Located on Kelley's Island here on Lake Erie The Himmelein House was built around 1859 by Johann Himmelein. I never really knew anything about this house beyond the fact that it was vacant, immaculate, intriguing to look at and was located right next door to the summer home of my best friend in high school.
I loved this house.
It was late summer and I was 16 years old. I took the ferry over to meet up with a friend and spend the weekend on the island with her and her family. The Himmelein House immediately captured my attention. It was empty, abandoned, and seemed to have a story to tell to anyone who was willing to listen. I loved to walk around on the large wrap around porch, peek in the windows, and dream of the activities that must have once taken place in this home.
There was a mystery about it and of course the usual ghost stories, legends, and murder mysteries of centuries past surrounded it. I suppose the idea of such things made the house even more appealing to me.
One afternoon we were laying out in the yard chattering about who knows what and I happened to gaze up at one of the windows on the upper floor. I saw the face of a child's china doll staring back at me. I knew this doll had not been there before and so I got to my feet to get a better look at what I was seeing. I pointed to the window and asked my friend if she saw it, did she see the beautiful china doll face in the window. She saw nothing. I remember smiling up at the window and saying to myself that she was very beautiful and then watched as the vision faded away. I never saw it again during my weekend stay there. For some reason I felt privileged, as if a child from a past century wanted to show me her most prized possession.
My friend then told me about the lady in white that is often seen in the early evening coming out of the house. She runs across the front lawns of both houses and then vanishes into mist. That night we spread a blanket on the front lawn and layed out, gazing up at the stars, hoping to catch a glimpse of the lady in white but we weren't lucky that night. My friend was rather relieved which didn't surprise me since it took a lot of talking on my part to convince her to stay out that night waiting to catch a glimpse of an apparition. She claimed too many spooky things happened around me *L*.
Sometime later this summer I plan on heading over to Kelley's Island in the hopes that the Himmelein House is now open to the public. I read somewhere that it has since been turned into a musuem but I can't confirm it. I hope it has because I really want to get inside the place and explore, take some photos, see what materializes and catch a glimpse of what lies beyond the veil of this old mansion.