LEBANON, Ohio—Mitt Romney joined a long list of presidential aspirants to visit the Golden Lamb Inn on Saturday, a historic hotel owned by Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman long rumored to be haunted by ghosts.
Built in 1803, the site is the oldest hotel in the state. At least three people have died on the property, and locals say some of them never really left. A recent Yahoo News ghost-hunting expedition at the hotel found it to be creepy and mysterious after midnight, and quite possibly a genuine host of the supernatural.
On Saturday evening about 10,000 people gathered outside the hotel to catch a glimpse of Romney. An Ohio state flag hung from its roof, where three armed guards watched over the crowd. Romney stood on a stage set up in the street with Portman, who touted the hotel but didn't mention the rumors of ghosts.
"So much of the spirit of America and the history of America has come through these doors," Portman said before he introduced Romney, who went on to give a version of his stump speech.
After shaking hands and taking pictures with supporters, Romney joined Portman for a tour of the hotel. Many of the rooms in the Golden Lamb are named after past presidents—12 presidents in all have visited or stayed there. Romney stopped by the John Quincy Adams room, where he had an exchange with Portman about Adams and his ghost.
Per the pool report:
Romney: "Isn't that something. Oh, isn't that something. John Quincy—about the same height as his dad, looks like. [At this point, Romney seemed to be looking at a picture of the two men.] Isn't that something."
A pool reporter asked Romney if he was scared of ghosts.
Romney: "John Quincy's ghost, that would be helpful, I'm afraid. But his dad, John Adams, that's certainly one of my very favorite presidents. Quite a guy. That wonderful, wonderful book by David McCullough about his life. I've said this many times before, but reading that, when I turned the last page, I just welled up with tears. You feel like you're losing a member of the family."
Jane Portman (Rob Portman's wife): "This is great. We can't wait to have the Mitt Romney room in here."
Rob Portman: "We're going to kick one Massachusetts guy out for another one."
Romney: "He calls it the Golden Lamb, but I think when you look at the prices you'll determine it's the Golden Fleece. ... Actually, it's a modest price point."