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OWU Officer First to Author Delaware’s Ghostly Encounters


Ghosts and its paranormal branches have been a very popular subject for millennia, appearing in countless publications, such as “Macbeth,” to the Bible, and now in John B. Ciochetty’s books “Ghosts of Historic Delaware, OH” and “The Ghosts of Stuyvesant Hall and Beyond.”

Front cover of Ciochetty’s book ‘The Ghosts of Stuyvesant Hall and Beyond’ written in 2007

Ciochetty currently holds a position at Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Public Safety. “I like my current position…the combination of once being a student, law enforcement officer, and college educator assists me in performing my duties at the university,” Ciochetty said. Ciochetty has lived in Delaware since 1999. “Delaware, Ohio is one of the best places I have ever lived,” said Ciochetty, “It is a beautiful city, it‘s family oriented, and there‘s a great emphasis on keeping traditions.” Since coming to central Ohio in 1991, Ciochetty has worked as a custom protection officer, investigator, and also worked in the area of loss prevention for two corporations.

So how, then, did this Marshall University graduate become so inspired to author such ghostly publications? “In 2002, during Alumni Weekend at the university, I had heard some stories of ghostly encounters from the alumni,” said Ciochetty, “some stories were funny, enlightening, and some were hair raising. No one ever wrote a book about them.” You can imagine how many spooky happenings Ciochetty must hear about while working at OWU. “Most of OWU has had many incidents of hauntings. I usually hear about the paranormal from professors, alumnus, staff, and current students,” Ciochetty said. Both of Ciochetty’s books depict these accounts in great detail.

Ciochetty’s book ‘Ghosts of Historic Delaware, Ohio’ was written in 2010

Unfortunately, these books aren’t just some imaginary, made-up tellings of local mysteries. Ciochetty claims that his writings are all justified with loads of accurate research. “The research collected for the books come from historical information obtained from OWU, Delaware County Historical Society, from members and students of OWU, citizens of Delaware County, including the results from paranormal investigations with several top ranking paranormal investigation organizations in the state of Ohio,” Ciochetty said. These historical documents that were collected include audio/digital recordings, photographs, videos, and eye witness accounts. “I make sure that the facts are credible and I do place some accounts in the books, which have been told from one generation to another at the university.”

Still think Ciochetty is joking? “I gave ghost tours for members of two fraternities. They were no longer skeptical….especially when they witnessed some unexplained events on the tours and from the results from the pictures they took during the tours,” said Ciochetty, “I never try to convince others of the existence of the paranormal, but I have proved the skeptics wrong now and then.”

Ciochetty gives a perfect example of such a spine-chilling encounter. “One of the alumnus, who explained their encounter was a Resident Advisor in 1965,” said Ciochetty, “He informed me of an incident where an alarm clock went off at certain times. Finally, after turning off the alarm clock for the sixth time, it activated again. He went into one of the rooms to turn it off and found out that the clock was never plugged in.” Another example is the roaming ghost of U.S. senator Frank Willis inside University Hall/Gray Chapel. “He passed away in the university president’s office during a performance at Gray Chapel,” Ciochetty said, “Professors and staff members have given accounts of seeing him walk the hallways and feeling his presence even when they cannot see him.”

Still not spooked? You will be after seeing some of the images in Ciochetty’s books. There had been accounts of a young man who fell off the top balcony while his father was tuning the organ in Gray Chapel. “On August 2, 2004, Kenneth Evans from Hilliard, Ohio was with me in Gray Chapel,” explained Ciochetty, “He took a picture of me standing in the middle of the aisles. When he showed me his picture, there was a spirit of the young man who had died standing close to me. I have that picture in my possession and it is in my book, ‘The Ghosts of Stuyvesant Hall and Beyond.’”

Ciochetty is still contemplating on his third ghost book. “Everyone likes a ghost story, whether or not one believes. It is fun telling and hearing them,” Ciochetty said. You can find Ciochetty’s books on Amazon.com, at Barnes and Noble, and by going to the websites of Authorhouse and the History Press. They are also now e-books for you electronic junkies.

Has your perspective on ghosts changed after reading this? What is your opinion on Ciochetty’s experiences?

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