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Ohio Legends & Folklore

 

          

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Every town and neighborhood has folktales passed down from generation to generation. It may be that so-called haunted house or spooky old Mr. Winters. It may also be just weird experiences or the supernatural. The supernatural may be about that kid who had legendary speed (for a 10-year-old's fastball) that awed everyone in the neighborhood. What about the mysterious dog that warned of a fire or the unsung hero that saved a girl from drowning. Where are these people now? In our minds forever! Here, we urge you to share the "legends of the hood." See Contact Us to submit your tale.

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Buffalo Ridge I 
Buffalo Ridge II
Heart-beat Bridge 
Gore Orphanage I
Gore Orphanage II
Snake Road  
Frankenstein's Castle I
Frankenstein's Castle II
Frankenstein's Castle III
Crybaby Bridge  
Crybaby Bridge II
Black Maria  
Stivers Middle School  
Woodland Cemetery  
Woodland Cemetery II
Victoria Theatre  
The Old Lady in the Window  
Sandlot Miracle

Ohio Grass Man a.k.a. Big Foot

These legends are meant for your reading enjoyment only. We do not condone or encourage seeking your own experience with the legends shared here. In some cases, it may be considered trespassing to visit the location of some of these legends.


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Buffalo Ridge
Sent by Bryan 

You may or may not have heard of this short connecting road, it's where the infamous Charles Manson used to play as a kid.  It's also the site of the ruins of one of the most used Crematories in Cincinnati.  The road seems to have a very strange feel to it as you drive along, the night seems blacker and sometimes as you near Zion Rd you can almost see a shadowy smokestack, presumably from the old crematorium. 

If you happen to believe that you can sense ghosts, then take a ride past the small farm pond nearest to where the crematory used to be, the pond is never still and almost seems to be the source of the darkness. 

To get there is just a short trip down Bridgetown Rd, or up Harrison Ave, to Wesselman, you'll find the narrow road near Harrison, with a sign to lead you to the nearby park on Zion.  

People say things are in the woods there, and at a friend of mine's old house nearby, some people say that things have come out of his woods and into his small but deep pond.  Always ghostly things, the funny thing is in all of his years there he never once saw anything, or felt anything, and he believes in the supernatural himself. 

Getting to the crematory itself is easy once you find Buffalo Ridge, I recommend you park on Zion (the closest you can get since Buffalo Ridge is very narrow) and walk down Buffalo Ridge towards Wesselman, if you stay on the right side coming from Zion rd, you'll see a small "no dumping" sign, go straight back in the woods about 20 yards and you'll find yourself in the Crematorium.

Buffalo Ridge II

My name is Sarah and I wanted to write to you and talk about the Buffalo Ridge story.  I noticed that everyone seems to think that it's an abandoned crematorium but it's not.  Although less appealing but truthful, it's actually an abandoned Planetarium or Observatory.  I live by the windy road and have had my fair share of stupid high school trips driving up and down it at midnight wasting as much gas as possible.  It is a creepy road with crazy deer that are so used to the commotion that they just stand and watch the cars creep past, and of course Manson's driveway.  Actually I have my own story about that.  I got lost on the road with a friend because we thought that it cut over to Cleves, well it didn't.  We took the road and it just dead-ended without a circle or anything.  Well, we had to do one of those maneuvering jobs backing up, pulling forward, backing up.  I said, "how creepy would it be if I looked in the mirror and there was a serial killer there."  We laughed until a cop pulled us over.  Of course she said the usual what are you doing here, we said we got lost.  Turns out we were sitting in the driveway of none other than Charles Manson.  Then there's a house on the street that looks like the Texas Chainsaw house...         

Anyway, the whole "white truck/car" chasing me thing is easily explained as well.  There are about six park entrances on the whole road with white park trucks that search the road for those who like to explore outside their cars.          

I'm not a skeptic or anything, actually I enjoy these stories a lot, I just think that people shouldn't do stupid things to disrupt the lives of the people on this road.  Although if you drive it, there's some creepy things that occur on the road.

 
Lovin' the Legends,
 
        Sarah

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Heart-beat Bridge
Sent by Matt A. & Co.
This is part of the myth and folklore that surrounds Gore Orphanage. The orphanage burned down when a boy knocked over a lantern in the middle of the night when going outside to pee. About 100 orphans died in the fire. The foundation of the orphanage can still be found. On a small bridge in the desolate valley that leads back to the old orphanage, it is said that if you turn your car engine off and get out, you can hear the orphans cry and the fire crackle in the still of the night. Also, once you return to your car and try to start it - it won't. You have to push the vehicle off the bridge before the engine will crank over. About 20 years ago a local college professor took his class to dispel the myth. The first time they all got so scared after hearing the little screams and fire crackling noises they ran. By coincidence, their car wouldn't start on the bridge. There was a simple scientific explanation for the origin of the noise but I won't share it. Let the mystery of Heart-beat Bridge and Gore Orphanage live on!

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Gore Orphanage I
Sent by Tina
My ex grew up by that area, so I got the tour, and story, from his friends as well. They insist that the bridge you walk over, is where many satanic rites and animal mutilations occur.And that in order for the site to be viewed in all its glory, you have to go on Halloween night. (of course) The bridge didn't get me, but somewhere over there is a deserted hospital, off of gore orphanage road, in the woods,  your not supposed to go in, we did. I've never had so many goose bumps in my life. I'm not an easily spooked person, but all the way back to the car, and on the way out, I felt like we were being chased out. This like hurried fear in my tummy. We all felt we should rush out of there. Its a 5 star experience for Halloween, and comes highly recommended !!

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Gore Orphanage II
Sent by Rachel
i never got to actually see the foundation that's left from the gore orphanage or swift manor, whatever, but i did almost make it down the road that its on. a couple years ago me my cousins and my friends decided to go to gore orphanage so we waited till dark and started our trip. with some direction help from a local we make it to was what then was called just gore rd. not gore orphanage rd. so we park our cars because we couldn't drive through the road closed sign. to our right was a large white house to the left were woods. i dint remember there being very many other houses if any by where we were. just the creepy huge white one, and it was also on a dead end. but anyways we climb over the road closed sign and begin our journey. we eventually had to climb over another road closed sign and then reached the incline in the road once we walked a little farther we saw corn Fields which was when we figured we had passed the spot in the woods that was where we should have went (by the sandstone rock) for some reason we decided to keep walking a little bit because we wanted to see what else was around there. suddenly a red truck was headed in our direction. when we saw it coming we jumped into the wood to the right of us. we knew the truck would return because the road was closed of so we kept walking the same way and decided when it came back we would jump in the ditch to our left. that eventually happened after the physco red truck almost ran us over! i don't really remember what happened next....just running very fast back to the car! so i went home told my mom and the next day she drove past the road to see if the truck was anywhere around and surely enough she saw a red truck with a VERY creepy old man inside. the man had what looked like possibly a rifle. so as a warning for future adventurers someone is guarding the area and does not want people back there, and i don't think he would think twice about running you over and as for the gun hopefully he was just going hunting...

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Snake Road
Sent by JLstorm
A good urban legend that ran around Brookville High School was the legend of snake road.
Snake road is a winding, twisting road on the outskirts of Brookville, located off of Diamond Mill road.

The legend says that in a huge white barn on that road, a satanic cult worships there on Halloween to bring out the evil spirits and cleans their souls of all good in the world. Along with this, if you are driving along Snake road on Halloween around midnight a hearse with fiery read headlights will chase you until you lose track of where you are going. If this is true, I have no clue. I do however remember back in the 80's on a farm house being raided by Trotwood police for satanic mutilations of animals along that road. So take it for what it might be.
 
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Frankenstein's Castle I 
Sent by JT
During the civil war, the Tower was a look out post. Now, it has been said it is haunted by the ghost of the civil war officers that used the tower. There has also been other strange happening that have been reported there, a light flickering inside the window on top of the tower, blood markings from murders over the years. A large pentagram on the floor marked with animal blood. Not sure of the exact location, but I do know it overlooks a golf course in Dayton.

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Frankenstein's Castle II
Sent by Julie
I am a native of Dayton, Ohio and I happened to come across your story on Frankenstein's Castle, which is located close to my home. I have a correction for you.  I know the real story and I have encountered the haunting myself.  The story you have posted on your webpage is incorrect.  The castle wasn't used in the Civil War.  It became haunted in the 60's when three teenagers were caught in a storm and ran to the structure for cover.  Two of the teens were electrocuted and their images are burnt onto the internal walls. 

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Frankenstein's Castle III
Sent by Ani
Frankenstein's Castle is in Oakwood on Patterson Road . There were no murder's there. However, back in the 70's 21 cats were found skinned and hanging inside the tower with a pentagram on the ground. That is why a lot of people call it the witch's tower and not Frankenstein's castle.

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Crybaby Bridge
Sent by Justin
I've read and heard of several variations of this. The one that sticks to my mind is one that we have actually tried on Halloween before.

On the back roads of Middletown is a bridge that spans over a small stream.
During an after prom a bunch of kids went to that location and were having a party. While they were intoxicated one of the girls fell off the side of the bridge and hung herself on a scarf that was tied to her neck. The other kids left. while she was left behind still crying for help.

It's been said that if you visit the bridge and shut off the car, then blow your horn, you can hear her gurgle for air and hear her cries for help.

on the occasion that we went it was myself and three friends. We stopped, shut off the engine and blew. Nothing at first. We blew again, and very faintly you could hear a snob. When you have three other people with you you think they are playing. But we all asked each other, and none of us did anything. Shawn and myself got out, and walked to the edge of the bridge to investigate. Scott blew the horn again, and this time we could tell it was a sobbing noise from the side of the bridge. Needless to say we busted ass out of there fast.
 
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Crybaby Bridge II

Sent by Anonomous
I have a different story of a "Crybaby Bridge". Me and about 6 of my friends decided that on Friday the 13th of this year, 2005, we would go out to the "crybaby bridge" in Yellowsprings. I can’t remember the name of the road, but there are three different freaky things that happened on this night. First we drove out to the bridge, which sat way back off the road, you could barely see it, Its a long bridge, and at the end of it, all of the tree leaves came in and met at the middle, so when we would get across we would have to almost walk in a single file, we never made it that far. We all were completely silent while standing on the bridge, when suddenly we all heard what seemed like 10 dogs just barking uncontrollably. We took off running and didn’t look back. What’s so scary is if you go to the library to the Non-fictional haunted stories of Ohio, in one of the books is a story about a pack of dogs that haunt Yellowsprings, this story I found out later. 

After we all jumped in our cars we drove only a few minutes down this small narrow street to what people call "The Manson House". I know legend of this, a lot of people say he lived in this house when he was real young, or that he just came here with friends when he was a teenager just to hang out and cause trouble. The house is big and very much boarded up. One of the people that was with me (a dude) thinks he is so tough, He decided to take a big rock, walk around to the back of the house down the slope where the basement door is, and slam the rock over and over again on the lock, it eventually broke and the door opened. Inside it smelt really bad, and spider webs everywhere, the steps were blocked off by boards. We decided to try and break through the front door, that we were unsuccessful with, but we found that the big huge board blocking a window and half of the wall in front of the house was a little looser and we eventually broke it off, we all go inside. There were small trinkets with weird pictures (like a half alligator half beaver pic) carved into them sitting on the fire place, the whole time we were in this house we felt as if someone was watching us. It was 3 stories high, we went up all three, and on our way back down, one of the steps broke!! The steps are very narrow and very like straight up, like climbing a ladder. We finally left there after scaring ourselves enough. 

The third thing on this night was what I thought was a myth, until I saw it myself!! My friends said that last year on this day (Friday the 13th), they came in contact with "The Man in the Van". I laughed when I heard it, but they drove down this long road in Yellowsprings on our way away from "Crybaby Bridge" and "Manson House", we came up to a van parked in front of this very spooky old farm house, the upstairs window showed there was a light on. We drove up along side the van looking out our cars trying to see if we could see anything spooky, but it was to dark, we even tried to point our flashlights at it, but we saw nothing. Well, my "dude" friend that will do anything wanted to get out and see for himself up-close, in order for him to get out of the car I had to get out of the front seat (two door blazer), so I went up to the van with him. We both stuck our hands and face up to the window to look inside, and YES!!! There really is a man in the van!!! He looked very old and it looked like he had a hunchback. I remember seeing beer cans and the boxes they came in laying everywhere!! He looked like he was angry at us, I screamed my guts out and ran back to the car, we drove off and that was the end of out Friday the 13th night.

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Black Maria at USAF Museum
Sent by Dark Storm
She's a helicopter that served in the Vietnam War. You can see the bullet holes patched, all over her. Sometimes you can still see the pilot, sitting in the seat, moving the stick, just trying to bring her home.   

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Stivers Middle School
Sent by Dark Storm
In the 1930s the basement was the fitness area and contained a swimming pool. A teacher I'll call Mrs. Tyler was found mysteriously drowned in the pool one Monday. The pool was drained, boarded over, and a classroom was built on top of it. There, footsteps have been heard, through the locked door.

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Woodland Cemetery
Sent by Dark Storm
The statue of a sleeping boy and his dog are a popular attraction. Visitors leave coins, toys, flowers, and trinkets at the base of the statue. Mysteriously, no one knows who Johnny was or why he is pictured with his dog. I've been unable to find his death certificate. It is said that Johnny and his dog sometimes leave their pedestal and walk around the grounds. A man who lives near the cemetery saw a young child and a big dog walking around one night after the cemetery's gates were closed. Thinking that a child must be lost, he called in the police. The officers and their tracking dogs found nothing.

I've actually seen this statue when i got lost one day. An erie feeling came over me and the hair on the back of my neck stood straight up.

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Woodland Cemetery II
Sent by Ani
The little boy's grave in Woodland is a boy named Johnny Morehouse. He drowned and his dog jumped in the river to save him but was unsuccessful and both died.
 

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Victoria Theatre
Sent by Dark Storm
"Miss Victoria" is the spirit of an actress who vanished from her dressing room. You can smell her rose perfume, hear the rustling of her taffeta petticoats, and feel her brush by you on the stairs.

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The Old Lady in the Window
Sent by Kathy in Avon Lake
When I grew up, there were lots of kids that lived on my street and throughout the neighborhood. It was a great time. We always avoided the house at the end of the street though! It was always dark, except for the little front window that looked like it might overlook a kitchen sink or something. The house was surrounded by woods on all sides except for the narrow front yard. Every now and then, a spooky old lady (poor thing) appeared in the window at night. Some of the older kids told terrible stories about how little kids have disappeared and the wicked old lady was believed to be guilty but the police could never catch her. One night (we were allowed out until the street lights came on around 9 o-clock in the summertime) we tired of catching fire-flies and decided to sneak up and get a glimpse of the old-lady in the window. Steven, somewhat of the bully-type, dared Kevin to walk up, stand in front of the window and say bloody-Mary 100 times. Well, call it peer pressure because he stood there and whispered it just loud enough for us to hear (we were hiding by some nearby trees and shrubs). LOW AND BEHOLD THE OLD LADY NOT ONLY PEERED THROUGH THE WINDOW BUT YELLED OUT THE SCREEN - "I WILL GET YOU..." I don't know how she finished because we all ran right out of our clothes and straight home! ...It must be about 25 years later. My Mom still lives in the house we all grew up in. At the end of the street, the little old-ladies house is vacant I believe. Anyway, last summer, I took the kids to visit and stay for an extended weekend. They went out and played with the neighborhood kids that they know from previous long-stays in the summer. When they came home one night (after the street lights came on) I couldn't believe my ears! They actually told me about the story of the "Old Lady in the Window." And what a doowsy it was!

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Sandlot Miracle 
Sent by Kevin P. in Streetsboro 
    Every Summer day all the kids in the neighborhood went to the playground after breakfast. It was a sizzling July day in 1975 that the miracle occurred. 
    The park had a Summer program where supervisors coordinated games and crafts. It was a great way to lose yourself as a kid all day, everyday between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner. On this particular day, a bunch of kids assembled onto the ball field and began the cruel process of picking teams. 
    Only this time, the picking of teams was especially demoralizing. Somehow, someway, it was decided that the best of the best would play the worst of the worst in a game of kick ball. And to the dismay of all those deemed to be the worst, the park supervisor allowed the activity to continue. The tone for the "losers" team was to get ready for the worst day in a child’s life. 
    The game began and out of a stroke of luck, the "losers" were the first to kick. In an incredible sequence of absurdity, the bases were loaded. Little Paul got on when his impish punt back to the pitchers mound got trapped between the pitchers legs. Then, Tommy kicked the ball practically straight up into the air and two of the boys in the field collided dropping the ball. Follies continued and runs trickled in. A couple of outs were recorded, the lineup kicked around once and the bases were loaded for Bobby, the new kid. The pitch was especially fast and Bobby connected squarely sending it further than any ball could go, over the wooden fence in Centerfield. 
    The faces on the "losers" began to shine as bright as the mid-day sun. The route was on. This would be their day! They eventually had to take the field but the score was 12-0. In no time and with no sensible explanation, the "dream-team" went down 1-2-3! As they trodded back to the field, their heads were down, they were yelling at each other and some of them quit and went home for the day. 
    The shellacking continued for one more inning before the "dream-team," faces reddened, walked away to do other things – humiliated and defeated soundly. The "winners" graciously accepted victory and celebrated amongst themselves. 
    It was a day that taught me anything can happen in life! For I was never again a "loser" even when I lost.

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Ohio Grass Man a.k.a. Big Foot

I’m sure there’s a certain demographic excited about the title of this column and a certain other that has already seen the grass man, thus their visions.

In any case, legend has it that the Ohio Grass Man is in the Bigfoot family. Sightings have occurred most often in the densely wooded areas of Eastern Ohio’s Appalachian foothills. A popular hangout for the mysterious bipedal primate is Salt Fork State Park.

So if you are walking in the Eastern Ohio woods and smell something foul, hear growling or branches breaking, waste no time and stop—drop—and roll. Seriously, get your camera ready because next you’ll see a 300 pound, 6 - 8 foot, dark shaggy-haired, gorilla-looking creature with deep-set red eyes. Be careful though, he may throw large rocks at you. After you snap the only photograph ever taken with clarity and undisputable proof of what stands before you, walk quickly away as the Ohio Grass Man (a.k.a. Eastern Bigfoot) may pursue you. No need to run though because he moves like a robot. 

As you make your getaway, steer clear of anything that looks like domes made of forest material as there may be more Sasquatch nearby. It is known that the Grass Man does not party alone and may have several friends within shrieking distance.

Ohio is second only to California in Bigfoot activity. And with official Bigfoot Field Research Organizations dedicated to this mysterious creature, it is absolutely amazing that no skeletal remains, carcass, or capture has ever been proven in the 500+ years non-native Americans have been poking through the area.

I understand that there are a number of good people that claimed to have seen this secretive animal. I am quite certain if they read this; they won’t be pleased with my commentary. Therefore, I will go on record and say; In the frequent deep-woods hiking I do all around Ohio, if I come across Bigfoot and do not get a crystal clear picture, if not video of it, I will declare to all who will listen that I was wrong and apologize for belittling such a phenomenon even if it costs me my reputation and makes me the target of commentary such as I’ve written here.

That said, I am a fan of great imagination and wonder where we’d be as a species if it weren’t for tall-tales.

By Little Hand

 

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