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Ghost at Kings Island?

Kings Island: Somebody told me about rumors of a ghost by the name of "Tower Johnny" at Kings Island.

From Eric J
Posted September 18, 2006 at 4:03 PM
Somebody told me about rumors of a ghost by the name of "Tower Johnny" at Kings Island. I have been going to Kings Island for nearly 20-years and have never heard this rumor.

Is there any truth to this?


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Erik Yates
Posted September 18, 2006 at 6:23 PM
This goes along the same line as The Legend of.....
You need to look up that thread...great stories.
Never heard of Tower Johnny....but I remember there was the old story of the lady that got thrown from the viking boat, she landed in the little pond that was in front of it. Someone went in to get her, and he was electrocuted from the power to the lights in the water.
Then, there was Top Gun. This was not the coaster that you know now, but a ride that was a tower that you spun around, and you had control of your ride vehicle. A kid was not properly secured as he and his friend spun it upside down, and the kid fell out...went splat.
That one I believe is true. There are bound to be some ghosts lurking around a park that old. Then there was the story about the flying Eagles.....one of the wires broke and decapitated somebody.
Then there was the "octopus" ferris wheel. It was a huge double ferriss wheel that was enclosed in cages. You then got to spin these cages around as you spun end over end in the ferriss wheel. Very slow and not thrilling, but those things did not seem safe....and according to legend they werent. The chains broke as one spun wildly and killed five people.
Again, most of those were legends....something my parents used to tell me to keep me from wanting to go. Didnt work.

From Audrey Hamlin
Posted September 19, 2006 at 7:42 AM
This topic intrigued me because I've been going to K.I. for about 20 years, as well, and never heard anything about ghosts. I do remember that Top Gun tower ride (didn't it go by another name?) and the kid who fell out of it. I went that summer right before it happened and was way too "scared" to ride it because it just looked intimidating. There was a guy who got electrocuted in the water but I believe alcohol was involved; I don't remember a lady falling out of the Viking ship, though. I don't know about ghosts, but I'm interested in hearing if anyone else has any info about this...

From Eric J
Posted September 19, 2006 at 9:52 AM
Ok so I Googled Tower Johnny, and I found out that this Ghost Haunts the Eiffel Tower.

All ofthe info comes from www.extremepki.com

1980: A ghost named tower Johnny makes his first appearance on the Eiffel Tower and eyes can be seen in the royal fountains, this all is rumored to have happened in the early 80’s.

1990's: A ghost named Racer Boy is seen for the 1st time, Tower Johnny gets more extreme, by operating the Eiffel Tower, this is all some of the folklore circulating in the early 90’s.


2000: Tower Johnny makes appearances at Beast and White Water Canyon

I know its all Kings Island Folklore, but this is really cool.

From Betsy Cutler
Posted September 20, 2006 at 8:00 PM
The electrocution death in the pond outside Festhouse happened when a security guard went in to save a park guest. (It was either the late 80s or early 90s.) The guest lived but the security guard was electrocuted and a plaque hangs in the security office commemorating his bravery.

From Adam Bartlett
Posted October 23, 2006 at 9:03 AM
Ah...the ghosts of KI...memories...

First off, the deaths on 6/9/91 were, in fact, very real. There were 3, 2 in the fountain in front of the Viking Fury (electrocutions, both, one a security guard) and also one when an intoxicated lady fell from the restraints on Flight Commander (earlier misidentified as "Top Gun"). Both of these incidents can and have been discussed elsewhere, but the point of this thread is the ghosts, which neither of these incidents produced (probably because they are recent enough and true enough that making up ghost stories would be tacky, but that's another topic for another thesis).

There are actually several ghosts attributed to KI. I used to work there (an astute KI-er might know where, and even who) and we used to hear these stories all the time.
First off we'll hit "Woody" or "Wally." He's the patron ghost of White Water Canyon. He's mostly a fun fellow and is known for throwing rocks onto the top of the watchtowers that are scattered along the ride, freaking out the 16-year-olds that have been abandoned alone in the woods for hours. While I know of some people that swear he exists, it's most likely someone on garbage duty having a little fun.

Then there's "Tram girl." She's not really named, but she's a little blond girl (6-9 years old, maybe) wearing a blue dress that runs around the parking lot and likes to freak out the tram drivers, and possibly other motorists. Mostly she runs out in front of them and makes them slam on the breaks. Allegedly, she'sburied in the little cemetery on KI property and doesn't like the fact that everyone can have fun around her, but she can't (most reports have her as being less than 48"). I credit this one to sleep-deprived tram drivers, but the consistency of their stories is a little strange...

Not to be forgotten is "racer boy." He presents a rather interesting case. He appears usually just before sunset or else after dark as a figure walking along the tracks of the racer. He's small and usually dressed in white. Most often he's reported by guests who ask why there's a boy by the tracks or in the tunnel. Allegedly the photo camera at the bottom of the first hill once took a picture of him when he tripped their motion sensor, but I've never seen it myself, nor do I know anyone who has (it's also worth noting that the sensor there is a magnetic proximity switch, not a motion sensor, which means our ghost must have a lot of iron to him).

Then there's the big boy himself, "Tower Johny." Like most ghosts, he starts with just a little bit of fact. The fact is that in 1983 a fellow did die on the Eifel Tower. Well, sort of. He more died at the Eifel Tower. He was a recent graduate at the party night at the park and was, shall we say, impaired. He climbed up to the 50' platform and from there climbed a fence or two into a restricted area where either he a.) fell to his death or b.) was struck by the elevator's counterweight. That last part varies and I honestly can't find a definitive answer, but both versions are told. There's also a version where he was on the top deck and went to enter the elevator when the doors opened, only to find that there was no elevator there, leading to his untimely demise (very unlikley).

The upshot of all this is that the legend of "Tower Johny" has developed and, in fact, gets pretty interesting. First off, Johny obviously would be interested in haunting the Tower. He does this mostly by making strange noises that sound an awfully lot like moaning (or cables running through pulleys or wind whistling through the structure, but who am I to judge). He also messes with the controls (randomly opening and closing doors for the cars. Only happens when there is a car there, though, no safety issues, just annoyance) and occasionally messing with the 'vators after hours. In one famous incident, the crew walked away from a shut-down tower after close, only to see an elevator fall to the middle of the tower (the counter weights are heavier than an empty car, and therefore the cars rise when the power's off). The supervisor said "OK, Johny, let her go." and immediately the lift settled to the top.

Even stranger is the fact that Johny haunts The Beast. According to legend, the cables from the fateful night Johny died were damaged from the incident and had to be removed. They were hidden in the back of the park because they were stained with blood from an occurrence that KI was trying to hide. The hiding place is...ba-dum...a spot in the woods behind The Beast. There are (or were) actually cables there, I've seen them. However, they're probably support cables from the helix and the red stains are most likely rust, not blood, but, hey, why let facts get in the way of a good story? You might be wondering how he "haunts" The Best, then. Well, like "racer boy" he walks the tracks and hangs out in the tunnels, only he's older and bloody, not a cute little kid. Also like good ol' R.B., there is allegedly a photo of him taken by those booth guys that no one has ever seen. But most interesting, and verifiable, is the uncanny tendency of The Beast and Tower to break down within minutes of each other. It's almost frighting how often it would occur, and for no logical reason. It almost makes a skeptic think for a second. Also, there are reports of eyes in the woods. Red eyes. Sometimes green. Probably cars. Maybe wildlife.

Those are the main two places Johny likes to show up. Some people like to equate him with Racer Boy, but when they're seen they're nothing alike, so we should probably treat them as separate entities. Woody is also sometimes linked to Johny, but WWC people are a special breed and like to have their very own special version of everything, and resent that insinuation. Johny is also spotted all over the park. Mostly he messes with sensors ("False sensor reads" are often referred to as "Johnies" but most likely are "raccoons"). He tips over trash cans (again, probably raccoons) and, occasionally, there's the feeling that someone is watching you that you can't shake. Johny is actually a lot less creepy an explanation than some random person staring at you from behind a bush, if you think about it. Johny has also appeared on numerous crew lists and t-shirts over the years, and is sort of a mascot for Tower.

The upshot of all this makes for some good stories to tell the new kids every year. For those of you running around thinking it's just funny, try bing the only person you can see in the entire park on a cold, dry October night. Now imagine the leaves scurrying across the pavement. The rustle overhead as the trees sway in the breeze. Lights casting strange, unfamiliar patterns on the ground. And everything's quiet. Real quiet. It's an atmosphere that breeds ghost stories. And a fun place to scare the living daylights out of 16-year-olds working their first job.

From April Adams
Posted November 15, 2006 at 6:22 PM
I just felt compelled to reply to this post. I was getting goose bumps while I was reading it because I used to work at PKI on the White Water Canyon. It was 1996-1997, I was 16 at the time (I am 23 now). To this day, the most terrifying moment of my life was when I was working at WWC. I didn't realize this "haunting" was so well known. It's actually really nice to know that other people have had similar experiences and I was not just loosing my mind.

One night I was closing in tower 2 on the WWC. The protocol for closing this ride was when the last person got off the ride, the boats were ran through empty one time. This could take about 10 minutes or so.

So, I'm sitting in the tower, looking out the big front window when all of a sudden, I hear laughing. It sounded like children coming from right around my tower. I couldn't tell if it was male or female, but I called back to the control station to ask them if there were still people on the ride and they told me that the last people had already gotten off and the empty boats were cycling.

Now, if anyone has ever worked WWC, they would know that tower 2 is WAAAYYYY out in the woods, a pretty lengthy stroll from the rest of the park. You have to walk down a very poorly lit trail through the woods to get out there. There are no "trashmen" out there, no reason for ANYONE to be out there. It is literally the end of the road.

Back to the story... I hung up the phone and waited for the boats to finish so I could go back in. All of a sudden, little rocks started tapping up against my side window. I got on my loud speaker and told whoever it was to stop. I looked out the window and there was no one there... but the rocks kept coming. Then, they started hitting the window on the other side too at the same time. I'm feeling a bit bold (I'm the girl in the movie about to open the door the killer is hiding behind and your yelling "Don't open the door you idiot!!")... So I get up and walk out the door to look to see who is playing this "prank" on me....

There's no one there. But I look and I see the rocks coming directly from the ground up to the window with no one there to throw them. I was so scared. I ran back in and got on the phone with the control station and told my supervisor what had happened. She said when the boats were done she would send someone out to walk me in since I was so shaken up.

Just then, I hear this loud BANG coming from behind me, and I turned around just in time to see a large rock (about 10 inches in diameter)slam up against the side of the door and fall to the ground. I ran out the door and looked down the steps. The rock was too big for any person to throw from the bottom of the staircase, but there was no one there at all and definately not enough time for anyone to run back down the steps without me seeing them.

That was the climax of the evening. Imagine being in this tower alone out in the middle of the woods with no people anywhere near, very little lighting... and having something like this happen. Needless to say, I refused to close tower 2 ever again.

This is exactly what happened to me, told as accurately as I can remember it. The stories are true.

From Jay Bishop
Posted November 1, 2007 at 6:08 AM
Tower Johnny came to Kings Island after an incident at the Tower. Tower Johnny was killed when he got into the elevator shaft and in his attempt to scare the riders, he went to jump on top of the elevator, was struck by the counterweight and fell into the mechanism on top of the elevator. This happened on a "grad night". The date was May 13, 1983 (Friday).

I was working at the park at the time.

From Tombraider Ty
Posted November 3, 2007 at 4:36 PM
There are many reasons for ghost to haunt Kings Island. A staff member was mauled by a lion in 1976 (http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F10D14F73F551B7493C5AB178CD85F428785F9), a high school graduate fell from the Eiffel Tower in 1983 (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B02E1D91038F936A25756C0A965948260), and three people indeed did die on June 9, 1991 (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CEEDC1739F932A25755C0A967958260). Plus, prior to park opening, a girl drowned in a lake on property. The lake is passed on the Kings Island and Miami Valley Railroad.

Also, Racer Boy has a very believable true history. Two of Racer's four trains were originally used on the Shooting Star at Coney Island. On one of the last cycles of the coaster, a high school boy who had been riding in the back was found missing when the train returned to the station. A search of the track revealed his body at the bottom of a dip in the track. Because the trains are now at Kings Island, his spirit could be also.
And of what I've heard, Woody haunts the Monster while another ghosts, possibly the little girl who drowned (because the lake is now used as the White Water Canyon water reserve). Also, there is a cemetery from the late 1880's on property that could be the culprit of ghosts. Finally, a woman had a heart attack on Top Gun in 2002 and died the next day in the hospital.

From Zack Wilson
Posted December 11, 2007 at 9:55 AM
There is a possibility that there is Ghost(s) in KI.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/409972/the_ghosts_of_kings_island_in_cincinnati.html

From Nikki Reynolds
Posted June 7, 2009 at 6:18 PM
Wow! That is very creepy! I haven't been to Kings Island recently, the last time I went I was about 5 years old and never heard of these stories until now. I am going to KI this Tuesday and I'm a little creeped out. Obviously they are just stories, and yes they may be true, but I don't believe in ghosts. Even though I don't believe in them I am still a little scared. Those ghost stories definitley won't keep me from going though! (:

From Kat Eshom
Posted October 10, 2009 at 2:47 PM
ok, so yesterday my boyfriend and I went to Kings Island for the Halloween Haunt. I went to this in 2006 (when it was Fear Fest) and it was fun, but Idk this time I was really scared going in, so that made it worse.

Anyways, we decided to go on Trail of Terror... You take the train, and it goes as far as the wooden platform halfway to the waterpark, right by WWC, and you get off, and go through a haunted maze to walk back, which is in the woods by WWC.

I was still shaken up from the first maze we did, and wasn't wanting to do another one (I thought it was just a haunted train ride...). I was willing to be brave and do it anyways, but then when we got up to the entrance, something came over me. We were first in line, which I did NOT want, so I started getting scared.

Suddenly, I started feeling VERY nauseous, and developed a headache. I got the feeling that there was something in the woods, and just something wasn't right, and it wasn't just the maze. I was scared going into the first one, but didn't have a headache or feel nauseous, but with this, I did.

I told my boyfriend I couldn't do it, I couldn't go through the maze, and I just was feeling really sick. We told the halloween haunt character working at the entrance to the maze, who then told one of the managers working there. The manager let the rest of the ppl go on in, and then walked us through with a flashlight and told the employees DO NOT SCARE!

For awhile after we got through the maze, I felt soo sick and had a major headache and felt light headed.

I definitely believe there is something haunting the woods by WWC, and this was my first encounter with paranormal activity. I was told that in the presence of a ghost or spirit it's very common for one to get a huge headache and feel nauseous and light headed.

Now that I know the story, about a girl drowning in the lake that was there, I understand why I felt so ill. I truly believe that the girl who drowned now haunts the woods there.

From claira O'Toole
Posted April 3, 2011 at 4:55 PM
although i do believe in ghost and i do believe many people have died at ki i also believe that ki profits off some of thoughts ghost stories (one being Tower Johny) so you can see that some of thoughts stories can be hard to believe

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