The Sedamsville Rectory, an antiquated edifice shrouded in chilling rumors of demonic hauntings, casts an ominous shadow over Cincinnati, Ohio. Its intriguingly grim history and a plethora of spectral occurrences render it a fertile ground for those with a curiosity for the supernatural.
The grand old building, standing proudly for over a century, once served as one of four residences for community priests. Today, it adorns the National Historic Register and is under careful restoration by the current proprietors, The Midwest Preservation Society. Despite its revival, however, the Rectory’s past seems to cling to its grand walls, engulfing the current owners in a suffocating grip of lingering negativity.
Occupying four sprawling levels over a space of 6000 square feet, the Rectory’s architecture is a maze of antiquity. Its ground floor houses a parlor, living room, library, formal dining room, kitchen, and bathroom. The kitchen hides a secret servant’s staircase, winding up to the second-floor servant’s quarters. This level also harbors four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and an elegant staircase descending to the first floor. A separate stairwell ascends to an attic, its entrance tucked away within the servant’s quarters.
Yet the Rectory’s history carries a gloom that exceeds its architectural grandeur. One of its past occupants, Father Donald MacLeod, was tragically struck by a train and instantly killed while en route to minister to a gravely ill woman in the late 19th century. His spirit, some claim, still wanders the corridors of his former abode. Additionally, harrowing tales of child abuse by a residing priest and a cruel dog fighting ring operating in the basement during a period of vacancy in the 1980s paint a troubling picture of the Rectory’s past.
The Rectory’s paranormal activity seems to thrive on these morbid tales. Mysterious canine sounds, searing scratches, unexplained bites, self-opening and closing doors, menacing growls, spectral sightings, and phantom music contribute to its haunted reputation.
Odd occurrences, such as spontaneously opening cabinet doors and disturbingly human-like responses to introduced items, add to the intrigue. For instance, a seemingly innocuous act of introducing salvaged books from a vandalized neighboring house into the Rectory’s library triggered an eerie reaction: growls, whispers, a slamming door, and an unsettling darkness falling over the house.
The Sedamsville Rectory’s haunted repute has caught the attention of paranormal investigators. Reported phenomena range from sightings of a figure clad in dark clergy attire meandering between the parlor and living room, to inexplicable shadow movements underneath the pantry door. Disembodied voices of children playing in the attic, a piano playing by itself in the parlor, and mysterious movement of furniture such as a suitcase and rocking chair add to the chilling tales.
Many have reported unsettling physical experiences, such as unexplained scratches and an oppressive feeling of dread, and auditory phenomena like a phantom dog barking from the basement. Visitors and volunteers alike claim to have seen the imprint of an unseen body left on the bed in the master bedroom, furthering the mystery that shrouds the Sedamsville Rectory.
Adding to the roster of the Sedamsville Rectory’s supernatural occurrences, visitors have reported the eerie sensation of an unseen presence lurking within the building, which leaves visible traces of its existence, such as a body-shaped indentation on the master bedroom’s bed. This unsettling encounter only amplifies the already palpable feeling of dread and unease that seems to permeate the atmosphere, affecting both visitors and volunteers alike.
Moreover, the infamous basement, which allegedly hosted a brutal dog fighting ring during the Rectory’s period of vacancy, continues to echo with spectral barks, a chilling reminder of its cruel past. These phantom canine sounds have further cemented the Rectory’s reputation as a hotspot for paranormal activity.
Perhaps one of the most unsettling experiences, however, is the spontaneous playing of the piano keys in the parlor. This eerie, disembodied music often fills the air, seemingly a spectral sonata performed by invisible hands. This phenomenon, accompanied by the ghostly sounds of children’s voices and laughter emanating from the attic, sends chills down the spines of those who dare to venture within the Rectory’s walls.
Indeed, the Sedamsville Rectory is a haunted house that seems to bear the weight of its tragic past, with tales of cruelty and despair etched into its very essence. Its haunting reputation, chilling occurrences, and unsettling atmosphere offer a captivating yet cautionary tale of a building marked by tragedy, ensuring its place in the annals of the paranormal.
Our Investigation of the Rectory
In the waning days of 2013, on December 27th and 28th, my friends from Ghost City Tours and I embarked on a journey into the heart of the paranormal – an overnight vigil at the notorious Sedamsville Rectory in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The investigation yielded a plethora of unusual and riveting encounters, including some of the most vivid EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) we’ve ever encountered.
Here’s a glimpse into our spine-chilling adventure.
Situated in a down-at-heel neighborhood, the Rectory seems to house more than just memories. As we captured daylight footage and snapshots of the edifice, we drew the curiosity of passersby. More intriguing were the accounts from locals who had lived in the shadow of the Rectory.
One such individual was John, a former tenant and construction worker. The man’s discomfort was palpable as he relayed stories of ghostly encounters from his time at the Rectory, involving shadowy figures and spontaneous object movements.
Considering the local advisories about neighborhood safety, we regrouped over dinner, mentally preparing for the upcoming ghost hunt.
Upon our return, we met Tim, one of the owners of the Rectory. His noticeable aversion to the basement – the site of a previous personal experience – was a stark reminder of what awaited us in our impending exploration.
The following hours were a strange blend of silence and sudden bursts of unexplainable phenomena.
Before commencing the official hunt, we were toured around by another ex-resident of the Rectory. In the midst of his stories, we managed to capture an eerily distinct EVP of a woman uttering “This guy”. Its relevance was unclear, but the clarity was startling.
Our ghost hunt was a peculiar cycle of lulls and frenzies. We’d witness a cluster of oddities within a short time frame, followed by long stretches of silence. Among these, three incidents stood out.
First was my sudden emotional switch. Generally calm and peaceful, I was overtaken by an intense surge of anger, leading to an impulsive sprint to a nearby church where I was subsequently sick. After a brief isolation, I managed to regain my usual composure.
The second notable event took place in a room with a bed, during an EVP session. A sudden, firm hit against the footboard of the bed startled us. It was as if an unseen entity had struck it with force.
The third involved Skippy, who unexpectedly began yelling at our MEL meter equipment. What was truly disturbing was his lack of memory regarding the incident when asked later.
Despite these unnerving incidents, we pushed on with our investigation until dawn. But, the spectral activities weren’t done with us yet. As I prepared for bed, I spotted a large shadowy figure, standing ominously in Skippy’s room. It didn’t dissipate or retreat, but rather stood still, creating an unnerving stand-off. Although it vanished by the time I returned with a camera, it left behind a fleeting but potent smell of sulfur.
Post these encounters, we ended our investigation and tried to catch a few hours of sleep before our departure. We were left with personal experiences that were simultaneously unnerving and captivating, along with a trove of recorded evidence to scrutinize. The Sedamsville Rectory had proven to be a labyrinth of enigmas, and I was eager to delve into our recordings to unearth more insights.
The spine-tingling tales from the past occupants and the distinctive EVPs we recorded have shed light on the hauntingly beautiful relationship between history, legends, and the paranormal. Through our varied experiences and the rich tapestry of evidence collected, we’ve been able to deepen our understanding and appreciation of the paranormal world. As we journey forward, we’re eager to uncover more spectral secrets hidden in the dimly lit corners of our world.