The Haunting of Wolf Creek Tavern in Norton, Ohio
On September 11, 2016, I posted a quick article about a haunted tavern located in Norton, Ohio in hopes of finding out more information about the place.
I had heard about this location in passing (probably in a forum somewhere), and was told the name of the establishment was the Loyal Oak Tavern.
As the story was related to me, this 19th Century building is “haunted by the spirit of a former bartender who hung himself in the basement. Patrons report feeling inexplicable cold spots and employees claim to have seen His apparition late at night.”
Well, I have recently found out there’s much more to this place than that. Much more.
I often re-visit old posts I’ve made on the Haunted Toledo Facebook page in an effort to update them with new information, and there’s much more to the Wolf Creek Tavern than I had been originally told in that online forum a few years ago.
Wolf Creek Tavern has quite a bit of history to it. It began as a cabinet-makers shop and has since seen a wide variety of businesses open under its roof, including a blacksmith’s shop, a women and children’s infirmary, a hotel (the Loyal Oak House Hotel), a speakeasy during Prohibition, and part of the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. With a history like that there are certainly many, many stories to be told about this little building, and some of them are the kinds of stories we really like… ghost stories!
Shane and Amy Moore, the tavern’s owners (in 2016), believe they have at least six or seven active spirits in the building, and say that, at one time, Wolf Creek was listed in the Top 10 Most Haunted Places in Northeast Ohio.
The claims of a suicidal bartender appear to be true. According to the Moores, a man named Ray Wilhelm was the bartender here in 1886 when it was the Loyal Oak House Hotel. Depression and heartbreak consumed Ray and on August 26, 1886 he ended his life by hanging himself from the hotel chandelier, not in the basement as I had been previously told.
Other spirits in the building include a man named Adam Pinter. He owned the place when it was known as Adam’s Place in the 1930s and 40s.
There’s also a female spirit the Moores’ have taken to calling “the Madam.” She is said to be the former madam of the building when it once housed a Prohibition-era speakeasy and brothel. The Moores claim she has been seen on multiple occasions and by multiple eyewitnesses.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, it seems, when It comes to the paranormal activity that is said to be routinely playing itself out at the Wolf Creek Tavern. If you’re ever in the area, I would highly suggest checking the place out! It has certainly made my bucket list!
For more information about Wolf Creek Tavern’s legendary history, check out:
Photo Credit: Barberton Herald/Ryan LaBo