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Helltown, Ohio – Creepy Facts, Legends and Myths

Whether you’re talking about the paranormal or just plain odd, Ohio is easily the strangest state in the US.

There are ten times more hauntings, more cry baby bridges, and more urban myths across the state the state of Ohio than any other state, but among all creepy or weird places in Ohio there is one that stands out to such a degree that you would think the weirdness in the rest of the state was actually emanating from it. Welcome to Helltown Ohio….

Helltown is a specific area within the Boston Townships that borders the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. In fact it is one of the original Boston communities; originally named Boston Village.

It found its new name as a result of the mass eminent domain seizure of homes in the region during the mid-1970s. The large number of vacant homes and other derelict buildings, a few disappearances and word spread that Helltown was home to a satanic cult.

There are so many urban myths, folklore (or fakelore), and paranormal locations in Helltown Ohio that its difficult to know where to begin, so we’ll start with the myths.

Satanists in Helltown Ohio

The belief that Satanists inhabited the Helltown may have begun with the abandoned buildings, but it didn’t end there. The story grew until the Satanists were said to be sacrificing animals by night in the local Presbyterian church.

The church itself doesn’t help refute the story; it’s a creepy old building built facing a fork in the road, and exactly the sort of place children make up stories about.

However; there has never been any real evidence of Satanists in Helltown, and while pretty much everybody tells the story, most are well aware that this is just a myth.

The Helltown Mutants

As if Satanists weren’t bad enough; the Helltown Ohio myths take a definite turn for the weird when you start hearing about the Helltown mutants.

There are two origin stories to the myth; one tells that a chemical plant exploded and another tells that there was a massive illegal chemical dump in the Cuyahoga River just upstream from the area known as Helltown.

These stories lead into a massive 30ft python (which you would think somebody might have caught on film by now) to a single hiker caught in the chemicals that mutated in to a sort of half human super powered monster. The “Peninsula Python”, a gigantic snake that wanders Helltown’s woods for food of the human sort is said to live in the river, while the mutant hiker is said to live in a small abandoned house in the woods.

The truth behind these is that there has never been a chemical plant in the area and the chemical spill rumour may have come from the 1985 discovery of toxic waste being dumped. However; the dump was discovered when a hiker in the park became ill after touching something coming out of some rusted drums at the abandoned Krejci Dump.

At least that part of the Helltown urban myths is true, but also true is that the hiker later died in a nearby hospital.

The Helltown Cry Baby Bridge

The Helltown Cry Baby bridge is a different matter. Although many have reported the sounds of a baby crying, the most notable occurrences on the cry baby bridge are of a physical sort.

Spooky bridge II by sahk99

Reportedly, if you leave your car, you’ll return to it to find it surrounded by children’s footprints and sometimes handprints on the window. More importantly, if you leave your car unlocked with the keys in the ignition you’ll return to find it running.

There aren’t many details to the origin story of Helltown Cry Baby Bridge, just that a child was thrown from its edge and died below, which is most often the case with all cry baby bridges.

The Highway to Hell and the End of the World

“The Highway to Hell” is in fact the nickname for a specific stretch of Stanford Road in Helltown Ohio where the road enters a steep decline on a wooded hill. The road also narrows significantly at the entrance of the woods creating a sharp drop-off, and at the end of the road (not visible from the top) is a barricade known as “The End of the World.”

The Highway to Hell

Today the portion of “The Highway to Hell” where it enters the woods is closed to vehicle traffic. However; it wasn’t always the case. Helltown legend has it that the road was once a popular target for cut throats and thieves.

Given the lack of visibility, the steep inclines and twists in the road causing drivers to slow considerably the myth was that cut throats would wait in the woods and highjack those driving by. The ghosts of their victims are said to be heard moaning from the surrounding woods throughout Helltown.

The School Bus in Helltown Ohio

The Helltown Highway to Hell myth certainly didn’t diminish when one day in the mid-1980s an abandoned school bus was discovered along the road. While there are certainly numerous reasonable possibilities for how the school bus got there you have to admit it has a certain creepiness factor to it, and this is Helltown afterall.

This was made worse when residents of the area began reporting that they had seen a man presumably living in the bus, which by that time was scheduled for removal by the county.

The authorities put the bus under observation to deter vagrancy, but each night the shadow of a man smoking a cigarette in the bus would appear and the bus would be found empty when the posted officers investigated.

Mother of Sorrows Cemetery

Despite that “Mother of Sorrows” is the English translation of the cemetery’s proper name, Mater Dolorosa Cemetery has become the standard name by which it’s called in most tales of Helltown Ohio.

The cemetery is about as eerie a cemetery as you’ll find. Entirely hidden within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park just east of Peninsula Mother of Sorrows Cemetery has been abandoned for the last fifty years and is now just a scattering of twenty or so tombstones in the forest.

Quaker Cemetery

It’s said that the Helltown Satanists we explained earlier are buried on these grounds in unmarked graves, but the more notable spirits are those of Michael Raleigh who’s face is said to appear in his tombstone when it rains or in the reflections of moonlight, and Thomas Cody whose spirit wanders the woods of Helltown at night and can be sometimes seen peering out at night time visitors.

The Cabin in the Woods in Helltown Ohio

Depending on who you ask there are two abandoned structures in the Helltown woods that play the part of the infamous “cabin in the woods”.

The story of the cabin in the woods tells that somewhere in the forests of Helltown there is an abandoned residence that when approached a heavy fog will set in sealing it off from the outside world and making it impossible to navigate the terrain.

Some claim that the cabin is a specific house not far from the Highway to Hell. However this house has recently been restored and is currently the residence of a family of four.

The Cabin in the Woods

The other structure pointed to as the Helltown cabin in the woods is in fact the barn shown in the image. The barn of course pulls in the Satanic cult myths from above, but also includes from time to time stories of red eyes that appear in the fog.

The fog itself is actually a reality and although it ups the Helltown creepy factor by about a thousand degrees, it’s in fact perfectly natural.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is home to one major low lying river, about a dozen smaller offshoot streams and creeks, and more ponds than you could count. Under very common circumstances the Helltown forests are covered in fogs put off by these waterways.

Spectral Hearses, Headless Train Conductors, and Slaughterhouses

Believe it or not we’ve only covered a handful of the urban myths saturating Helltown. We could probably write another five pages on the lesser myths, but a couple do stand out enough to warrant a mention.

There have been a number of visitors to Helltown that reported being chased by a hearse, and as it turns out there was once a resident of Helltown that owned a hearse, but I’m sure he didn’t appreciate the constant attention when people started accusing him of chasing them in it.

A set of rail tracks runs through Cuyahoga Valley National Park and its said that where the tracks cross the Cuyahoga river the headless phantom of an early 1900s train conductor can be seen by the water beside the bridge. There’s really no back story here; just a headless train conductor hanging out by the river in Helltown.

Lastly; the same barn mentioned above is often included in another legend that tells of a slaughterhouse where numerous versions of “bad things” happened. Locals telling these myths will also tell of the stench that seems to come and go and the whispering voices that accompany it.

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Paranormal

Unknown Presence Watches Family Through Window

This odd photo, made its way around the internet. It seems to show a family inside goofing around and making faces at one another. The thing is, they didn’t seem to notice something standing by the window, watching their every move. Many believe this is some kind of demonic type presence seen. Perhaps it was nothing more than someone wearing a mask, but one can never be too sure…as it appears to be quite different indeed.

This is what they had to say about it:

“Growing up, my dad’s house held many spooky, unexplainable nights. We would hear loud, heavy footsteps running up the stairs when we were home alone. It also sounded like a person – or thing – was dragging a rake up the walls as it sprinted up the stairs. But there was one room in the house where – sometimes in photographs – it looked like a man was watching us from the windows. The photos below were taken in the same room and six months apart. Each shows a different window in the room.”

Unknown Presence Watches Family Through Window

The only known information about the photo is…about the person who posted it. They are from Amelia, Ohio and her name is Kara Siler.

Did Kara share evidence of something supernatural? Perhaps so, after reading what she had to say. This thing may even be some kind of poltergeist of some sort. It is believed that this particular type of ghost, is able to forcefully manipulate objects around them to move. One can guess, some kind of energy was used to accomplish this.

Whatever this thing is by the window, it seemed to genuinely be interested in this family for some reason. If this was a person, then maybe they were stalking them for a reason. Could this all be a staged setup? This is also very possible but just speculation at this point.

These distorted faces seem to contort differently in each photo. This happened over the course of six months. Sometimes certain people seem to attract spiritual energies more so than others for ever different reason.

However, if this wasn’t a someone and a something, then it would be a good documentation of something otherworldly.

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Paranormal TV shows to watch on National Paranormal Day

So if you didn’t know, today the 3rd May is National Paranormal day. A time to celebrate all things paranormal.

How will you be celebrating?

Explore a haunted house? Camp out in a graveyard? Have a spooky barbecue or even a spooky party?

Or if you are just planning on relaxing at home and watching TV, I thought I would suggestion some of the best paranormal TV shows you can watch to get in the mood of the day.

Ghost Adventures

Ghost Adventures is without doubt the most popular ghost hunting TV show out there at the moment. Broadcast on Travel Channel it has been going since 2008.  Zak Bagans, Aaron Goodwin and the gang have around 200 episodes spanning over 18 seasons, there is plenty to keep you entertained.

Most Haunted

Most Haunted is the most famous British ghost hunting TV show. First airing in 2002 on Living TV, it ended in 2010 but was revived in 2014 and is now on Really TV and still draws in the viewers and fans. There is over 200 episodes for you to watch Yvette Fielding, Karl Beattie and the team explore some of the most haunted places.

Paranormal Lockdown

Paranormal Lockdown is hosted by ex Ghost Adventures member Nick Groff. He is accompanied by fellow paranormal researcher Katrina Wiedman who is formerly of Paranormal State. They currently have three seasons where they confine themselves to 72 straight hours locked in at some the most haunted locations.

Ghost Hunters

Running from 2004 to 2016 on Syfy Channel, Ghost Hunters was a very popular TV show. Hosted by paranormal investigators Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, they were joined by other team members from The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) and investigated a lot of locations spanning over 200 episodes. There was also a spin-off show call Ghost Hunters International.

Paranormal Witness

Paranormal Witness was a paranormal documentary series telling of true stories and experiences of all things paranormal and supernatural which was brought to life through recreations. First airing on 2011 on syfy channel it lasted 3 seasons. It was brought back for another 2 seasons on 2015 but renamed as Paranormal Witness: True Terror Series.

I hope that gives you some ideas on what you can watch to help celebrate National Paranormal Day.

Happy Paranormal Day!

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Lucky Child Spirit Steps Across Japanese Room

Known as Zashiki-warashi, these ghostly entities appear at some point around certain people. Also known as yokai or supernatural spirits, they are considered not threatening but instead a sign or symbol of luck and good fortune in Japanese culture.

Japanese man allegedly caught the lucky child ghost Zashikiwarashi on video

A video was taken by one Japanese man, who allegedly captured one of these very spirits. The video however appears to be too good. This has led many to speculate that this is another fake. Likely this spirit is a young child, being recorded from a screen. Their reflection, gives the illusion of transparency as they walk across the room.

It is believed that if someone offends a Zashiki-warashi, then they will bring forth misfortune to your life. They are best described as have longer hair, that hangs down around their face. They have the appearance of a young child, around 6 years old. At most, they might be as old as 15 years, but it is more common to see a younger one by appearance.

Either someone will see a male or female looking spirit such as this. Their hairstyles can vary with them having a bob haircut or very short cropped hair. The male spirits, tend to have darker clothes on while the females have lighter clothes.

Tales of both a boy and girl spirit such as these, have been reported to share territory within the very same location. Stories of them resembling a black beastly figure have been mentioned as well. Others have seen them resembling that of a warrior.

Mostly origins of these spirits, have been mentioned in the Tohoku area, particularly within Iwate Prefecture. One mustn’t be afraid of such a spirit, as they are not deemed to be evil. Their name in translation means “parlor child” in Japanese.

For those who have basked in the presence of such an entity, they likely will have good fortune in their life and those around them. Seeing a Zashiki-warashi can be a fortuitous sign.

Sometimes these spirits like to tease people with their mischievous ways. This is reminiscent of brownies or fairies in folklore, as they have been known to do the same. These spirits of luck are a mystery and people hope to prove their existence. Maybe this video actually captured one of these on video.

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