Cedar Point is the second oldest amusement park in North America with its history dating back to 1870. So, it’s no surprise that its history features a haunt or two that park visitors should check out.
On this episode, The Lady Dicks are recreating one of the original episodes from the Haunted History Podcast with a dive into the history and ghosts that lurk around the park.
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Cedar Point’s History
Cedar Point is the second oldest amusement park in North America with its history dating back to 1870. It all started with an advertisement in a newspaper “calling on ‘some enterprising person’ to utilize the magnificent beach on the lakeside of Cedar Point,” which was answered by local businessman Louis Zistel.
Zistel opened a small beer garden, bathhouse and dance floor on the peninsula. He would bring guests over on his steamboat, Young Reindeer, for 25 cents. In 1892, the park’s first roller coaster the Switchback Railway opened. It was 25 ft tall and reached a speed of 10 mph—which was amazing for the time period. The oldest coaster still running in the park today, the Blue Streak, opened in 1964.
As it stands today, Cedar Point is a 364-acre amusement park on a Lake Erie peninsula in Sandusky, Ohio. Labelled “the Roller Coaster Capital of the World,” it has 70 rides including 17 rollercoasters and a total of 150 attractions. In 2017, the adjacent Soak City was reopened as the Cedar Point Shores Waterpark, an 18-acre “water lover’s paradise” with four new water attractions.
Haunted attractions and places at Cedar Point
The Midway Carousel
It appears that the most well-known haunt of the park is the Midway Carousel. The Midway Carousel is a Daniel Muller Carousel—that is a carousel built by Daniel Muller, one of the brothers behind DC Muller Brothers who are famed for building carousels. It’s one of the few remaining in the world.
Originally built in 1912, the Midway Carousel was moved to the park in 1946. and is the oldest operating ride at the park. It has been listed on the National Register of Historical Places in the United States since 1982.
Employees report hearing the carousel music playing at night while the carousel spins backwards. They have also reported leaving at night and arriving the next morning to find the horses in different positions.
There are a few different legends said to be associated with the hauntings,
- The first being that man who carved the horses for the carousel caught his wife cheating on him with a jockey from the local track so he shot and killed both of them. Allegedly there is a black horse with a bone carved into him, and another horse with the face of the jockey carved into the saddle.
- The second that the infamous gangster Al Capone tortured people on the carousel and dumped their bodies in the lake.
Muller’s Carousel Horse
The Midway Carousel is apparently not the only thing in the park designed by Daniel Muller. Apparently, the carousel that formerly sat in the Park’s Frontierland, a 1921 Dentzel Carousel had horses carved by Muller. Muller’s Carousel Horse (also called the Military Horse) is said to be the only haunted carousel horse in existence.
Who is the ghost haunting it, you ask? The ghost of Mrs. Muller (Daniel Muller’s wife) who fell in love with the horse after her husband had carved it. Allegedly that love was so strong that her ghost wouldn’t let anyone photograph it. And when the horse was on display staff reported seeing her riding the horse after the park had been closed.
Unfortunately, the original Muller horse was removed and put in storage. The carousel that the horse used to be part of was moved to Dorney Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania (obviously sans horse).
However, you can see a replica of this horse at the Merry-Go-Round Museum in Sandusky, Ohio, where it is said people can hear Mrs. Muller walking around the place at night to admire the beauty of this unique steed.
The ghost of Mrs. Muller isn’t the only ghost that has allegedly hung out in Frontierland. It’s been reported that the ghost of a young woman can be seen walking past CJ’s provisions along Frontier Trail.
According to a blogger who formerly worked in the park, workers of the stand see or feel someone walking by the doors when they are closed before the season begins. As legend would have it, the young woman walks the trail looking for her significant other.
This blogger goes on to say that if you leave a sponge on the sink and leave to go outside, your sponge will be gone. But when you come back a second time the sponge re-appears in the same spot it went missing from.
Hotel Breakers first opened its doors to guests in 1905. With 600 rooms, it opened as one of the largest hotels in the Midwest. It was completely refurbished in 2015, and currently has 511 rooms and suits, all of your typical amenities–Wi-Fi, pools and water areas, beach access, restaurants–and is located just steps away from the park.
The hotel has four different sections that were built at different times, and there are a few reported hauntings. The first, and arguably most well-known, occurs in the part of the hotel known as “The Lobby,” which is a 2-storey structure that houses offices and meeting rooms on the first floor and employee dwellings on the second.
In the 1900s (remember the hotel was opened in 1905, so the time frame is pretty wide on this one), the current employees rooms were guest rooms, and in room #169 a guest named Mary, hanged herself (possibly in the shower) allegedly out of despair for a lover.
Since then, employees and guests have reported odd occurrences, disturbances, violent unseen actions, noises, and problems with electronics. People have also reported hearing crying and their shower turning on and off on its own in Mary’s former abode.
The “Breakers East” part of the hotel, built in the mid 1990s, has areas of three and four floors. Apparently, people there have reported seeing a “faceless” apparition. Unfortunately, we could not find any history that would lead us to the cause of this faceless being who wanders the area.
The hotel also has a haunted balcony where a couple who supposedly knew they were going to be separated made a suicide pact in Hotel Breakers. The man jumped to his death while the woman held onto the ledge and lifted herself to safety. Women have reported feeling a strong pull toward the balcony, alleging that the ghostly man is trying to pull them into eternity.
The ballroom is haunted by mysterious music and ghostly dancers. And finally, pictures move on their own in one of the hotel’s restaurants.
Visiting Cedar Point
If you like the ghost stories, and are interested in visiting Cedar Point yourself, we have consulted the haunted travel guide gods. Here’s what they have to say:
Cedar Point is open from May to October, and their hours vary based on the season but the majority of the time the park opens at 10 am and closes sometime between 8 pm and 12 am. Cedar Point Shores, the waterpark, opens in late May and closes early September, obviously due to less waterpark friendly weather days.
There is currently a pre-season sale going on which gets you a ticket for $45 USD or a two-day pass for $70 USD plus taxes and fees. I think the price point for regular adult tickets is around $72 USD for a day ticket.
If you’re interested in staying on the grounds there, we took a brief look at what dollar amount you’d have to pony up to stay at Hotel Breakers is. In early June for a weekend Friday-to-Sunday to stay in a standard room (two queen beds, all the usual amenities) you’re looking at about $594 USD for the room only (not including park tickets). If you’re looking to go during the week we priced out a Monday-to-Wednesday in mid-July in a standard room, and that would set you back about $626 USD. But if you stay at Hotel Breakers (and assuming you get a ticket package) you get early entrance to the park, allowing you an hour head start to get your ride on. One reviewer we came across in our research did mention that the shows at Cedar Point end around the 23rd of August, so if you’re hoping to catch one of those we recommend going before.
Overall, it has a 4.5/5 on trip advisor. The average reviews raved about the rides, but didn’t love the customer service and lack of parking was a big complaint. With that said, seasonal parks like Cedar Park have high turnover so sometime staff years a great and others are not so great. The park is located on a peninsula, which does mean that they are limited for expanding space for parking but maybe that’s in the future.
Did you love this episode? Check these other true crime gems out:
- Haunted Lake Shawnee Amusement Park: Lake Shawnee Amusement Park is now closed, but it’s got a haunted history you should hear.
- The Dark Side of Disney: There are plenty of ghosts at Disney Parks, join the Lady Dicks as they explore them.
- Franklin Castle Ghost Stories: Another haunted Ohio place, Franklin Castle has a mysterious history.
- Not So Happy Valentine’s Day: Help dicktect what really happened during the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
The Lady Dicks did not just magically come up with the information for Cedar Point Haunted Theme Park, they, in fact, did research beyond Wikipedia (thanks jerky iTunes reviewer for your one-star comment), and here are those sources:
- Haunted Cedar Point, Pointbuzz.
- Haunted Places in Ohio, The Shadowlands.
- Cedar Point.
- Antique Carousel, Dorney Park.
- The Master Carvers & Carousel Builders, Antique Carousels.
- Paranormal Activity, Merry Go Round Museum.
- Hotel Breakers, Haunted Places.
- Cedar Point Review Sandusky, Ohio Amusement Park, Coaster Studios.
- Cedar Point, Trip Advisor.
- Erie County Hauntings & Legends, Ohio Exploration Society.
The Lady Dicks Podcast was created by Tae Haahr. The Lady Dicks are Andrea Campion, Nikki Kipping and Tae Haahr. “Cedar Pointed Haunted Theme Park” was research, written, edited and produced by Tae Haahr. The Lady Dicks theme music, A Pink Panther, is licenced through AudioJungle.
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