Ohio’s Helltown Urban Legends and History

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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.

https://itsmth.fandom.com/wiki/Peninsula_Python

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

Youtube

Sources

https://allthatsinteresting.com/helltown-ohio

http://www.the13thfloor.tv/2016/05/10/helltown-ohio/

https://itsmth.fandom.com/wiki/Peninsula_Python

http://www.weirdus.com/states/ohio/abandoned/hell_town/

Ozark Howler – Cryptid Lore

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Featured Horror Mystery and Lore

Date of Discovery

The Ozark Howler sightings date back to the early 1800s in some southern regions of the United states. The earliest legend comes from Daniel Boone’s encounter with this creature. Legends say Boone fired a few shots at the creature, some say he took it home as a trophy, but little evidence supports that. The most recent sightings came in 2015 when a local resident claims to have photographed the Howler at Devil’s Den State Park.

Devils Den State Park

An imposing icon in the Arkansas Ozarks, Devil’s Den State Park boasts beautiful natural scenery and structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The park contains a system of caves and underground rivers, as well as trails to surrounding forests that offer hikes and horseback riding opportunities. Lake Devil, a CCC-built dam spanning Lee Creek, also attracts fishing and boating enthusiasts.

Ozark Howler

The Ozark Howler “Howler” has racked up a list of names such as Howler and the Ozark Black Howler. Some of these creatures’ lesser-known names are the Hoo-Hoo, the Nightshade Bear, and the Devil Cat. This creature is known to live in remote areas in the Ozarks. Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas are the four states that make up the Ozark area and have the most sightings of the Howler.

The notable howl is described as eerie, violent and loud. A mixture between several creatures but none specific enough to know its true origins.

Physical Description

Ozark Howler drawing resembling a large bear with horns and claws

These creatures are typically a bear sized being, with a thick and stocky build. It’s covered with black shaggy hair, and in some reports has prominent horns near their ears. This “Howler” has glowing red eyes and the cry of a wolf’s howl, elk’s bugle, and the laugh of a hyena. Often some sightings claim this creature is a large ‘’cat-like’’ monster, but the size of a bear. Still have shaggy hair, but the tan color of a mountain lion or puma. This version does not come with horns, however. Also the “cat” version of the Howler as orangey-red glowing eyes, but the growl of a big cat rather than a true howl.

Origin

This creature has origin tales from Arkansas to Missouri, Oklahoman and Northern Texas and back, all pointing to the 1800s as its true origin date. Many believe this was a hoax to fool the cyptid community from early American folklore, while others have determined the Howlers real. Some claim this is a lost branch of the mountain lion line mix with and unknown ‘big cat’ breed. This missing link from Howler to a big cat has scientists scrambling to match the species and close this unknown link.  

The Ozark Howler is not the only cryptid to be likened to other animals such as the Sasquatch, Dogman and many others.

Mythology and Lore

Some legends state the Howler to be a growling demon stalking its prey across the country or mountainsides. Others report the Howler appearing in the distance just for a look at the passer-byes before disappearing again. The 1800s versions of the Howler telltale of people being attacked and killed; while recent tales to match. Most sightings have become passive walk byes with some strange howling or growling.

Scientists have spent years research breeding populations of big cats in the Ozark area, as well as thermal imagery in hopes of catching a reading of this creature. Many large-scale efforts have been brought to sighting location’s in multiple states, only turning up minor evidence the Howler could have been there. Paw prints and dark hairs are the only traces past blurred out pictures and local tales.  This, however, does not stop locals, researchers, and cryptid hunters from searching out the Howler. Many still comb the area in hopes of seeing this creature.

The Ozark Howler Hoax

Adding even more confusion to this creature’s tale in the late 1990s hoax. Convinced this and other legends were a hoax, an Arkansas student made it his mission to prove the cryptid community wrong. This person flooded websites and blogs with outlandish sighting stories of the Howler, as well as other legends. This made researching and proving the truth of the Howler, to be massively difficult. Scientists have since launched full investigations to get to the bottom of the Howler legend. Chad Arment even states in his book Cryptozoology that the Ozark Howler is definitely a hoax, but there is no further evidence presented.

In 2015 News Leader ran a story from a tipster, John Meyers who sent in photos that were meant to be the Ozark Howler. However, the pictures were thought to be heavily photoshopped and barely resemble the Howler legend.

John was quoted in News Leader saying “Met some family in Devil’s Den State Park this weekend for some camping,” the tipster wrote. “We were up near Yellow Rock trail head this morning and saw this thing chase a squirrel up a tree and I have never seen anything like it. It had short black fur, a broad nose and horns like a young deer but it moved like a cat and had a long tail. Don’t know what else it could be but the Howler.  It was yelping and scratching at the tree and I got this pretty good photo when it stopped and turned to look at me. Wish I had video or more photos but it disappeared too fast….You can give me a call I’m an electrician so usually available to talk for a minute.” 

The Search Continues

Today many still search for the Ozark Howler across the States, others have written this creature off completely. Unfortunately, we will have to make our own choice as to what we believe over this creature’s truth. Hopefully, in a few years, the cryptid community will be able to say for sure what is truth and what is false information. Thus giving Howler hunters a set origin and behavior to match the creature they so long to capture. This is one creature that real or not, has dug deep into American folklore of the Ozark region. It is doubtful the Howler will ever be free from humans searching it out, but it is a fun, albeit potentially dangerous, way to spend your time traveling the Ozarks.

Modern Pop-Culture References

Books & Literature about the Ozark Howler

Movies about the Ozark Howler

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Is there anything we missed about Ozark Howler? Let us know in the comments section below!

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