The Hauntings at the Mansion View Inn
The Mansion View Inn, located in the Old West End of Toledo, is just one of the many beautiful homes to grace the list of the National Register of Historic Places. Boasting an impressive 18 rooms, six and a half baths, a half-dozen fireplaces, and more than 75 windows covering its three stories, it’s no wonder this mansion is often seen as one of the crown jewels of Toledo.
According to most sources, Mansion View Inn was built in 1871, but the Toledo Blade places its construction over a decade later in 1887. Either way, it was the home to Charles Reynolds, one of Toledo’s earliest prominent families.
In 1894, Reynolds sold the home to Leroy Ludwig. In 1904, the house switched ownership again when it was sold to another prominent Toledoan, Jay Secor.
At some point the house was owned briefly by the Rohr family until finally it came to rest with the Stewarts, who bought it in the 1930s and converted the mansion into a 15-unit apartment home. It should be noted that, elsewhere, this conversion took place sometime in the 1950s. From what I can gather, the construction that took place in the 50s was of a strip motel that was located behind the main building. It seems the Stewarts were so impressed by the concept of “strip motels” after a recent visit to California that they decided to build one of their own. (This small motel no longer exists on the site.)
Sometime during the 1980s, the mansion was purchased, almost on a whim, from Ruth Stewart by Matt Jasin. Having fallen into such a state of disrepair, Matt began immediately restoring the old building back to its former glory and turning it into an elegant bed and breakfast.
In 1996, Jasin sold the Mansion View Inn which was then gifted to the Old West End Association in 1999. It takes a little over a decade later for some of the first claims of paranormal activity start to surface.
The earliest claims of paranormal activity I have uncovered so far occurred during the summer of 2010 where two separate, though unidentified, women each reported strange disturbances while staying the night in room 301.
A month apart from another, one woman claims to have awakened to the sound of someone whispering. The other claimed to have felt what she described as some unseen presence pushing on the side of the mattress.
Jason Schneider of Lake Erie Paranormal feels the building is most definitely haunted and claims to have documented numerous EVPs taken during an investigation. He also says the team was able to capture photographic evidence of a female spirit wearing Victorian-era clothing and walking toward the Inn’s dining room.
Curious tales of haunting phenomena even made their way to the offices of the Toledo Blade. John DuVall, the caretaker of the Mansion View Inn at the time, allowed overnight access to Blade reporter Kirk Baird and photographer Amy E. Voigt in October of 2012.
During the course of DuVall’s tenure as caretaker, he says he’s had numerous encounters with paranormal phenomena. Apart from hearing the sounds of laughter coming from the front parlor, DuVall says he seen phantom-like presences on at least two occasions. One time he claims to have seen the disturbing image of a disembodied hand on a staircase post. Another encounter found him staring face to face with a female spirit he claims materialized only inches away from him.
Baird and his photographer, though, were not quite as lucky on their venture to the Mansion View Inn. The night passed without incident, except for a curious photograph featuring a “white blob” that was captured on the stairs early in their visit. It’s not clear if they saw this “blob” with their own eyes or if it only showed up in the picture.
Shortly after Baird’s article was published, it apparently caught the attention of some Internet skeptics, identified by DoubtfulNews.com as only “Bobby” and “Jason”.
In a DoubtfulNews blog post, authored by the site’s editor/owner and known only by the username “idoubtit”, Bobby and Jason are former ghosthunters who live in the Toledo area and they say they can prove the Mansion View Inn was never really haunted. At least not until recently.
According to idoubtit’s post, Bobby can prove his claims because he says his father knew the previous caretaker of the Mansion View Inn. Before John DuVall, a man named Don was the caretaker. Don lived at the Inn for “5 or 7 years” and, according to Bobby, said there was nothing out of the ordinary going on at the site.
At one time, Bobby had approached Don for permission to investigate the Mansion View Inn. Don allowed it, but thought it would be a waste of time. Nothing strange ever happened, he said.
When Baird’s Blade article began making the rounds, Bobby emailed Don a copy of it and asked if he was sure nothing weird ever happened during his time at the Inn. Don, again, acknowledged that nothing even remotely paranormal ever occurred there. He had never experienced anything. The Inn’s guests had never reported anything unusual. And, Don says he had never heard even the slightest rumor the Inn was haunted until he read the claims in the Blade article.
Bobby and Jason believe the new rash of “sightings” was simply DuVall’s attempt to drum up business. The two reformed ghosthunters claim Mansion View Inn had simply become yet another property seeking to profit from the current fad of “paranormal tourism.”
Mansion View Inn was put up for sale in 2014 and finally sold to Corey J. Hilmas on February 4, 2015. Since taking over the property, Mansion View Inn has been closed to visitors and guests. It is unsure if Mansion View will ever open again to the public or if it will become a private residence.
The Mansion View Inn is located at 2035 Collingwood Blvd. in Toledo, Ohio.
(Many webpages report the address to be 2305. The Toledo Blade reports it as 2035.)