The Bellaire House, Bellaire, Ohio
The Bellaire House is one of the most haunted locations in the world according to those who have visited here. In 2017, Dana Matthews, who writes for Week in Weird, wrote
"For the last few years, there’s been quite a bit of paranormal hype surrounding a little house in Bellaire, Ohio. Rumors suggested that the innocent-looking house sat atop a cursed coal mine situated above a ley-line, and as if straight out of a horror film, was even in the vicinity of sacred Native American burial caves – a trifecta of supernatural forces. Thanks to tales of aggressive spirits and bad luck, some of the locals had even taken to calling the building the “most haunted house on the planet,” which is a pretty lofty claim in a world with Amityville, the LaLaurie House, or even the Rampart Street Murder House. Still, countless people continue to have so many terrifying, violent experiences in the empty home that it seems only a matter of time before this Ohio haunt cracks the paranormal top ten. Step inside the haunted Bellaire House and decide for yourself.
The Bellaire House had already started to gain a mysterious reputation while sitting abandoned for years. Some neighbors claimed to see people milling around in the house or peeking out of windows, even though the building was locked up tight. Many blamed the sightings on mischievous kids, but when the current owner, Kristin Lee, moved in, it didn’t take long for the activity to manifest in more frightening ways.
One evening, a grey apparition appeared to Kristen by leaning across the couch cushion while she was napping. Shocked, she quickly asked the man who he was and why he was in her home, only for Lee to watch him walk slowly to the foyer and disappear into thin air. This mysterious figure seemed to signal the start of a long run of frightening brushes with the paranormal that became more and more violent the longer Kristen stayed in the Bellair House.
Over the course of the next few months, Lee and her family were terrorized with constant bad luck, oppressive energies, and violent paranormal activity that peaked one evening when the family dog was thrown against a bedroom wall while Kristen herself was held down by an unseen force. That night was the final straw, and the family abandoned the terrifying building. Unfortunately, escaping the Bellaire House wouldn’t be quite so easy.
Despite the violent paranormal activity she experienced, Lee decided to rent the home out to unsuspecting families. This proved to be difficult, as tenants would only stay in the Bellaire House for a few months before moving out abruptly. They too were experiencing terrible luck, even to the point of death. One claim states that a family of eight lost six family members before the remaining two packed up and left the property for good.
After years of stress associated with the haunted property, Kristen had enough and offered to sell the Bellaire House to the village for a dollar, hoping to finally be rid of it (and the mortgage it carried) once and for all. No one wanted to buy the house, and after years of paranormal attacks, locals knew it wasn’t safe for anyone to live behind its walls. That’s when the idea to turn the house into a paranormal attraction was suggested, with the hopes that a regular influx of ghost hunters might keep the Bellaire House financially afloat while uncovering the source of it’s haunting once and for all.
Between the years of 2008 and 2012, numerous ghost hunting teams, most notably the Kentucky Ghost Scouts and Eyes of the Paranormal, worked with Kristen Lee to dig up information about the house and land, and before long, answers the questions about what was haunting the property started to materialize.
The investigators discovered that the coal mine that ran under the Bellaire House had once been owned by a man named Jacob Heatherinton. When he died, he heft the land and the house to his daughter Eliza and son Edwin, but it wasn’t long afterwards that Eliza died on the dining room floor of the home. Distraught, Edwin became obsessed with the idea of contacting her from the other side, and mediums were brought in from all across the country to help Edwin connect with his deceased sister.
After countless spirit communication attempts, Edwin was hooked. He began studying the occult, attempting to strengthen his own physic ability, and according to many mediums and paranormal experts, the grieving young man unknowingly opened portals to the other side all over the house. Various ghost hunters have reported that up to eleven portals are located throughout the house, and despite the best efforts of mediums, these portals refuse to stay closed.
Since the house has been open to ghost hunters, there has been a number of incidents that the Bellaire House tour guides have classified as demonic activity, the most notorious of which being a full-on physical assault. During an evening tour, one of the building’s guides was carrying an armful of equipment down the stairs when he felt something tug him violently. Thrown off balance and unable to stop himself, his free arm went straight through the second floor window, nearly knocking him clear through.
The Bellaire House’s reputation for frightening activity has even reached paranormal investigators Nick Groff and Katrina Weidman, who spent 72 hours locked inside the building in season two’s seventh episode of Paranormal Lockdown, airing January 20, 2017 on TLC.
Skulking shadows, phantom footsteps, and disembodied voices are just some of the strange phenomena that visitors have not only experienced, but documented during investigations of the Bellaire House. Many ghost hunters believe that the activity becomes more and more active as you make your way towards the second floor, which is what is often described as the epicenter of the house’s activity. But it seems that the violent haunting is even bigger than the Bellaire House itself.
When it comes to understanding the supernatural activity being reported around the paranormal property, one of the most interesting pieces of information surrounding the Bellaire House is that the haunting isn’t simply affecting one home – the activity is happening in many of the nearby buildings as well. Many investigators have concluded that the haunting is less about the house, and more more about the land, which is understandable when you look at the history of the area.
As fans of the unexplained, we’re all too familiar with the biggest, most popular haunts, and it’s sometimes easy to discount places that have yet to reach that same level of fame. We’re often drawn to researching places that have built up massive reputations as being “the most haunted” hotel, hospital, and house in the country, when in fact, they’re the ones that need the least researching. In our efforts to seek out and understand the paranormal, we can’t forget to pay attention to the locations that need our help to stay open, and Bellaire House is one of those places."