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A Haunted History of Columbus, Ohio Paperback – August 16, 2011


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A Haunted History of Columbus, Ohio + A Historical Guidebook to Old Columbus: Finding the Past in the Present in Ohio's Capital City + Columbus Neighborhoods: A Guide to the Landmarks of Franklinton, German Village, King-lincoln, Olde Town East, Short North and the University District
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (August 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609490878
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609490874
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Hi! Thank you for considering my book, A Haunted History of Columbus, Ohio

I tried to write the kind of ghost story book that I like to read. The stories are told in detail. It drives me nuts when I read stories that are condensed down to just one or two sentences, such as "Joe the janitor worked late one night and saw a woman in white standing in the hall." Where's the fun in that? They are also stories that for the most part have never been told publicly before. I think that readers should get their money's worth instead of rehashes of the same old stories they've heard before. 

I was a little surprised to find out that some people think that the stories are too good to be true. Indeed, some of them are pretty wild. You know that old adage about truth being stranger than fiction? It's right! The stories all come from reliable sources. I have too much professional pride to even begin to consider including any story that I wasn't absolutely sure was on the up and up. 

The content is about half ghost stories and half the history behind them. If you're not a history buff, don't worry. This isn't history like they taught in school when I was a kid. I've got true crime, natural disasters, and the quirky little stories that got me hooked on history to begin with. If you do like history, you may be as blown away as I had been by some of the things I had found out about. It's amazing what secrets have been long buried in this city. 

As for the scariness level, there were some stories that unnerved me, but for the most part, they are more eerie than terrifying. Also, since I am not the most serious person on earth, a few of them are a little on the humorous side. What can I say? I know funny ghosts.

From the Back Cover

From the playful spirits of the Kelton House Museum & Garden to the wavy-armed apparition that prowls the fourth floor of Ohio State's main library, Columbus is teeming with ghosts. Meet the deceased yet meddlesome stage manager at the Ohio Theatre and the tuxedo-clad ghost awaiting his ride on Franklin Avenue. Learn the horrifying secrets behind the jail cells in one Columbus home and the truth about a centuries-old haunting near Dublin. Columbus Landmarks Foundation ghost tour guide Nellie Kampmann takes you on a journey to meet mischievous souls and malevolent entities that aren't quite ready to leave the city.

More About the Author

Nellie Kampmann has a fondness for pirates, adventurers and women from 1930's screwball comedies. In many ways she could be any one of them herself.

Born into a family with the oldest theatrical costume shop in Columbus, she spent her childhood among bolts of lush fabrics and trims, and stories of the people they adorned. Costuming remains an integral part of her life, as all of her hobbies over the years involved a costume of some form. Whether she is giving tours at the Kelton House Museum & Garden, performing with Middle Eastern and Bollywood dance troupes, or wandering around cemeteries and haunted mansions, she does so in period costumes made by her own hand.

Upon meeting someone new, Nellie once quipped about her varied interests, "I belly dance and talk to dead people, but not usually at the same time." She reflects that her interests, as seemingly unrelated as they may be, all come down to history. History in general and specifically the history of the daily lives of people are among her greatest interests.

Over the years, she has worked for various non-profits, especially in history and the arts. This has led to some interesting experiences, like being "the voice of the theater" during concerts at The Ohio Theater, and learning how to weld and do glass blowing.

In addition to her work at the Kelton House, she volunteers for the Columbus Landmarks Foundation, where she is one of the guides for the yearly ghost tours. On the spooky side, she is a member of two paranormal investigation groups, and is a former staff writer for Haunted Voices Radio.

She lives with a ghost, one dog, too many cats, and thankfully only one husband. He is beginning to suspect that she might be a little eccentric.

If you would like to have her come give a book talk for your organization, please contact The History Press at http://historypress.net/contact/.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By D. Schneider on October 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The stories in this book are very well researched and presented with the proper historical backgrounds to the characters and events involved. This isn't just a book about the ghosts, it's a book about the history of the Capital City and some of the people that just don't want to leave. It's not the same history you get from most museums and historical societies, it's the morbid, sordid and sometimes sad stories of actual people, some that just happen to still be around. From the founding pioneers that may still be buried in what used to be old cemeteries around town (and may or may have not been properly moved) to the death and devastation of the Flood of 1913. The stories cover all eras - from the pioneer days, War of 1812, the Civil War, even a more recent event with a frisky ghost at a local bed & breakfast! If you want history and background to go with your ghost stories, this is an excellent book.
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Format: Paperback
Few books pull me in on the first few sentences. Nellie Kampmann started weaving a good tale. . . oops, historically based tale from the very beginning, so much so, I could not stop reading. She has the wonderful ability to mix a bit of the macabre with historical facts (that were obviously greatly researched) and make them interesting even when you're tired and need to turn off the light and go to bed. Enough so, you'll find yourself making excuses to stay up a little longer. Um, I did. She uses both pictures and interesting text and just enough. She talks to those who have been touched by the stories, lending credibility. And fun. The book is just fun to read and she is one of the few writers of ghost stories I was actually compelled to share an opinion of. More stories, please! We are waiting.
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By Sarah Stegall on September 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't believe in ghosts, but then I don't believe in dragons, either. That doesn't mean I can't enjoy a good ghost story or "The Hobbit". Even the most rational person can get a thrill out of a juicy ghost story told around a campfire deep in the woods, or in front of a fire on a winter evening. Now, just in time for Halloween, comes a collection of ghost stories one might almost call cozy: spooky enough to thrill, but not gory enough to keep you up nights. Nellie Kampmann's collection not only delivers some deliciously spine-tingling ghosties, it does so with a warm empathy that, in the end, gives the book more of the flavor of Caspar the Friendly Ghost than the malevolent spirits of Amityville.

Classic ghost stories anchor the spirit to a particular place: the haunted castle, the cemetery, the execution ground. In classic fashion, therefore, Kampmann begins with a short history of the capital of Ohio. Columbus, the largest city in Ohio, started out as a compromise and grew by means of prisons, madhouses, poorhouses and insane asylums. It also featured in the abolitionist Underground Railroad that helped runaway slaves escape to the North. Notable public figures, such as Lincoln-era Secretary of State Salmon P. Chase, lived in Columbus. Kampmann organizes her book by location, almost by neighborhood, so the result is a rich collection of ghost anecdotes that reads like a tour guide of supernatural Columbus.

The ghosts are not run-of-the-mill spooks. There's the haunted clothing of a costume shop, which frightens the girl who dares to try it on. There are friendly ghosts and friendly ghost-keepers, including one man who nonchalantly pours drinks for his otherworldly visitors. There's the invisible band playing tunes in an empty courtyard.
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This is a collection of stories about haunted buildings in Columbus, Ohio. It is obviously carefully researched and the author manages to provide a pleasingly chilling account while still being respectful of the historical facts and the ghosts themselves.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Clark on July 14, 2014
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Disappointed. Very expensive for the little amount of information.
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