A Local Hotel Haunting: Punderson Manor


Yinxi Li

Punderson Manor located in Newbury , Ohio

Ohio is home to many sites frequented by the paranormal, from Cry Baby Bridge to numerous haunted houses, including the Punderson State Manor.


Located south of Chardon is the 741-acre Punderson State Park. The park holds the 31-room Punderson State Manor, which is open to the public. The manor was bulit in 1806 by Luemel Punderson and his wife Sybil, who used the house as a grist mill and distillery. After their passing, W.B. Cleveland bought their land in 1902 and soon sold it to Karl Long, a businessman from Detroit, in 1925. 


Mr. Long had to abandon the mansion due to the financial troubles of the Great Depression. The State of Ohio later bought the land in 1948 and finished renovating the mansion in 1956. 


Shortly after completing the mansion, many reports of unexplained phenomena began to happen.


Sightings began in the 1970s with reports claiming extreme spikes of cold temperatures and laughter of children in vacant rooms. A memorable report goes back to 1979, The Lumberjack.

A hallway in the manor.       (Yinxi Li)



In 1979, three employees were by the front desk late at night conversing. One left for the kitchen for a drink, coming back promptly to gather the others and settle down in the lounge. The three employees say they saw an apparition of a lumberjack hanging by the neck on the ceiling, slowly rotating and swinging for three hours. As the sun rose in the morning and lit up the room, the apparition slowly faded into the light as the employees stood in shock.


Although this is the scariest apparition encountered in Punderson, this isn’t the only ghostly sight in the age-old manor. 


Punderson’s receptionist at the manor has witnessed and heard of many encounters in her 15 years on the job.  


In 2020, a gentleman and his wife checked into the manor’s suites while visiting a friend. The couple returned to their suite at dusk, later in the night, the gentleman rushed down towards the receptionist’s desk in panic. He reported that his wife’s makeup was suddenly crushed and smeared all over their desk. “I’m just going to check out and go stay with my friend,” said the gentleman. “It just wasn’t a noise or light flicker or something like that. It was makeup, crushed and smeared… I don’t think I’ll ever come back here.”


This tale is one of the unexplainable occurrences in Punderson Manor. With the majority of reports on ghosts in Punderson being generally harmless, this story shows a more chilling anomaly.


The receptionist added another tale of her second occurrence in Punderson Manor.

The fireplace in Punderson Manor located in the gift shop. (Yinxi Li)


After Covid, a family of three (a dad, mom and daughter) were staying the weekend in Punderson. The mom and her daughter came to the lobby to check in, but the daughter began crying and pointed at the old painting hanging above the fireplace.

“She kept saying right there. Right there. They’re watching me. They’re watching me. They’re monsters,” said the receptionist. The girl’s mother kept trying to show her it was just trees, but the little girl kept pointing to the bottom left of the painting saying something was there. Throughout the weekend the mother would come with her daughter to the front desk and ask questions to the receptionist about the occurrence. The little girl would stay away from the fireplace to avoid the monsters she saw in the painting. 


The painting that the little girl was scared of. A white spot where the girl specifically pointed.   (Yinxi Li)

“I don’t know what it was of the original painting that she kept seeing,” said the receptionist, “but she definitely would not go in the vicinity of this original fireplace or the original painting”


Complaints have been made by many people about the laughter of children late at night in vacant rooms.

Christine Blythe, the Sales Manager said,” We’ve had guests that will have told us that they were kept up at night by children laughing and we don’t have children that would’ve been laughing overnight.” Guests could hear the sounds of children running down the halls when nothing was seen when people checked.  


Many have reported during their stay at the manor they would see a woman in white civil war attire wandering the halls that would float away once a person noticed her presence.  


Though with many accounts of phenomena occurring throughout the manor, some people look forward to these events including the most popular ghost haunting the manor, Pundy the Ghost. It is theorized that Pundy is the ghost of Lumel Punderson.


“Lumel Punderson never really wanted to leave the property, that’s why we call him the ghost Pundy because we theorize it’s Mr. Punderson who never wanted to leave,” said Blythe.


“As soon as my husband walks into the building, all the lights flicker on and off.” Blythe explained. “People say the occurrences of flickers and windows opening is the aging of the manor, but really it’s Pundy.”

Reports of hauntings in this old manor still persist, from the painting to Pundy the Ghost it is an active spot for ghost fanatics and people who just want a weekend away.


Why not spend a night in this haunted manor? You could leave with a haunting story to tell for a lifetime.