The Mysterious Frankenstein’s Castle in Dayton, OH

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History of Hills and Dales MetroPark

Located in Stark County, OH, the Hills and Dales MetroPark seems like any other pretty place for a stroll during your lunch hour. The park was originally opened in 1907 so that employees of the National Register Company could enjoy the views and get some fresh air. The park boasts some 294 acres of land that contains horse trails, baseball fields, playgrounds, tennis courts, a golf course, a wading pool, a dance pavilion, and more!

Where the Story Begins

The Hills and Dales MetroPark lies on Patterson Boulevard, named after John H. Patterson. A man who loved riding horses and taking in the fresh air, Patterson made a donation to the city in hopes of establishing the park and maintaining the space in order to promote people spending time outdoors. After falling off of his horse, he was unable to attend the park’s dedication, so he sent his daughter, Dorothy, in his place.

Frankenstein’s Castle- Dayton, OH

Also known as the Patterson Castle, or even the Witch’s Tower, this building has continued to be a point of conversation for locals in the town. The lookout tower is now permanently sealed, but the stories of the haunted tower and ghost sightings remain. The tower was completed in 1941, using materials from other buildings in the city that had been condemned. There are many stories as to what could have happened in Frankenstein’s Castle in order for it to get shut down and become a haunted site, but after decades of speculation, the true story has emerged.

What Really Happened?

In 1967, just 26 years after the completion, the tower was shut down after a young Peggy Ann Harmeson died, and her companion who was with her was left with severe burns. The Dayton Unknown chronicles the story and includes pictures from inside the tower, as well as newspaper clippings from the time that the accident took place. The only death that seems to be reported on in the tower is that of Peggy Ann, who is believed to have been struck by lightning after being caught in the tower during a large storm. While the tower was made of stone, there was a metal door, and the story lends readers to believe that Peggy caught the full force of the lightning strike as she was heading out of the tower, and her companion only suffered severe burns and what seemed to be minor memory loss. 

The Myths Remain

Despite the true story of Peggy Ann Harmeson tragically dying at the young age of 16, the legends and ghost sightings persist. Ohio has a reputation for being a paranormal hotspot, and many people have reported seeing a woman in a black robe, other ghostly figures haunting the tower, and even charred markings on the walls that represent human-like figures. We may never know who or what these people are seeing at Frankenstein’s Castle, but we do know that as long as the tower is standing, teenagers are going to continue to visit the haunted site in hopes of seeing the ghosts who reside there. See Frankenstein’s Castle yourself next time you visit Dayton, OH, and find out if the rumors of the ghost sightings are true!

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