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Haunted Columbus: Keeper of the Kelton House

Haunted Columbus: Keeper of the Kelton House

614now Staff


In 1852 Fernando Cortez and his wife Sophia Stone Kelton built a grand brick Green Revival home at 586 East Town Street. There, they built their family of four sons and two daughters. The Keltons were strong abolitionists and taught their children to value a well-kept home and a good education.

Upon the passing of Grace Kelton, the granddaughter of Fernando and Sophia, the house was handed over to the Junior League of Columbus in 1976. Grace’s will specified that the house remain a beacon of the Kelton family as well as a hub for the education of historical preservation, decorative arts, American history and museum management.

Currently, the Kelton house offers tours of the family museum and their garden, special events and can also be rented for private parties.

But if you decide to hold your wedding reception there, you may have a few uninvited guests partake in the festivities..

The following short story is a fictional take on claims that people have made about spiritual encounters inside the Kelton House.

The Kelton family stood side by side in their garden, looking adoringly at their home on June 4th, 1975. Though she was sad to leave the physical world, Grace, a third generation Kelton, was enthralled to finally be reunited with her family.

Grace felt her grandfather’s eyes on her. He nodded his head towards the walkway.

“Your grandmother and I are very proud of the way you’ve cared for the home since all of our passings” he told Grace as they strolled past the lilies. “We want you to still keep watch over the house,” he said, much to her delight.

A ghostly Grace glided from room to room with her hands crossed behind her back. She nodded approvingly at the restorations being made to her family’s pride and joy.

She stopped and hovered in place when she saw the front room davenport up against the west wall rather than its place against the east.

After that adjustment, Grace returned her grandmother’s wash basin and matching pitcher to their original spot. Before she had time to dust the mantle, she heard footsteps and was forced to abort.

As the only worker in the house entered the room, he puzzled over the changes.

“That’s odd,” he said, then shrugged. “Looks better like this anyways.”



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