Ghosts of Ohio
Lore & Legends

Beaver Creek State Park

In Beaver Creek State Park, near East Liverpool in Columbiana county, is the ruin of part of a canal system built in the early 1800's. Part of this system involved several locks: sections of waterway that could be closed off with gates in order to raise or lower the water level and allow boats to pass through. Two of these old locks are said to be haunted.

Jake's Lock

Jake's Lock is allegedly named after a former caretaker who was struck by lightning while making his normal rounds across the top of the lock. He died instantly, but some claim that on certain nights, especially stormy ones, Jake returns with his ghostly lantern to continue his evening’s work.

Gretchen's Lock

Only a short distance away is the more famous Gretchen's Lock. As the story goes, Gretchen came to Ohio with her father, a Dutch or Irish engineer who worked on the construction of this particular lock. Most sources agree that her mother died at home before Gretchen and her father came to this country. Gretchen contracted malaria shortly after their arrival in Ohio and made her father promise that if she died, he would return her body to be buried alongside her mother. She died while her father was still working on the lock. Her father put her coffin inside the lock until he could return her body to their homeland. When the lock was completed, the coffin was loaded on a ship bound for home, but the ship was lost at sea. Gretchen’s father was never seen again. Gretchen, pleading to rejoin her mother, reportedly makes an appearance at the lock every year on the anniversary of her death.

© The Ghosts of Ohio