Athens Lunatic Asylum - The Ridges

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Featured on TV’s The Scariest Places on Earth, the asylum has long been a place of mystery and hauntings. There are 1,930 graves at three cemeteries nearby, all marked with only a number. Research has shown that some of the mysterious dead mental health patients may have been veterans, victims of war violence and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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    Geographic Information

    United States

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    39.314376, -82.100908
    Athens County, Ohio
    Nearest Towns:
    Athens, OH (1.0 mi.)
    The Plains, OH (4.1 mi.)
    Chauncey, OH (6.0 mi.)
    New Marshfield, OH (6.3 mi.)
    Morristown, OH (7.0 mi.)
    Albany, OH (8.1 mi.)
    Millfield, OH (8.2 mi.)
    Amesville, OH (9.8 mi.)
    Stewart, OH (11.0 mi.)
    Buchtel, OH (11.1 mi.)


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    1. My aunt when she was alive was 67 an daring. She calls me one night an tells me she is lost. Ok normal right… this woman was anything but normal. So needless to say I got a bit worried. Asked her what was the last place she seen . She said the out side of the old hospital in Athens. I automatically knew where she was she had been talking about the place for bout two weeks . So since we didn’t have the money to take the main tour she decides in her drunken state to break into the second floor window of the wing that is closed to the public.
      I pulled up an looked around for anyone,didnt see them found the window hauled my but up into it. It was deadly quite, one of those you hear your heart pumping quiets. I found her easily enough she was in the second room down the hall. She was talking to someone when I asked who she was talking to a bed slid across the room an it sounded like someone took off running. Scared the crap outta me.
      Nanny stood up an yelled at me told her I scared away her friend an took off running down the hall. I seriously didn’t want to go further into this place. Two creepy things in less than five minutes already had me on edge.
      So I called nanny an asked her how far inside she went. She told me she would be back… weirdest thing was on the phone I could hear a young girls voice , spoke very proper English an had a bit of an accent.
      Worried even more I put my back to the wall an scooted my way down, sound like a scardy cat… didn’t care I was scared.
      I’m allergic to dust an of course the place was filled with it. Sneezing I jumped when I headed someone say God bless you my child. I turned to high tail it out an bout bumped in to an older lady. I told her I was sorry bout the issues at hand. She told me it was perfectly fine the type of thing happened all the time.
      She walked me down the halls looking for nanny an the young female I’d heard, the lady said her name was Mary an she had worked there for years. She was so sweet.
      She told me the history the hospital an about the building that was off to the other side. If you had tuberculosis the building off to the side was where you went before it was an asylum. We finally ran into nanny. I seen no young girl but nanny came with me an Mary an cheated with Mary. She took us around to the front door an unlocked it an told us to have a safe trip home.
      Getting outside a society officer was checking out my truck. Turning his light he told us we needed to follow him an his partner back inside. They walked around made sure we didn’t do anything I did have to pay for a broken lock nanny did breaking into the place… but when I told them the nice lady Mary showed us out the lady stopped an giggled. I asked what now she told me an nanny to follow her.
      Ilahe took us to a small office with a bunch of pictures lining the wall an pointed to a picture of Mary. Asked if it was the woman I seen. She was in the picture with a young lady bout in her 20s wearing a older time nurs’s uniform. I said yes in confusion as I studied the oil painting. Nanny said an that’s Angel. I looked over an asked who she was. The lady officer continues to tell me we weren’t the first to be walked out by her an nanny wasn’t the first to name Angel as a friend.
      Mary was the head of the hospital in the 1800’s she loved her job is what is said of her an took very well care of her people there.
      Angel was the last nurse she ever hired on , he daughter. Her daughter was just as loving an caring as Mary, people with “issues” such as my aunt had (she wasn’t completely there after her husband passed) was Angels favorite. She would spend hours with them.
      One of her “issued” patients caused her her life an Mary .
      Officer said she started seeing angel an from where no one believed her but thought her insane, Mary never changed just talked about Angel. When the hospital was turned into an asylum they felt Mary would be more comfortable there so they moved her to room two in the wing we were in… the room I found nanny in…..
      Needless to say i haven’t been back in the place. It’s true hard to believe but true, there from what I understand is still a picture of Mary an Angel in the main hall .

    2. I used to accompany my boyfriend there,his grandfather was a patient (lived there), we spent hours there visiting with him, I met a lady :that also had lived there,and had a labotamy,we called her hell on wheels, (her name was helen (and mean she was).her name was helen stigler,she lived in crooksville ohio,and married george,they had a son david,whom lives in coshocton co ohio.

    3. I just found out that the woman who gave me up for adoption spent time here when she was about 7 or 8 years old. I would love to have those records but my guess they are long gone. I was told that she had Rickers which is a Vitamin D deficiency which apparently can cause your mental state to be unstable, who know? not me.

    4. My friend and I went here and she told me the story of when she went into the graveyard she heard what sounded like a little girl laughing hysterically. It happened over and over, slowly becoming more bird-like in nature until it sounded exactly like a bird. (Because it was a bird, or at least the last noises were)

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    Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.