Posts Tagged ‘halloween’


Both of the tours we went on this past weekend were very enjoyable and will feature in upcoming blog posts for months to come. Euclid’s walk in the morning was much more focused on the geography and history of the local area, led by historian Roy Larick. It was coordinated with the Euclid Historical Society and was followed by an open house at the Euclid Historical Museum. It was more of a coincidence that this tour coincided with Halloween – it was not holiday-themed.



East Cleveland Township Cemetery Foundation, on the other hand, explicitly tailored their tour to the holiday. They combed through the records of the cemetery to find residents who had arrived there by tragedy: suicide, murder, and, in one case, a fire.


Our tour guide led us through the cemetery by tiki-torch-light. There were also a few other lanterns and flashlights, but the light overall was very dim. (Hint: If you ever find yourself in this situation, shuffle your feet so that you bump into the sides of low monuments rather than trip on them.) Each stop on the tour was marked by a single tiki torch, and there was a fairly even distribution of marked and unmarked graves. The tour guide also stressed that the stories on this tour differed from any they had used before, and they had enough stories that they would be able to provide different tours for many years to come. This is great news for those who enjoy these kinds of tours.


I’m planning to do some more research on the actual stories covered in the tours and post about them at a later date, so please forgive the generic nature of this review. If you get an opportunity to take one of these tours in the future, I recommend it.

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This statue in Woodland Cemetery for Mary Monroe Keokee has had an unusual existence. It has been stolen and returned twice, necessitating the plexiglass case that now protects it from would-be thieves and vandals. According to one of the volunteers that I spoke to at the cemetery, one of its disappearances lasted more than a decade. Unfortunately, one one of those adventures, the statue lost her right hand.

This, according to the woman I spoke to, is the focus of the ghost’s concern when she manifests. The volunteer told me that she had visited the statue before and felt the woman asking “where is my hand?”



"She blooms in the fields of light."

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Glendalough Visitor Centre

Not surprisingly, Glendalough has at least one reported ghost. We didn’t see anything there and I found the place to be wonderfully peaceful, but there is supposedly a hooded black figure – one of the monks, possibly St. Kevin himself?


The other ghost is supposedly a woman in red, who St. Kevin beat with nettles and then threw into the lake…oooooooookay. I’ve noticed a lot of ghostly legends revolve around supposedly moral/religious people doing hideous things.


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Helen Peabody

When I was a student at Miami University of Ohio, everyone knew about the ghost of Helen Peabody. Helen Peabody was graduate of Mount Holyoke and a teacher there before she moved westward and became the first principal of Western Female Seminary (once Western College for Women, now preserved as Western Campus of the University). By all accounts, she loved her school and her students, although she did not love the proximity of the male students at the University. By all accounts, she did not believe in coeducation After thirty-five years of service, she left her name on Peabody Hall, a stately dormitory and classroom building, and, some say, her spirit inside. (The existing Peabody Hall was built on the foundations of previous seminary buildings that burned down.) Even though she died in California in retirement, her body was brought back to local cemetery in Oxford for burial. The stories about Peabody Hall and President Peabody are multiple.

The simplest is that she still roams the halls, and students see her apparition walk by, which they recognize by the portrait of her on the first floor. Vigilant in the protection of her legacy, she supposedly shook awake the student that raised the alarm the last time Peabody Hall had a serious fire. The most sinister versions of the Helen Peabody ghost stories have her as a fierce protector of female students, engaging in a sort of psychological warfare against male students who mistreat them. A friend of mine swore up and down that a male student experienced unexplained and untraceable calls to his answering machine where a low female voice threatened him and ordered him to get out of her hall. This story sounds similar.

Whatever your belief about her spirit, the earthly remains of Helen Peabody rest in Oxford Cemetery, just a hill or two over from her beloved academic home. Her grave is flanked by other colleagues who shared her dedication to higher education for women.

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East Cleveland Township Cemetery will be having after-dark guided tours on October 30, 2010, at 7 pm and 8:30 pm. See their flyer for details.

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The most famous ghostly hitchhiker in the United States is probably Resurrection Mary of Chicago, Illinois, but Cleveland’s Riverside Cemetery supposedly has one as well. According to those who have reported seeing him, he is a well-dressed man in an old fashioned suit. Those who claim to have picked up the hitchhiker state that he is either German-speaking or has a German accent and asks to go to Franklin Avenue to see his daughter. Those who have attempted to identify him claim he might be Hannes Tiedemann, the builder of reputedly haunted Franklin Castle that stands on that street.

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Yesterday was my wedding reception. As I was reflecting on it, I thought of these markers.

Fred W. Farrar and Sarah F. Mullin

The angle is a little odd. The first tombstone is for:

Fred W. Farrar
Died Nov. 3, 1920
22 yrs.

The one for the adjoining grave reads:

Sarah F. Mullin
Died Feb. 12, 1921
20 yrs. 11 mos.
Fred’s sweetheart

You now know everything I do about Fred and Sarah, but their tombstones haunt me in a way that many others don’t. Who were they? Were they already engaged, with a wedding planned? How did they die? My research so far has come up with nothing, but I plan to keep looking, because their story haunts me.

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Last week, we looked at the Haserot angel, the most popular creepy statue at Lake View Cemetery, but these statues have my vote hands down. Early in the spring, I was walking around Lake View taking photographs, looked up the hill, and jumped because I saw this.


Convincing at some angles, aren’t they?


Like the Haserot angel, I don’t know any specific stories about these statues. They just are striking and a little disturbing in their realism.


Mary to the Saviour's Tomb...

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Louis Bromfield, the conservationist and writer who created Malabar Farm,
told his own ghost story about the property during his life time.

Louis Bromfield grave slab

After his beloved dog Prince died, Bromfield woke up during the night to the presence of an invisible dog lying next to him and then to the sound of a dog pulling with his paw on the frame of the stuck door to let himself in, as Prince did in life. Of course, there was no dog there when Bromfield opened the door. Bromfield related this experience in his book about the property, Malabar Farm. If Prince is still there, perhaps he visits his master, who lies buried in Olivet Cemetery on the farm. Visitors today sometimes report seeing or hearing a ghostly dog.

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Mary Jane Buck

As I’ve looked for ghost stories about cemeteries, I’ve discovered that there are lot more supposedly haunted cemeteries than haunted graves. In other words, the tales of ghosts and otherworldly happenings are frequently vague. Historic Hopewell Cemetery is no exception. If you believe the stories, Historic Hopewell Cemetery is the location of a eerie, supernatural light that brings bad luck to those who come too close. The light isn’t associated with any particular monument or resident. Not much to write a blog post about, really. Luckily there are visually interesting monuments there that I can show you. You’ll have to imagine the darkness and creepy light yourself, though.

Rev. James M. Orr


Margaret Vandegriff

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