Reader Submission – Ghost at Dunham Park?

These pics come to us from Kenny Riddell, through our Facebook page. Kenny was doing some investigating at Dunham park, and took this picture. He says it was pitch black night, and there were no light sources around.

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Now, I didn’t know what to make of this, so asked for more info. He then sent the picture below, taken when there was a Tuberculosis hospital at Dunham, telling me that, to him, the ‘image’ in the first pic resembles one of these nurses.

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I gotta admit, you can kinda see what he means. Opinions??

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Sedamsville Woods (Sleepers Hill)

These woods are said to be Haunted by the ghost of old man Sleeper. He was a hermit that lived atop the hill here back in the 50’s, and he was notorious for hating trespassers. He would chase off them off, sometimes using his shotgun or axe, and reportedly releasing  his bull at times to do the job. Obviously, parents warned their kids to stay away from old man Sleepers property, and of course, they usually didn’t listen. For some reason, the old man hung himself in his barn on top of the hill. Urban legend says old man Sleeper’s ghost is still roaming the property, chasing off anyone that dares to trespass with a bloody axe.

Others say they see an apparition, thought to be Sleeper, moving among the trees at night. He doesn’t speak to or bother anyone, and disappears if you go looking for him. I’ve never heard of anyone really being killed by old man Sleepers ghost, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened…right? If you decide to go looking, the foundation from his old farm-house is still visible on top of the hill, but there are other private homes that have been built there too. Don’t go trespassing on their property either.

Directions

Take US-50 west out of downtown until you come to Fairbanks Road. There’s a park there on the corner, and Sedamsville woods are right behind it.

 

Buffalo Ridge Road

   Buffalo Ridge is a long and hilly Road that is located just northwest of Cincinnati in Cleves. Most of the road is bordered by woods, as it’s actually home to the Mitchell Memorial Forest. There are several legends linked to this road. Stories range from being chased at night by evil vans, to phantom cars from failed gang initiations, an evil dog with glowing green eyes, ghosts that run across the road searching for their missing body parts, and of course, the Crematorium. You see, this road was allegedly the site of a corrupt crematorium that dropped bodies out in the woods. Click HERE to learn more about it.

   Here’s are some of the legends I’ve found attributed to the road. They are:

   A woman was shot and killed in one of the homes on Buffalo Ridge, while she was trying on her wedding dress. Her corpse then decapitated. She is said to walk the road now, searching for her missing head.

   A young boy was killed in a hit and run accident. It’s said that the boy’s mangled body left a blood stain in the road that has never disappeared. If you stop to check it out, a phantom van, said to be the vehicle that killed him, will show up and chase you off. This is probably just vans that belong to the Hamilton County Park District, entering and leaving the Mitchel Memorial Forest.

   Demon Dogs with glowing eyes, that sometimes attack passing cars. Really, any dog seen along the road at night appears to have glowing eyes when your oncoming headlights strike them.

   Ruins of an old crematorium are said to be located on Buffalo Ridge. The crematorium supposedly disposed of bodies by throwing them in the woods instead of incinerating them. Satanic rituals are alleged to take place there now. It is said to have exploded at some point, throwing debris all over the woods. It’s also been said to be one of Charles Manson’s hangouts when living in the area as a child. Click HERE for more info on this site.

   A car load of people were killed in a wreck here during a gang initiation, and you can still hear screams and the crash of a car. There have been SEVERAL wrecks and accident related deaths along Buffalo Ridge, so sure, this is a possibility. Well, the wreck, I don’t know about the phantom screams and stuff.

    There is an old abandoned house where lights have been seen inside even though nobody has lived there for decades, if you go up the driveway, you can see a witch standing in the window. There is actually an account of someone, who was considered less than stable, living in an older home along Buffalo Ridge. He reportedly was know to stand motionless at the window on occasion, though he no longer resides there…or does he?

Here’s some video, Taken along Buffalo Ridge Road

 

Directions

Buffalo Ridge is located in Cleves, on Cincinnat’s westside, between Wesselman and East Miami River Road.Take I-74 to Cleves exit, right on Route 128 to Miamitown, right on Harrison Avenue, right on East Miami River Road, left on Gum Run Road, right on Buffalo Ridge Road. Also accessible from Springdale Road, right on Harrison Avenue, left on Wesselman Road, right on Buffalo Ridge Road.

The Buffalo Ridge Crematorium (Observatory)

Drawing of the Planned observatory

The story of the crematorium in the woods along Buffalo Ridge is the most popular of the legends associated with the road. This crematorium allegedly was a haven for satanic rituals, including human sacrifice. It’s said that many of the bodies that were supposed to be cremated here were instead thrown out into the woods, or into a so-called bottomless lake nearby. Was there an evil purpose for this? Laziness on the part of those working at the crematorium? That part was never explained. At some point it exploded, throwing debris all over the woods. What caused the explosion? Most say it was the hand of God himself, wiping out the evil Satanist.

There is something in the wood there, but not a crematorium. What’s there is the beginning of an observatory that was being built in the late 30’s, but was abandoned after construction began, due to lack of funds. The building was supposed to be built using materials salvaged from the original Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce building, which was destroyed by a fire in 1911. There is a large amount of debris scattered in these woods, aside from the actual ruins, as this is where the rest of the debris from the original building was dumped. It’s worth noting that 6 people were killed in the fire that destroyed the chamber of commerce, maybe the spirits of those killed are connected now to this debris? Heres the full story, from the book “A Brief History of the Cincinnati Astronomical Society”, copyright 1985 – Cincinnati Astronomical Society.

       From 1896 to 1910, Dr. Delisle Stewart served as an assistant astronomer at the Cincinnati Observatory of the University of Cincinnati. Research at the observatory during this period centered on the classical stellar measurement techniques. Stewart attempted to persuade the observatory’s director to apply the then new astronomical research tool, astrophotography. Stewart’s interest in astrophotography was intensified by his Harvard training and his previous two years service at Arequipa Observatory, Peru, where he photographed the southern skies. Stewart eventually lost his job over his persistent attempt to persuade the Cincinnati Observatory to adopt astrophotography.

Stewart’s response to his rebuke was to establish a new astronomical society with the goal of building anew observatory dedicated to astrophotographic research. The Society’s name, Cincinnati Astronomical Society, was borrowed from the original CAS, 1845-1870. This was the first professional astronomical society in America. Its telescope and assets were donated in 1870 to the city of Cincinnati. The city subsequently donated the assets to the University of Cincinnati (and its then new Cincinnati Observatory) from whence Stewart was dismissed.

An unusual event occurred in Cincinnati in 1911 that affected, initially positively but eventually negatively,Stewart’s plan to establish a new observatory. The city was rightfully proud of its Chamber of Commerce building that was designed by the famed architect Henry Hobson  Richardson. The building  received world wide recognition for its beautifully carved, expansive, Romanesque arches. The edifice was destroyed by fire in 1911. Since Stewart was a lover of Richardson’s work and the city loved its Chamber of Commerce Building, Stewart found a way to turn this disaster to his advantage. He offered to build his new observatory based on the architectural plan of the Chamber of Commerce building. The new observatory would then be faced with the Richardson granite stones that were salvaged from destroyed building.

The citizens responded to Stewart’s concept by generously donating services to transfer the huge Richardson stones to a temporary storage site and by buying bonds that were issued by CAS. Sufficient funds were acquired within three years of the fire that CAS acquired 142 acres of land in Miami Heights/Mt. Zion (the current CAS location) for the new observatory site about twenty miles west of Cincinnati. The site’s principal selection criterion was its distance from the city’s light pollution, a problem that then prevented the inner-city located Cincinnati Observatory from performing adequate astrophotography.

All of the solicited funds were consumed in financing the transfer of thousands of tons of the massive Richardson stones from the original downtown site, to their temporary storage site, and finally to Miami Heights/Mt. Zion. The largest stone weighed 27,500 pounds. For the next twenty years Delisle Stewart begged wealthy Cincinnatians to purchase the remaining CAS bonds in order to raise the required funds. Finally, by the end of the 1930’s, sufficient funds were obtained so that the observatory’s construction could begin.

The architects designed a two-story observatory building that included a large central dome and two side domes–each mounted on the end walls. The building’s main floor was designed to include offices, a reception hall and museum of astronomy, a lecture hall, classrooms and the Richardson Memorial Collection. The second floor was to have a library, reading and study rooms photographic dark rooms with separate rooms for plate storage, spectroscopic and photometric laboratories, and rest rooms for the night observers. The  domes were to house two large reflecting telescopes and one large refractor telescope. As with icing on a cake, the observatory would be faced with the famous Richardson granites. Assuredly this would be a magnificent facility, one in which the Cincinnati Astronomical Society and the city would be proud.

The effect of the Great Depression took its toll on CAS and its observatory. Construction of the basic outline of the building was completed, and the basement was finished to a degree that the CAS members could use the area for a meeting room. However, the Society lacked the funds to complete the project.

With the death of Dr. Stewart in 1941, the Society lost its driving force. There was no one left with the ability of desire to make another effort to raise the required funds, and somehow, to complete the building. It was ironic that the Richardson arches, which had inspired the construction concept, proved to be its undoing; not a single block of granite was raised into place. The granite stones remained strewn around the observatory site, mockingly tombstone like.

So while there was never anything nefarious here, the scattered debris throughout the woods explains why the supposed crematorium is said to have exploded. It certainly looks like something blew up back there. It is now a known hangout for teens and thrill seekers, but there’s no proof or evidence of satanic rituals, other than the stories that get passed along. I will say venturing into those woods at night takes balls. It’s pitch black, and every noise you hear becomes, in your head, someone moving among the trees. But still, if you decide to venture back to the ruins, use caution! You never know who, or what, may be waiting for you there. The woods there are the property of the Hamilton County Park District, so don’t enter without getting permission first.

2014 update:

Most of the remains of the observatory have been removed or buried, so what you see pictured below no longer exists. Click HERE to see.

Delhi Park

   Delhi Park, located on the west side of Cincinnati in, obviously, Delhi, is alleged to be haunted by 2 apparitions. Urban legend says that if you enter the park after dark, you would see these 2 apparitions near a set of swing sets, and they would then follow you until you left the park.

   These two are said to be the ghosts of men who drowned in what is called Clearview lake, which is close to one of the parks entrances (Foley Road). Until recently, this lake was part of the property next to the park, behind Clearview Tavern. The tavern is now gone, and the lake is now part of the park. Those who have swam in the lake say there is a strong undertow that has pulled several swimmers under, drowning some.

   While it’s not known if these drownings actually occurred, it is known that at least one man purposely drowned himself in the lake not long ago, but the alleged haunting here began before his death. Who these apparitions are, why they hang out ny the swings, and why they chase people out of the park aren’t known. I spoke to a Delhi police officer on patrol there, and when asked about the legend he said he has never seen anyone, living or dead, follow his cruiser when he drives through at night. But, he also said he doesn’t normally look behind him while doing so….but that he would from now on!

   The swing sets that these two are said to hang out at are gone now, taken down in 2007, so it’s not known if these two are still supposedly there. If you go looking for them yourself, keep on mind that the park closes at sundown, so you aren’t supposed to be there. And definitely don’t try swimming in the lake, or it could be you hanging out in the park all night for eternity.

Here’s a video taken at Delhi Park

The Harbin Park Water Tower

 

The story of the Harbin Park water tower in Fairfield is one of those rare urban legends that is actually based on something that really happened. On the night of May 18, 1991, 18 year old Joshua Paul Trovillo was killed when he fell 100 feet from the ladder on the tower. According to legend, some nights, you can hear him scream, just like the night he fell. There’s also been sightings of apparitions around the water tower.

Harbin Park Death

Since the accident, the city has put a larger fence around the tower, so don’t bother trying to climb it. And since the park closes at sundown, you’re not going to be able to hang out and listen for phantom screams. There have been reports of coyote in the area at times, I guess it’s possible people head them and somehow translated that into someone screaming. More than likely this is just a story that grew from re-tellings of the accident.

Directions

Harbin Park is located at 1300 Hunter Road in Fairfield.  Take I-275 to US 127 North, then left on Hunter.