hunting urban legendsMonday, November 30, 2015
Last week in an attempt to de-stress I took the day to do something I really enjoy and for some unknown reason haven't been doing lately - wander around a cemetery. I actually kind of thought that I had already visited all the large or unique cemeteries in the area but I managed to dig up a few new to me spots with interesting stories that I somehow missed the billion other times I searched.
My first stop was Alger Cemetery. My initial interest was because it has over 6,000 interments which means I can actually spend a little bit of time there instead of taking a half hour drive just to stop somewhere for a few minutes. A quick search led me to a few different websites featuring spooky stories about this particular cemetery. Apparently some time ago a group of kids broke into Paulick family crypt and burnt the artifacts and human remains inside. This angered the dead and now the cemetery is haunted. Stories of unusual sounds, strange lights, and moving statues are told over and over again.
The crypt and the cemetery weren't exactly as interesting as I was hoping, and I didn't experience anything spooky but I did find the grave of Nathan Alger. Mr. Alger had owned his property for less than a year when he died in 1813. He was buried on the homestead which his son later donated to the city. It became known as Alger Cemetery as it expanded and became the area burial ground. The most interesting part of that? Nathan Alger's headstone which reads "My friends I'm here, the first that's come. And in this place, for you there's room." It just seems to creepy yet so friendly, I love it! It was a really awesome find, especially considering I wasn't looking for it.
pictured above is the Paulick crypt
Next stop was Chestnut Grove Cemetery, which I found while researching Alger Cemetery. Someone had claimed the story about the Paulick crypt was way more spooky than anything happening over at old Chestnut Grove Cemetery. So, of course, I had to go searching for what happened at Old Chestnut Grove! The story with this place is that a long time ago a woman accused of witchcraft was brought to the cemetery and executed. The townsfolk didn't give her a grave marker but instead built a fence around a tree where she was buried.
The fence is no longer standing but you can see cement blocks where they once were. (The second photo below.) It's said that if you visit the witches grave "something bad" will happen to you. It doesn't sound all that ominous. "Something bad" Ooooh, scaaaaary. I'll tell you what though, my car broke down later that day which is kind of a funny coincidence. If I was someone who believed in all this I would definitely be freaking out a little bit.
Old Chestnut Grove Cemetery is a gorgeous cemetery with an interesting layout. It's on a hill above a river, nestled in the woods. It's fairly small but tucked away behind a fence, a little bit deeper in the woods, are more headstones. Surprisingly they were fairly new including one as recent as September of this year. I'm not really fond of newer sections in cemeteries, I feel like I'm intruding plus if we're being real here the new headstones are never as pretty. I was curious about the area though since I found a youtube video from some local paranormal researchers past the fence, and down a slight hill. The last photo above is what they referred to as a witches circle. Apparently if you stand in the middle you'll begin to feel as though you're being sucked down. I cautiously stepped into the middle knowing nothing would happen but secretly hoping something would. The people in the video "experienced" something but I guess if you look hard enough and want something bad enough you can convince yourself it's happening. The only thing that happened, that actually has nothing to do with the circle, was that when I looked up from my feet there was a massive buck just a few feet away. Honestly, probably one of the biggest deer I've ever seen in my life! We stared at each for a moment before he ran off.
Once again, as I write after every post involving them, I don't believe in ghosts. Am I still frightened of them? HECK YES. I know that it makes absolutely no sense at all to be afraid of something you don't actually believe in but it does make this kind of stuff super fun. There's no evidence to substantiate the claims of witches being executed, and a few other sites claimed to have found nothing about the Paulick crypt being burned but I still enjoy the stories. I don't quite know why but something about scaring yourself is fun. At both stops I thought "oh no big deal, I'm not afraid. This is just a normal place" but on the way back to the car I'd find myself walking a little faster than normal, looking around suspiciously. You notice that squirrels are super noisy little critters, and your own footsteps are rather loud as well. It's a rush.
When I first blogged about the girl in blue (my very first cemetery post on TDS, I was so nervous to share!) I mentioned that I've always had an interest in cemeteries, ghosts and all things macabre. That when I was young I'd pore over Haunted Ohio books, and day dream about visiting all the spooky places Ohio has but that as an adult when I actually had the chance to do these things I was too chicken. I feel like that has sort of shifted. I'm excited to research more urban legends in the area and to go check them out for myself. Hopefully it'll become kind of a regular thing here on the blog.