Ohio’s Helltown Urban Legends and History

Featured Haunted Places

The history of Helltown, Ohio – a small town plagued by rumors of hauntings, mutant snakes, murder, missing people, and chemical spills.

Tales of the supernatural surround the region formerly known as Boston, Ohio. The village of Boston was founded in 1806 and existed relatively uneventfully until 1974, when it became a footnote in American history. That was the year President Gerald Ford signed a bill that gave the federal government’s National Park Service jurisdiction to expropriate land for the establishment of National Parks. The NPS decided that Boston Township would be the new home for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and began buying the properties and forced evictions of its longtime residents. But the town’s history was much more frightening than anyone would have imagined. What was once Boston, Ohio is now known as Helltown.

The Legends of Helltown, Ohio

Helltown park map featuring drawn map and old photo of the town

“Now we know how the Indians felt.” and “No Trespassing”

Notes left on doors of abandoned houses in Helltown, Ohio

The abandoned village has attracted the interest of urban explorers and ghost hunters, who have uncovered strange orbs, lights, and heard disembodied voices. In 1985, a local dump near the village was discovered to be polluted with toxic chemicals. There are also dark rumors of satanic worshipers who frequent the area and use the abandoned buildings for their nefarious rituals, a haunted school bus and restless ghosts in the cemetery.

Helltown Cemetery

The “Boston Cemetery,” one of many haunted cemeteries in the US, named after the original township has many stories. One involves a ghost who sits on a bench, waiting for his family to come back to him. Another legend from the cemetery states that the only souls not forced to leave the area are the dead, and they sit in this abandoned ghost town, looking for their families which have left so long ago.

The Presbyterian church

old white church

A tiny white church in Helltown is at the center of local urban legends. Some locals believe it was once a place where Satanists worshipped, and that those same Satanists still wander the abandoned streets, hoping to entice visitors with tales of their sinister powers.

The abandoned bus

Road Closed sign from Helltown Ohio

A ghostly school bus stands on the grounds of Helltown. One legend says that it was supposed to be carrying high school students on a ski trip, but an elderly woman flagged it down and warned the driver that there was a young boy in her house who was seriously hurt. It was a trap though and all the students were murdered by a serial killer. In another version of the story it was satanists who sacrificed the students. As the legend goes you can see either the ghosts of the killer or his victims still sitting inside if you peer through the windows of the bus.

Toxic Waste and Monstrous Snakes

There was a private dump not far from Helltown owned by the Krejci family. The Dump was eventually sold to the National Park Service in the early 1970s, but it took until 1985 for the agency to take possession of the land. At first, investigators believed the area was nothing more than an old junkyard. They started to report strange odors, headaches, and even rashes. One man became physically ill, and was reported to be vomiting profusely while cleaning up the dump. The Environmental Protection Agency was called in and found there were thousands of drums of toxic chemicals that had been dumped on the land by major corporations over the decades the Krejci family ran the private landfill.

Peninsula Python Urband Legend from Helltown Ohio. Image of a giant mutant snake

The “Peninsula Python” is mutant snake created from the toxic dump left behind at the Krejci landfill. It is known to be up to 19 ft long with a wide track possibly as wide as a car time. It is dark with brownish blotches. It can climb trees and rear up like a cobra. It’s known to raid henhouses.

There are a few sighting reported from fandom.com.

Clarence Mitchell saw an 18-foot snake crawling across his cornfield near Peninsula, Ohio, on June 8, 1944. After several days of effort, a posse that had been formed on June 25 failed to find any evidence other than broken branches and trails leading to the Cuyahoga River. Reports of a large snake were made through August 1 by other residents of the valley, including Pauline Hopko, who said it slithered away from a willow tree in her yard and frightened her cows so much that they broke loose and ran away.


Helltown remains a mystery inside of several tragedies. It is a destination for urban legends, ghost hunters and historians alike. The town remains vacant but accessible.

Is it Illegal to Visit Helltown, Ohio?

No, Visitors can see Helltown without fear of breaking the law. The town is in Boston Township, Ohio, just off Rt. 422. Some residents still live outside the designated national park area but the town remains abandoned. The area is open; it’s free; and it’s less than 20 miles from downtown Cleveland. It’s a quick daytrip and although you could probably stay overnight, do you really want to?

Film and TV about Helltown

Helltown Documentary – This Documentary / Docudrama explores the different aspects, theories, facts, contradictions and speculations of what may have really happened in Helltown 1974.

Travel Channel Episode – Travel Channel explores Helltown.

Lost in Helltown – This looks like the beginning of an indie horror film







Old Town Pizza – Portland Oregon

Haunted Places

Date of Establishment & Haunting

Old Town pizza resides where the lobby was in the original Merchant Hotel which was built in 1880 by wealthy lumber barons. The haunting began between the late 1800s and early 1900s, but the exact date of the original sighting is unknown.

Name & Location

Old Town Pizza, Merchant Hotel. The building is located in Portland, Oregon’s Old Town District also known as Chinatown in the Northwest part of the city.

Physical Description

An ornate stone building is one of Portland most beautiful pieces of architecture. The Merchant Hotel sits on the corner of NW 3rd and Davis St in Portland, Oregon and takes up half of the city block. The four story building has been wonderfully maintained and the spooky nature of it’s past is evident as soon as you approach.

Haunted Merchant Hotel Portland Oregon


The Merchant Hotel was built in the late 1800s (1880) by Brothers Louis, Adolph, and Theodore Nicolai and it was originally a luxury hotel in what is now known as Portland’s Old Town district and Chinatown. The building is built atop Portland’s Shanghai Tunnels which connected businesses to the docks to move goods. Later the tunnels were allegedly used to shanghai sailors thus the mysterious name.


Mythology and Lore

Nina (pronounced “Nigh-na”) is the most notorious ghost and has been frequently sighted at the Old Town Pizza restaurant. Nina was forced into prostitution and worked at the upscale hotel. When she had the chance to escape the life she was forced into with support from local missionaries she took it. However, she never made it out of the hotel. She was found dead at the bottom of an elevator shaft not too long after planning her escape.

She reportedly will tap employees on the shoulder when they are in the basement. She has been seen wearing a white or black dress and will observe patrons eating.

Owner Adam Milne said an employee once saw a woman in a white dress go downstairs during closing time. When he went down to tell her they were closed, no one was there – Portland Eater Oct 27, 2016

Modern Pop-Culture References


Puzzle Box Horror’s “Atlas of Lore” July 2020 article Slice


  1. https://pdx.eater.com/2016/10/27/13440764/haunted-portland-restaurants-and-bars-oregon
  2. Portland Historic Landmarks Commission (July 2014), Historic Landmarks — Portland, Oregon (XLS), retrieved February 1, 2015.
  3. Portland Bureau of Planning (April 4, 2008). “National Historic Landmark Nomination (Revised Documentation): Skidmore/Old Town Historic District” (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
  4. “Merchants Hotel”. Historic Resource Inventory, City of Portland. Oregon Historic Sites Database. Retrieved January 26, 2015. “Old Hotel Remodeled For New Role” (December 7, 1968). The Oregonian, Section 1, p. 15.

Have more information or a story of the haunting, post it in the comments below.

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