Harrison Avenue Dead Mans Curve

    Harrison Avenue’s so-called Dead Mans Curve is said to be haunted by a phantom hitchhiker. Those that see him on this stretch of road become filled with an extreme sense of fear, that they can’t explain. No one is known to have ever picked him up, but those that have gotten a good look at him say he is burned, with flesh hanging from his face. Who is he, and why is he here? Is he even real? Well, I’ve made many trips along Harrison Avenue, and never seen him, but he is said to be a man who died in an accident here in 1953.

    There have been many accidents along Harrison Avenue here over the years, including several fatalities. The best known of these goes back to 1953. On October 8th of that year, at 8:46 pm,  a molasses truck lost control coming down Dead Mans Curve. It failed to make the final curve at the bottom of the hill, bowled over a pole, went through a stone wall and a body shop, and came to rest in the kitchen of a first floor apartment.  The driver was conscious, but was trapped in the truck. The propane tank that heats the molasses exploded, and in the end, the entire block burned down. The driver, who burned to death, was the only casualty. So is he now walking along Harrison Avenue, burned and spreading fear? Or is this just a story that grew from that long ago accident?

The picture below is from that October 8th, 1953 accident.

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Buell Road

North of Cincinnati, in Colerain Township, sits Buell Road, and an urban legend that promises death within 7 days to those foolish enough to tempt fate by summoning a phantom bicyclist. Yeah, kind of sounds like ‘The Ring’, only without the VHS tape (who even owns a VCR anymore?). The road twist and turns for a bit before coming to a straight away, this stretch of straight road is where you can supposedly conjure a little boy on a bike.

The legend says that if you stop on the part of the road, and flash your headlights 3 times, leaving them off after the final flash, a boy on a bike will come around the corner behind you. If he reaches your car before you turn the headlights back on, you will die within 7 days. Who he is, or why he has it in for headlight flashers, is, as usual, unknown. Having tested this myth out a few times myself, i can tell you I’ve never seen the boy on the bike, nor have I ever died the following week. However, stopping on an unlit road at night, and turning your headlights off might not be a good idea regardless of an evil bicyclist, so I’m going to recommend you don’t bother trying.

While researching this legend, I found nothing to suggest how or when this one got started. It is worth mentioning that this is the site of the May 29th, 2007 wreck that killed 14-year-old Lauren Dietz & 15-year-old Miranda Phelps. A car with 5 students from Northwest High School wrecked here, killing these two young girls. There is still a memorial at the site, as pictured below. However, this legend was around long before this accident, and doesn’t appear to be related to it.

Directions

From I-275, take the US 127 / Hamilton Ave. exit, and go south towards Mount Healthy. From there, turn right on Civic Center Drive, then left onto Pippin Road. The first street on your left will be Buell Road. Follow it until you reach the Straight away. You’ll know your there when you see the memorial site.

 

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.

The Pond Run Road Hook Man

  

   The Story of the Hook man is one of the most popular urban legends in the country, just about everyone has heard one version of the tale or an other. But not everyone realizes we have our very own hook man right here in Ohio! Our hook man hangs out on Pond Run Road in New Richmond. The back story (as usual) varies a bit depending on who tells it, but here’s the basic plot: A doctor& his wife lived on pond Run Road with their son. The son, it turns out, was either mentally disturbed or handicapped. Either due to the boys mental state, or just because they were abusive, the boys parents kept him locked in the house, at times even shackling or tying him by one of his arms in the basement. Unfortunately, sometime in the 50’s or 60’s, the house was struck by lightning during a storm and caught fire, burning it down. The doctor & his wife were found, burned to death. However, all that was found of the boy was one, severed hand!

   So now the boy is homeless, handless, and mentally disturbed, what a combination! It’s said that from that point on he lived in the woods along Pond Run Road, stealing from yards of the other homes in the area. While there were homes on the road, much of it was undeveloped at the time, and it was popular as a lovers lane. Anyway, these horny teenagers must have pissed off the boy, because the legend says he began to kill them! The first alleged murder took place on what was once a wooden bridge on Pond Run. A young couple was found stabbed to death there, by something pointy like an ice pick…a metal punch….or, of course, a metal hook!! Just where the boy acquired a hook for his hand, or how, isn’t known, but from this point on he was known as the Hook Man!

   After that first murder, lots of people are said to have packed up and moved out of the area, houses were torn down…the area just seemed to empty out. The area’s new reputation seemed to attract more teenagers to lovers lane though. The risk seeming to add to the allure of the area. From this point on, the murders become your traditional hook man legends. A couple in their car, windows fogged up, hear an odd noise outside. The man goes to investigate….next thing the girl knows, it’s morning and she is being awakened by the police. As they lead her away from the car, she looks back and sees her boyfriend laid out on top of the car…dead…his body punched full of holes.And of course, the most popular story. A couple again parked on Pond Run, only this time when they hear an odd noise, they leave. Upon reaching her home, the man gets out and comes around to open her door, where he finds a bloody hook hanging from the handle.

   While there’s no proof that any of this actually happened, who cares!? It’s an awesome tale, and worth a trip there at night to look for him. I just wouldn’t try parking and getting it on while i was there, just to be safe.

Here’s some video of the search for the Pond Run Road Hookman

 

Directions

Take I-275 to the US 52 / Kellogg Ave exit. Take 52 East for about 8 miles. Pond Run Road will be on the left.

The Cody Road Bridge

 

 

 

   The Cody Road bridge, in Northern Kentucky,  is a railroad bridge that runs over Cody road, right at the point where a creek runs under the road. So you have the bridge running above you, and the road dips somewhat below it. With the creek and low road, this area is prone to flooding when the creek rises. Flooding here is such a common occurrence, swinging gates have been permanently placed on either side of the creek, marked with stop signs, to be closed whenever the waters start to rise. The legends of this area revolve around a woman that was killed in one of the following fashions, depending on who you ask…

1) Committing suicide by either jumping in front of an oncoming train on the bridge, or by jumping from the bridge.

2) Running for help from her burning home that was near the bridge, but getting hit by a train in the process.

3) By getting caught in the current when the road quickly flooded below the bridge, either while in her car or while walking.

   Reports from this area are often of a woman in white, walking the bridge, sometimes crying, others say yelling for help. Orbs, phantom trains, and disembodied voices are also reported here. Some locals refer to the phantom as “Pig Face”, supposedly referring to her injuries after going head to head with the train.

   While researching this urban legend, I did come across the following story. This is an excerpt from Linda Linn’s “Kentucky Home and Ghost Stories”

   Just an update to your post that the Cody Road crossing is haunted. It’s true that the railroad bridge and road bridge are often flooded, and I believe someone did in fact die once due to that. However, almost all stories of haunting’s of these railroad tracks are false. During the prohibition, moonshiners would walk park on the road and cross the hills to the railroad tracks and make their product. The ghost stories were created to keep people away during their activities. I’ve lived the first 20 years of my life in a house next to those tracks, Cody Road was only a 20 minute walk down the tracks for me, so I was always interested in the subject.The most popular ghost involves a lady who died in a house fire and roams the tracks screaming for help and alerting people to the fire. In actuality, the woman in question never died in the fire (only the family pet, actually). Apparently two moonshiners had a falling out, and one of them set fire to the other’s house. The women who everyone believes haunts the tracks lived a long life until she died peacefully in the late 1980’s of old age. I’m not trying to debunk ghost sightings or activities (hell, I live within 10 minutes of Bobby Mackey’s in Wilder Kentucky). But having been a resident of Independence most of my life, I like to set the record straight whenever possible on the Cody Road hauntings. -Quentin Baker

   Be careful out there when checking out Cody Road. It’s pitch black at night, and not much room to park. Make sure you ask for Pig face.

Clermont County Dead Mans Curve

   Said by some to be the most haunted place in Ohio, Dead Mans Curve does seem to have a dark history. This allegedly haunted stretch of road is between Amelia and Bethel in the village of Bantam in Clermont County, where Route 222 meets route 125. Urban Legend says that this stretch of road is haunted by a faceless hitchhiker. He is said to roam this area late at night, usually between 1:20 and 1:40 AM, hitching a ride, sometimes appearing in the middle of the road where unsuspecting drivers hit him, only to jump and chase your car afterwards. People report seeing this strange man on the side of the road, others tell of their car being pelted with rocks from someone unseen. Those who have gotten close enough to him to get a good look all report the same thing, theres no sign of a face at all, just blackness!

 
   The road itself does have a reputation for being dangerous. After all, it’s not called Dead Man’s Curve for nothing. However, oddly, theres not even much of a curve at Dead Man’s Curve, at least not anymore. That stretch of road was originally part of the Ohio Turnpike, built in 1831. The original road was designed in a way that it curved sharply at the top of a hill, causing many horses and carriages to slip or roll over and down the hillside,in turn, causing many deaths. It was a two lane highway until 1968 when it was straightened and widened to four lanes. There was said to have been a celebratory ribbon cutting commemorating the end of Dead Man’s Curve.  However, this turned out to be a bit premature.

   A month later, there was a huge accident at the intersection. An Impala with 5 teenagers inside was hit by a green Roadrunner, said to have been traveling at 100 mph. Only one person survived the wreck .By most accounts, it was after this accident that the faceless hitchhiker started to appear. There have also been reports of a green roadrunner chasing drivers down this stretch of road from time to time since then. Since that accident, it’s said that over 70 people have been killed at that intersection. We haven’t verified this number yet, but we do know there have been numerous accidents there. Considering the road is pretty much a flat, straight run, this fact does seem a bit weird. I’m not sure why the time from 1:20 to 1:40 is when ole’ faceless likes to cause trouble, but I guess it might have something to do with the time of the accident.

   I asked the Ohio state patrol about this, and what they say doesn’t exactly match up to what urban legend says (go figure). Here’s their response to my question (from late 2009).

   The SR 222/Bantam Rd intersection is located at the 10.35 milepost of SR 125. There have been 25 reported crashes reported on SR 125 between mileposts 10 & 11 since the begining of 2008. Eighteen (18) in 2008 and seven (7) thus far in 2009. The only incident, during that time period between 1:20 & 1:40 AM, occured on 10/18/2008. the sheriff investigated (report 08-10-27) a vehicle striking a deer.

   So if you decide to go looking for the faceless hitchhiker, be careful and drive safe, but looks like you should be o.k. Maybe, just maybe, somebody should just pick the guy up and give him a lift, how long are we gonna make him wait out there? Sheesh!

Directions

Dead Mans Curve is located east of Cincinnati in Clermont County. Take I-471 South to I-275 East. Take the 125 exit, and follow it until it intersects at 222 & Bantam.