Ryans Tavern - Hamilton Ohio

The Haunted Ryans Tavern

The History

When the owners, Vicki and Don Ryan, purchased this historical property in 2007, consisting of three adjoining buildings in the middle of downtown's Hamilton Ohio, they did not know it was haunted. As part of the revitalization of the downtown Hamilton scene, the restoration of these spaces proved to shake up the historical and spiritual remnants these structure had been bottling up for decades. 

The history fingerprints left on these three properties is significant. Where the restaurant is now, there was stood the famous F. W. Woolworth from 1922 to 1954, where dry goods retail and a soda fountain counter served the community. When Woolworth left, a Martin's Town and Country Fashions, Dunlap's Clothing, a thrift store and later an opticians office followed. There was even Seidensticker, who sold silver-plated ware.

In building that today holds the pub and kitchen area (235 High), in 1892, there was a Winkler and Straub Men's Store until 1912. Later a Boot and Shoe Shining Parlor came in, followed by a Red Mayer Music. In the early 1930s, Jonson Brothers Confectioners came in. Gold Star Chili, a Skyline Chili, High Street Chili, Weber's Grill and the Cozy Cafe would later follow the entrepreneurs that inhabited this space.

The 231 High Street building hosted a painter, a grocer and a druggist. In the 233 High Street space, Mrs. Irene C. Shoupe, a  music teacher ran the Shoupe Music School from 1922 through 1967 while her husband was proprietor and director of The Music Box, a music store. Stanley passed away in 1953.

Today the historically enriched buildings have become one, forming the City of Hamilton's iconic Ryan's Tavern. 

The Hauntings

How could an Irish Bar located within a historic building NOT be haunted. Ryan's Tavern will not disappoint!  The spirits of the old tavern's past haunts this building with great enthusiasm! 

Tully Milders, the manager of Ryans, and some of the workers were the first to start witnesssing the tavern's spiritual activity. Kizzy, one of the kitchen workers, saw shadows while she worked as well as disembodied. Strangely, too, she would get the supplies ready for a recipe, leave the room and would return to find the items in order to begin cooking. And then there were the whispers. It happened enough that over time, Kizzy fondly nicknamed her ghostly helper, Elizabeth.  It wasn't until a year later, Tully started looking a little deeper into the history, started talking to others around the downtown Hamilton community about the building. One day, when he was talking to a local who had family who once lived and worked in the building, the gentleman mentioned Jonson Brothers Confectioners was  once located in the building. They had two ladies who worked in the kitchen making the candies. One was Kizzie. The other was Lizzie. Elizabeth.

The ghosts are not all as friendly and helpful as Elizabeth. It was reported, one time a bar stool slid across the room, hitting the wall enough to fall apart. Many have witnessed full apparitions, many times just sitting (as the customers do) in the tables. Service carts have moved on their own. The elevator has been known to open and operate on its own. Water 
faucets turn on by their own. And yes, there is a mirror on the second floor, that have revealed a face of a woman that does not belong to anyone standing in front of it. 

Tully is certain that there are at least four or more residential spirits at Ryans. There is Elizabeth in the kitchen and some say musician Stanley Shoupe comes back for visits once in a while. The third is the woman that shows up in a mirror. A jokester in the basement who some say is Henry, claims the fourth spot, believed to be hardly out of his teen years. 

You can experience the ghosts on your own too, f or they will welcome ghost hunters that wish to explore their historically enriched walls. Stop in and enjoy the restaurant's Irish cuisine. You can take the family for a meal during the day and later return for the nightly festivities at the pub. The beautifully renovated bar is open during the day and evening. Maybe you can see a ghost during your visit. If you're into hunting, TriOPS Paranormal has ghost hunts at Ryan's Tavern seasonally. For more information contact Ryans Tavern!

Ryans Tavern
241 High Street
Hamilton Ohio

Visit their WEBSITE

(513) 737-2200


Please Note.  Although there is no "entry cost" associated with haunted eateries, we encourage you to be courteous and support the location by patronizing from their menu. Please be courtesy and kind when approaching the staff about the hauntings, keeping in mind that the other guests may not find this as fascinating as you do! 

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