When you think of haunted places in Ohio, northern Mercer County is probably not the first place that comes to mind. But this area seems to be a hotbed of paranormal activity according to the Internet and some other sources. They identify several haunted places very near here. Legendary places where people claim they have witnessed paranormal activity. And for some unknown reason the majority of these sites are in the Mendon area.
Are these spooky tales perpetuated by teenagers or those that seek out paranormal activity? Or are these places truly haunted?
With less than two weeks before Halloween and a full moon last Friday night, Joe and I decided it would be the perfect time to do a little ghost hunting ourselves. We visited some of the rumored haunts during the day and others under the light of the full moon. Did we see or hear any paranormal activity? Read on.
This is a small family cemetery on Palmer Road, west of Mendon. The cemetery is in the middle of a field, about 200 yards from the road. A stately old cement arch by the road marks the location of a grassy lane that leads to the burying ground. It is said that two cement lions with green glass eyes once flanked the arch and that the green eyes spooked passing horses. A broken portion of a lion’s claw is all that remains of those statues.
A stone wall surrounds the family plot back in the field. I was near there one afternoon last week and it was quiet and peaceful. Nothing out of the ordinary appeared. In fact I think the Palmer family would be interesting to research.
One of the tombstones supposedly glows in the dark and is visible from the road. We drove by slowly in the light of the full moon, looking for a glowing tombstone. One stone did appear to have a pale green aura, but Joe pointed out that it was actually light from a distant farm night light, blocked by the tombstone, its light glowing around the stone.
Palmer Cry-Baby Bridge:
Palmer Cry-Baby Bridge is about half a mile down the road from Palmer Cemetery and spans the St. Marys River. There are a several variations of this bridge’s legend, 1) A father threw his baby over the bridge and killed his wife. 2) A man killed his wife and baby and then hanged himself from a tree at the bottom of the bridge. 3) The devil killed a family under the bridge.
It is said that if you park on the bridge at night, turn off your car engine and lights and roll down the windows, you will hear a baby cry. Then a ghost will appear, enter your car engine and disable it. You will have to push your car off the bridge before it will start again. Sounds plausible.
We followed all those instructions last Friday night under the full moon. Twice. Our car started just fine both times. No ghost. No baby’s cries. I thought I heard a howl once, but Joe said it was just the wind blowing through the trees.
As we sat there in silence I wondered if we would be able to push our car off the bridge if it wouldn’t start. What if it actually would not start? Joe said that he could steer our car if I would push it.
This cemetery is on Tomlinson Road, at the Mercer-Van Wert County line. The remains of Tomlinson Church are across the road. It is said that if someone stands in the middle of the cemetery and another person walks backward around the cemetery, the person standing in the cemetery will disappear.
This is a rather large cemetery and I decided not to walk backward around it. Besides, Joe said he did not want to disappear. And to be honest, I did not want him to disappear either. The legend never explained where the person disappeared to or gave instructions on how to get them back.
Bloody Bridge is in Auglaize County and crosses the Miami-Erie Canal south of Spencerville. Bloody Bridge looks a lot like Cry-Baby Bridge, probably because both were recently rebuilt. The Auglaize County Historical Society erected a sign near Bloody Bridge in 1979 that tells its spooky tale:
During the canal years of the 1850′s a rivalry grew between Bill Jones and Jack Billings for the love of Minnie Warren. This became hatred by Bill because Minnie chose Jack. On a fall night in 1854, returning from a party, Minnie and Jack were surprised on the bridge by Bill. Armed with an ax, with one swing, Bill severed Jack’s head. Seeing this, Minnie screamed and fell from the bridge into a watery grave. Bill disappeared, and when a skeleton was found years later in a nearby well, people asked was it suicide or justice.
It is said you can see a woman’s face in the waters of the canal when standing on the bridge. The only thing we saw in the water was an old tire.
Were there any haunts around Chatt? When I was a teenager we talked about one spot on Oregon Road, near the state line. There were woods on both sides of Oregon Road there and the trees were thick and close to the road. The story was that a couple parked between the two woods and the guy left the car for some reason. After a while, waiting for her boyfriend to return, the girl heard something swishing back and forth on the car roof. She thought it was a tree branch but it was actually her boyfriend’s head hanging from a branch. Maybe some of you from the Chatt area remember this story?
Finally, the photo above was given to me by one of my patients who knew of my interest in cemetery research. The photo was taken in Houck Cemetery, in the hills of Kentucky. They were having trouble locating the back-road cemetery. The entrance was overgrown and they unknowingly drove past it several times.
She said it was a clear, warm, still day but all of a sudden a gust of wind blew some low branches to the side, enabling them to see the cemetery’s entrance. She located her ancestor’s tombstones and took some photos in the cemetery.
When she got her 35mm photos developed she noticed there were opaque white spots floating in the air above some of the tombstones. She saw nothing like that when she was in the cemetery and she is convinced that the spots were ghostly apparitions. Believe it or not…
Even though Joe and I did not see or hear any ghosts or witness any unusual activity last week, we had fun visiting the local spooky spots. Happy Halloween!