Supernatural experiences downtown

Hofer believes the Jones building to be haunted

By Alexis Mitchell

@alexis_mitch14

Halloween is quickly approaching, and that means trick-or-treating, costumes and haunted houses. But what about places in Findlay that are haunted all the time – and not just during the month of October?

Marianna Hofer, an English professor at The University of Findlay owns a studio in the Jones building in Findlay on the corner of South Main and Crawford that she and her colleagues claim to be haunted.

A group of mediums once visited the studio and stayed the night on the third floor. In order to investigate whether or not the floor or building was haunted, they set up cameras and recorded any paranormal activity. According to Hofer, the mediums found some haunting images on their camera.

“The mediums had explained that all of the spirits that are up there are very friendly, nobody wanted to hurt us, nobody wanted to screw with our stuff, but basically they were just curious and glad we were there — it gave them something to do,” said Hofer

The building is made up of four floors. No activity has really been recorded about the first or second floor. Supposedly all of the haunted activities occur on the third and fourth floors, these activities also happen at night and not usually during the day. Up until three years ago, the third floor was accessible but because of concerns with people’s safety, the floor has since been blocked off from the public.

When one walks up the stairs to the third floor, he or she can’t help but be overwhelmed with an eerie notion that he or she is not alone. All of the third floor is from the early 1800s and not a lot has changed. From the light fixtures and furniture to the wall paper and wood floors, the building is mostly in its original state.

One aesthetic that is new, however, encompasses what looks like child-sized handprints high on the walls and almost onto the ceiling. This has some of the artists scratching their heads and questioning how the handprints got there. Hofer says that they considered that realistically, children cannot get to the third floor and the location of the handprints doesn’t make sense because children cannot reach the heights in which the prints appear.

Hofer thinks these handprints came from the paranormal.

Mysterious handprints are not the first paranormal occurrence Hofer has experience. She says that most of her experiences happen when she stays at the studio late into the night.

“One night probably about two years after I was moved up there, I was up there at about 4 a.m. hanging photos on the wall for the art walk and I could hear footsteps going up and down the hall, and I had locked both of the doors so I knew nobody could come up,” Hofer said.

This is not the “freakiest” of experiences for Hofer, though.

“Sometimes when the barometric pressure changes, if you have stuff framed and it’s not air tight it’ll make little popping noises. (On another night) all of a sudden everything in my studio started going around the walls and when they got up to the front door of my studio there was a big pop and I looked up and I saw the exact same aberration going the exact same way,” said Hofer. Her coworker John believed to have seen the same figure that day too.

Another friend of Hofer’s, Chris, also worked in the art studio. He passed away quite a few years ago and according to Hofer, he still has a presence in the studio even though he is not on earth in body.

“I was standing in his studio and all of a sudden all I could smell was patchouli and he used to wear patchouli all the time. So there’s patchouli everywhere it’s really strong right next to me, so I start talking to him because I figured out that there was some energy up there that was him. Last time I went up in the studio standing in the doorway and I felt a presence behind me and someone said my name and it sounded like him,” Hofer said.

Despite the paranormal occurrences she and her fellow artists continue to experience in the Jones building, Hofer says that the owner of the Jones building is considering renovating the third floor and renting the space out as apartments in the near future.

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