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  • Writer's pictureMahi Sheth

The Hauntings of Gore Orphanage (Urban Legends of Ohio)

In the woods near Vermillion, Ohio, locals claim that you can still hear the ghostly screams of the children of Gore Orphanage whose gruesome deaths have left a ghastly mark on Vermillion.

Photo Courtesy of Vermilion Chamber Foundation

The Gore Orphanage is rumored to have experienced a fire more than 150 years ago that trapped and burned every orphan there, leaving not a single one alive. Who set the fire off is the subject of numerous stories. different suspects for each. One story claims that Old Man Gore, the orphanage's proprietor, either attempted to collect the money that came from the orphanage burning down or simply hated children. An alternative explanation contends that a disgruntled male employee—who was never identified—had a vendetta against Old Man Gore and had resolved to exact revenge. In this version Old Man Gore adores kids.


Two other frequently told stories about the Gore Orphanage include one in which the fire was merely an accident. The other, where there was this insane man—whose name we do not know—lived in the woods near the orphanage and detested all the children and

the noise they made, so he set the orphanage on fire.


No matter how the fire started, what followed is consistent across all accounts. The children at the bottom of the orphanage broke away and attempted to climb up while being ruthlessly pushed back into the burning ground by those who were descending. The back

exit was locked for those who made it there. The girls' dresses and the children's hair were caught in the flames as they spread from one child to the next in the hallway.


It has been claimed that the devastating fire left a stain on the area as the children's cries subsided and went silent and the building burned down. The rumors spread among the locals that if you ever visited the abandoned Gore Orphanage site, you would see the ghostly figures of the deceased children playing and running around. The orphans would sometimes be seen on fire, yelling for help as a foul stench of burning flesh filled the air.

Photo Courtesy of Vermilion Chamber Foundation

Others claimed to see bright lights moving in and out of the woods, which they took to be the ghosts of the deceased children.


If you were to drive to the area, you might discover other occurrences. It's been said that if you were to drive your car, park it close to the remains, and then return later, you would discover tiny handprints that the orphans may have left as they attempted to move the car to warn you not to suffer the same fate as them.


Be careful not to park your car close to the woods where the orphanage once stood and leave it there if you're ever traveling in Vermillion, Ohio. If you do, you run the risk of finding tiny handprints on your car's windows when returning.


Below is a photo of a letter that was found on Weird Ohio that depicts someone's experience after visiting the Gore Orphanage.

Photo Courtesy of Weird Ohio


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