Garfield House

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 Well-known and ordinary spirits share this peaceful place.

Spirits let the people know in interesting ways that they are there…


This Hiram College-owned house was once the home of President James Garfield and family. It is a two and a half story, “Greek Revival” structure. It is white, giving it a bright look. It’s large, old-fashioned windows have white shutters on the first floor and green ones on the second, which is a nice touch to the decorum. The covered porch would be a nice place to sit and relax.

The second floor has a small veranda. The addition of the half story adds more living space, probably a bedroom or two.

Not much is shown of the inside of the house, but by looking at it from the outside, and knowing when it was built and renovated, I can guess what the layout might be like.

The first floor most likely has the common rooms, the parlor and living room, library, dining room and kitchen. There may be a bedroom on the first floor as well.

We know that after the Garfields added their additions, the house has three bedrooms, 2½ baths, and two fireplaces. This would have been a roomy home for the Garfield clan, who numbered eight at the time of their residence.

Hopefully renovations will start again, repairing the outside issues. Perhaps a commercial business can move in and help to bring in money for its maintenance. The public may be able to enter the front door foyer some day!



This Greek Revival house was built in 1836, and tuned into a boarding house for faculty members of the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute College. James Garfield went to school there from 1851-1854. After going to school and getting his degree at another college, Garfield eventually returned to Western Reserve to be a teacher and then the principle, and stayed in the boarding house.

His friend, Almeda Booth, who was also a teacher stayed there as well. Almeda may have been in love with him, but Garfield wound up marrying a classmate, Lucretia Rudolph, instead.

After marrying in 1858, he and his wife lived in the house and wound up buying it in 1859, after he became a lawyer, and started his political career in Cleveland. The house is where their daughter Eliza was born on July 3rd, 1860, followed by six other babies. Lucretia and her father worked to enlarge it as the Garfield family started to grow, while Garfield was away being a public servant in the Ohio Legislature, the U.S. House of Representatives, and beyond.

While serving in the Ohio House of Representatives, he was quite an eloquent and convincing orator, and persuaded the state representatives to stay in the Union. When the war started, he felt the call to serve, so he resigned in 1861.

He joined the Union Army to fight in the Civil War as a Brigadier General. Two years later, he was promoted to Major General, due to his success on the battlefield.

Meanwhile, the people of Ohio elected him to be their U.S. Representative in Congress in 1862. After President Lincoln asked him to return to Congress, James Garfield quit the army and returned to Washington D.C. to serve his new term.

In 1874, the Garfields sold their Hiram House to one of Garfield’s former students, Burke A. Hinsdale, who became the first permanent president of what had become Hiram College. The Garfields bought a farm in Mentor, to give their children the farm experience. They renovated and added bedrooms for their large brood, his mother, and her father.

He had planned to run for a U.S. Senate seat, but found himself the compromise Republican candidate for President in the 1880 election. He was elected President, but was shot in a New Jersey railroad depot on July 2nd, 1881. He suffered with the pain until he died on Sept. 19th, 1881.

Burke A. Hinsdale sold the Hiram house to Garfield’s cousin Phebe Boynton Clapp. The house went on to stay in the family for three more generations. In 1907, Marcia Henry, a teacher at the college, bought the place. Because her father had been a close friend of the Garfield family, the two families enjoyed a close relationship up until Garfield’s death in office.

This house was willed to Hiram College, where it stayed until 1961, when Mr. and Mrs. Mallone moved it to its present location, saving it along the way from being torn down to make space for a new college building.

Private ownership was good for the house, as each owner kept it up to snuff to make it acceptable for modern living, while keeping its historical structure intact, upgrading the electrical, the plumbing and the bathrooms.

The Mallone family sold it to the Robbins family, who later sold it to the Zimmerman family.

The Zimmermans had maintained several of the rooms on the first floor in the style of the 1860s to 1880s.

Phebe Zimmerman decided to put the house up for sale in 2013. Hiram College decided that they wanted it after all, and bought it for $200,000 with the condition attached that allowed Phebe to live there as long as she wanted. Included in the sale were some period antiques (1860s to 1880).

By 2014, she had died, so the college was free to get the zoning changed from residential to commercial, and to start to restore and renovate the house. The front porch was reconstructed and reinforced to meet commercial loading, all while maintaining its historic character.

“The exterior of the house was repainted, and minor interior renovations/restorations were completed. Most notably for the use of the structure, the floor of the main area of the house was reinforced in order to accommodate the required floor loading for commercial assembly space.” (Metis Construction

The Covid outbreak stopped the renovation and maintenance projects. As of 2023, the house is still not being used for anything, and is in need of repair. The money to renovate and maintain it hasn’t been forthcoming.

As it is part of Hiram’s College program to honor President Garfield, chances are the funds for maintenance will be released sometime in the future, hopefully soon.


2018 Renovations:


Moving a house can wake up the spirits attached to it so they interact with the living.

Hartford Huguenot House Museum, CT (After it was moved from Burnside Avenue, to Martin Park, in 1971, the spirits volunteered to not only help protect it, but actually help with the repairs).

Hampton Lilibridge House, GA (This house was moved to a vacant lot just a few blocks away from its original location. The disruption wasn’t appreciated by the townhouse’s spectral residents. Though they were disapproving, they protected the living from a murderous spirit, despite their feelings).

Smith House & Brigham Young Farm House, UT (The spirit of one of Young’s wives is a cheerful helper. The spirit of Mrs. Smith is really annoyed with the living because they put her house down on the lot facing the wrong way).

Garfield, Robbins, Zimmerman House, OH (When it was moved off campus by the Mallones, the spirits who loved the place were activated, no longer dormant).


People who are torn apart by circumstances, or suffer with unrequited love during their lifetimes, look for peace in their afterlives by being with or near the spirits of the people that they loved.

Hemingway House Museum, FL (Hemingway’s wife Pauline was broken-hearted when he divorced her for another woman. Her spirit finds comfort by being near his spirit as he relives his great memories of writing here).

Chapel of the Cross, MS (Helen Johnson and Henry Vick were in love and set to be married when Henry was killed in a duel. Heart-broken Helen wound up marrying someone else but she still grieved for Henry. When she died, she was buried in the same graveyard as Henry. Their spirits have been seen sitting in the tree near the graves).

Double Eagle Mesilla, NM (Carmella’s son, Armando fell in love with their family servant, Inez. Carmella burst into a rage when she found out, and willingly stabbed Inez and her son by accident when he tried to protect Inez. He died not forgiving his mother. The spirits of Armando and Inez have found love in the afterlife, and the spirit of Carmella finds comfort by being near Armando).

Garfield, Robbins, Zimmerman House, OH (While alive, Almeda Booth was in love with James Garfield. It must have been painful when James married Lucretia instead. The spirit of Almeda finds some peace by being near the spirit of James in the house).

(James and Lucretia Garfield got over their marital troubles by discovering how much they loved each other. They were very happy together when James was suddenly assassinated, tearing them apart. Their spirits are together now, visiting both earthly homes, doing what made them happy while alive, as well as being with each other).


Children who die in their childhood sometime chose to spend their afterlives in places where they felt love and support.

Logan House, LA (Eleven-year-old Theodora Hunt was a sickly child with a bad heart, and wasn’t allowed to go to school. She lived next door to a childless couple, the Logans, who made her feel loved and needed. When she died of a heart attack, her spirit chose to reside in the Logan House).

Stranahan House, FL (A small Native American girl became friends with Mrs. Stranahan, who lovingly taught her to read. When the girl died of a heart attack in the doorway, her spirit decided to reside in the house where she felt love).

Jenny Wade House Museum, PA (Children who lived in the horrid orphanage across the street from Jenny, were given a reprieve at Jenny’s. She showed them affection and love, and probably gave them food too. When they died during the Civil War, their spirits chose to spend their afterlives at Jenny’s House).

Garfield, Robbins, Zimmerman House, OH (The spiritchild Andrew was too sick to go to school so he enjoyed being here with kind people, especially Marcia Henry. When he died, his spirit stayed there, attached to Marcia).



The spirits of James and Lucretia Garfield, Marcia Henry, Almeda Booth and a boy named Andrew seem to be going about their business in this house, amusing themselves, enjoying their memories, and finding some peace there.

When the house was moved and fixed up, they seemed to be activated out of their dormant state.

When Mr. and Mrs. Mallone and their daughter, Pam, lived in the house, they experienced these occurrences. Other residents may have experienced similar things.

Fascinated with Electricity and Plumbing

Whenever they left the house, the dining room light would pop on.

For awhile, lights in their bedroom would pop on at 3:20 AM.

Faucets would be found running.

Candle Fun!

Objects in the house moved and flew on their own volition.

For example, a candle flew off the mantle and landed in the middle of the floor, and then jumped onto the love seat.

Candles would suddenly explode, sending wax everywhere.

Air Conditioning via the Spirits

One summer, when it was 95 degrees out, the Mallones arrived home to find the temperature in their kitchen and dining room freezing cold.

The dogs refused to enter these rooms.

Convincing a Skeptic

This incident made a believer out of the skeptical Mr. Mallone.

Mr. Mallone was watching a ball game on TV.

He had set his drink of soda on the sewing machine, that was sitting beside his chair.

When he tried to pick up the glass, it hopped out of his reach.

When he tried again, it skipped across the sewing machine and fell on the floor, all by itself.

The Front Door

The front door had a habit of opening itself up, even when it was securely locked.

The door knob didn’t work, and the door could only be opened with the key from a Yale lock.

One night, in May of ’86, Pam, and her parents were in the front room. The front door was locked.

Suddenly, they all heard a click, and watched in utter amazement as the door swung open by itself.

The Antics of the Spirit of James Garfield

Whenever Garfield’s name was mentioned, the dining room light would flicker.

Garfield loved cigars. Mrs. Mallone would sometimes smell cigar smoke so strongly that her eyes would water, and she would have to cough.

A crossword puzzle in the paper had been done overnight for the living, in a handwriting style not like anyone in the Mallone family.

Comparing the handwriting in the crossword puzzle to Garfield’s handwriting, the e’s were exactly the same.

The Spirits of the Garfields

Sometimes the Mallones would let a tape recorder run, on the advice they received from Mr. & Mrs. Warren, (mentioned below), to see if they could pick up anything.

Playing back a tape, they heard a man and a woman speaking Greek, discussing where to hang a picture. Garfield was fluent in Greek, and so was his wife.

Master Bedroom

This room belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Garfield, and other former owners.

Early one morning, Mrs. Mallone saw a tall man enter the master bedroom and go over to the window, and gaze out of it. The figure vanished into thin air before her eyes.

Daughter Pam Mallone experienced a lot of paranormal occurrences in this room.

Once, when she tried to take a nap, the light above her suddenly turned on. She felt a male presence and heard him walk across the floor. Then, the light went out.

On various occasions, she found all the pictures on her walls taken down, and placed neatly in piles on the floor. Someone didn’t approve of her taste.

Spirit of a Kind Matron

In the wee hours of the morning, Pam awoke absolutely freezing cold.

Suddenly a woman appeared and took the blanket on the bottom of her bed and tucked it around her.

Pam thanked her, and the woman left.

After finding out that her mother hadn’t done that, she looked through an old faculty picture book from the college, and identified the kind woman as being Marcia Henry.


The spirits have given to the living a lot of personal experiences.


Well-known psychics Lorraine and Ed Warren came to check out the house, as they had just done a lecture at the college. They found the house had a number of good spirits, and no evil ones.

Lorraine went into a light trance and saw a very small, sickly woman with respiratory problems who moved slowly through the rooms of the house. She was dressed in a long, flowing gown.

She sensed that the woman was distant from her husband, who also was in the house.

There was an empty cradle in the living room and a source of sadness for the couple.

(Mrs. Lucretia Garfield was a tiny woman, who suffered from respiratory problems. She and Mr. Garfield didn’t have a happy marriage during their first years together, and were withdrawn from each other for a time while living here. Their first born daughter and their youngest child had died in this house as well).

Lorraine went into the master bedroom and “felt a strong, domineering woman, with a masculine face.” This presence was later identified as Almeda Booth.

In an effort to learn something about the spirits, psychic Leta Berecek came to the house several times and tried automatic writing during several sessions. This is when the psychic closes her eyes, holds the pen, and lets it write by itself.

First, a woman’s small, neat handwriting wrote about the child spirit Andrew, who was not a well boy when he was alive. He used to come over to the house and work jigsaw puzzles.

The second spirit to write was Andrew himself, who said that he represented the spirits in the house who knew they were dead, but enjoyed the house so much they stayed. He said that they would leave if the living wanted them to.

He requested that the Mallones burn more candles. He also would like Pam to make strings of popcorn and cranberries for the Christmas tree. The minute that Pam started doing so, the tree lights began to glow steadily and stopped misbehaving.

On another day, in another session, Berecek, who is right-handed, put the pen in her left hand. It immediately started to write. The candle near Berecek “widened to several inches in diameter, and then shot a foot into the air.”

The writing on the paper, that corresponded to the flame activity, said “I am James Garfield. If you need proof, look at the candle. I am unhappy because so-called friends had me murdered.” Garfield was left-handed.



Yes Indeed!

Spirits who enjoyed the house were willing to share it with the living when it was a private residence. Most of the spirits had lived here when it was a boarding house, and were used to sharing it with other people. In recent years, they have had the house to themselves completely, and it will take some getting used to sharing it once more.

When the college finally restarts the maintenance work, and it becomes home to a commercial business, or used by the college for discussion groups and offices, the paranormal activity may jump.

Marcia Henry had really loved the house when she owned it, and had told her nephew that she would return after she died.

The spirit of Andrew is still connected to the spirit of Marcia.

The spirits of Lucretia and James Garfield split their afterlives between the Hiram house and their farm house in Mentor for a variety of reasons.

James would like justice to be done. He stays around both houses where he was truly happy when alive, in hopes of finding some peace, as he can’t rest because of his anger toward the people who he thinks set up his assassination.

Lucretia is now in her spirit body, and is no longer suffering in her health issues. She can be as active as she wants to be in both houses.

Both James and Lucretia enjoy the presidential library and all their possessions at the Mentor Garfield House Museum, where they can be with the spirits of their parents and the two children they lost to disease.


Garfield Road
Hiram, Ohio 44234

The Garfield House can be found on a hill, overlooking Garfield Road, at the edge of Hiram, Ohio. The city of Hiram is in Portage county in northeastern Ohio, 25 miles southeast of Cleveland.

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Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Haunts in Ohio