Light of Hope Orphanage was established in 1902 by a religious zealot named Johann Sprunger who had relocated to Vermilion, Ohio from Indiana with his wife, Katharina. Back home in Indiana the two of them lost two businesses, one of which being an orphanage. The Rev. Sprunger and his wife Katharina, who were often referred to as brother and sister, lost 2 children at birth, Hilegonda and Edmond.
Light of Hope Orphanage consisted of four sets of farm buildings and spanned 543 acres. Also included was an abandoned Greek Revival House built by Joseph Swift in the mid 19th century. The Swift mansion was elaborate. The architecture of the building included marble columns, ornate woodwork, and lavish decorations. Expensive Furnishings filled the rooms of the estate.
Joseph Swift, was a very successful farmer in his day. A series of tragic events struck Swift’s Hollow beginning in 1831 when Swift’s children 5 year old Tryphenia and 24 year old Herman died. Swift made a series of bad investments and lost everything. Eventually this led to the sale of his home to renowned spiritualist Nicholas Wilber.
Nicholas Wilber held regular seances at his home, conjuring up spirits of dead children. Rumours swept through the countryside that Wiber’s children were psychic and could communicate with the ghosts of dead children.
Light of hope Orphanage seems to have had a spiritual imprint before the poor orphans arrived to leave their own .
There were up to 120 inmates at Gore Orphanage. The Children would escape from the orphanage spewing stories of abuse, neglect and slave labour. They were clearly malnourished and when fed, they were given a diet of calve’s lungs, hog heads, and sick and diseased cattle. Their rooms were infested with rats and other vermin. There was only one bathtub that they were permitted to use every 2 weeks, and even then they all had to bathe in the same water.
Gore Orphanage was closed in 1916, and it was discovered that there was a Chapel Room in the Boy’s School House used for Secret Ceremonies.
It is unknown how many souls have perished at Gore Orphanage. Some have reported seeing ghostly apparitions, and balls of light on Gore Orphanage Road where the Light Of Hope once stood. Still others claim to hear haunting screams of children., and even reported dusty fingerprints the size of a child on their car, when left parked