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.

 

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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.

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.

The Stonelick Covered Bridge

 

 

   The Stonelick Covered Bridge, located in Milford, Ohio, was built in 1878. Also known as the Perintown Covered Bridge, it is the county’s only remaining covered bridge, and is still in use today (though temporarily shut down due to damage). The bridge, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is 140 foot long and spans Stonelick Creek. It is also the home an urban legend. It is said that you can summon the apparition of a hanging man while on the bridge. To do this, you stop on the bridge, near it’s only window, and shut off your engine. Then, flash your headlights 3 times. According to the legend, at this point you will see the apparition of a man hanging by his neck in the trees by looking out the window. Your car will then not start again until the apparition disappears.

   Who is the man? Did he hang himself there? Why is he supposed to appear with the flashing of the lights? I did find out about a few accidents on the bridge, one involving a car running into the wall, another where a truck fell through the bottom of the bridge, but I haven’t confirmed any deaths There. Aside from being a staple of many urban legends, I haven’t found anything that explains the flashing of the lights either. It’s possible at one point people would flash their lights when crossing the bridge to warn oncoming traffic that there was a vehicle coming at them ( It’s basically a one lane bridge). But still, why the hanging man?

   The bridge is part of a larger urban legend concerning the area, which is called ‘Peaceful Valley’.  There’s said to be a haunted farmhouse nearby, where the number of windows lit up is always equal to the number of people in your car. Theres also a story circulating that cult members will chase you out of the area if you are caught there after dark. Some going as far as to reach into your vehicle, trying to either grab the keys, or pull the drivers out. So if you go, keep the windows up, and be smart, don’t cut your engine while on the bridge. It’s only wide enough for one car, and you don’t want to be sitting there unable to move when someone else comes driving along, cult member or not.