YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s not unusual this time of year for old houses to become haunted houses. On Youngstown’s North Side, there’s one house that took a different route. It’s an old house that became a funeral home that’s now a haunted house.
On Wick Avenue across from Ursuline High School is the former McVean and Hughes Funeral Home, a large section of which was built in 1901.
“The original owner was John Tod, grandson of Governor David Tod from the Civil War,” said Erik Engartner, who now owns the house.
Engartner renamed it “The Wickyards” — a small concert venue. But for this October, he turned it into a haunted house called “Nine Lives at the Wickyards.” Paranormal groups had been through it before.
“We believe the ghost of John Tod is still here in some way from the questions we ask,” Engartner said.
But much of the haunted house is set up around the former funeral home.
“This is the actual real, original coffin room,” Engartner said.
The coffin was found in the basement and dates back to the 1940s.
“There’s hay in there. It’s made with wood. The cloth on there, a lot of them are metal now,” Engartner said.
The tour takes people up the house’s original wooden steps, onto the second floor and into several rooms where actors are used to bring the scare alive.
“Then tragedy strikes, then I can’t really give anything else away,” Engartner said.
The grand finale is in the basement through eight rooms, where people have to find their own way out.
“Back in the day, this would have been like embalming areas,” Engartner said.
It opened last weekend and around 100 people showed up.
“People seemed to enjoy themselves. It’s a good cross between a more kiddie-type attraction, but it’s not even close to a straight-up terror fest that a lot of those bigger areas are,” Engartner said.
Nine Lives at the Wickyards is open Fridays and Saturdays from 7-11 p.m. through October. It’s $10 to get in or $20 if you dare make the walk to the third floor.