hunting urban legends

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.

Author: Kaylah

Just a green haired gal from Cleveland, Ohio.

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  • I love visiting cemeteries and finding the stories that go along with them. Chicago has a few which feature some really beautiful statues and headstones! Here in Baltimore I like visiting where Edgar Allan Poe is buried. Thanks for sharing!

  • I definitely know what you mean…being afraid but not believing in them. It's like when you go to the basement and being totally freaked out that the boogie man is going to get you. . . when you KNOW nothing is there. ^_^

    • YEP. So happy to not have a basement in my current place. The last apartment I lived in the laundry room was in the creepiest, darkest basement ever. I HATED IT. I refused to go down there any time other than when the sun was out.

  • I love your cemetery posts! You always find the most interesting stories to share-and I LOVE them! There's a cemetery in a town over from me with a historical marker at the gate claiming that somewhere in the cemetery a space alien pilot is buried! I haven't been to check it out yet, but it's on the top of my list of things to do since finding out about it.

  • i personally find cemeteries to be peaceful and beautiful…and yet often terribly sad. sometimes while reading markers / headstones i find myself awash in a feeling of overwhelming sadness, often to the point that i can't stop the tears from falling. i don't know these people and am not related to them, but wow, the sad feeling i can't shake until i grieve for them a bit (then i move on and the feeling is gone). this wasn't always the case as i used to drink underage in a cemetery. often.
    your photos are always so lovely. i really appreciate your cemetery posts. thanks for giving us the backstories, too!
    hope you share with us what you find in your urban legends searches!

    • Aw, that's a bummer. I've never found cemeteries as sad. I feel very at peace in them.

      Glad you enjoy my cemetery posts though. I know they aren't for everyone but I just love cemeteries so much. πŸ™‚

  • I love ghost stories, but I am not sure if I believe. I mean I guess I feel like there must be something that might explain a lot of the "ghost sightings" and such outside of the general "it is just your nerves getting the best of you" or "those people are just hallucinating." Although the closest thing I got a "ghost sighting" was at my work. I work at a frame shop and we use rolls of plastic covered wire to hang frames up. We were at the time doing a huge framing job (200+ frames) and I had a very specific system going and everyone kind-of stayed out of my way and didn't touch anything. I always leave the wire flailing about instead of bending it over the little stopper on stand. I came back to work and found the wire perfectly spiraled around the base that wire stand. It was weird because if you hand bend wire it tends to get kinky, but it looked like someone rolled the wire on a form making it perfectly round. Everyone say it was probably my bosses, but they said they didn't do it, and they aren't very subtle with jokes and gags. They would of at some point bursted in laughing screaming "GOTCHA!" at some point. The funny thing is that my one boss would keep saying things like "Oh the ghost must be one craze and stealing all the calculators/pens/etc" but I just chalked it up to forgetfulness (I still do XD) but than the wire thing happened. I kept happening, with varying degrees of fancy curls and such, never as nice as that first time.

    • Yeah, same here. I think that the great majority of ghost sightings aren't real but there are lots of strange things that happen that can't be explained. I think the reason I'm afraid of ghosts is because deep deep deep down I think they're real. I just don't think they're as common as we make it out to be. Does that make sense?

      Hmm! That's super interesting! Just a helpful little ghost. πŸ˜›

  • I was thinking about you recently because I have been watching American Horror Story and in the second season they go to an abandoned asylum. I remember reading Haunted Ohio stories and being freaked out! My grandma had the books in her basement and my cousins and I used to read them.