August 23, 2021
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Well well well, here we are. Home state time. Creepy Ohio is where we are heading today! We're probably going to skip over the big boys like the Ohio State reformatory and places like that because well… You know about them. There will be plenty of good stuff though we promise!
Let's start off in good ol… Dayton? Sure Dayton it is! We're going to visit the Victoria Theatre. Fun fact about this place...The Victoria is one of the oldest continually operated theaters on the continent! It cost $225,000 to build and opened as the Turner opera house in 1866. If you're wondering, that's just under 4 million in 2021 money. According to an article, newspapers at the time called it the best theater west of Philadelphia! Impressive! General admission was $1. The best seats in the house were between $10 and $12. Arson was suspected of having caused an all-consuming fire May 16, 1869, which destroyed the theater at a loss of $500,000, about 10 million today, of which insurance covered only $128,000, 2.5 million, so that sucks pretty bad. The rebuild took a few years and the theater reopened in 1871. The opera house resumed operations as "The Music Hall". In 1885 it became "The Grand Opera House". On September 18, 1899, it became the "Victoria Opera House", and in 1903, it became the Victoria Theatre, two years after the death of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. Smooth sailing from here on out right? Wrong? 1913 brought about the Great Dayton Flood. The Dayton flood of March 1913 was caused by a series of severe winter rain storms that hit the Midwest in late March. Within three days, 8–11 inches (200–280 mm For all you civilized people out there) of rain fell throughout the Great Miami River watershed on already saturated soil, resulting in more than 90 percent runoff. The river and its tributaries overflowed. The existing levees failed, and downtown Dayton was flooded up to 20 feet (6.1 m) deep. This flood is still the flood of record for the Great Miami River watershed. The volume of water that passed through the river channel during this storm equaled the monthly flow over Niagara Falls. Daaaaaaaang! The ground floor of the theater was severely damaged. The theater's interior was rebuilt and remodeled. Ok now that disaster is out of the way…. Wait… What's that? There's more? Jeez… On January 16, 1918, fire struck again and gutted portions of the building. Due to WW1 the rebuild was delayed due to a materials shortage. After the Armistice, The Victoria saw extensive interior remodeling and in 1919 re-opened as "The Victory Theatre" – a name commemorating the American war effort and its result. For many years after this, the theater had an amazing run and saw many of the top performers of the days come through. Al Jolson, The Marx Brothers, Helen Hayes, Fannie Brice, George M. Cohan, Lynn Fontayne, Gertrude Lawrence, Alfred Lunt, and some schhlub named Harry Houdini were just some of the big names to grace the theater! In the thirties the theatre was fitted to also play talking pictures! Here's another fun tidbit of trivia, chainsaw was one of the pioneers of talking pictures! He started in the first talkie ever, it was called, "I Can't Believe This, What is this voodoo?" It was not good. In fact, don’t look it up on YouTube, it's really really bad. Over the years the change in times and the way the city of Dayton was headed, threatened to close the theater. In 1975 it was slated for demolition, in favor of a proposed parking lot. A public outcry for the theater's preservation that year helped to earn the building its listing in the National Register of Historic Places and, thus, it escaped demolition. However, portions of the building were in poor or fading condition. All the while, it continued to be visited extensively by traveling theater companies.The theatre had a network of access tunnels stretching out beneath the city's streets for several blocks. It was said that, during Vaudeville times, the tunnels allowed circus animals to be unloaded from railroad cars blocks away from the theatre, and held underground until showtime. As late as 1979, much of the tunnel network was accessible to employees, although some sections were blocked off by city steam pipes. In 1978, the theatre was greatly benefited by the donation of a cache of equipment and stage draperies from National Cash Register's (NCR) auditorium, which had been slated for demolition. NCR also donated its historic five-rank Estay pipe organ to the Victory, which was renovated and installed by aficionados. In 1986, Virginia Kettering donated $7 million to fund a downtown arts center, conditioning her donation on the requirement that the center include the Victory Theater and be located within the same one-block area.The 1989 rebuilding of the theater was extensive. It involved razing the interior commercial space within the forward, Main Street-facing section of the building as well as the stage house, while carefully preserving and restoring the 1866–71 facade and the 1919 auditorium. At the same time, the interior auditorium portion of the structure was completely renovated. All of the commercial space at street level was reclaimed for a grand, new lobby. The result was an extensively-new Victoria Theatre (as it was now so renamed) designed expressly for the performing arts. The auditorium retained its original appearance with completely restored plaster work, drapery, marble work, gilding, and fresco detailing. Additionally, the house received state-of-the-art upgrading to its wiring, lighting, and sound systems and now accommodated infrared sound transmitters for headphone use.
The current theater accommodates 1,154, with 635 seats in the orchestra, and 519 in the balcony. The proscenium measures 37'7" wide by 29'0" high by 39'3" deep. A full-sized orchestra pit lies just below the stage lip. Ten dressing rooms, accommodating up to 18 people, are off-stage left, in the basement and at stage level.
You know we love to get the history of these places and this one is pretty cool. So what about creepy stuff? Well let's check it out! First off according to a dayton.com article, there's the story of a touring actress in the early 1900s who went to her dressing room to change for the next scene, and never came out of the room. No trace of her was ever found, though fewer and fewer actors would use that dressing room, with reports that some would look into the mirror and see her face staring back again. The same article talks about how in the 1950s, a man committed suicide in the theater by wedging a knife into the seat in front of him and throwing himself upon it. When the curtains around the left exit door are pulled, some people claim to see his face. Staff members through the years have said they heard strange noises like the rustling of satin or taffeta, or suddenly smelled the scent of roses in the air. Others are said to have seen the ghost of the Victoria’s founder when they’re alone in the building.
Diane Schoeffler-Warren, Victoria spokeswoman, told us that many of the historic theater’s long-time volunteers and staff like to blame these strange occurrences on “Miss Vicki,” who was not a real person.
Staff, patrons and performers have had a boatload of experiences with the spirits who visit or reside here.
Project Paranormal Investigations caught some hard evidence that greatly increases the known number of spirits who adore this theatre.
Apparently, the spirits here are a talkative group. They caught a boatload of EVP’s of many spirits. One spirit once worked there as an usher, some crew members, actors and actresses, a director and a well dressed man with a dirty hat who watches people who come into the auditorium.
One EVP possibly suggests that the spirit of Vicki’s killer is grounded here. “They will never catch me!”
This well-dressed man could be the spirit of the Victoria’s founder keeping a close eye on the living and still enjoying his theer.
Spirits freely gave up their names: Isaac, Jacob, Alice, Jennifer Price, Bill and Miss Josephine Swartz who was a well-known ballet instructor.
One male spirit pleaded for help.
One gruff spirit didn’t believe he was dead, and asked the investigator. “Do you want to fight?” This fiesta spirit said that the year was 2000.
One male spirit keeps the spirit of Vicky company. Hopefully he is a friend and her protector.
There was a negative, evil one there as well, reported by the other spirits. This spirit said that he was sent to keep another spirit stuck here. That's…. Nuts...ooh boy.
So that's fun stuff, haunted theaters are always good. Where should we head now?
How about a lunatic asylum that's now part of a college… We know that seems crazy but just run with us. The Ridges, a building formerly known as the Athens Lunatic Asylum, has been a constant source of ghost stories and sightings for years. The Ridges, was a Kirkbride Plan mental hospital operated in Athens, Ohio, from 1874 until 1993. After a period of disuse the property was redeveloped by the state of Ohio. Today, The Ridges are a part of Ohio University and house the Kennedy Museum of Art as well as an auditorium and many offices, classrooms, and storage facilities. The original design included an administration building with two wings, one that would house the males and the other for females. The building itself was 853 feet long, 60 feet wide, and built with red bricks fired from clay dug on-site. Built onto the back were a laundry room and boiler house. Seven cottages were also constructed to house even more patients. There was room to house 572 patients in the main building, almost double of what Kirkbride had recommended, leading to overcrowding and conflicts between the patients.The administrative section, located between the two resident wings, included an entrance hall, offices, a reception room on the first floor, the superintendent’s residence on the second floor, and quarters for other officers and physicians on the 3rd and 4th floors. A large high ceiling amusement hall filled the 2nd and 3rd floors, and a chapel was included on the 4th floor. Behind and beneath the building’s public and private spaces were the heating and mechanical systems, kitchens, cellars, storerooms, and workspaces. The site, which was first comprised of 141 acres, would eventually grow to 1,019 acres, including cultivated, wooded, and pasture land. The grounds were designed by Herman Haerlin of Cincinnati and would incorporate landscaped hills and trees, decorative lakes, a spring, and a creek with a waterfall. Not only would the patients enjoy the beautiful landscape, but citizens also enjoyed the extensive grounds. Though the facility would never be fully self-sustaining, over the years, the grounds would include livestock, farm fields and gardens, an orchard, greenhouses, a dairy, a receiving hospital, a Tubercular Ward, a physical plant to generate steam heat, and even a carriage shop in the earlier years. The hospital, first called the Athens Lunatic Asylum, officially began operations on January 9, 1874. Within two years, it was renamed the Athens Hospital for the Insane. Over the years, its name would be changed many times to the Athens State Hospital, the Southeastern Ohio Mental Health Center, the Athens Mental Health Center, the Athens Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center, and the Athens Mental Health and Developmental Center. During its operation, the hospital provided services to a variety of patients, including Civil War veterans, children, the elderly, the homeless, rebellious teenagers being taught a lesson by their parents, and violent criminals suffering from various mental and physical disabilities. With diagnoses ranging from the slightest distress to severely mentally ill, these patients were provided various forms of care, many of which have been discredited today. The asylum was best known for its practice of lobotomy, but it was also known to have practiced hydrotherapy, electroshock, restraint, and psychotropic drugs, many of which have been found to be harmful today. More interesting are the causes listed for admission, including epilepsy, menopause, alcohol addiction, and tuberculosis. General “ill health” also accounted for many admissions, which included in the first three years of operation 39 men and 44 women. For the female patients hospitalized during these first three years of the asylum’s operation, the three leading causes of insanity are recorded as “puerperal condition” (relating to childbirth), “change of life,” and “menstrual derangements.” According to an 1876 report, the leading cause of insanity among male patients was masturbation. The second most common cause of insanity was listed as intemperance (alcohol). Depending upon their condition, a patient’s treatment could range from full care to amazing freedom. Over the years, numerous buildings were added, including a farm office, a new amusement hall, additional wards and residences, a laundry building, power plant, garages, stables, mechanics shops, a firehouse, therapy rooms, and dozens of others. By the 1950s, the hospital was using 78 buildings and was treating 1,800 patients. In the 1960s, the total square footage of the facility was recorded at 660,888 square feet. At this time, its population peaked at nearly 2,000 patients, over three times its capacity. However, the number of patients would begin to decline for the next several decades as de-institutionalization accelerated. As the number of people at the Asylum declined, the buildings and wards were abandoned one by one. Comprised of three graveyards, burials began soon after the institution’s opening as there were deceased patients who were unclaimed by their families. Until 1943 the burials were headed only by stones with numbers, with the names of the dead known only in recorded ledgers. Only one register exists today, which contains the names of 1,700 of the over 2,000 burials. In 1972 the last patients were buried in the asylum cemetery. Today the cemeteries continue to be maintained by the Ohio Department of Mental Health.
In 1977, Athens Asylum made news when it housed multiple personality rapist Billy Milligan. In the highly publicized court case, Milligan was found to have committed several felonies, including armed robbery, kidnapping, and three rapes on the Ohio State University campus. In preparing his defense, psychologists diagnosed Milligan with multiple personality disorder, from which the doctors said he had suffered from early childhood. He was the first person diagnosed with multiple personality disorder to raise such a defense and the first acquitted of a major crime for this reason. Milligan was then sent to a series of state-run mental hospitals, including Athens. While at these hospitals, Milligan reported having ten different personalities. Later 14 more personalities were said to have been discovered. After a decade, Milligan was discharged. He died of cancer at a nursing home in Columbus, Ohio, on December 12, 2014, at 59. The next year, the hospital made the news again when a patient named Margaret Schilling disappeared on December 1, 1978. It wasn’t until January 12, 1979, 42 days later that her body was discovered by a maintenance worker in a locked long-abandoned ward once used for patients with infectious illnesses. Though tests showed that she died of heart failure, she was found completely naked with her clothing neatly folded next to her body. More interesting is the permanent stain that her body left behind. Clearly, an imprint of her hair and body can still be seen on the floor, even though numerous attempts have been made to remove it. By 1981 the hospital housed fewer than 300 patients, numerous buildings stood abandoned, and over 300 acres were transferred to Ohio University. In 1988, the facilities and grounds (excluding the cemeteries) were deeded from the Department of Mental Health to Ohio University.
The Athens Center officially closed in 1993, and the remaining patients transferred to another facility. The property stood vacant for several years before restoration began. The name of the property was changed to the “Ridges” and in 2001 renovation work was completed on the main building, known as Lin Hall. Today it houses music, geology, biotechnology offices, storage facilities, and the Kennedy Museum of Art. Over the years, other hospital buildings were modeled and used by the University, although many others still sit abandoned. wow… Crazy stuff. The info and the history cave from a great article at legends of America.com.
When the University took over the property, some students began to spend time at the Ridges. This is when many reports of paranormal activity began to surface. This includes hearing disembodied screams in the middle of the night, electric anomalies, rattling door handles and vanishing spectral images. Some of these events occurred in the area where Margaret Schilling’s remains were found and, were thus, attributed to her. Her spirit is said to have appeared staring down from the window of the room where her lifeless body was discovered. Her apparition has been seen attempting to escape. Others have seen her wander in various parts of the building at night.
Other former patients are also said to remain in residence as well. Visitors have reported seeing strange figures standing in the empty wings of the former hospital. Many have heard the disembodied voices of those in agony and warning those that wish to listen to them. You may also hear the squeaks of gurneys that are no longer there. Some folks see strange lights and hear screams echoing through the walls. More frightening, many have come across the spirits of patients in the basement, who remain shackled there in their afterlife. Sadly, these may be the many spirits who died or suffered at the hands of staff in the asylum.
The cemetery is also said to be haunted by shadowy people and strange lights. In one area, the linear shapes of the graves form a circle, rumored to be a witches’ meeting point.
Let's switch it up for a minute and talk about Moody's favorite things … The cryptids! So what kind of cryptids can one expect to find in Ohio? Well we are gonna let ya know!
Let's start with the Loveland Frogmen. Stories started popping out in the 50's, tales that differed slightly from one another, about a massive frog causing all manner of mischief. Most of the stories start the same but there seem to be three major variations. In one story, the motorist is heading out of the Branch Hill neighborhood when he shines his car’s headlights on the huge figures. The trio stood on their hind legs and just stood in the middle of the road. The man honks his horn. The figures perk up. They twist their necks around. A gasp!!!! All three look at the driver with leathery skin and frog faces.
Version number 3: same bridge, the motorist pulls over, he gets out of his car and spots the creatures. All three are conversing animatedly. The driver calls out to them. One of the Loveland Frogman gets up, points his finger at his friends in the universal gesture of “put a pin in it,” turns to the bothersome intruder, “can’t you see we’re holding a conversation? How rude,” holds out a wand over its heads, and flicks the Harry Potter approved apparatus… a blazing fire of sparks cannons out of the wand. The motorist flees the scene.
The other version goes like this: the motorist spots the creatures under the Loveland bridge, one of many going over the Little Miami river – he honks his horn. The creatures shot out from under the bridge, one lands on his hood and croaks… the driver passes out. On 3 March 1972 at 1:00 am, the Loveland police department goose marched into the madness. Officer Ray Shockey was gliding his car on Riverside Drive near the Totes boot factory and the Little Miami River when a suspicious animal ran across the road in front of his vehicle. He hit his brakes. Hit the steering wheel and looked on. The animal, now fully illuminated in his patrol car’s headlights, blinked at Shockey… who was having a meltdown true to his last name; Shockey was in shock. Framed in his car’s lamp stood the legendary Loveland Frogman. Shockey reported the sighting and stated, “it’s crouched like a frog.” The creature then climbed over the guardrail and jumped into the river.
Two weeks after that wild incident, a second Loveland police officer, Mark Matthews, did Shockey a solid and reported seeing an unidentified animal, similar in height and facets, near the same road. And you know what… He shot the damn thing! That's right, killed it! Unfortunately Matthews didn't actually shoot a frogman…nope. According to Matthews, it was “a large iguana about 3 or 3.5 feet long”, and he didn’t immediately pinpoint the creature’s ID because it was missing its tail… not a freaking Loveland Frogman.
“It either got loose or was released when it grew too large"
In August 2016, local Cincinnati TV stations reported that "a night of fun turned into a chilling tale of horror" when two teenagers playing Pokémon Go between Loveland Madeira Road and Lake Isabella claimed to see a giant frog near the lake on August 3 that "stood up and walked on its hind legs". It was later revealed to be a local student from Archbishop Moeller High School in a homemade frog costume.
Real or not? We may never know! You don't believe in the Frogmen you say well how about the grass man!
Often referred to as the Eastern Bigfoot, the Grassman is reportedly a 7-foot tall, 300-pound hominid.
According to famed cryptozoologist, Loren Coleman, the Ohio Grassmen have a more human-like appearance and are more human-looking and are shorter than the classic “Bigfoot”. The Grassman is often seen around farms and especially eating tall grasses such as wheat, which is what its main diet is, and where its name comes from. In addition to a different diet, the Grassman also seems much more sociable than Bigfoot. Many Grassman sightings include more than one Grassman, and it is reported that mothers have been seen with babies. The first sightings of the Grassman date all the way to 1869, however, one of the most prominent sightings was in 1978. The grandchildren of Minerva residents Evelyn and Howe Clayton, along with their friends, ran inside screaming about a hairy monster they saw in the gravel pit outside. When the couple went out to investigate, they saw the Grassman, just as the children had described, and it quickly ran off. The family saw the creature a few more times, and claimed that it would leave the smell of rotten eggs wherever it passed through, though it never seemed to steal anything.
Yet another Bigfoot-type creature lurks in Ohio, this time near Minerva. The Minerva Monster was first spotted by the Cayton family in the late 1970s when they followed the sound of their barking dogs to a pit on their property where they disposed of trash. Inside the pit, they found a massive, 7-foot tall, 300-pound creature, covered in fur, staring at them as they approached. The creature returned to the family’s property so often that it was witnessed by several other friends and family members and even investigated by the sheriff. During the creature’s final appearance at the property, two creatures were spotted after the home was pelted with several rocks while the family was inside. We suspect this may have been chainsaw.
Although sightings continued in nearby counties, none were as detailed as the Cayton families, whose stories remained unchanged for decades.
How about the Charles Mills Lake Monster! This mysterious cryptid has only been documented one time. In March of 1959, teenagers Denny Patterson, Wayne Armstrong, and Michael Lane were running amok near the shores of Charles Mills Lake when they saw something that terrified them.
Out of the water came a 7-foot tall, armless, humanoid. The boys noted that the creature had glowing green eyes and massive webbed feet. After the boys reported what they had seen, authorities searched the area, finding footprints that they thought resembled tracks that scuba and snorkel diving fins would leave behind.
Around 20 miles north of the Loveland Frogman’s territory lies Crosswick. Although the monster hasn’t been spotted in nearly 200 years, the legend of the Crosswick Monster is still told in the area. According to reports, two young boys were playing on the banks of a small creek when they were startled by a massive, snake-like creature. The monster sprouted arms and snatched one of the boys, dragging him nearly 100 yards to a massive sycamore tree that was assumed to be its den.
The Crosswick monster dropped the child just outside a hole in the tree’s bank. The 26-foot diameter tree was eventually chopped through by dozens of men from the town and when the serpent-creature reappeared, the men noted that it was between 12-14 feet tall. The monster escaped the men, crashing through a fence before darting into a cavern.
The full description read, “It is described as being 30 to 40 feet long, 12 to 14 feet tall when erect, 16 inches in diameter, and legs 4 feet long. It is covered with scales like a lizard’s, of black and white color with large yellow spots. Its head is about 16 inches wide, with a long forked tongue, and the mouth inside deep red.”
Although the Crosswick Monster was never seen again, it is remembered as one of the most believable cryptid experiences in Ohio, as more than 60 men claimed to have witnessed it.
Described as a werewolf-like creature, the Dogman has reportedly been seen all throughout Ohio. Eyewitnesses describe the Dogman creatures as between 4-6 feet tall, often very muscular, and with pink or gray skin. It is sometimes seen on all fours or walking bipedally.
One of the most recent accounts was in 2016 in Allen County. The Dogman is typically associated with Michigan, but in the past decade, several sightings have taken place throughout Ohio, an understandable migration.
Ok so let's get back to creepy places!
How about a haunted hotel? The Buxton inn fits the bill! Buxton Inn was originally called the Tavern and it was built in 1812 by Orrin Granger. Today, the Buxton Inn is the oldest continuously running inn in Granville, Ohio. Aside from being an inn, Buxton also served as Granville’s first post office and a stagecoach stop. The Buxton became very popular and was patronized by no less than President William Harrison himself. After Orrin Granger died, ownership of the inn changed. Although it went through several owners, it never closed down because of its popularity. In 1829, more additions were constructed for the building. In the 1850s, the inn was purchased by James W. Dilley and it was renamed to “The Dilley House”. Major Buxton and his wife acquired the property in 1865. They attracted many guests and the inn continued to thrive under their ownership. After the death of the Buxtons, retired opera singer Ethel Bounell took over the inn. The current owners of the inn are Orville and Audrey Orr. The Buxton Inn’s long history lives on with the ghosts frequently seen there, the majority of which are the ghosts of its former owners. The first ghost ever reported at the hotel was Orrin Granger in the 1920’s who built the hotel in 1812.
During the 70’s, workers of the inn saw a man dressed in blue and since then they have refused to enter the inn after dark. Major Buxton (the man who the inn was named after) is also said to haunt the inn. He has been spotted in several locations around the inn.
Ethel “Bonnie” Bounell, the former innkeeper, is said to have died in room number nine. Guests who have stayed in the room have reported seeing a lady dressed in blue, Bonnie’s favourite color. Shadowy figures have been seen in rooms number seven and nine and even in the basement. Guests have also felt the presence of a ghostly cat jumping on their beds. Other reports include heavy doors slamming shut and opening of their own accord, with no apparent breeze or other valid explanation. People have also reported hearing footsteps behind them in empty hallways, and their names being called out.
Definitely spooky… anyone want to take a trip to hell? No? How about just helltown? Well that is where we're headed!
The village known as “Helltown” is purportedly teeming with crybaby bridges, spooked school buses, mass human sacrifice scenes, and a mutant python for good measure. The extreme folklore surrounding the region formerly known as Boston, Ohio is ironic since the only verifiable legend about the town is that it is deserted for a very frighteningly tragic reason. Founded in 1806, Boston Village’s original claim to fame was its standing as the oldest village in Summit County. Boston’s relatively uneventful life took a turn for the worse in 1974, when it became the unlucky victim of nationwide anxiety over the country’s disappearing forestland. Using the laws of eminent domain, President Gerald Ford signed a bill that gave the federal government’s National Park Service jurisdiction to expropriate land for the establishment of National Parks. The NPS decided that Boston Township would be the new home for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and began buying the properties of its longtime residents. The sentiment among citizens who had no choice but to leave their homes was expressed in a message scribbled on the wall of one of the houses: “Now we know how the Indians felt.” The empty homes were boarded up and adorned with U.S. “No Trespassing” signs. The government quickly fell behind on its plan to create the park and the village sat neglected. The remaining buildings, remnants of a “vanished” town, have created a fertile soil for the innumerable urban legends that have popped up over the years.
The hellish aura of the area only continued to grow when the NPS acquired Krejci Dump in 1985. Rangers visiting the site became ill and covered in rashes. It was soon discovered the dump was highly polluted with toxic chemicals improperly disposed of. The dump became a Superfund site and as of 2015 the NPS is wrapping up restoration of the area.
Helltown is home to six or seven separate legends, which has led this area in Boston Township in Ohio to be grouped as one large haunted site. The overgrowth creates a dark, almost cursed place, where ghosts, cults, Satanists, and even a wild-eyed serial killer were said to lurk. Helltown is the nickname given to the northern part of Summit County. The areas most associated with the legends are Boston Township and Boston Village, as well as portions of Sagamore Hills. First settled all the way back in 1806, Boston stands as the oldest village in Summit County. The construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal brought loads of people to the region in the mid-1820s. The area then began to flourish when a railroad station was constructed in the town. The station was named ‘Boston Mills,’ and the name stuck.
Loads of legends come out of the Boston Cemetery, which sits deep in the middle of the area known as Helltown, including tales of a ghost who sits on a bench and stares out into space, forlorn, waiting for his family to come back for him. The only souls not forced to leave the area were the dead, now stuck in this abandoned ghost town, looking for their families which have left so long ago.
There are two roads through Helltown, both labeled as ‘dead ends’ even though you can watch them continue on into the distance. Legend says that local Satanic cults put up these signs to keep people out of their secret hideouts. Stanford Road, one of the main roads in Helltown, is sometimes referred to as The End of the World, or Highway to Hell. It is a twisting, dangerous road with a very sharp incline, so steep that when a car crests the top of the hill, it looks as if it is driving off a cliff. Some stories indicate that the road itself is evil, and is known to take possession of your vehicle, causing fatal accidents. It is said that if you park your car at the end of Stanford Road, you may meet your gruesome fate at the hands of the strange people who still patrol the area, protecting it.
One rumor persists through the ages that the town’s residents were actually evacuated due to a large chemical spill, and the National Park was just a cover-up. The chemical spills were said to have caused mutations in local children, and even created the Peninsula Python, a gigantic snake that slithers the area.
An account given by a local paranormal researcher who explored the area truly sums up the overall vibe of Helltown – “I have experienced much in my explorations of there, some of which I don’t care to remember and some of which I can never hope to explain.
Helltown is not truly abandoned. It does have residents, but they are a strange and frightening breed. I have gone exploring the woods and cemetery of the area in the late night and wee morning hours, and have returned to my car to find strange people looking into its car windows. This has happened twice––once at 2:00 AM and once at 4:30 AM. Both times, the people fled as soon as they saw me approaching the car before I had a chance to speak to them. Both times, they were dressed in all black.
A part of me is glad that I didn’t get to converse with them because I have heard too many tales about the ways of Hell Town residents. Supposedly, they are all Satanists and worship at the town’s two evil churches. I have been to both of these churches, however not inside them. One, the Mother of Sorrows, has upside-down crosses hanging from it.
I have also been to the Boston Cemetery, where a ghost has been seen sitting on a bench. This cemetery is as dark a place as I have ever been. The graves date back to the early 1800s. I didn’t see the ghost when I visited, but I did hear strange growls and howls from the depths of the graveyard. This was more than enough to convince me to leave, as the prospect of getting attacked by some strange boneyard dwelling beast was not appealing, to say the least.”
Welllllll we might not be heading there any time soon!
Ok we got one more place for ya. The Bellaire house. The history of Bellaire House stretches back to 1904, when it was constructed by Jacob Heatherington, who also owned a coal mine that ran directly beneath the property on Belmont Street.
When the original owner died, he left the land and the five-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath house to his daughter Eliza and son Edwin.
But not long after coming into her inheritance, Eliza Heatherington collapsed dead on the dining room floor in the house.
Legend has it that her grieving brother became obsessed with the idea of communicating with his dearly departed sister from beyond and invited mediums from across the country to his home for that purpose. Paranormal researchers believe that it was Edwin Heatherington who, through his experiments with the occult, unwittingly opened nearly a dozen different portals to the 'other side' throughout the house, allowing malevolent spirits to cross over.
Research suggests that the plot of land on which the house sits also conceals Native American burial caves, and it has been intimated, though not confirmed, that prior to the Civil War the site was part of the Underground Railroad used by fugitive slaves.
The Bellaire House sits on what is known as a Leyline. This means there is a consistent wellspring of paranormal activity that goes all through the house. A virtual spring of ghosts coming back from the dead.
Kristin Lee, the current owner of the house was affected by two floods which left her family homeless. After they moved into the home they saw “odd” things. Kristin Lee blamed everything except for the paranormal until the point when it was impossible to deny. She describes the history and her time there on the home's website.
"The house gained a mysterious reputation even during the years when it was sitting abandoned. The neighbors in the area claimed to see people roaming around in the house or peeking out of the windows. This was when the house was locked and no one was living there. There were some who thought that the kids were up to something nifty, but when I moved in there, it didn’t take long for its history to resurface because that’s when paranormal activities in the Bellaire House began to manifest in more violent ways. Jacob Heatherington built the Bellaire House in the vicinity of sacred Shawnee Native American burial caves. That makes the house 172 years old. Those caves were right behind the Bellaire House and the Ohio River is right in the front. Physics proves that water is a portal because it is always moving and the magnetic pull of the water creates a powerhouse of energy where spirits can cut through earthbound gravity, gain energy to port back and forth from their dimension to ours. The craziest part is that the portal sits right under the Bellaire House.
This area is still known as the Native American Internment Area. The thing is that the Native Americans who lived in this area used to bury their leaders, chieftain, shamans, healers, and witchdoctors in these caves. They used to hold their ceremonies in this area and practiced magic. In 1754 the French & Indian War rampaged through Bellaire. The native massacres by the hands of French soldiers were large. Blood still stains the grounds of the entire town of Bellaire. The residual energy of the slaughter still seeps inside the soil today.
She goes on to say:
Although Joe Estes & Associates cleaned the inhuman spirits, the house is always active to this day despite all the cleansing and Catholic rituals.
The ley line over which the Bellaire House is built is one of the alignments of ancient monuments and prehistoric sites in straight lines. It is believed by some that it indicates paths of positive energy inherent in the Earth. The Bellaire House is on the tip of one of the most ancient ley lines in the world! This could possibly be the reason why the Native Americans chose the land that the Bellaire House sits on because it is supercharged with such a profound energy source that it caused a direct connection to the great spirit, the old world gods, and intergalactic beings!
Research revealed that when Jacob Heatherington, who was a millionaire and used to run the city, died he left the coal mine company to his son Alex Heatherington, who was assisted by his daughter Lyde.
Unfortunately, the business started to fail due to Alex hearing and seeing things that were not there. He also began to have epileptic seizures and declared that "demons were trying to kill him." Back then people believed that he was haunted and cursed because of the coal mine explosions.
According to paranormal investigators, there are as many as 11 portals throughout the house. The most interesting thing is that no matter how hard paranormal investigators try, these portals refuse to stay closed. Edwin and Lyde were also known to have servants. Mostly, all of them were named Mary. There was one particular Mary that had a child inside of the Bellaire House and it was rumored that the child had the bloodline that was needed to allow an entity inside of the Bellaire House to grow stronger to do Lyde’s bidding. There are village rumors that a servant’s child was lured to the attic and plunged to his death out of the window.
In March 1940, there was another explosion in the mines. This time in Coal Mine #2, which was commonly referred to as Willow Grove Mine at the time. It was about twenty minutes from Bellaire. The explosion trapped 180 men in the mine and took the lives of at least fifty men. Also, it left more than a hundred men burned and severely wounded. Although many members of the community tried to rescue the trapped men, only a few men could be saved. It’s said that the rescue attempt continued for several days to no avail. This explosion at Coal Mine #2 further contributed to the haunting of the Bellaire House..
So what exactly happened to Kristen Lee and her family in that house. One day, Lee said she was home when she heard the sound of footsteps coming from the attic. She assumed it was her boyfriend, Jeff, whom she thought was working upstairs.
When sometime later she heard Jeff come through the front door downstairs, Kristen was shocked, but figured that the noise she heard from the attic was just the old house settling. A few weeks later, Kristen was napping on the couch when she was awakened by a presence next to her. She opened her eyes to discover a man's greyish figure in a cap.
She screamed in terror and demanded to know who he was. The man said nothing in response, got up from the couch, made his way to the foyer and vanished into thin air.
Lee noted that her boyfriend and son were asleep at the time, but the family dog appeared panic-stricken. She also pointed out that it was so cold in the room she could see her breath.
Lee says that was her first startling encounter with the supernatural inside the house, which she would later dub ‘a portal to hell.’
In the following months, Lee and her family would allegedly experience strange voices and footsteps, objects moving on their own and ghostly figures popping up out of nowhere. It came to a point where Lee sent her youngest son to stay with her parents and her oldest with his father because she feared for their safety inside the house.
Things finally came to a head one evening when Lee says the family dog was hurled against a bedroom wall by an invisible force, which at the same time pinned her down, rendering her motionless.
After that incident, Lee and her family promptly decided to move and rent out the house, but her tenants did not linger there either.
One family that briefly called Bellaire House their home allegedly lost six of eight family members while residing at 1699 Belmont Street.
Kristen Lee then tried to offload the house by selling it to the town of Bellaire for a dollar, but there were no takers, as the locals were well aware of its bad reputation.
Out of options she decided to turn the house into a spot where people could come and ghost hunt. And that is where it sits today. Maybe that'll be our next trip!
That's since creepy Ohio for you! Again we left out some of the more well known stuff and didn't have room to include every cool thing so we may be back for round two of creepy Ohio say since point as well! There are tons of cool creepy places in Ohio. Check them out!