Burger Guyz at Punderson Manor at Punderson State Park HAUNTINGLY GOOD


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If You Go...

Where: Punderson Manor State Park Lodge

Address: 11755 Kinsman Road, Newbury, Ohio

Phone: 440-564-9144

Hours: Always open

Menu: One burger ($10.99)

Website: pundersonmanorstateparklodge.com

Rating: 4 stars

by: Anthony Fuda

The spirits summoned the BurgerGuyz this month for a haunting burger.

We jumped in the Burger Bus, and it was like the bus had a mind of its own. It took us past our regular hangouts and ventured to Newbury. To be more specific, Punderson Manor at Punderson State Park in Geauga County.

Rumor has it spirits haunt the Manor. People have said they heard children laughing, doors open and close, and loud noises in unoccupied rooms. Some people have even seen the lady who haunts the lake. You can find more stories of these paranormal activities at ohiostateparklodges.com.

Matt Sims gave us a tour of the Manor. He told a story of some girls at a summer camp on the grounds who drowned in the lake many years ago, and still haunt the grounds. They run through the halls giggling and making a ruckus. Guests have called the front desk to complain about the kids running through the halls only to be told that they were the only people occupying a room in that hall.

He ended our tour by telling us about the lady in the lake. The tale goes there were a group of gypsies who would come yearly to the park, but stopped coming in 1978. When asked why, they said that while sitting by the lake, a young woman emerged from the lake covered in seaweed, walked around the shore and then walked back in to the lake and disappeared. And that was the last time the gypsies visited the lake. Reports say a young woman drowned in the lake a year earlier.

We did not run into a ghost, so it’s a good thing we were there for the burgers.

The menu offers one burger — the Grass-Fed Cheeseburger, with your choice of Great Lakes Swiss, American or cheddar. You can add mushrooms or onions for 50 cents each and bacon for $1.50.

One burger makes ordering simple enough. All we hoped for was the chefs didn’t have to deal with unruly ghosts while making our meals.

As I took my seat, a cold chill went down my spine. I didn’t want to take any chances on an unwelcome guest, so I switched seats. I then chose a Cheddar Cheeseburger with bacon. I was pleasantly surprised by the excellently seasoned and very tender beef, and enjoyed the freshly toasted bun which held all my garden-fresh toppings in place and made each bite very flavorful. The Great Lakes cheddar I chose had a fantastic taste and added a nice little punch to the burger. I looked around the dining room and when I looked back at my place I could swear a couple fries were missing.

Chiz had his Cheeseburger with Swiss, and remarked, “The Punderson Manor had a scary good burger! I had mine topped with Great Lakes Swiss cheese, sauteed mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, onion. My burger was seasoned great, and the mushrooms were cooked just right. The bun was my favorite part, it was simply exquisite.”

After the tour, JT noted, “This place is awesome. The intricate architectural design, inside and out, is striking and really stirs your imagination. Scanning over the dinner menu, it’s obvious that the average income family might want to save having dinner here for special occasions. But, for those that want to stop in for lunch or a sandwich, they have you covered with very average prices. I found my burger to be well seasoned but very paranormal and the fries were bit on the haunting side. But, I definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys checking out haunted mansions.”

The scariest story involved three Manor employees in the spring of 1979: Don, Margaret and Ron. They were sitting in the lobby when Margaret went to get coffee in the kitchen. She never got the coffee, but returned to the lobby in complete horror. All three followed her to the King Arthur Room, which is beyond the Cherry Dining Room. They stopped at the dining room in horror as they saw a man hanging, suspended by a rope that disappeared into the ceiling. They all just sat there watching until dawn, when the sun rose and the apparition faded away.

Most of the guests do not experience any ghostly occurrences. There are many activities at or near the Manor to keep you busy if you are not a ghost hunter: golf or even disc golf, tennis or basketball, swimming, and boating or fishing. During the summer you can hike and in the winter there is sledding, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.

If you are looking for a hauntingly good time during the witching season, take a ride to Punderson Manor and stay a night or two.

Read the Valley food section each Wednesday for the best food the Mahoning Valley has to offer. If you think you know where the next Burger of the Year is, send the info to BurgerGuyz@hotmail.com, or on our Facebook page BurgerGuyz

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