Ghosts of Ohio
Lore & Legends

The Pirate of Delaware County

In 1825, several trappers appeared in Delaware, Ohio. Among them was a man calling himself John Robinson. To the locals, there was something strange about Robinson. For one thing, he didnít appear to be a trapper. And there was also the fact that he carried several large bundles with him, despite the fact that trappers always traveled light.

Once in Delaware, Robinson distanced himself from the trappers and began exploring the dense forests along the Scioto River in Southern Delaware County. Eventually, Robinson purchased a large tract of land that over looked the valley. Almost overnight, an enormous, castle-like structure appeared on the horizon. Huge wagons laden with beautiful hand-carved furniture from Europe pulled into the area, asking directions to Robinsonís house.

When work was finally complete, the finished structure was an enormous, sprawling mansion, complete with a gigantic mausoleum. Incredibly, Robinson paid for the entire construction at once... with pieces of gold. After that, Robinson withdrew to his great sanctuary. Villagers waited in vain for an invitation from Robinson to visit his estate. But Robinson made one thing perfectly clear; visitors were not welcome.

Only a select few were ever able to set foot inside Robinsonís home. These people were workers who had been hired to make repairs to the house. When asked about the contents of the house, workers would tell stories of ornate furniture and silk draperies. But the one thing that stuck in all of the workersí minds was the paintings. The house was literally filled with brilliant works of art, which Robinson claimed to have painted himself. One of these paintings in particular brought chills to the workers who gazed upon it. The painting depicted the top deck of a ship, which was overflowing with pirates. Standing in the center of all this chaos was the captain of this pirate ship. The workers swore that the captain in the painting bore an uncanny resemblance to John Robinson.

Once villagers heard the news of this painting, they were all convinced that Robinson was indeed a pirate who had chosen to finally settle down. After all, who but a pirate would own so much gold as to fund the building of a mansion. Soon rumors began to spread that Robinson had even more gold hidden away in his house. The people of the town yearned for answers, but Robinson wasnít talking.

Before long, people began spotting a newcomer to the area. She was described as a small, beautiful woman with dark eyes and light olive skin. She also wore brilliant, ruffled gowns, which led some to believe that she was a member of Spanish royalty. Others thought she was simply one of Robinsonís models. The young woman was sometimes spotted sitting with Robinson outside his house. But more often than not, she was seen walking slowly along the banks of the Scioto River.

Over time, the young woman was seen less and less. Eventually, she disappeared altogether. People, however, did continue to hear her. Late at night, trappers would report hearing the screams of a young woman emitting from somewhere in the woods surrounding Robinsonís mansion.

Eventually, a group of local men gathered up enough courage to confront Robinson. But upon arriving, they found the mansion had been uninhabited for quite some time, even though it was still fully furnished. In one of the rooms, the men saw signs of a struggle, including a small bloody handprint on one of the walls. And above that handprint was a stunning painting of the mysterious olive-skinned woman. As the men watched in horror, the portrait appeared to come alive, its lips quivering as if preparing to speak. Gripped with fear, the men quickly fled the house.

Based on the testimony of the young men, the Robinson Mansion quickly developed a reputation for being haunted. But this did not stop treasure seekers from descending on the estate in hopes of finding the remains of Robinsonís gold. Eventually, the structure suffered so much at the hands of vandals that it collapsed upon itself and was reduced to a pile of rubble.

As for Robinson and his mysterious female companion, they were never seen again, nor was any explanation found for their disappearance. And despite a thorough search of the woods, their bodies were never recovered. And yet even today, people tell of seeing the shape of a beautiful olive-skinned woman walking slowly along the banks of the Scioto River. Stranger still, it is reported that on certain nights, the woods along the river echo with the screams of a young woman.

© The Ghosts of Ohio