Archive for October 8th, 2011

This weekend we went on Woodland Cemetery’s Killer Cleveland tour, which highlighted some of the violent and tragic deaths suffered (or caused by) those who now rest in the cemetery.  Because it was a fundraiser for the cemetery foundation, the cost was $20 per person, but I thought it was worth it.  It was a good length, about 90 minutes, and there was sufficient time allotted for questions and the reasonable amount of walking that was expected.  It was a chilly, overcast day with constant  threat of rain, but that’s Cleveland in October.  Most of the tour was over in the single grave section of Woodland, and almost none of the killers or victims had tombstones.  I’ll talk about more of the stories in detail later, but there won’t be a lot of tombstone photos with those posts because they simply don’t exist.  We visited the grave of a baby murdered by her mother’s jealous husband after his release from an asylum, along with the baby’s cousin who was shot as he left to get the police.  The tour lead us to the graves of a man who shot his wife while she was sweeping up the lamps he threw at her during a late night argument.  Two of our stops featured unsolved murders: Inez Smith, found stuffed in a trunk floating in Lake Erie (and likely murdered by her husband) and another found dead in her home along the Central Viaduct more than 100 years ago.  We heard about the Collinwood School Fire from the president of the Collinwood Nottingham Historical Society and a fantastic re-enactor told the story of the murder-suicide of Mrs. Cabalczak’s children and then herself from the murderess’ point of view.  We ended with a stop at the Mary Keokee Monroe statue, which I’ve written about before, where we discussed the history of the statue, the legends associated with it, and the interesting photographs obtained on a paranormal investigation in the cemetery. 
The extras included with the tour were pretty nice.  The cemetery had a program that contained summaries of the stops and excerpts from contemporary newspaper reports.  Each person got that, a cute little Halloween candy stick, and a raffle ticket.  They drew three tickets at the end of each tour for a free book by John Stark Bellamy II (I won a copy of The Corpse in the Cellar), and there was a grand prize drawing for a gift basket with copies of Casey Daniels’ Pepper Martin book series.  Daniels was the main tour guide.  And there was a table filled with lots of hot coffee and pastries to help us try to keep warm.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: