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By Tom Hardesty | Assistant Sports Editor
When I hired in at the Record-Courier in March of 1994, it didn't take me long to discover that the old brick building in downtown Ravenna was loaded with character and history.
The site had served several purposes, at one time or another housing everyone from business employees to actual residents -- some of whom, many R-C employees would attest, had never left the premises.
There were countless reports of ghostly sightings in the building by R-C employees, including a man sporting a boat captain's hat -- and, most often perhaps, a woman wearing period dress from the early 20th century whom many suspected was Lydia, who had lived on the site long ago. There were sightings of other apparitions as well, with these spirits being spotted in almost any part of the building at almost any time of day or night. Remarkably (in my mind), these sightings were taken mostly in stride by R-C workers, some of whom actually grew accustomed to the brief but memorable encounters with the "residents." I, for one, never saw any of the apparitions -- because if I had, I very likely wouldn't be sitting here relating this story to you now.
But I did have several encounters with unexplained phenomena, one involving former R-C sports writer Colin Harris. Like me, upon his hiring Colin was quickly brought up to speed on the ghostly phenomena taking place inside the old R-C building. One of the "hotspots" was the second floor of the building, which housed a few offices along a long carpeted hallway -- complete with creaky spiral staircase and chandelier at one end.
One night after deadline, Colin had briefly been up on the second floor alone (the second floor was rarely occupied at the end of business hours). Upon his return to the editorial department on the first floor, he told the few employees remaining in the building at that late hour of the night that there was something strange going on with his cell phone.
He said that while he had been up on the second floor, his phone went off indicating he had just received an email. When he opened it, oddly the email was nearly completely blank: no address or sender information accompanied it. The only item the email contained was the year it was sent: 1968.
Shocked and more than a little curious, Colin tried to delete the email from his phone -- and couldn't. As much as he tried, the blank email with no address from 1968 strangely remained on his phone. To finally rid his phone of the eerie email, Colin had to completely delete all his mail, his username, his password and everything else from the phone -- in other words, perform a complete factory reset. He had never had anything like that happen to his phone before -- or since.
Colin still does not believe in ghosts, but admits the strange phenomena occurring with his phone that night was weird -- and is another in a long line of creepy tales from the venerable building on North Chestnut Street.