Ohio’s Historic Haunts: Location #3 Revealed!

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OK, one last peek before I tell you there this picture was taken:

Page 229

It’s the Loveland Castle!

Those of you not familiar with the Loveland Castle, click here right now because it is one of the most amazing structures you’ll ever set your eyes upon! Go ahead, click away…just come back!

Exterior of Loveland Castle

Not sure what else I can say about Loveland Castle that hasn’t been said already, except the fact that as soon as I started kicking around ideas for Ohio’s Historic Haunts, I knew I wanted Loveland Castle to be part of the book.

Simply put, the idea that one man, Harry Andrews, spent close to 50 years building a multi-storied castle by hand was something that needed to be shared with the world. That’s right; Loveland Castle was essentially created by one man. Oh yeah, and he would pull all the rocks for his castle out of the river himself!

Of course, rumors that the place is haunted didn’t hurt, either. Since he spent decades working on (and living in) the Castle, most just assume Harry Andrews would be one of the ghosts hanging around. And some believe he is. But what I found fascinating was the discovery that Harry himself claimed to have encountered a ghost on numerous occasions inside the Castle. There are also reports of a ghostly woman in white who floats above the portion of the Little Miami River that runs in front of the Castle. You heard me right; she floats above the water!

So did anything happen to me while I was at Loveland Castle during the writing of Ohio’s Historic Haunts? Yes! Here’s the weird part: It happened even before my investigation began. In fact, it was during the initial interviews. Oh yeah, and we got it on audio, too!

What was it? Well, you’ll just have a grab a copy of Ohio’s Historic Haunts to find out! And if you really want the inside scoop, have a look at my Schedule of Appearances because I just might be playing the Loveland Castle audio at some of my presentations!

Closeup of Loveland Castle

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If you need to catch up on all the other locations I’ve revealed so far, click here.

Want to see Loveland Castle for yourself? It’s open to the public, so check our their hours of operation (and other cool stuff) here.

Preorder (or order, depending on when you’re reading this) your copy of Ohio’s Historic Haunts right here.

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The Ohio Trolley Tragedy That Never Was

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–via the Daily Mail (copyrighted Seph Lawless)

It’s all over the news: an urban explorer/photographer stumbles across the rotting skeletons of numerous trolley and train cars “in the Ohio woods near the Ohio/PA border”: The remains of the Trolley Tragedy of 1957. While in the area, a local lets it be known that the site is also believed to be haunted.

But how is it that these cars, which were part of such a tragic event in history, remained hidden for so long? The answer is quite simple, really: there is no such thing as the Trolley Tragedy of 1957 and these particular train/trolley cars were not part of any “horrific wreck.”

The stunning photographs that have surfaced recently are the work of one man, who goes by the pseudonym Seph Lawless. Lawless travels around the United States, photographing abandoned locations. As far as the Trolley Tragedy goes, it seems to have started popping up on news sites earlier this month (July). Right from the start, the facts seemed to be getting lost. For example, this NewsNet5 article, dated July 9th (and updated on July 10th), claims “it’s not certain how the train cars arrived at the location or why they were put there.” The very same day, July 9th, Zap2it.com posted an article off the Tribune Media Wire that referred to the cars, collectively, as an “abandoned train wreck” and also contained the following statement:

A man who lives in the area told Lawless the train wreck is referred to as ‘The Trolley Tragedy of 1957’ and it’s believed to be haunted.

FOX8 out of Cleveland also published an article on July 9th that stated “Lawless said his new book, ‘The Trolley Tragedy of 1957,’ is based on folklore in the area.” But FOX43’s article from the same day call the location an “abandoned train wreck”, not once, but twice, including in the headline.

One week later, newspapers everywhere, including the UK’s Daily Mail, were officially calling it The Trolley Tragedy of 1957 and saying the site was haunted. Even the Weather Channel, of all sites, got into the act and further confused things by including this line in their article: “A local told Lawless that many of these trains were involved in a tragic trainwreck in 1957, but it’s possible that the debris came from multiple accidents over the years.”

So what exactly is the Trolley Tragedy of 1957? Well, do any sort of online search for “trolley tragedy of 1957” and guess what you get? Nothing but links to recent articles about Lawless. There is not a single piece of documentation to support that anything happened at the site Lawless photographed. You would think that even if this event was “based on folklore in the area”, there’d be something about it on the Internet, especially given the speed at which ghost stories and urban legends spread across the Web. But there’s nothing.

--via the Daily Mail (copyrighted Seph Lawless)

–via the Daily Mail (copyrighted Seph Lawless)

OK, but where did all the trolley cars come from?

Well for one, the cars aren’t located in the “Ohio woods”. They are actually over the border in Pennsylvania (and no, I’m not telling you where they are–you’ll be trespassing if you go there, so don’t). Regardless, it would appear that most, if not all of the cars at this site are owned by the Vintage Electric Streetcar Company out of Windber, Pennsylvania. By the sound of things, the company is “storing” the cars with the intent of selling them, possibly for parts. Here is a link to a page which lists the cars at this location.

While I was on that page, I did a quick bit of digging and found that some of the cars allegedly involved in the “tragedy” followed the same path through history:

  • Built in 1945
  • Operated on the Boston Elevated Railway from 1945 until 1947
  • Operated on the Boston Metropolitan Transit Authority from 1947 until 1964
  • Operated as part of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority from 1964 until 1992
  • Purchased by the Vintage Electric Streetcar Company in 1992 (unknown when they were moved to their current location).

So you see, not only were these trolley cars in operation almost 30 years after they were supposedly involved in some sort of “tragedy”, they never left the state of Massachusetts until 1992 when they were taken out of service–35 years after they were alleged to have been involved in a “tragedy” in Ohio…even though they’re actually in Pennsylvania.

It’s pretty easy to check all this information, too. In the Daily Mail article, car numbers are clearly visible in 3 of Lawless’ photographs. The car numbers are 2290, 3259, and 3255. Do a search for any (or all) of those numbers on the “inventory” page for the Vintage Electric Streetcar Company and it will pull up the information on those particular cars.

--via the Daily Mail (copyrighted Seph Lawless)

–via the Daily Mail (copyrighted Seph Lawless)

Look, I’m not trying to stomp on someone for trying to make a name for themselves or get their work out into the mainstream. Lawless’ photographs are indeed stunning and some are downright creepy. What I’m taking issue with is the clear disregard to historical facts and the attempt to attach imaginary disasters to a location. And why wasn’t any of this fact-checked before being sent out across the news wire?

In my opinion, the photographs stand on their own as a testament to urban decay, albeit in a rural setting, which makes them even more intriguing. Fabricating stories associated with the photographs only cheapens things.

Could these cars be haunted? Sure, I guess so. But one thing is for certain: the ghosts aren’t the result of the Trolley Tragedy of 1957, because that event never happened.

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You can read the entire NewsNet5 article here.

The Daily Mail article can be read by clicking here.

The FOX8 Cleveland article is here.

YOu can read FOX43’s article by clicking here.

The Zap2it article can be found here.

The Weather Channel article is right here.

The web site DCist has an article entitled Pennsylvania’s Streetcar Graveyard that gives more background on the site and where the cars originated from.

Gore Orphanage Road Added To Ohio Crybaby Bridge Project

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Ask anyone to compile a list of the most popular “haunted” locations in Ohio and Gore Orphanage will almost certainly appear near the top of that list. Not only is the legend of Gore Orphanage a popular one, but the stories associated with the location have continually changed over the years, making it incredibly hard to separate fact from fiction. So of course, it was only a matter of time before a Crybaby Bridge legend became associated with Gore Orphanage, right?

But where did the legend originate and can it be verified? Are there really ghostly children running amuck on this bridge? Well, what are you waiting for? Click here and check out the legend of Gore Orphanage Road’s Crybaby Bridge!

Of course, if you need to catch up on all the other Crybaby Bridges currently on file, or this is your first time here, you might want to visit the Ohio Crybaby Bridge Project home page first.

Ohio’s Historic Haunts: Name That Location #3

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I figured a nice way to slide on into the July 4th weekend would be with another Name That Location!

If you just stumbled upon this page and have no idea what all the fuss is about Ohio’s Historic Haunts, let me get you up to speed. It’s my new book that’s slated to come out this fall. To give everyone some nice little teasers, I’m posting photos of the locations covered in the book, asking people to guess where the picture was taken. When I think the suspense has gotten to be too much, I’ll post the answer and some inside scoop on what happened at the location during the writing of the book.

You can check out the other two Name That Location photos here and here.

As for Location #3, all I’m telling you at this point is that it will appear on page 229 of Ohio’s Historic Haunts. Care to guess the location?