haunted

CRYPTOZOHIO: Horror movies from Ohio

Cryptozohio - Stories from the Depths

One, two, Freddy’s coming for you.

Three, four, Better lock your door

Five, six, grab a crucifix.

Seven, eight, Gonna stay up late.

Nine, ten, Never sleep again….

With these lines we know that something Bad is coming. That is the song used in the “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise. The films are about a man ho comes back to haunt the dreams of the children of Springwood, Ohio. He is not the first and won’t be the last monster to live in this state. A lot of horror movies use Ohio as setting. Is it that most of the Midwest looks like Ohio and many people could see it happening in their own town, no matter where it is filmed? Is it because during most of the 19th century Ohio was the population center of America and had a lot of residents, many who never left? Almost every major structure in Ohio has a ghost story or two. Some towns like Athens and Waynesville even claim to be some of the most haunted places in the country.  Sometimes they don’t set the film in Ohio but simply film here. Like setting it here, Ohio can stand in for most of America. With our hilly southeast, our suburb filled southwest, our city filled industrial northeast, and all the farm land in between, Ohio is almost anywhere America. With a state that can stand in for almost anywhere and ghosts everywhere Ohio is the perfect place for a horror film.
Here is our non-complete list of Horror films set in / filmed in Ohio:

Babysitter Massacare
Deadly Blessings
Finale
The Faculty
Heathers
Howard the Duck
The Manson Family
Meet the Applegates
My Friend Dahmer
Nightmare on Elm Street Franchise
Pi Day Die Day
Salvage
Scream 2
Sella Turcia
The Sleeper
Super 8
Take Shelter
ThanksKilling
Trick ‘r Treat
The Watch
Wednesday Children

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CRYPTOZOHIO: State Parks

Cryptozohio - Stories from the Depths

Ohio citizens and visitors to our state have gone to the local parks for almost 150 years. They enjoyed the waters and the trails. They have hiked through the forest, or strolled through the meadows. Some loved them so much they remained long after they should have. These are a few tales of haunts from around the state. Some are from the parks themselves, most are from the history the parks are trying to preserve. (links to locations in orange titles)

Punderson Manor
The land was originally owned by Lemeul Punderson. After he and his wife’s deaths it changed hands, eventually being owned by Karl Long. On the site he decided to build a 29 room mansion for his wife. This was in 1929. The great depression soon followed and wiped out his fortune. He died before the mansion was finished. In 1956 the state took over the site and has run it as a lodge and conference center since.

In 1976 a band of gypsies told what is considered the first ghost story about the place. They reported seeing a dark seaweed covered shape emerge from the lake. This happened only a year after a teenage girl drown in the lake. Guest and Workers have been telling strange tells of the location ever since. Footsteps echo and pounding on doors can be heard when no one is around. Lights flicker and chills can be felt through out the old section. The grand spiral staircase is said to be haunted by a civil war veteran. The tower was the location of a many a story of a man who is said to be looking for a lost rocking chair. The Windsor suite is probably the most haunted section of the grounds with multiple figures inhabiting the room.

Beaver Creek State Park
Beaver Creek park is one of the parks that was preserved for it’s history along with it’s natural beauty. At the site is the remains of the old Hambleton mill. It’s grain was shipped via the canals that criss crossed Ohio. At the mill an old lady is said to keep vigil. Her name is Ester Hale. She is said to be seen on many night. Also along the canals is “Gretchen’s Lock.” Named after the daughter of the man who built the lock. His daughter caught malaria, came down with a fever and chills and rambled on about returning to their home land of Holland. Eventually she passed away and the family decided to return to Holland after the lock was built. They stored Gretchen’s coffin in the lock until they left. On the way back across the ocean a violent storm took their lives and they along with the coffin were lost at sea. It is said that the ghost of Gretchen returned to the last place she was at rest, inside the lock. Gretchen’s is not the only haunted lock in the area. A former keeper who died from a lightning strike while on duty is said to haunt “Jake’s Lock.” At the right time one can see him with his lantern bobbing a long on duty.

John Bryan State Park / Glen Helen / Clifton George
Located by village of Yellow Springs the gorge makes up one of the best preserved, and prettiest, areas of central western Ohio. The area traces its roots back to the original Adena Mound Builders and later the Shawnee. Nearby was Old Chillicothe one of the important sites of the Shawnee, with famed leader Tecumseh visiting often. In the late 19th century, when residents feared that the growing amusement park industry would take over the land, they decided to preserve it. Now it is 3 interconnected sites that showcase the beauty of the glacial carved region.

With such long history the sites are bound to have some never leaving visitors. In John Bryan an old hermit visits the area around the west gate. Willie the hermit drown when he and his horse tried to cross the overflowing river at the bottom of the gorge. He is still heard whistling his happy tune. In Glen Helen it is said that the girl who the preserve is named after can be seen playing after hours. She loved the area so much that her father donated the land to the local college to keep it as she remembered it. Some say she loved it so much she may never leave. Clifton George and the connected John Bryan have large cliffs that lead to the Little Miami river below. From the top one can see the danger of a fall. Many a person have gone out for a walk without ever coming back. Some on purpose, some by accident, and some for unknown reasons. It is said that the woods are best visited in groups at night.

Lake Hope State Park  Moonville tunnel ror
Located in the south east, considered one of the most haunted parts of the state, and the nation, is this amazing park. While not as popular as the nearby Hocking Hills and Old Mans Cave, this park has one of the most famous eerie places in any state park, Moonville Tunnel.

The story goes that during the heyday of the old mining town of Moonville supplies were delivered daily by train. One night a brakeman fell from the train and was crushed under the wheels. He was taken to a nearby doctor but his injuries were too severe. It is said that if one looks out at night they can see the red signal lamp swinging in the wind to warn of the on coming train. Or is it to warn the many other people who have been killed by trains in the area? A man was killed coming home from buying groceries when he fell from the bridge he was attempting to cross. Another man died attempting to jump from the train early. A man, with the help of liquor, decided to sleep on the track. A search of the McArthur Democrat newspaper, the newspaper of the area at the time the train and town were bustling, will bring up many more stories.

The tunnel is located off the Moonville rail trail. There is a high water trail down the road. This path will lead around the creek that runs high most of the warmer months. The tunnel itself is a run down popular area. The walls are lined with graffiti and trash. Even in the light of day the area is creepy and scary. The idea that the ghost of a lost railroad worker, or a local citizen, becomes almost a guarantee once one has visited the area. Well worth the hike.

Hocking Hills
Hocking Hills is one of the most visited parks in Ohio. Every weekend when the weather is good the parking lot is full. But how many people know of the strange happenings in the area. The early Adena Indians, who built the Mounds in Ohio to bury their dead, some in the park. The inhabitants forever protecting that which they were buried with. The area was also inhabited by local American Indian tribes, including the Wyandot, Delaware and Shawnee, following the Adena. It is said that on a still night one can still see them roaming the area. One of the most noted areas for this is Conkle’s Hollow. This is where, as legend goes, many an American Indian was hung for robbing the settlers passing through.

The most famous and most visited area of the park is Old Mans Cave, with a good portion of visitors not even know that there is more to the park than this one gorge. The Hocking Hills section of the Buckeye trail, and North country national trail, winds through the gorge and passes by many a haunted spot. Old man’s cave was named after Richard Roe, a hermit who lived in the cave with his hunting dogs. He was not the first settler at the site. Nathaniel and Pat Rayon, two brothers, built a cabin on top of the ridge and lived out their days there. All 3 are buried in the cave area of the park. Late at night campers have said to have heard Roe’s dogs hunting, with some saying you can even see him walking the area looking for them. Further down at Rose Lake a woman searching for her son fell of a cliff and died. Hikers and fisherman say they can still hear her calling out to her lost boy. Along the trail around Ash cave a shy lady from the 1920’s has been know to creep around following groups of hikers.

By the nearby Logan Lake State Park is Scotts Creek Death Hole. Named for the underground cavern that draws water, and anyone caught in in its current, in from above. In 1887 a newlywed couple was pulled under while trying to cross. The horses can still be heard and the young women seen trying to find her husband.

The whole southern region is well forested and a good place for anything to hide. Almost any boy scout, hiker, or camper that has spent a night will have a story about some strange noise they have heard. Some claim to know what the noise came from. they say it was the most famous cryptid, the ape man known as Bigfoot. But that is for another post.

 

CRYPTOZOHIO: Haunted Tours of Ohio

Cryptozohio - Stories from the Depths

Every city or major building seems to have some ghost these days. Stories the owners and residents seem to tell and retell. Stories that have become so famous that people want to visit the locations they happened in. This can be a problem during the autumn months when the weather turns colder. People get out and expect to see the scary locations, even if the location doesn’t want them too. Some places shy away from the stories to try and discourage this. Other full heartedly embrace the stories and actually use them to their benefit.  These are the locations that offer haunted tours.

Finding the right tour can be tricky. When going on a tour do not expect to find a ghost who will pose for a picture. These are not haunted houses designed to scare you. Expect a more refined historical walking tour. This is what makes the haunted / ghost tours so fun. Even if the ghost that the tour talks about is not real, the history of why people still talk about it is. When looking for a tour look for ones that mention history or stories not just experience. The best tours, and hardest to get a ticket to, are offered by the local organization. The prices seem to be lower and all the proceeds go to help the local group. Some offer a cool lantern or candlelight tour filled with stories. These are the best for setting the mood of the story telling. If you just want a cool walk through hidden areas of local museums or villages haunted tours are a great option for this too. Many location use the fall haunting season as an fundraising event and will go all out. Companies that offer the tours have better date options and more refined tours, but seem to lack the local flare that comes with a non-profit organization. We recommend starting early and trying to get a local tour. They seem to be of lesser known places and haunts.

Many places hold these tours and we can not hope to list them all. If you want to find one in your area google haunted tour and your town or even your favorite location. You never know what you might find.

By the time you read this (as of 2017) most of the tours will be filled, free ones can fill up in hours, and others in days. Some do not offer tickets till October or a few weeks before hand. Take a chance and see if they are openings, but always remember them for next year.

Northern Ohio
http://www.northernohiotourism.com/ghostly_things.htm – A good list of places by the lake

Central
http://columbuslandmarks.org/event-calendar/ghost-tours – a good list for Columbus
http://oldetownghosttours.com – Dublin
http://www.ohiostatehouse.org/news/2017-haunted-statehouse-tour-tickets-now-on-sale – The Statehouse

Southwest
https://www.friendshomemuseum.org/copy-of-purchase-ghost-tours-class – Waynesville
https://www.hauntedcincinnatitours.com – Cincinatti
http://www.woodlandcemetery.org/tours-and-events – Dayton’s most haunted cemetery 

Southeast
http://athenshistory.org/asylum-walking-tour/ – Athens, one of the most haunted cities in America?
http://www.ohio.org/events/haunted-hocking-weekend – Hocking Hills

CRYPTOZOHIO: Cemeteries

cryptohio

Ever since Settlers have been moving into Ohio they have had a need to take care of their dead. The most popular option has been to bury them in local cemeteries. As the cemeteries filled up stories of strange happenings have been told. These are just a few of the more popular ones from Ohio’s  most well know cemeteries.

DO NOT GO INTO A CEMETERY UNLESS ALLOWED! As with all cemeteries respect for the past, present, and future is required. If you want to go at night take a tour.

Cincinnati’s Spring Grove:
One of the United State’s largest cemeteries with over 700 acres of land. This along with the other of Ohio’s large rural garden cemeteries is a great place to walk around. But be careful, this place is said to be haunted. One such story is of a bust in section 100 that is said to have human eyes follow visitors as they pass. The Deter memorial is said to visited by to glowing white dogs. Other stories include the groundskeepers seeing hand and fingers sticking out of the ground as they mow.

Cleveland’s Lakeview Cemetery:
With a president, one of the the riches men ever, and the untouchable man who helped bring down Al Capone, the history of Lakeview is everywhere. James Garfield  was shot only four months after his inauguration as America’s 20th president. It took over two months for him to succumb, not to the bullet, but to the poor care he was given by his doctors. At the time people commented that he had  already left his body and gone wondering around at times. Even after his burial this is said to be the case. The cemetery also houses it share of Weeping Angles and moving statues. The most famous is “The Angel of Death Victorious.” The Collinwood Memorial, where 10 unknow children from the Collinwood school fire, is also located here. Probably the most eerie stories from the place are that of the moving tombstones.

Columbus’s Green Lawn Cemetery:
Home to many famous Ohioans, and not just politicians. The most famous haunted site in the 360 acre grounds is Hayden Mausoleum. A knock on it’s doors is said to be returned, or even more, by one of it’s residents. James Snook, Olympic medal pistol shooter, and murderer haunts the grounds.

Dayton’s Woodland Cemetery:
Most of the cities most famous residents are buried here. From the Wright brothers to James Ritty the names just seem to pop up around every corner. So do the less famous and more infamous. Some even say the residence themselves seem to pop up. The most famous is that of Johnny Morehouse. Morehouse was a boy who drown in the local canal. His dog tried to save him but was too late. For several days the dog was said to watch over the boys grave site. Since then the dog has been said to return to watch over the site from time to time. The cemetery also houses a lady in white ghost who is said to haunt the tops of the hill near her grave. A more modern teen girl is also said to inhabit the hillsides. Victims of Jack the Strangler , The Cincinnati Ripper, and many who made their own victims all rest uneasily through out the grounds. The electric chair is responsible for quite a few of the graves, even as the story goes, one who helped to build it.

Cryptozohio: Stories of the Stage

Photo by J. Ellwood

Theaters have a long standing history of ghost and strange things that go bump in the night. It has become a practice to leave a single light burning on stage when the theater is empty. Some say this is for safety, but the name, ghost light, says otherwise.

From former actors to patrons who never wanted to leave Ohio’s theaters have some stories of their own.

Victoria Theater: It is said that the private box on the left is haunted by a former patron who was attacked there. People have reported feeling uneasy and even been attacked by the woman. Another ghost is that of a man who committed suicide by stabbing himself with a knife fastened to the back of a seat. It is said that his face can be seen in the curtains back stage from time to time. One night an actress vanished from her dressing room. She is said to have never left the building however. Her perfume can be smelled, her petticoats heard as she crosses the stage, and she has even been reported in the 3rd floor restroom.

Playhouse Square: Made up of many theaters, Playhouse  is a destination for Cleveland’s patrons of the arts, both living and not. The Hanna Theatre is one of the most haunted of the bunch. Over 70 different entities have been said to reside there. Patrons have been seen in the balcony dressed for a show. Most of the mischief is said to happen backstage with props, paint, and tools seeming to move around on their own.

Ohio Theatre (Columbus): An old stage manager is said to haunt this theater in Columbus. He is reported opening elevators and playing pranks on the crew. A child is said to haunt the basement. As with most other old theaters the balcony is houses patrons who never wanted to leave.

Music Hall: One of the most haunted theaters in Ohio, but not because of the people working in it. The theater was built on top of the Cincinnati Orphan Asylum, an orphanage for children of the insane asylum. Ghost were reported before the theater even opened.  The sounds of the ghost making mischief or going about a normal routine are heard through out the building. They are patrons, cast, and crew who should not be. The Travel Channel even named it one of The Most Terrifying Places in America. If you want to experience the Ghost of Music Hall, take a tour. (yeah they sell out early so check back next year)

Is this all of them, no. This is just a small portion of the haunts from the stages of Ohio. Stay tuned for more Stories from the Stage.

If you go to one of the theaters listed above go for a show. Do not harass the theaters. They do too much good for that.

Cryptozohio: Your stories?

cryptohio
Do you have a story of the strange and unusual in Ohio? Creatures that should not be, places that are too eerie to go to. We are looking to fill up the series with stories from the depths of Ohio.

If you are a place make sure to include your website so that we can let people know how to visit you. If you do not want people to visit email us and we will obscure the details.

So if you have a story to tell please leave us a comment or email us.

CRYPTOZOHIO: Bridges of Ohio

 

cryptohio

It seems like stories about bridges have been around as long as we have been making them. Songs have been written about there weaknesses. Folk tales tell of trolls taking a toll to cross them. Everywhere there is a body of watter that needs crossing and a bridge is made, a story seems to follow. The rivers and lakes of Ohio are no exception.

Cry Baby Bridge – this is one of the most famous of all tales. A mother is distraught for some reason and tosses her baby in to the water. Late at night the cries of the baby, or the mother, can be heard. This is such a popular tale in Ohio that almost every county has one or two. If you can find a teenage person, they can tell you where the nearest one is. Here is a list of just a few.

Jilted Lovers – From the famous star crossed lovers of Shakespeare, to the modern angsty teens of today’s movies,  stories of love gone wrong has been a round a long time. Ohio even has its own tales of love gone wrong over water. Hummell Bridge (Sugar Grove) is the haunted by a young woman who took her lovers head and her own life when the fighting got to be too much. Jonson Covered Bridge (Revenge,Ohio) haunted by a woman who killed herself after finding out about her husbands infidelity. Bessie Little Bridge (Dayton) the site of a womans murder made to look like a suicide. The stories of jilted lovers and bridges is almost as numerous as that of cry babies.

Silver Bridge
– Once crossing the Ohio river at Gallipolis, Ohio was the famous Silver Bridge. During Rush hour, December 15, 1967, the bridge collapse. The bridge took with it 46 souls. The cause of the collapse was found to be just one eyebar in a suspension chain. The collapse was a tragedy, and a stories, in it’s own right, but the events surrounding it make it a legend. For almost a month before the citizens of the Point Pleasant area of West Virginia reported seeing a mysterious creature flying around. The creature, later named Mothman, was described as a man with 10 foot wings and glowing red eyes. After the collapse of the bridge, the sightings ended. This has caused many to think the bridge and the Mothman were linked.

The Y Bridge – As with most famous landmarks the Y bridge in Zanesville has ghost too.The Licking River ghost rattles the windows of the area and Dr. Isaac Fowler recreates his mis-fortunate ride, where he missed the bridge and went into the drink.

Many more stories of haunted bridges live across the great state. Some other site with great info are: http://www.forgottenoh.com/Haunts/roads.html 

Ghostly Manor Thrill Center

 (This Post is about the original Haunted attraction, we have not visited the expansion yet)

Link: http://www.ghostlymanor.com/

Ratting: ***

Quick Review: A standard haunted house but still a good place to go while in Sandusky.

Review: Arriving in Sandusky the night before a fun day at Cedar Point. Looking for something the whole family can do? Ghostly Manor is a great place to visit.

The attraction is located in side a larger “Thrill center” with skating, video games and the like. The Haunted part is a series of rooms one walks through. Nothing was too fancy, or too bad, at the time we took a tour. The level of jumps and scares was a good balance. Not so many that you expect it, but enough to keep you on your toes. Nothing really stood out however from other the standard fare.
(They have expanded and increased since we went)

While it is a standard haunted attraction like that found in most large cities, it is open in the summer. This is great for fans of Haunted Attractions. See it early and save some room in the busy Halloween schedule.

Lewisburg Haunted Cave

Link: http://www.hauntedcaveatlewisburg.com/

Ratting: *****

Quick Review: One of the longest haunted trails in Ohio, and the world.

Review: As you slowly descend underground you realize this is like no other trail you’ve been to. The Lewisburg Haunted trail, once the world record holder for longest haunted attraction, is completely underground. Unlike other attractions, which are housed indoors and simulate a cave with bats, this trail is a real cave with real bats, water, and dark turns.

The beginning of the trail starts with participants standing in line on the sloped mouth of the former mine. After a standard speech about how to act in a haunted attraction, and warning about the bats, the terror begins. From the ¼ mile long bridge over a darkened lake to the maze of confusion one never knows what to expect. Water will splash, fire will roar, and people will jump out at you. Even when you think you have figured out the pattern the trail changes everything.

Mazes and confusion keep the trail alive at every turn. The standard maze most haunts have is enhanced at Lewisburg with more fog than one can see through, more strobes than one needs, and hosts not meant to help but to drive one as crazy as they are. After participants exit the maze of fencing they enter a more “Hellish” maze of tunnels leading back to the and forth. After everything is done one wanders if they will ever escape.

The builders use the cave and its dark passage nicely. Where one might expect to be able to tell where a wall is, and thus how to navigate the maze, the shadows of the cave dance around to make sure that doesn’t happen. Cars roar out of holes in what should be solid wall.  Paths follow th slope of the cave and meander to bridges over other portions. When one thinks the cave has no more room to go it gives up more.

Despite the dangers a dark cave brings, the trail is quite safe. At points where the wall seems to be to close for comfort protective covers are put up. The trails are wide and the light sufficient that most participants should have no problem navigating the trail. However it is still a natural cave and the ground is damp and uneven. Boots are recommended.

At nearly 1½ miles, and an hour to navigate, the Lewisburg Haunted Cave is one of the best haunted attractions in Ohio, and the world.
WARNING: You will get wet. You will get wet unevenly. It will be dark at places. It will be LOUD. It is not for the faint of heart or too young of age.

Dent Haunted Schoolhouse

 

Rating: *****<>

Link: http://www.frightsite.com/

Quick Review: Don’t let its size fool you…it is crazy.

Review: Although the Dent Haunted Schoolhouse may seem small on the outside it is filled with some of the biggest frights of the whole state. This place will scare you. Even if you don’t believe the history of the place, the modern attraction will get you.

Okay, the history. In the 1940’s and 50’s some school kids went missing. The children’s remains were found in the Janitor’s basement of the school.

The current attraction is a throwback to this history. One starts by going threw a small outside yard, then in to the building. The outside seems to be there so as to help with the crowd. Once inside the building the real fun begins. The rooms on the first floor are set up like a real school with desk, kids killing themselves, and crazy teachers. After the first floor comes the downstairs. Caution, the stairs are small and steep.

The basement is set up to look like the Janitor left it, and a whole lot more. Even though it may seem small, it is can take a long time to go through. The hallways are narrow and wind from room to room. Some of the hallways are filled with lockers, cabinets, and other things At first they seem to connect the rooms as passages for the visitors. Eventually one realizes that they are a perfect place to be startled.

Actors jump out of everywhere. Everywhere. If it seems too small for a person to be hiding, then they are in there. The walls must be hollow and the rooms connected by hidden doors. Actors yelling at one in a room will be laughing at a few rooms down with no way of passing the group.

To add to the fear of the random actors is the theme. A schoolhouse. Everything is a school theme. From the shop room, to the medical lab, to the butcher in the cafeteria, all of the rooms fit the theme. No alien spaceship or random junkyard, but a well crafted series of rooms designed to look as if they would fit in a school. Every prop a perfect fit to its location. Unless it isn’t a prop but an actor waiting to jump out.

If one has a chance to go to only a single haunted attraction in Ohio… do not miss Dent Haunted Schoolhouse.

Quick tip: That’s not a dummy on the table… or is it?