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Urban Legends, Monsters, and Haunted Places in Ohio

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DS Duby is an avid traveler and writer with a keen interest in horror and urban legends.

Most haunted places in Ohio

Most haunted places in Ohio

Ohio's Haunted Places

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 article 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 number 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 intact. 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 worshipping in one of the abandoned homes that are located near the center of the park.

Stanford Road

Stanford Road

Stanford Road

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 its 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 states 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 sitting at the front of the bus, apparently smoking a cigarette.

They say every time the driver inhales his cigarette, it illuminates the bus so you can then see the ghosts of the children in the back screaming and writhing as if still in pain from the deadly accident.

First Aired: Nov. 18, 1986

First Aired: Nov. 18, 1986

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 three 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 his 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 three 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 his way to the Loveland police department.

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 leapt onto two legs and darted across the road in front of the car's headlights. The officer reported that a 3-foot-tall frog, weighing approximately 75 pounds, ran across the road, leapt 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 leapt into a crouching position.

The shocked and frightened officer proceeded to fire a shot into the creature, who in turn hobbled to the guardrail and jumped into the river. Later that same year four 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, are considered to be one of the most haunted places in Ohio and have 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.

A family picture of the front porch of Swift’s Mansion on Gore Orphanage road. There is no information on who the people were, or when this photo was taken.

A family picture of the front porch of Swift’s Mansion on Gore Orphanage road. There is no information on who the people were, or when this photo was taken.

During the Wilber family's time living in the swift mansion, all four of their children died within 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 was set afire in 1923 during a restoration attempt, though the culprit was never discovered.

Throughout the years, there have been numerous claims of strange occurrences at the site of the burnt mansion, from strange voices to creepy apparitions of tortured children. Many visitors to the area report hearing children either laughing or 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 sworn to never return to the place after experiencing the horrible taunts of disfigured children throughout the night.

The Ohio River is another apparent home of the Loveland Frogmen along with the Great Miami River. It was within the depths of the Ohio River that the legend of  "The Green Clawed Beast" was born in Evansville Indiana - August 21, 1955

The Ohio River is another apparent home of the Loveland Frogmen along with the Great Miami River. It was within the depths of the Ohio River that the legend of "The Green Clawed Beast" was born in Evansville Indiana - August 21, 1955

What Do You Believe?

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.

If there is anything you would care to add, please feel free to do so in the comments section below.


HD Grimm on April 08, 2018:

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah is what most people would say if they heard those sounds, saw those things, or even heard of those things, just wow if you were confronted by the loveland frogman, bessie, or even a melonhead. There is so much history in some places and they don't even have to be far from you, and I live in Ohio, so just wow.

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on April 01, 2018:

Wow! That’s a pretty crazy experience. I hope you figure out what’s going on around there. If you do I’d love to hear about it.

tera on April 01, 2018:

I swear on mine and my one year old daughters life I was on a back road in wintersville Ohio really close to fernwood state forest. I was with friend of mine around 11 at night in bout 2009 and we were not on any drugs ..a creature walked across the road from one side of the street to the other side into the woods stood straight up like a human walking I can't remember how tall maybe 5 foot looked about as tall as the car but we were so many feet away coming up on it it was no human nor animal ...still scares me to this day...also the other day I was telling a new friend of mine bout this and he said one day when he came into fernwood down the main hill it becomes flat he said him and friends saw a bunch of teepees he said they asked a man that lived in one of the two houses thate reside in this field what it was and he said he don't know it happens every couple months and the don't bother going into the field to find out I know my story is true so I font dare second guess what my friend saw but something is weird out there I think the forest was known for coal digging mayb one day this super I'll go bck and explore ..but I'm to scared I know what me and my friend saw

Jay johnson on November 09, 2017:

I live in South Lebanon Ohio 20 25 min away from Loveland Ohio but I spend a lot of my time in Loveland. I have heard of the frogman. I travel all over the state of Ohio I have been to helltown its creepy. I lived in Zanesville Ohio a couple years back and was walking home one night it was around 10:00 10:30pm it was a full moon and really bright and their was this one really creepy house no one lived in it and people have told me paranormal stuff about the old house. When I passed by the old house looked up I saw the window curtains move the I stopped and then a really scary face popped up peeking out the window I ran home that night and really weird stuff as been happening since I saw the face.

HUBBY BUBBY on November 04, 2017:

My sister told my about hell town last night and I couldn't get it out of my head. I have to visit it soon.

JC on November 01, 2017:

what did the monster look like

Rose A. Fowler Jansky on October 30, 2017:

Fantastic! I really like this site! xo

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on January 21, 2017:

lol that's awesome and very entertaining. Definitely worth subscribing to.

Tiffany Manning on October 11, 2016:

There is now a Haunted House based on the Helltown Legends in Middlefield Ohio at the Mexpo Expo called The Ohio Gorematory. If you like these legends you will LOVE this Haunt!!

Dale Neff Jr. on March 26, 2016:

I live in Chillicothe, Ohio and we got the Crybaby Bridge on Schrader Road. I heard the legend of it, but I like to check it out.

josh martini on May 19, 2015:

I have seen a bigfoot six different times in or around vincent ohio area. Even seen an adult with it was what i think was a child bigfoot.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on March 19, 2015:

I live in Summit County. This was an interesting hub on Ohio's urban legends. Very weird and a bit creepy. Voted up!

Kris Goosby from Paterson, NJ on October 09, 2014:

Hey hello there. Good noon. Came across. This site. While trying. To see. If there. Are any ghost stories/urban legends? In Ohio. Mostly from Toledo. I'm originally. From there. Right now. I currently. Live in new jersey. But plan. On moving. Back to Ohio.

DaveDavenport on December 05, 2013:

I have been to Gore Orphanage many times.. And I can say that the claims are very true. I have heard voices, laughs and cries. On top of that, we park towards the bottom of a hill on the road, and when we came back. There was little hand prints in the dirt on my car. Freaky stuff, I still go back though

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on January 28, 2013:

It has the same effect on me DDE thanks for reading and commenting

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 26, 2013:

Interesting and scary when I look at these kind of places a cold shiver runs through me.

surfer1969 on December 11, 2012:

There are so many different stories to write about on this stuff that you could write forever on this stuff and never run out of

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on December 10, 2012:

Thanks surfer1969

surfer1969 on December 04, 2012:

I loved this kind of stuff.A nice article.

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on October 20, 2012:

Thank you very much for your kind words Peternehemia, I will definitely be looking forward to reading your articles on Bali.

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on September 22, 2012:

Thank you Kate, I'm working on all 50 states but some are really difficult to research cause their legends are so vague. Thanks again for reading and commenting.

Kate McBride from Donegal Ireland on September 22, 2012:

These legends are great and some of them are so believable. I voted this hub up,interesting and awesome. It was a great read especially because it was so well-researched. Thanks for sharing it.

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on August 31, 2012:

Thank you Dominique, I haven't heard about Mudhouse Mansions before but you have definitely caught my attention with it. I guess I'll have to check into it. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Dominique L from Oregon on August 31, 2012:

Oh! Ooooh! Oh! You forgot Mudhouse Mansions in Fairfield County! I love that story. And the house is absolutely gorgeous! If I had the money I'd buy it and fix it up. It's one of the nicest houses I've ever seen.

Well done on the Hub, by the way. ;)

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on August 31, 2012:

Thank you very much rcrumple for reading my hub and the great comment!

Rich from Kentucky on August 31, 2012:

Very well presented material! I'm just south of Cincy in Lexington. Of course, Bobby Macky's is just across the river from Cincy, and of course, Louisville's got Waverly Hills, but I was completely unfamiliar with the Ohio legends. Great Job!

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on August 30, 2012:

Thanks JThomp for the comment and for reading my article.

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on August 30, 2012:

Thank you Bishopkmb, I definitely have a curiosity for the unknown as well, it seems there's a never ending supply of stories to hear and places to see I wish I had time for them all. Thanks again for reading and commenting!

bishopkmb from Maryland on August 30, 2012:

This was really interesting! Thank you for sharing! I love these types of stories and I have always wanted to take a ghost tour or go to a place that is "known" to be haunted. I know there are scary places that are around me but it's difficult to get people willing to go with me...

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on August 30, 2012:

Thank you very much Veronica, I've found that Ohio has a lot of legends and hauntings for such a peaceful state. Thank you again for the up votes and shares!

Veronica Roberts from Ohio, USA on August 30, 2012:

Well-written hub. I just had a conversation with my husband about haunted locations in Ohio, and wanting to visit them sometime.

Very cool! I'd heard of Hell, Michigan, but had no idea that there's a Helltown in Ohio!

Voted up, awesome, interesting, shared, & tweeted.

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on August 29, 2012:

Thanks Mhatter99 it's good to be back, I have a lot of reading to catch up on!

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on August 29, 2012:

Glad to see you back. Thanks for the intrigue,

DS Duby (author) from United States, Illinois on August 29, 2012:

Thank you Sharyn I think Helltown is really interesting so much mystery involved

Sharon Smith from Northeast Ohio USA on August 29, 2012:

This is cool Scott. I am in Ohio and have not heard of these places. And I'm not that far from any of them. Hmmmm, I may have to check this out when I get a whole bunch of people to go with me. I enjoyed reading, thanks!