Spirits here have good buck-eye state manners, attracted by the welcoming atmosphere.
Their individual personalities show up in their paranormal activity.
The Harrison House is a lovely, 3 story Victorian era home, that is on the National Register of Historic Places. It certainly makes a terrific bed and breakfast, not only for its ambiance of rest and relaxation, but because of the wonderful talents of Innkeeper Lynn Varney, who offers terrific hospitality, and a delicious gourmet breakfast, not to be missed. Tom and I stayed here during the summer of 2011 on the way back from a family reunion, and loved this bed and breakfast. We stayed in the third story attic room, had a restful night’s sleep, and felt refreshed in the morning. The Harrison House was rated #2 out of 20 bed and breakfast establishments in the Columbus area, by Trip Advisor.
Inside, the rooms are nicely furnished with a mix of authentic antiques and eclectic decorations.” While the six guest rooms certainly have the charm of an era gone-by”, they also have “all the comforts and conveniences of modern times”, including air conditioning/central heating! Each guest room has a private bath, queen size bed, cable television and wireless Internet service.
The outside of the home is very Victorian indeed, with bright colors, and outside wrap-around porch, with even a turret on the top of the roof!
In 1890, Banker and architect Amos Solomon designed and built the smaller, original home, with a side yard, a back yard and its own private carriage drive off of Fifth Avenue. When Solomon decided to double the size of this little home, Solomon added a parlor, foyer and two rooms upstairs. He added a false turret and a gable with a false balcony to the roof. While he was at it, he added a new front porch. Solomon changed his address from 1269 Harrison Avenue, to 313 West Fifth, because Solomon wanted a far more fashionable address. At some point, during this home’s history, the attic was turned into another bed room, perhaps when the property was turned into a rental.
Solomon and his family lived in the house for 17 years. In 1907, the Solomon family moved to Mt. Vernon, Ohio, taking advantage of an opportunity for Amos Solomon to advance his banking career. Solomon didn’t sell his Victorian home though, but rented it out to tenants for the next 23 years. There seemed to be a high turnover of tenants for some unexplained reasons.
By 1965, Solomon’s home was a disheveled fixer upper opportunity in need a boatload of money for a renovation and restoration, as did most of the homes in the neighborhood. Olentangy Management Company (OMC, a subsidiary of Battelle Memorial Institute) came to the rescue, and bought up Solomon’s home and the other historical houses. This company undertook the nation’s largest privately financed renovation project by restoring the historic homes in this neighborhood, including Solomon’s home.
In 1980, Solomon’s Victorian began a new existence as the retreat house for Cardinal Industries’ executives. It was renamed, Harrison House. In 1990, Harrison House was sold and turned into a bed and breakfast under a new owner. In December of 2006, this bed and breakfast was passed onto a new owner, Lynn Varney, who continued operating Harrison House as a bed and breakfast. She began to realize that she had plenty of company of the spiritual kind.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
Possible reasons for the spirits inhabiting Harrison House:
Restoring a home to its former glory can act as an environmental trigger, invigorating entities that are attached to it, drawing former deceased owners and residents, families or staff.
People who lose their lives unexpectedly due to accident or illness, sometimes choose to continue on in this world, not willing to pass to the other side just yet.
Columbus suffered from outbreaks of killer diseases and a few floods as well in its history. The young and the old were the prevalent victims.
Structures and towns built near rivers and/or limestone, often offer spirits a natural energy that encourages spirit activity.
Columbus is near the Scioto River and its tributary, the Olentangy River, as well as being built on/near limestone rock.
Entities are found mainly upstairs on the second and third floors, though like to use the front door and closet on the first floor. Also, on occasion, they visit the first floor. When they are really upset, they will come into Lynn’s personal space for some refuge.
Four to five spirits live with Lynn Varney, with good buck eye state manners, benign in nature, attracted to the warm, welcoming nature of the house, and of the owner, Innkeeper Lynn.
In the bedrooms, and other places in the house, apparitions have appeared/have been seen by the living and psychic individuals.
General Paranormal Activity –
After making the beds in the house’s six guest bedrooms, Lynn would notice indentations like someone had sat or laid down on the bed.
Various objects disappear, and sometimes found later in strange places.
Paper clips disappeared and were never found.
Doors and windows open and close by themselves.
Guests hear knocks on doors.
Animals can see and hear spirits that are unseen to people
This is true as well at The Harrison House.
One of Lynn’s dogs refuses to go up to the third floor. Her poor puppy becomes scared to death, shakes, when carried to the third floor.
Some guests who brought their dogs to Harrison House to be with them in the third floor guest room, reported to Lynn that their dogs were so scared that they hid under the bed the entire time. Next time they came, they requested a room on the second floor, and the dogs were quite happy there.
Entity of a young boy, Moby, 12 or 13 yrs., and the Entity of a man, Cedric – Have been seen together, and separately.
He likes to smoke cigarettes.
People staying in the bedrooms have smelled cigarette smoke, when no one living was smoking.
Entity of this young boy, is said to be around 12 or 13.
He likes to play, by jumping out of the hall closet at the living.
He also likes the third floor attic room, where Lynn and guests have left little toys for him to play with. This room apparently was his bedroom when he was alive.
Entity of a man, Jakob
Described by Lynn as being in general, a quiet presence, unless something excites him. Then Jakob runs throughout the hallways of the second and third floors.
Entity of a strong female spirit, Nancy
The matriarch of this house has been seen by a clairvoyant psychic, and has claimed to be the one who went out to find Lynn and bring her to this house.
Entity of another woman
A spirit who likes to just visit.
A soft female voice was caught on an EVP – “Gotta Go”.
Other Spirits just seem to visit…
One wall on the first floor seems to be a portal from the other side to this home; an entrance into this world from the spirit world. Varney thinks that Harrison House acts as a way station as well; offering a place to rest awhile before continuing on. Lynn can’t hang a painting on that wall. It always falls off by itself.
Most probably so! Enough personal experiences, and other evidence captured and experienced strongly suggest that Lynn has some long term guests of the spirit kind, keeping her company! As she carefully allows other investigation groups/psychics to come to Harrison House, she will learn more about the spirits, and more evidence will be captured to back up all the personal experiences and readings done by psychic individuals.
Personal experiences of the Inn Keeper, Lynn Varney and guests and their observations have been reported and published in haunted house books, by such investigators as Rich Newman, and Nellie Kampmann.
After finding ways to communicate with spirits in the house, Lynn has found out more about the “Souls” staying with her. Not willing at first in giving up their names, the spirits eventually did so. These same names have come up in psychic investigations performed by psychics/mediums.
When writer, paranormal investigator, and Columbus Ghost Tour founder Nellie Kampmann came to Harrison House Bed and Breakfast to interview Lynn Varney for her new book, A Haunted History of Columbus, Ohio, she also caught some interesting EVPs on her recorder, of spirits wanting to communicate too.
Inside The Paranormal Investigation Group did an all-night investigation at The Harrison House at the end of February of 2012.
3:00 am – A head print was documented on the pillow that wasn’t there the evening before. No one went into the room as the hallway was under camera observation.
An investigator heard a disembodied voice in his ear, while standing in the room, where the head print on the pillow was found.
Harrison House – Bed & Breakfast
313 West 5th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43201
The Harrison House Bed and Breakfast can be found on the corner of W. 5th Avenue and Harrison Avenue, not far from downtown historic Columbus.
Harrison House bed and Breakfast is ½ mile south of The Ohio State University, ½ mile west of The Short North Arts District, 2 miles north of Downtown Columbus and 15 minutes from Port Columbus International Airport.
- The Ghost Hunter’s Field Guide
by Rich Newman
- Harrison House blogspot * Harrison House website
- “Inside the Paranormal – Stan Romanek – Harrison House B&B”
- Harrison House interview on Paranormal Research Society Forum
- “Ouija: Not a Game,” by Dale Kaczmarek
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr