It’s that time of year once again.
Time to devour Reese’s Pumpkins, candy corn and ghost stories.
And there are certainly a fair number of haunts where ghosts and spirits are believed to tread in and around Akron.
Some are famous and some are not.
The Beacon Journal has retold some of these yarns over the years and even sent psychics in to explore the lore.
Here is just a sampling of ghostly tales dug up from our crypt of ghost stories.
Stan Hywet Hall
Surely a place as huge as Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens in Akron has room for a ghost or two.
There are some who believe Goodyear co-founder F.A. Seiberling and his wife, Gertrude, are still looking over the place.
Over the years, some volunteers and staff members who look over the historic manor house say they have had a ghostly encounter with the so-called Gray Lady.
One of the most-told stories is the night a worker was shutting down the house after a Christmas tour and out of the corner of his eye saw someone cross the balcony overlooking the Great Hall.
When he turned to look closer he saw a woman’s hand trailing along the balustrade leading to Gertrude’s bedroom.
The Gray Lady is said to be the ghost of a woman who supposedly died in a home in England from which the woodwork was spirited from and reconstructed in the master suite at Stan Hywet.
Others believe it was actually the spirit of Gertrude making sure everything was tidy inside the home before retiring for the night.
Akron Civic Theatre
The massive historic theater on Akron’s South Main Street is said to be home to a number of ghosts.
There have been strange encounters over the years at the top of the grand staircase, in the projection booth and in the basement dressing room beneath the stage.
One of the spirits is said to be Paul Steeg who helped open the theater in 1929 and worked there until his death in 1972.
It is said that he continues to do chores inside the theater just as he promised before his death when he said “I’ll always be here. I’ll come back.”
Another spirit is said to haunt a small room in the theater’s basement.
Workers in the past have said they have felt uncomfortable when venturing down there and even spotted a woman in an old-fashioned dress in the room.
Perkins Stone Mansion
There’s a lot of history in Akron’s Perkins Stone Mansion and for a good reason as it is home to the Summit County Historical Society.
The ghost that reportedly calls this place home is not your typical spirit.
Some workers and staff over the years have said the place is haunted by a cat.
They believe the ghost pet is the spirit of Simon Purrkins, a black cat who once prowled the mansion’s grounds and was befriended by staff until its death in 2013.
Folks have said they have seen a black cat inside the home built for Col. Simon Perkins that appeared in one instant and then simply vanished the next or have heard meowing in otherwise empty rooms.
The Hower House, located at Fir Hill and Forge Street on the University of Akron campus, is said to be another popular haunt for ghosts.
The lifeless occupant of the 28-room Victorian mansion is said to be Susan Hower.
Susan’s sad tale of eternal grief started on her deathbed when her husband, John Henry, promised that he would never remarry — a promise he broke just four years later in 1900.
The ghostly encounters include a door that workers could not budge suddenly flying open, mysterious footsteps and a security guard hearing a voice in the otherwise empty house telling him to “get out of my house.”
There are plenty of workers inside the ginormous Goodyear blimp hangar at Wingfoot Lake in Portage County.
Some living and, well, some in spirit.
It is said the spirits of some of the long-gone workers still dutifully show up for work each day and roam about the structure the size of several football fields.
The hangar’s history of building lighter-than-air crafts is also tied to the enduring mystery of Goodyear’s “Ghost Blimp.”
The airship Ranger took off Aug. 16, 1942, from its base at Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay with Lt. Ernest D. Cody and Ensign Charles E. Adams on a mission to patrol for submarines.
The airship landed later in the day in Daly City, a San Francisco suburb, with nothing seeming to be amiss but the two men were missing.
There was still fuel in the tanks, the radio was in working order along with the emergency life raft and parachutes.
The Ranger’s gondola was taken back to Akron and an investigation was conducted but what transpired onboard and the fate of the two men remains a mystery.
If ever there were a place to set a season full of episodes of “Supernatural,” Rogues Hollow in Wayne County would be the place.
Heck, even the name gives me the creeps.
Situated on Galehouse Road in Chippewa Township, it earned its roguish name from the coal miners who once called the place home in the mid-1800s.
One of its legends, and there are many including that of a headless horseman and a ghost train, is the Crybaby Bridge over Silver Creek.
It is said that if you stand on the bridge on a foggy night around midnight under a full moon, you just might hear the faint cries of a baby.
Legend has it that a buggy driver lost control while crossing the bridge and a baby fell into the water below and drowned.
Another tale says the cry is that of a baby who was thrown from the bridge by its mother who wanted to keep her husband from the child.
The place is a park now and closed to the public at night.
There are a lot of old historical structures at Hale Farm & Village in Bath Township but just one supposed ghost.
Over the years, guests and volunteers have recounted tales of hearing mysterious footsteps inside the Goldsmith House on the village green.
Named after its architect, Jonathan Goldsmith, the home is one of tragedy.
It was built by a young couple but the husband died soon after moving in.
The wife, it is said, couldn’t bear to leave the home so she began to rent out rooms to travelers and her spirit has never moved on.
Ohio & Erie Canal
The Pancake Lock is situated along the Towpath Trail between Ira Trailhead and the Beaver Marsh.
The resident ghost here is said to be Charles Carter who took over the family’s canalboat after his father died.
When he settled down and had a child of his own, he quit the family business and purchased the old lock keeper’s house at Pancake Lock and operated a dairy farm there.
But his love of the canal never faded and he long lamented his decision and the eventual closing of waterway to commercial traffic.
In his final days, it is said you could find him elderly and blind wandering by the canal, wishing it would reopen.
He died in 1913, but visitors say you can still hear his footsteps pacing near the old lock.
Mary Campbell Cave
Along Gorge Trail in Cuyahoga Falls’ Gorge Metro Park is Old Maid’s Kitchen, a rock overhang that was later named after Mary Campbell.
A story has been retold over the years that the young red-haired Pennsylvania girl was kidnapped by Native Americans around 1758 and held captive in the small rock shelter.
She supposedly bonded with her captors and did not want to leave when her release was negotiated in 1764.
She died in 1801 and her spirit is believed to have returned to the so-called cave to relive her childhood.
Visitors have reported over the years seeing a small redheaded child running along the paths in the area only to vanish as they approached while others say they hear the sound of a child playing about the woods but no one cannot be found.
Beacon Journal building
Sure there are plenty stories of missed deadlines and lunches that simply disappeared from refrigerators over the years at the Akron Beacon Journal… but hauntings?
There are those who believe the venerable old building on the corner of South High and East Exchange streets had its own friendly ghost.
Some current and former reporters and editors — mind you, these are usually pretty skeptical folks — believe the spirit of a former reporter continued to look after the newsroom long after her death.
They believe beloved longtime Beacon Journal reporter Fran Murphey, who died in 1998 at 75 from liver cancer, never left the place.
Known for her trademark bib overalls, white hair and hearty laugh, Fran was a presence in the newsroom — one some believe remained until the reporters and editors packed up shop and moved a couple of blocks away to smaller digs on South Main Street about a year ago.
It is said that Fran would occasionally make her presence known in the women’s restroom just off the newsroom.
The paper towel dispenser would inexplicably turn on every so often even though no one was there.
Perhaps it was just a friendly reminder from Fran to wash your hands and get back to work because another deadline loomed.
Craig Webb could not have completed this article without the help of those Beacon Journal scribes who came before him. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.