Campfire Story #2: Legend of Blue Hole at Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve

ODNR circles the campfire to talk about haunted Ohio spots. 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is getting into the spooky spirit with campfire stories about some of the state’s eeriest spots. The next tale takes us to the southwest part of the Buckeye State to the Blue Hole at Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve.

Fiery embers once again set the scene for the stories which will be released once a week through October.  Telling the tales is Hocking College professor and renowned co-author of books like “Haunted Hocking: A Ghost Hunter’s Guide to the Hocking Hills and beyond”, Pat Quackenbush.

The second campfire story begins with unrequited love. A woman takes extreme measures to attract the attention of the man she loved.  When she saw him flirting with another woman, she climbed to the tallest rock, let out a scream, and jumped into the blue waters – sure her love would save her.   To find out what happened next and why some say this site is haunted watch the video here.

The creation of the Blue Hole goes back to the last ice age.  As the glaciers melted, the water transformed the landscape.  The water swirled, creating a deep depression where the Blue Hole now sits.  The distinctive color is from a combination of factors, including water chemistry, pool depth, and the lack of organic debris. The Blue Hole is one of ODNR’s “Let’s Get Historic” sites.  Each site is marked with a descriptive sign and a QR code to help visitors learn more. You can find a full list of our “Let’s Get Historic” sites here.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at