On the Beat: 10/25

‘The ghost lady’

Haunted Ohio’s Chris Woodyard

by Jim Bucher


OK, it’s time to put this whole ghosts, goblins, and spirits from beyond stuff to rest. I mean come on already, there’s no such thing as… WAIT… What was that?

Remember the cowardly lion in Wizard of Oz with his panicky delivery, “I do believe in spooks, I do believe in spooks, I do, I do, I do believe in spooks.”

Well, I’m not sure what to believe or not, Ripley, but I do know author and spook-ologist Chris Woodyard swears by spooks.

She is the author of the Haunted Ohio book series and a knowledgeable netherworld expert.

“I started writing in first grade. Well, I dictated the words to my mother and then I illustrated it,” Chris says. “It was about a witch. Obviously, I was fated to write about the supernatural.”

Her destiny was determined.

“It runs in the family to see and sense ghosts—my great-grandfather and grandfather had the ability, and me and my daughter seem to have inherited it, too,”
she adds.

Wherever Chris goes, spirits seem to follow.

“I’m a writer who sees ghosts. I have seen, heard, smelled, and been touched by them, none of which is particularly pleasant. I’m not a medium (I’m a short…).”

Who ya gonna call for an exorcism? Not Chris.

“I don’t do them or send spirits to the light,” she says. “And, I’m retired from doing investigations now. I used to ask that I not be told anything about the site or its history before I went in. I would walk around, alone, taking notes about what I felt and where I felt it. Then, I’d compare notes with the people who had called me in. It was always interesting when what I saw/felt matched what the residents had experienced.”

Now that’s flippin’ spooky. But is it a gift or a curse?

“It’s a bit of both. It can be extremely stressful, draining, and physically uncomfortable. It has probably undermined my health. I’ve also had some problems with people who think that what I do is evil, which is why my photo is not on my books or websites. As for why? I blame genetics,” she says with a laugh.

In one chapter of Woodyard’s Haunted Ohio series, a chapter talks about the “ghosts” at the air force museum. So, with TV camera in hand, we met and recorded the goings on.

“I think that may have been my absolute last visit to the museum,” she recalls. “I realized that every time I was there seemed like there was always some dead guy in a flight suit standing behind me and the museum administration wasn’t completely comfortable with ghost stories there. We were accompanied by a public relations person. She was standing by when a burly guard came up to us and said, ‘You’re the ghost lady, right? Well, I want to tell you that when I’m in here at night, my intercom comes on by itself and I go and lock myself in my office!’ The PR lady did NOT want to hear that.”

In addition to the Haunted Ohio books, Chris has been busy with other works including “Spooky Ohio: 13 Traditional Tales,” “Ghost Hunter’s Guide to Haunted Ohio,” and from her new Ghost of the Past series, there is “The Face in the Window: Haunting Ohio Tales,” and “The Headless Horror: Strange and Ghostly Ohio Tales.”

But out of all the tales she’s told, I ask her which sticks out as the spookiest.

“It was at The Lunatic House at the Wood County Historical Museum,” she shares. “As I was leaving, I found the stairs blocked by a very large ghostly man struggling with two ghostly attendants. I took a deep breath and had to walk through him. At some point, I found myself looking out through his eyes, then I pushed forward and was out into the open air.”

Gotta’ admit, I really thought Chris was pulling my leg, until I experienced her work firsthand. But there will always be skeptics.

“I’m very conscious that I can’t prove a single syllable of what I’ve seen or experienced,” she concludes. “I’m not here to try to persuade anybody about the truth of anything. I can’t even say what I believe about ghosts myself. I could be hallucinating; I could be delusional; I could be nuts (and I’d probably be the last to know…), but it doesn’t really matter. I report; you decide.”

Cheers and BOO!


For more information about the Haunted Ohio series, please visit HauntedOhioBooks.com.



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Jim Bucher
For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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