Urban Legends, Monsters, and Haunted Places in Ohio
Good ole Ohio, a rather peaceful state known for the buckeye tree, home to America's first traffic light, the first pro baseball team and of course Helltown.... and zombie apocalypse emergency drills.... and dogmen, the tortured children of Gore Orphanage, frogmen.... ok, maybe it's not so peaceful after all.
This edition of Urban Legends, Monsters And Haunted Places will focus on these less than cheerful qualities of the state and discover what's lurking in the backwoods, rivers and deserted buildings of "The Heart Of It All" Ohio.
Hell Town - Summit County, Ohio
Every year the township of Boston, Ohio is flooded with calls and tourists wanting information and directions to the dreaded Helltown. There are many legends involving Helltown, from Government conspiracies to satanic worship.
The village of Boston, was founded in 1806 and flourished until 1974 when a National Park was created in the area by the order of President Gerald Ford.
At the end of 1974 the park service bought a large amount of houses in the area claiming they would be torn down to expand the park but instead the area was simply abandoned with the houses boarded up but otherwise left in tact. Stories immediately began to circulate that the government was trying to cover up a dangerous chemical spill.
In 1985 a hiker in the park became severely ill after touching a strange substance leaking from a misplaced toxic waste containment drum from the abandoned Krejci Dump located right outside of the state park.
The conspiracy rumors are far from being the only legends from this strange place, satanists are said to have held large ceremonies at the abandoned church performing animal sacrifices and other strange rituals. The Church's fascia boards had adorned upside down crosses until sometime between 2000 and 2005 when the boards were removed and destroyed.
These satanists are also said to practice their worshiping in one of the abandoned homes that is located near the center of the park.
Stanford Road - Helltown Ohio
As I mentioned previously Boston, Ohio has many legends concerning Helltown and its surrounding area. Stanford Road also known as the Highway to Hell, has a few legends of it's own that I couldn't help but mention.
Stanford Road is a winding road with a very steep incline, after reaching the top of the hill there is a very sudden drop off on the other side coming to a dead end at the bottom. One of the legends state that if you drive this road and come to the top at midnight something will take control of your car and force you to crash.
For many years there was an abandoned bus setting along the side of Stanford Road. According to its legend it was full of children on an overnight field trip when it met with the same fate as many other motorists traveling this road at night. Many locals and tourists alike have claimed to see a ghostly figure setting at the front of the bus apparently smoking a cigarette.
They say every-time the driver inhales from his cigarette it illuminates the bus where you can then see the ghosts of the children in the back screaming and writhing as if still in pain from the deadly accident.
Ohio Frogman - Loveland, Ohio
The legends of the Loveland Frogmen were first documented in May of 1955. It was around 3:30 A.M. when a man was traveling down a quiet stretch of road that runs parallel to the Miami River on the outskirts of Loveland, Ohio.
According to reports, what the witness had seen that night was 3 figures huddled together on the side of the road. Not knowing whether the individuals were dangerous or just stranded motorists the man pulled over to the curb to take in the situation.
What the man witnessed after pulling the car over was sure to have changed the mans life forever. The characters were described as being between 3-4 feet tall, with leathery green skin and webbed hands and feet. The faces of these beings were said to have a very frog-like appearance, hence the name frogman.
To make the encounter just a little bit stranger the witness claims the larger of the 3 beings held up some sort of wand or stick over its head, which then began to shower the frogmen in falling sparks. It was at this point the man made the decision to be on his way, and quickly made way to the Loveland police department.
Legend of the Frogman
Do you believe in th Loveland Frogmen?
The whole encounter could easily be passed off as a drug or alcohol induced hallucination if it wasn't for several more encounters by different individuals over a span of several decades. On March 3, 1972 an anonymous police officer claims to have spotted a creature matching the same description.
The officer claimed to have seen a large animal standing along the side of the road. Apparently the approaching car scared the creature enough that it leaped onto two legs and darted across the road in front of the cars headlights.The officer reported that a 3 foot tall frog, weighing approximately 75 pounds, ran across the road, leaped over the guardrail and then dove into the Miami River.
Two weeks later another Police officer in the area, Mark Mathews, had a similar encounter with the creature. While traveling down that same stretch of road Mathews' saw what appeared to be an animal carcass stretched along the roadside. As the officer exited his car to attempt to remove the creature from the road it suddenly leaped into a crouching position.
The shocked and frightened officer the proceeded to fire a shot into the creature, who in turn hobbled to the guardrail and jumped into the river. Later that same year 4 more frogmen were reported making a quick retreat into the Miami River. The creatures are thought to possibly be one and the same as the Green Clawed Beast in Indiana and the Thetis Lake Monster.
Gore Orphanage - Vermilion, Ohio
The burnt remains of the Gore Orphanage, given its nickname for its location on Gore Road, is considered to be one of the most haunted places in Ohio, and has quite an unusual history leading up to that point. The orphanage was an elaborate mansion built by Joseph Swift, a wealthy farmer, in 1842.
Legends claim that Swift used the mansion as an orphanage to earn extra money and was seemingly well known for his short temper and cruel treatment of the children, often leading to their death. Swift soon lost his fortune to a poor railroad investment, forcing him to sell the mansion to a New Yorker named Nicholas Wilber. Wilber was the Spiritualist group leader known for hosting seances, often contacting the deceased children of Gore Orphanage.
During the Wilber families time living in the swift mansion all four of their children died, in a seven day period,from a diphtheria epidemic. Local legends claim the children were buried on the Wilber's property to keep them close.
In 1901 Nicholas Wilber died and the home became a hotspot for local haunting legends with people often sneaking into the mansion to get a glimpse of the supernatural. The mansion set afire in 1923 during a restoration attempt though the culprit was never discovered.
Throughout the years there have been numerous claims of strange occurances at the siteof the burnt mansion from strange voices to creepy apparitions of tortured children. Many visitors to the area report to hear children either laughing of crying within the confines of the burnt remains.
Teenagers have been known to attempt to spend the night in the remaining structure, though many have swore to never return to the place after experiencing the horrible taunts of disfigured children throughout the night.
I've yet to find a state yet that wasn't overflowing with tales of ghosts and monsters. Our world was built on these types of stories from the earliest days of our creation. The human mind craves the unknown, it's in our hearts to believe there is more out there than what has been "proven" by science and technology.
Though we may never prove the existence of the supernatural and monsters, I truly doubt that the legends and stories will come to an end any time soon, and maybe someday hardcore proof will finally be found that no one can dispute.
This is the Ohio Edition of Urban Legends, Monsters And Haunted Places, if there is anything you would care to add please feel free to do so in the comments section below.