Hauntings in Ohio

Hauntings in Ohio

Kaitlin Ryan and Clara Lundblad

There is no better time to learn more about the creepy folklore in our own backyard, than Halloween.


Folklore and Urban Legends

A legend as old as time, told for entertainment and scares is the mysterious melon heads of Kirtland, Ohio. Similar variations of this story are told across the country.

As the old tale goes, Dr. Crow, a resident of Wisner Road, experimented on orphan children he was taking care of. Crow injected various fluids into the victim’s brains, and the result was malformed, large-headed mutants. The “melon heads” now seek their revenge, roaming Kirtland and parts of Chardon Township.

The seemingly eerie town of Kirtland is the home of another folklore: cry baby bridge. Legend has it, along the bridge (also located on Wisner Road) cries and screams of babies can be heard in the distance. For those not brave enough to leave the car, if you turn off your headlights, you may also hear the chilling cries for help. The story, like many other folklores is not solely subject to Ohio. There are different versions of it told all across the country. However, all the stories share a common theme of a woman dropping her baby over the bridge, leaving it to drown.

A similar eerie destination is Lick Road outside of Cincinnati.

One night, a woman named Amy was murdered by her boyfriend. Her body was disposed alongside the road. If you dare to turn your car lights off upon arriving at Lick Road, Amy will appear and write HELP ME on your window.


A Bone Chilling Attraction

Another folklore born in Ohio, is the Mansfield Reformatory. In 1886, the Mansfield Reformatory was designed for prisoners that hopefully would find their surroundings spiritually uplifting. But instead, the Mansfield Reformatory was a violent, rat infested, disease ridden prison. When the prison closed, there was talk of paranormal activity. Stories of the prison guards who had inflicted torture on the inmates have also been seen and heard. There have been reports from people who heard cries of men coming from the cells. Today, people can visit the Mansfield Reformatory and experience the spooky paranormal activity first hand.


The Haunted University

Ohio University in Athens, OH is the first established college in the state.  No wonder why there are so many stories of paranormal activity around campus. Nearly every dorm is haunted and has its own mysterious and frightening back story. In 1874, Athens Asylum for the Insane opened. The stories from the asylum are disturbing, as long ago people with mental health problems were institutionalized and treated horribly. The patients would undergo experiments like shock therapy and lobotomies, or the opening of the skull. Now named the Ridges, this Athens building fortunately no longer performs inhumane treatments, as institutionalized confinement for mental health patients has since been banned. Nonetheless, the Ridges, and the other numerous haunted places around Athens are very unnerving.