The Lady in Red of the Sandusky Mall: Hauntings of Erie County, Ohio
Is the Sandusky Mall Haunted?
Cedar Point isn’t the only place in Sandusky, Ohio that is rumored to be haunted—the Sandusky Mall is one of the few other purportedly haunted sites in the city. Though this mall is small and seemingly unremarkable, there are rumors of mysterious happenings, especially at night. Many mall employees and customers have reported sightings and encounters with a spirit known to locals as the “Lady in Red.” This spirit is the most encountered paranormal entity inhabiting the Sandusky Mall, though locals have reported encounters with other ghosts throughout the years as well.
Though I didn’t have any first-hand encounters with ghosts or spirits during the brief time I worked in this mall back when I was in high school, plenty of other people, especially night-shift employees, have reported a number of paranormal sightings at this mall.
Sightings of the Lady in Red
Many people have reported seeing the ghost of a woman who appears to be wearing a red dress near the center court of the Sandusky Mall. This specter is often seen facing the Elder-Beerman store, as if she is waiting for someone to come out of the store.
The mother of a small child once reported that her son may have had an encounter with the Lady in Red, according to the Ohio Exploration Society. The child allegedly told his mother that he was speaking to a woman wearing a red dress while playing at the at the Kalahari/Kasper Off Road Adventure play area.
An employee of Kaufmann’s once had an encounter with what she believes to be the Lady in Red. While cleaning a fragrance display, the employee felt someone standing behind her. At the time, she assumed that it was her relief for a much-needed break, but when she turned around, no one was there. She was then hit with a rush of cold air and was pushed to the ground.
There have been reports that a woman’s scream can occasionally be heard in front of Mastercuts in the mall at around midnight some nights, according to the Ohio Exploration Society. Could this be the scream of the Lady in Red, or some other ghostly woman haunting the mall?
Several night security guards have also reported encounters with the Lady in Red. One overnight security guard, who no longer works at the mall, saw the Lady in Red while on duty one night. Assuming she was an intruder, the security guard called the police, according to a report by the Ohio Exploration Society. The guard allegedly hid behind a corner near Hot Topic while he called the police. Once he began speaking on the phone, the security guard claimed that the Lady in Red began approaching him. He attempted to back away. The Lady in Red then suddenly disappeared into the closed Suncoast door.
A Sandusky police officer also had an encounter with a paranormal entity that many believe may have been the Lady in Red. While sitting in the mall parking lot completing paperwork in his car at about 1:30 am one night, the police officer noticed a strange red light appear at the mall’s main entrance. As the officer approached the doors, the light disappeared. He then called the mall security guard on duty, who stated that he was on the other side of the mall building, a ten-minute walk from the main entrance.
Who Was the Lady in Red?
There are a couple of different theories to explain the hauntings in this mall. One theory involves a series of murders committed by gangsters during the prohibition era. It is said that gangsters used the area around where the mall now stands at one time to commit a series of murders. One of the murder victims was a dancer at a local speakeasy, who was often called “the woman in red.” Some people believe that the ghost of this murdered dancer now haunts the area where she was murdered, which is now the Sandusky Mall.
Another theory claims that the Lady in Red is the ghost of a mall employee who was killed just as the mall was being finished and getting ready to open to the public in 1976. According to this theory, a tornado hit the mall, causing a wall to fall and kill a woman who was stocking one of the mall stores in preparation of opening day.
Other Hauntings in the Sandusky Mall
There have also been numerous reports of disembodied voices heard from the women’s side of American Eagle. These voices seem to belong to multiple spirits.
A spectral noose has also been found in the storage area of the restaurant and bar Cheers, which is located inside the Sandusky Mall. No one seems to know why this occurs, or what its significance might be.
Several witnesses have also reported seeing a ghostly headless hitchhiker walking around outside the mall. This headless hitchhiker is most often seen in the parking lot just outside the old Kaufmann’s.
A car with seemingly no driver has been reported driving around down Sandusky Mall Boulevard, just outside the mall, at night on numerous occasions.
Is the Sandusky Mall Really Haunted?
There are several locations in Sandusky, Ohio that are rumored to be haunted. Are the legends surrounding the Sandusky Mall true, or nothing but local myths? Is the mall haunted by a mysterious woman in a red dress? If you’ve worked or shopped at this mall, have you ever encountered anything unexplainable?
© 2018 Jennifer Wilber