are looking for a relaxing evening, full of history and intrigue make sure you go to http://www.malabarfarm.org/index.php/events and find out about the next scheduled Night Haunts. If Night Haunts are a little too intense for you, try one of the other tours http://www.malabarfarm.org/index.php/things-to-do/guided-farm-tours.

Malabar Farm is truly a beautiful place to visit.

4 comments

  1. Glad you enjoyed your first Haunted Mansfield event Malabar style! I give you credit for lasting till the Visitors Center. Thanks for blogging about your experience. If you ever decide to get your Ghost Hunting skills on…come back to visit the Ohio State Reformatory:). http://Www.hauntedmansfield.com

    • Lee,

      Based on how scared I was at the non-scary Malabar Farm Night Haunt I don’t think I should be going on any more ghost hunting trips soon. I had nightmares about Celia Rose for a night or two after the trip. It didn’t help that the man with the ghost hunting gear was able to tell me about some of his real life ghostly encounters. Thanks for the advice though and I’ll keep it in mind if I ever become miraculously brave!

  2. Hi Kim,
    I was the guy with the Ghost hunting gear. 99.9% of the time there is nothing to be afraid of, besides the natural feeling of confusion you may get when you KNOW something shouldn’t be there or be happening when it clearly is. Usually it’s confusion following by amazement, it’s like “What was that? Wow!”. It’s quite an adrenaline rush. If you had nightmares from Ceely Rose, I am pretty sure the Reformatory would be too intense for you. It’s probably one of the the best places (i.e. most active) in Ohio for ghost hunting, it can also be the most oppressive & intimidating especially for someone who is not used to those sorts of things.
    I’m in the process of researching and locating literally hundreds of stories from around the state, it’s a great way to see into the history of Ohio. If you are looking for anything for your October issue, let me know, I’d be happy to help. There are many stories & folklore tales from rural Ohio.

    • Hi Dan,

      Thanks for the information. You should know that for me things that aren’t real or are imagined are often worse than reality. That being said, you probably want to avoid future ghost hunting trips with me.

      The staff talked about your offer to assist us and we may want to have you help us with a story this fall. Be thinking of a good haunted story for our readers.

      You can always find my contact information on this website.

      Thanks!

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