Newton Falls Covered Bridge Added To Crybaby Bridge Project

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I can think of no stranger or spookier way to get this ol’ blog up and running again than by adding another location to the Ohio Crybaby Bridge Project.

The Newton Falls Covered Bridge holds a special place in my ghostly heart, too. The main reason for that is because its history is made up of that unique combination of historical facts and urban legends that I’ve come to know and love. So what this bridge lacks in facts regarding its ghost story, it more than makes up for with its rich history. Heck, not even a tornado could take this bridge down!

So go take a peek at this bridge’s entry in the Crybaby Bridge Project. And as always, if this is your first visit to the Project, a good starting point for you will be the Project’s Home Page.

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Greely Chapel Road Added To Ohio Crybaby Bridge Project

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Long before my personal addiction to Kewpee hamburgers, my love affair with Lima, Ohio, began with the bridge on Greely Chapel Road. During my first trip out there around 2001, it was just another Crybaby Bridge. Of course, the more I dug, the stranger the stories surrounding this bridge got.

Several years later, I got involved with the annual Lima Lantern Tours and that’s when the stories really took off! Seems like everyone I spoke with during the Lantern Tours had a weird story to tell me about the bridge on Greely Chapel Bridge. There were so many stories that when the idea to create a database of all reported Crybaby Bridges in Ohio popped into my head, Greely Chapel Road was the first bridge I wrote down on my list of “must-haves”.

OK, enough reminiscing! Click here and enjoy a virtual visit to the latest edition to the Ohio Crybaby Bridge Project: Greely Chapel Road Crybaby Bridge.

If this is the first time you’ve stumbled upon my little Crybaby Project, swing on over to the Ohio Crybaby Bridge Project home page first to get caught up on what this whole thing’s about!

Ohio’s Historic Haunts: Location #4 Revealed!

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Well, this one didn’t fool many people: It’s the Haunted Hydro in Fremont, Ohio!

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Let me just say that from the get-go, I was fascinated by the Haunted Hydro. Not only because it was unique in that it was a “haunted” haunted house, but also because of the rich history surrounding the building.

You see, the building was originally known as the Hydro Electric Power Plant. Created in 1911, the plant helped provide electricity to nearby Fremont, Ohio, with a little help from the nearby Sandusky River, of course.

That same Sandusky River would overflow its banks in March of 1913, bringing about one of the worst floods the area has ever seen. While there were no reported deaths at the plant that were a result of the flood, there are some who believe there were unreported drownings that led to the building being haunted. Some will also tell you that the hauntings predate the flood and even the building itself. In fact, there are whispers that the very ground the Haunted Hydro sits on is cursed.

Writing on basement beam showing how high the water rose during the flood of 1913

Regardless, step inside the Haunted Hydro and you might find yourselves face-to-face with the ghost of a little girl or any number of shadowy spectres, none of which are actual flesh-and-blood actors dressed up for the haunt. Although, to be fair, many guests and patrons have mistaken the ghosts for actors and actresses in costume. What’s more, one of the ghosts said to haunt the Hydro is believed to be that of a former employee.

I’m not going to tell you everything that happened when I spent the night inside the Haunted Hydro (at least not yet). What I will tell you is that it was a rather daunting task. For starters, the many twists and turns of the Hydro made it very hard to try and run all the cables for the video cameras and studio microphones.

Original placement of IR cameras inside the Haunted Hydro

Then there was the idea that even though I visited the Haunted Hydro off-season, many of the props were still on display. So let’s just say that no matter how many times I tried to make a mental note of where all the “monsters” were lurking inside the building, come the wee hours of the morning, I’d forget. The result was I would round a random corner, shine my flashlight upon a ghoul crouching in the corner, and promptly freak myself out!

Hydro Cemetery

Want to know more about what happened inside the Haunted Hydro? Grab yourself a copy of Ohio’s Historic Haunts right here.

Just want to catch up on all the other locations that I’ve revealed so far? click here!

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: Location #1 Revealed!

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OK, last chance to guess where this photo from my upcoming Ohio’s Historic Haunts is from! Scroll past the photo for the answer!

Give up? The photo was taken at the Farnam Manor in Richfield, Ohio. Specifically, the photo is of Emily’s Room, where the ghost of young Emily Farnam is said to hang out. Emily died in the house after falling into an old cistern.

Before I give you some more information about Farnam Manor, I’d like to point out the reason why I chose to start this whole “guess the location” thing with this particular photo. Simply put, I was a little bummed when I heard that while Ohio’s Historic Haunts was going to be chock full of photographs, they were all going to be in black and white. I didn’t think that would work, but the picture of Emily’s Room at Farnam Manor changed my mind. For me, the B&W kind of gives the photo a weird sort of vibe, which I am totally digging. In fact, the first time I saw it in the proofs, it instantly reminded me of all those all B&W photos from the 70s of the Amityville Horror house when Ed and Lorraine Warren were roaming about.

Anyway, a little bit more about Farnam Manor to whet your appetite.

I think it was destiny that Farnam Manor ended up in Ohio’s Historic Haunts. Truth be told, it wasn’t on the original list of locations to be included. But one day, I was passing through Richfield on my way to one of my scheduled library appearances when, out of the corner of my eye, a saw this gorgeous old house just sitting there all by itself, guarded by two stone lions.

Farnam Manor Exterior

Almost immediately, I got that weird, tingling feeling, letting me know that I might be onto something. I mean, how could a house like that not have some great history behind it? Still, I needed it to at least have a reputation for being haunted in order for it to be included in Ohio’s Historic Haunts. Instinctively, I did one of my infamous U-turns and pulled into the driveway.

Fate was on my side as one of the Manor’s co-owners, Tim Magner, was out mowing the lawn. After a brief discussion about who I was and why I was checking in, Tim sheepishly nodded and said that while he wasn’t too convinced, yes, there were stories about Farnam Manor being haunted. I thanked Tim and left him my business card. The rest, as they say, is history.

Months later, I would find myself back at Farnam Manor, interviewing over a dozen people who claimed to have not only encountered the ghost of Emily Farnam, but several other spirits, as well. Oh yeah, and I was told a rather interesting tale about Native American Indian ghosts that resulted in my bringing this bag of tobacco with me to leave as an offering.

Tobacco I brought and left as an offerinf Farnam Manor

What’s that all about? Well, you’ll just have to wait for the book to come out!

To read more about Farnam Manor, including what happened when I spent the night inside the house, grab yourself a copy of Ohio’s Historic Haunts. You can also check my schedule of appearances to see if I’m coming to your neck of the woods. If I am, odds are pretty good I’ll be talking about Farnam Manor!

Of course, you can also visit their website or, better yet, schedule your own visit to Farnam Manor and check the place out for yourself. Just be sure to tell them Weird Willis sent you. Oh yeah, and keep an eye on those stone lions out front. Was probably just me, but I was pretty convinced they were set to pounce on me the second I turned my back!

Closeup of lion at Farnam Manor

Fudge Road Added To Ohio Crybaby Bridge Project

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Ghostly reminders of a drug deal gone bad. Bloodthirsty monsters creeping closer to your car. Murderous midgets.

All this, and we haven’t even gotten to the bridge yet!

Fudge Road has long been rumored to be haunted, so it should come to no surprise that the road has its very own Crybaby Bridge, too. What is surprising, though, is that the bridge was one of the last things on Fudge Road to gain its haunted reputation.

So how did the legend get started? Is it really haunted? And what of the story that someone was recently murdered on the bridge?

All of those questions (and more) will be answered when you read about the latest edition to the Project: the Fudge Road Crybaby Bridge. Just give a click here and off you go!

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.

Ever Been To A Crybaby Bridge In Ohio?

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Photo I took for Weird Ohio of the alleged Rogues Hollow Crybaby Bridge, circa 2004

You have? Then I want to talk to you!

I am currently in the process of compiling data for my Crybaby Bridge project, which will launch this summer on this very site. Basically, it will be a somewhat comprehensive list of all known Crybaby Bridges in the state of Ohio, including the legends attached to each bridge and what, if any, specific ritual you need to do in order to be able to hear the ghostly baby cry.

I will also be including photos of all of the bridges as I’m making it a point to personally visit each and every one, just to see if I can experience anything myself. And that’s where you can help! I want to know what happened when you went to the Crybaby Bridge. Did you hear the baby cry? Anything else weird happen? Or is the story just BS and absolutely nothing happened? Either way, I want to know!

Lick Road–a Crybaby Bridge in the making

Drop me a line at jim@strangeandspooky.com and tell me all about it. I’ll even include your story on this site because, after all, I’m a big fan of giving credit where credit is due. You don’t even have to use your real name if you don’t want to.

Right now, I have compiled information on 32 alleged Crybaby Bridges in Ohio, so chances are, the one you’ve visited is on my list. If that’s the case, I’ll have information that I can share with you about the bridge, too. See how that works? Everybody wins!

So come on and write me that e-mail!

Pipe Bomb Discovered Near Ohio’s Legendary ‘Screaming Bridge’

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–WestChesterBuzz.com file photo, available here

I was originally going to post this story in the Ohio News of the Weird section. But as I’ve mentioned numerous times before on this site, ONW is for stories that, while weird, are a bit lighthearted. And to be honest, after reading through the reports several times, I don’t find anything the least bit funny.

According to reports, a device that is referred to as a “pipe bomb” or an “IED” (Improvised Exploding Device) was discovered on May 28th near the Maud Hughes Road bridge in Liberty Township. Over the years, the bridge has developed a reputation for being haunted and is now known locally (and among ghost enthusiasts) as the Screaming Bridge–its name being derived from one of the many urban legends associated with the bridge in which the ghostly screams of a woman can be heard coming from under/near the structure.

After the device was discovered, the authorities were summoned and they spent the next 90 minutes dismantling the bomb before removing it. Currently, there are no further developments in the case and it is not known who placed the bomb near the bridge or why, although Sergeant Rob Whitlock of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office is quoting as saying that “there doesn’t appear to be any maliciousness” involved. And that’s the point where this story suddenly takes a really dark turn.

Call me “dense” (you wouldn’t be the first…or last), but I fail to see how placing a homemade explosive device near a bridge is NOT malicious. Granted, Whitlock is basing his comment on where the device was found: his full quote is “in my opinion, from where the pipe bomb was found, there doesn’t appear to be any maliciousness to it”, but that still doesn’t hold water for me. In my eyes, placing a pipe bomb anywhere constitutes malicious behavior.

I also am a bit disturbed by Whitlock’s comment that whoever placed the pipe bomb “was just down there trying to make a big bang.” Oh, OK, now I feel better. It was just a bunch of wacky kids messing around and building a pipe bomb so’s they can make a big ol’ bang. Kinda like The Little Rascals used to do, right?

Look, I’m not trying to mock the way the Sheriff’s Office is handling things (OK, maybe just a little) nor am I trying to say there’s some big conspiracy at work here involving the coverup of some big plot to destroy bridges in Southern Ohio. Far from it. But here’s the thing: I’ve been to the Screaming Bridge many, many times over the years and it’s a dangerous place to go, even without pipe bombs. For one, the place has become a hangout for kids, partly due to it being fairly overgrown and secluded and partly because of its “haunted” reputation. Despite locals trying to keep the kids away, even to the point of erecting No Trespassing signs in recent years, people keep coming and either try to park on or near the bridge or else walk in and slide down the embankment to get to the bridge. Parking on any bridge is never a good idea, but it’s a horrible idea to try to park on the Screaming Bridge since its situated in such a way that there is a blind curve immediately after crossing the bridge. In other words, you’ll never see that oncoming car until it’s too late. And if you try to park alongside the bridge, there’s hardly any space to do so (and that space is usually posted, anyway) without you running the risk of rolling your car down the embankment.

Those who try to climb down the embankment also run the risk of injury as the steep incline is usually overgrown and hard to get a foothold on. There is a bit of a worn path there, but with even the slightest bit of rain, it becomes wet and slippery. When that happens, like it or not, you’re probably going to fall on your butt.

My point in all this is simple: even driving your car over the Screaming Bridge can be treacherous, especially if you have to keep an eye out for thrill-seeking kids darting in front of you. Whoever put that pipe bomb there surely knew that. So in my opinion, if the makers of the pipe bomb really were just looking “to make a big bang”, they were looking to scare passing motorists, ghost-hunting people, or both. Whatever the case, that’s clearly malicious. I know for a fact that people often go out to the Screaming Bridge, usually late at night, and hide there to scare motorists as they drive by. I’ve actually interviewed more than a few of the “Screamers” who have regaled me with their stories of hiding under the bridge, screaming as a car went by, and then running off, giggling, as they watch the car’s brake lights come on. I can’t say I condone that behavior, but it is the sort of “spooking” that has gone on for generations. Explosive devices are another story entirely, especially in the troubled times we’re living in today.

Bottom line? I used to tell people to stay away from the Screaming Bridge because of the terrain and the fact that it was posted. Now I feel I need to add “and some imbeciles like to go out there to make a big bang with pipe bombs.”

Stay safe, people. And I’ll be sure to do the same as I climb off my Soap Box now.

You can read the entire Cincinnati.com article by clicking here.