'Ghosts of Zoar' to soar in upcoming movie

7:52 PM, Feb 27, 2010   |    comments
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  • Zoar, OH
  • And for four weeks this fall, filmmaker Gregory James Gaugel plans to make Zoar and the surrounding area homebase for a feature-length movie.

    Gaugel, who grew up in Holmes County, has scouted set locations in the village for his low budget film. The movie plot, without giving away much detail, involves small town kids interacting with the ghosts of Zoar.

    "They're going to actually intertwine with the historical characters who existed here," Gaugel said.

    "Scenes are running through my head a million miles an hour," said Gaugel, as he took pictures of the village's old hotel.

    For years, village residents have heard or witnessed unexplained events.  

    "I've lived in old houses all my life," said Zoar resident Mark Gaynor. "I can honestly say that I haven't had any experiences until I moved into this town.

    "It's not like you see white sheets or things," Gaynor said. "You come in and you'll see a sink strainer that's sitting upside down on the kitchen floor. You just hear (crashing noises) happen that you can't explain."

    Zoar was founded in 1817 by German immigrants who separated from the Lutheran Church. The Zoarites started their own society. They became self sufficient and shunned outsiders.

    Gaugel got hooked on the ghost stories. And he was happy to learn that, visually, little has changed in the village. Twenty four of the society's original 26 buildings are still standing.

    "It's like Hollywood can't reproduce that," Gaugel said.


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