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An historic college town, Athens sitting in Ohio is more known for its unsavory history of the Ridges Asylum situated near the campus of Ohio University.
Somewhat resembling its original condition, the sandstone building is the only one left out of the numerous asylums that were once dotted around Ohio. Think of all the horror stories of the cruelty inflicted in asylums and it was found here. Patients were often restrained; lobotomy was par for the course, electric shock treatments, torture chambers in the basement and radical brain surgery. By 1981 there were less than 300 patients, most of the surrounding land was donated to the University. The notorious rapist with multi-personalities, Billy Milligan, was one of the last patients before the doors were closed in 1993. The building was renamed Lin Hall and partially converted to house the Kennedy Museum of Art. As with all scary asylum stories, there is a resident ghost by the name of Margaret Schilling who disappeared in December 1978, but her body was not found until January 1979, decomposing on the concrete floor. Apparently no amount of cleaning will get rid of the outline of her body. Understandably, tours here on the night of Halloween are sold out. This isn't the only ghostly place, as the cemetery near the Dairy Barn where many patients were buried is believed to have numerous ghostly presences.
Now that your head is full of roaming spirits, do a bit of your own roaming. Take a tour of historical Route 33, the Covered Bridge tour by car or explore the Dairy Barn Arts Center. The final Friday of each month is when you can experience street performers, exhibits and plays at the Public Square, or grab a bike and pedal along the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway. You can recline back in a fully restored train car of the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway or check out one of the State Parks in your hiking boots.
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