Ohio's Haunted Craft!
Situated halfway between Columbus and Springfield, along a sparse stretch of the National Road sits The Red Brick Tavern: a traditional American restaurant and former inn, counting among its guests six early U.S. presidents. It is also home to Ohio’s only known HAUNTED CRAFT!
The Red Brick Tavern was erected in 1836, the same year that the National Road was built through Lafayette, Ohio. Serving as a popular stagecoach stop, the Inn was built by the daughter and son-in-law of the town’s founding family, the Minters. When trains overtook stagecoaches as the preferred method of transportation, the inn fell on hard times and closed to the public in 1859. It became a private residence for members of the Minter family for the next fifty years, its third floor also briefly serving as a local school house.
Our ghost story originates during those decades. None of this story has been confirmed, so we can go ahead and assume it’s all true. According to local legend, a bride-to-be living in the house (presumably one of the Minters) learned that her fiancé had been stepping out with another woman and that the he planned to leave his betrothed. She became despondent over the betrayal and killed herself in the house. But first, she took the time to hand embroider a wall hanging emblazoned with a final message: REMEMBER ME
The embroidery was hung in the second floor hallway and in the years since her untimely death, her message has purportedly dripped blood from time to time, eventually becoming darkly stained. Employees of the tavern have also reported mysterious whispers, flickering lights, and the occasional apparition in the upstairs window. Modern day patrons of the tavern can keep an ear out for creaking footsteps, which can sometimes be heard in the dining room below.
If you’ve ever undertaken an embroidery project, you know just how laborious it is – stitch after stitch after stitch slowly coming together to create the image. I’ve often thought about what a great gift embroidery makes – each stitch made with a kind thought to the recipient. But it also makes for an appropriate final craft, one that I can totally imagine being filled with anger, sadness, and unresolved raw emotion.
I dined at the Red Brick Tavern recently and made a visit to the haunted craft upstairs. I can report no ghostly activity, though I did get a case of the spookies (admittedly it was probably due to my weak-kneed sensibility rather than any actual supernatural presence). I can attest to the stained appearance of the embroidery but I could not tell if the darkness could be an effect of aging or maybe a preservative measure. I prefer to believe it’s just ghost blood.
Next time you’re heading to Springfield or Dayton, make a stop at the Red Brick Tavern and check it out for yourself! My mom recommends the brisket.
Red Brick Tavern
1700 Cumberland Road (Route 40) Lafayette, Ohio