The Ghosts of Boone County

by Neville Buchanan on October 31, 2016

Bridget Striker, Local History Coordinator Boone County Public Library, spoke about ghosts in Boone County.

Bridget Striker, the History Coordinator of Boone County Public Library.

Bridget Striker, the History Coordinator of Boone County Public Library.

The Local History Department does a lot of genealogy research, including house and property genealogy.   They receive a lot of questions about “who died in my house or on my property.”  From these questions an idea was born—Ghost Walks of Boone County.  This has become a great way to engage the community and teach Boone County history.  Sprinkle ghost stories, murder and mayhem through a historical talk and people who do not normally attend history programs flock to the presentations.

Boone County Public Library partners with PINK (Paranormal Investigators of Northern Kentucky) to investigate historical structures.  PINK uses a variety of methods, including infrared cameras, digital audio recordings, and environmental measurement devices, to confirm or debunk hauntings.   Sprinkling her talk with findings from PINK and historical information, Bridget Striker highlighted 8 properties in Boone County that are haunted.  One of those structures in the Gaines Tavern in Walton.  The Tavern has had nine murders, lynchings and suicides within a 50 year period of the 1800s.  Visitors to the Gaines Tavern have reported doors slamming shut, full body apparitions, footsteps when no one else was in the building, and strange mists.  The Local History Department has hosted a Teen Ghost Walk at the Tavern.  This is a great way to het teens interested in Boone County History.  Bridget Striker also highlighted the Renaker House in Burlington.  This is one of the most haunted houses in the area.  In fact, the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote an article about this house in 1966.  Visitors to the Renaker House have reported strong odors such as cigar smoke and flowers, clock chimes from a clock that is not in the house, the faint whisper of a woman’s voice, and the specter of a woman in 1940s dress.

Information about the 8 properties highlighted in Bridget Stiker’s presentation can be found in the Chronicles of Boone County (, a repository of Boone County historic information created and maintained by the Local History Department of Boone County Public Library.