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.
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.”
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.
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 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.
Scientists attempting to open portal to a parallel universe
Does a mysterious mirror world lurk in the shadows of perceived reality? It could explain a lot
Could 2019 be the year humans open the first portal to a shadowy dimension which mirrors our own world?
Scientists in Oak Ridge National Laboratory in eastern Tennessee hope so, and have completed building equipment they are to test this summer which may allow us the first glimpse of a parallel universe which could be identical in many ways to our own, with mirror particles, mirror planets and possibly even mirror life.
That is according to Leah Broussard, the physicist behind the project, who described the attempt to reveal a hidden shadow world as “pretty wacky” in an interview with NBC last week.
The discovery of a concealed mirror world may sound like science fiction from the Stranger Things series, but it has been repeatedly suggested by physicists as a tempting means of explaining anomalous results. However, as yet, hard evidence such a realm exists has refused to manifest itself.
One set of anomalous results, and the ones which inspired the research, date back to the 1990s, when particle physicists were measuring the time it took for neutron particles to break down into protons once they were removed from an atom’s nucleus.
Two separate experiments saw the neutrons broke down at differing rates, instead of decaying and becoming protons at exactly the same rate, as was expected.
In one, the free neutrons were captured by magnetic fields and herded into laboratory bottle traps, and in the other they were detected by the subsequent appearance of proton particles from a nuclear reactor stream.
Those particles fired out in the stream from the nuclear reactor lived on average for 14 minutes and 48 seconds – nine seconds longer than those from the bottle traps.
It may sound like a small difference, but it has troubled scientists.
But the existence of a mirror world offers a credible explanation: That there are two separate neutron lifetimes, and it could be that around 1 per cent of neutrons could be crossing the divide between our reality and the mirror world before crossing back and then emitting a detectable proton.
The new experiment will fire a beam of neutrons at an impenetrable wall. On the other side of the wall, a neutron detector will be set up, which normally would expect to detect nothing.
But if the detector does register the presence of neutrons, the theory is that they may have gone through the wall by “oscillating” into the mirror world – becoming mirror neutrons – and reappearing in this universe, and more specifically the lab in Tennessee.
Haunted Eddy Brothers House: Séances and Bizarre Phenomena
In 1874, uncanny events were happening in the home of William and Horatio Eddy, two middle-aged illiterate brothers, and their sister, Mary.
According to newspaper and Spiritualist accounts in 1874, mysterious incidents were happening in a small Vermont farmhouse near Chittenden where the Eddy’s lived. They resided in a two-story building that was reported to be infested with supernatural entities.
People came from all over the world to experience them in the house that Spiritualists dubbed the “Spirit Capital of the Universe.” Prominent attorney Henry Steel Olcott was a skeptic until he experienced the paranormal incidents.
The Eddy Brothers’ Early Years
William and Horatio were descended from a long line of psychics. Mary Bradbury, a distant relative, was convicted of witchcraft in Salem in 1692. Their grandmother had second sight and often went into trances and spoke to entities that no one else saw.
Their mother, Julia, was known for scaring neighbors with predictions and visions although her husband, Zepaniah, condemned her powers as the work of the Devil. She learned to hide her gifts from the cruel and abusive man.
When the couple had children, strange poundings began shaking the house, disembodied voices were heard in empty rooms, and, allegedly, babies vanished from their cribs. They were discovered in the house and outside.
As William and Horatio grew older, their paranormal powers strengthened. Zepaniah beat them with a rawhide whip. He tried everything he could to stop the paranormal incidents by abusing them. The events continued. He doused the boys with boiling water, on the advice of a “Christian” friend.
When this didn’t work, he allowed this friend to drop a hot coal into William’s hand to exorcize the devils. When he realized that he couldn’t stop them, he was furious.
The boys couldn’t attend school. The strange events, including invisible hands throwing books, levitating desks and objects flying about the room, kept happening.
Zepaniah realized they had money-making potential, so he sold them to a traveling showman, who, for the next fourteen years, took them all over America, Canada and Europe. He challenged audience members to try to awaken the boys from their trances, as part of their performance.
The Eddy’s were locked into small wooden boxes to see if they could escape. Hot wax was poured into their mouths to see if they could produce spirit voices when they were unable to talk. Skeptics poked, prodded and punched the entranced brothers. On several occasions, they were stoned and shot at by angry crowds.
The brothers moved home after their father died. They and Mary opened the farmhouse as an inn, the Green Tavern.
Eddy Brothers’ Validity Challenged
Were they genuine or a hoax? Henry Steel Olcott challenged the authenticity of the events at Eddy House. He had no interest in the paranormal before he read about the brothers in the Spiritualist newspaper, the Banner of Light. Although skeptical, he knew that if the stories were true, they were important in physical science.
Olcott traveled to Vermont, accompanied by newspaper artist Alfred Kappes. They planned to investigate the weird events in the Eddy farmhouse. If the stories were a hoax, they would expose the Eddy’s in the Daily Graphic newspaper as charlatans. If they were genuine, Olcott would confirm the validity of Spiritualism. He was determined to be fair and unbiased.
Olcott’s first impression was that the brothers were belligerent and unfriendly. They weren’t the scamsters he expected. He attended an outdoor séance. A group of ten participants gathered in front of Honto’s Cave, named in honor of the Native American spirit who often appeared there. Olcott investigated the cave and found no other egress. Horatio was the medium for the séance.
He sat on a stool in the cave’s opening and was draped in a makeshift spirit cabinet formed by shawls and branches. As Horatio sat there, a gigantic man, in AmerIndian clothing emerged from the cave. While Horatio spoke to the spirit, someone cried and pointed toward the top of the cave.
There was another enormous AmerIndian. A spectral female materialized on a ledge. Ten specters appeared during the séance. After the séance ended, Olcott and Kappes carefully searched the cave and the surrounding area for footprints. They found none. Olcott found the séance convincing but wanted to try to detect fraud in the farmhouse.
Kappes and he carefully examined the large séance room. Olcott drew maps, charts and diagrams and took numerous measurements because he was sure he would find false panels, secret doors and/or hidden passages. He found nothing. He convinced the newspaper to hire experts to examine the house. Carpenters and engineers were the consultants. They found nothing unusual.
Eddy Brothers’ Validity Established
Each séance was basically the same. Guests sat on wooden benches in the room. A platform was lit by a kerosene lamp, in a barrel. William, the primary medium, got on the platform and entered a small cabinet. Soft voices whispered in the distance.
Often, it was singing, accompanied by phantom music. Musical instruments soared over the heads of the audience, disembodied hands appeared, waving and touching spectators, odd lights and unexplained noises appeared. The first spirit emerged from the cabinet. They materialized, alone or in groups. Some seemed solid; others, transparent and otherworldly.
Olcott examined the spirit cabinet and platform and found no trap doors or hidden passages. There was no room in the cabinet for anyone other than the medium. Olcott was familiar with the work of stage magicians and fake mediums, but couldn’t find any of their trickery in the Eddy house.
The apparitions sang and chatted with the sitters. Phenomena included rappings, moving physical items, spirit paintings, automatic writing, prophecies and levitations.
Olcott concluded that such a show would have required actors, costumes and would have cost a fortune. The brothers were nearly penniless. Olcott believed that fraud would have been physically and financially impossible.
Olcott documented the paranormal events in the newspaper and wrote a book, People from Other Worlds. The book contains meticulous drawings of the apparitions, the grounds, the house and blueprints of its construction that proved there were no hidden passages.
He collected hundreds of affidavits and testimonies to the events and reproduced dozens of statements from respected tradesmen and carpenters who examined the house for trickery.
The Eddy Brothers: Post Script
The Eddy brothers and Mary went their separate ways. Horatio died on September 8, 1922; William on October 25, 1932. Some people are inclined to dismiss the events as fiction; however Olcott’s extensive documentation and investigations imply the events weren’t a hoax.
He was skeptical and analytical during his ten-week stay at the farmhouse and he became a believer.
Sources: Dennis William Hauck, Haunted Places, Penguin Books, 2002., Rosemary Ellen Guiley, The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits, FactsOnFile, 1992., Troy Taylor, “The Strange Mystery of the Eddy Brothers,” www.prairieghosts.com/eddy.html Accessed on October 20, 2011. By Jill Stefko
This story is from a few years ago but I have only just heard about it recently.
A video shared on Facebook from the Philippines shows a mother crying inconsolably at her sons funeral when all of a sudden a white balloon floats from his coffin and towards the mother.
The video was shared by grieving mother Joy Ganda Viber-Alambers.
Witnesses at the funeral believe that the balloon was moved by the spirit of the seven year old boy Trebby who died.
Joy commented next to the video on Facebook “I would like to believe that this was his last mission”
In the video you can see the balloon floating from the coffin and towards the mother. When she looks at the balloon it changes course and moves towards her and around her. She talks to the balloon and hugs it. It hangs around her for a few seconds before floating away.
What do you think of it? Was it the spirit of the child saying goodbye to his mother?