Owensville Village Hall has been reported to be haunted

October 30th, 2009    Author: Richard Crawford    Filed Under: Community

The Owensville Village Hall was built in 1859 as the Boston (original name of Owensville) Methodist Episcopal Church. Any knowledge of what had previously been on the site is uncertain, but it is believed that it was occupied by at least a couple of homes.

Former Owensville mayor John Mathews is familiar with the stories of the ghost of the town hall. He says many people have heard or seen who he and other village employees call “Nellie,” but no one knows of her background or why she is there, but there is some speculation she may have lived in one of the homes that were located on the site of the town hall.

Walter and Shirley Shipley of Owensville have cleaned the building at night.

This photo of the Owensville Village Hall was taken in 1988 by then-chief of police Tom Ellis. The Cincinnati Historical Society claimed the dress worn by the person in the window was a style of the late 1850s.
"We've heard sounds of movement upstairs. My mom and I worked together some nights there, too, and we'd be locking up for the night and mom would ask me it someone else was in the building. We'd check everywhere and find no one," said Mrs. Shipley, a village council member and an officer of the Owensville Historical Society.

One afternoon, Tom Ellis, who was then the chief of police in the village (1987 or 1988), took several photographs of the town hall from which to design a patch for the village employees. Something appeared in a few of the photographs that is believed to be of a woman looking out the upstairs window onto Main Street.

"We've had some of the employees say they've heard things in the building. Some of them didn't like to come in here at night by themselves," said Ellis.

Joey Deavers and Brian Willis of New Richmond spent the night in the town hall with this writer in March 1997. They played cards and ate pizza while watching the NCAA Basketball Tournament on the television in the kitchen. They remained awake until 4 a.m. because they had been told most of the movement heard upstairs occurred from 2-4 a.m. Shortly after 4 a.m. they went into the first floor room and went to sleep. At almost exactly 6 a.m. they heard sounds of chairs moving in the kitchen. Within one minute they had rushed into the kitchen.

"I heard a noise in the kitchen that woke me," said Willis. "It sounded like someone was rummaging around. No one was there, but the chairs had been moved. Everything was still locked up like it had been after the police had gone off duty at 3 a.m. I didn't tell anyone that I heard something outside the restroom when I was there earlier in the night. It sounded like someone was walking by and I looked and no one was there."

Nellie obviously likes to keep the building clean and tidy. She is regarded by those who have experienced her presence as the building's caretaker or overseer. She has never posed any threat, but she has caused people to resign from their night jobs there. Who she was and how she died, no one knows. But it is a photographed fact. Nellie oversees the after dark activities of the Owensville Town Hall.
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