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Tragedy for the Kelton House Residents

In Columbus, Ohio, you will find the Kelton House Museum & Garden, which at one time served as the residence for a well-known family of the region. It is said that the Kelton Family still call the house their home , even in the afterlife. In this article, you will learn about some of the ghost tales and paranormal activity thought to take place on the property.

The Keltons are said to haunt their former residence and to have taken an interest in watching over the living who come through their “home.” There is said to be two family members who died unexpectedly and suddenly that find their old home a place of comfort. Oscar rebelled against his parent’s hopes that he would not join the Union Army. However, he believed strongly in the cause and joined anyway. He was the oldest of their four boys and was killed on the battlefield at Brice Crossroads at Guntown, Mississippi, while fighting the Confederate Army. He died in June of 1864 at the age of 18. His body was buried under a tree and his friends marked his grave with a sign.

Fernando Kelton learned of the whereabouts of his son’s body 18 months after his death. He was able to retrieve the body in Mississippi and bring it back home on a train. On the way to the train, the cart carrying the remains of his son was overturned in an accident. Fernando not only sustained a bump on the head, but also caught sight of the remains of his dead son. He was emotionally shaken from the experience, but was still able to gather the bones and make his way to Columbus.

Fernando was never quite the same after seeing the remains of his son. The injury to his head was also giving him problems, as he suffered horrible headaches, weakness, and dizzy spells. In 1866, Fernando had a dizzy spell while he was in his downtown Columbus office. He went to the window to enjoy some fresh air and fell three stories down to the street. People carried his body home from the place where he died.

For being in such control of her household, Sophia had taken the deaths of her 2-year-old son, and eldest boy hard. The death of her husband was another tragic blow. She continued to run the house and lived until 1888. After her death, their son Frank and his wife inherited the family home. At this point, Franks swapped houses with his brother Edwin, who was married with five daughters. The roomy Kelton house would suit them much better. In time, the home was passed down to one of his daughters, Grace.

Grace Bird Kelton was different than a lot of the women in her family. She never took a husband and became a professional interior designer at a time when it wasn’t popular for women to take jobs outside of the home. There were a lot of things non-traditional about Grace, but she did not turn her back on the Kelton residence. She worked hard to upkeep the property, as well as restored the décor. She lived at the home until her passing in 1975. Grace did not have a husband or children to leave the home to, so she left the property to the Columbus Foundation with the condition that they would find someone to turn the residence into a house museum for educational purposes.