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One of Ohio’s oldest restaurants is here in Columbus (and rumor has it, it’s extremely haunted)

One of Ohio’s oldest restaurants is here in Columbus (and rumor has it, it’s extremely haunted)

Sav McKee

There’s a way to travel back in time, and to an entirely different country, really. All you have to do is drive down the brick lined streets of German Village and turn onto Kossuth Street. There, you’ll find a quaint German eatery, complete with live accordion music, servers wearing traditional lederhosen, beers served in enormous mugs, and well, a ghost or two.

You may already know from that description that this can only be one restaurant in Columbus: Schmidt’s Sausage Haus. But did you know that Schmidt’s is considered one of the oldest restaurants in Columbus, and in Ohio in general? Oh, and that it’s extremely haunted. 

According to Only in Your State, Schmidt’s Sausage Haus is one of the top 10 oldest restaurants in the United States. It first opened as a meat packing house in 1886, then ventured into the restaurant world in 1914 with pop-ups and booths around the city. In 1967, Schmidt’s Restaurant opened to the public.

Not only do patrons from all over the nation visit this historical restaurant for their sausages, sauerkrauts, and golden ale, but many people, especially in October, hope to experience a ghost encounter. But for the people who have experienced the ghosts at Schmidt’s…it’s not something they’d want to seek out again.


John Clark, a local historian and writer for (614) Magazine, covered some of the ghost encounters at Schmidt’s in (614) Magazine’s October Issue. Here’s an excerpt from his story, “To Dine For”:

“It was late at night, the diners had departed, and the crew at Schmidt’s Sausage Haus was cleaning the restaurant. A clatter from above stopped all three workers in their tracks. Wide-eyed, they stared at each other for a moment before cautiously ascending the wooden stairs of the creaky, old building. Everything appeared to be in order. Except – in the middle of the larger of the two banquet rooms – four chairs had been moved to the middle and arranged with their backs to each other.  

What, exactly, the employees said to each other at that moment was not recorded. But before all three could make it back to the staircase, one of the workers, a man named John, happened to glance at a large mirror on the room’s north wall. There, smiling back at him, was an elderly, friendly looking man. John whipped around to see who else was in the room. No one. But when he turned back to the mirror, the man was still there – now waving to him.  Needless to say, John, too, headed quickly for the staircase. ‘Did you see that man in the mirror?’ he asked.  One of the others, a young woman, answered, ‘No, but I feel like someone’s watching me, and I think we ought to get out of here.”’

If sausage buffets and ghosts all in a historical building seem right up your alley, visit Schmidt’s at 240 E. Kossuth St. in German Village. Come hungry!

Want to read more? Check out our print publications, (614) Magazine and Stock & Barrel. Learn where you can find free copies of our newest issues here!


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