Not a bridge at all: it’s a hill inside a cemetery.
Not much to this legend. It is said that atop a small hill in this cemetery is a small group of tombstones. Although it is nearly impossible to make out the names on the stones, legend has it they mark the graves of several babies who were murdered (apparently elsewhere) and then buried in the cemetery. If you go to the cemetery at night and sit on the hill, you may be able to hear the sound of multiple babies crying. Some even report seeing ghostly babies crawling out of the nearby fields and towards their graves.
No apparent ritual: Just be at the cemetery at night.
The cemetery in question is Harris-Jones Cemetery, although it is known locally as Knob Hill Cemetery or Boot Hill Cemetery. Regardless, the cemetery entrance is a small dirt road located along the western side of County Road 7, right outside McClure proper.
Fascinating example of how, at least in Ohio, Crybaby Bridge legends have morphed to the point where they don’t even need a bridge anymore. That, of course, doesn’t make up for the fact that it also has one of the lamest legends associated with it. I mean, couldn’t they have at least added a couple more specifics just for effect?
I should point out that while the cemetery is no longer active, it does appear as though someone is attempting to care for it. Every time I’ve gone, the grass has been cut and the grounds are clean. That being said, I’ve yet to visit at a time when I didn’t find most of the tombstones knocked over. It’s sad, really.
As for the Crybaby Hill itself, there is indeed a small hill in the cemetery and it does have some tombstones on it. And yes, it was hard to make out some of the inscriptions on the stones. However, none of the stones appeared to belong to children. In fact, it was hard to find many children’s tombstones in the cemetery, period.
Finally, due largely to the desecration I continually see in this cemetery, I feel the need to reiterate that Ohio state law is that ALL public cemeteries, even ones that are not fenced/gated, are closed from dusk until dawn. As such, if you go to this cemetery at night, even because you’re “researching”, you run the risk of getting, at the very least, a ticket for trespassing. In other words, don’t go.
When I was a teenager, me and my friends loved going to Crybaby Hill, especially in the summer. The place is really creepy at night because you are in the middle of a field and you just feel exposed. But it’s really creepy during the summer because you’re convinced something is going to come out of the corn at any minute.
Now, if you were going to ask me if I ever heard any babies crying, I would have to say no. The story I heard what that they were all murdered and they would come crying out of the cornfields as they tried to get back in their graves. Now we did hear stuff moving around in the corn a couple of nights we were there, but if I had to say what that was, I would say it was probably deer. It was still a fun and spooky place to visit!
–Mary G., Napoleon, OH
A bunch of us went out there one time just to see if the stories were true. I heard something crying, but it wasn’t coming from inside the cemetery. It was like out in the fields. A couple of my friends were with me and they heard it, too. They all booked back to the car but I hung out there by myself for a while. Never saw any babies though.
–John J., Weston, OH
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