From the Creepy Cleveland Archives
Contributed by Stephanie
Being natives of the surrounding area, my husband and I were somewhat familiar with the urban legends surrounding Peninsula/Boston Heights, but always took it with a healthy dose of skepticism. Nonetheless, after listening to the CRUW radio show Halloween night (while transporting an injured wild animal to an emergency vet hospital), we decided to check this stuff out first hand this weekend.
So today, we ventured out to the Boston Heights Cemetery and the "End of the World" roadside house.
The results were for the most part uneventful but no less creepy. First, we traveled to the cemetery. No bench, no ghost. Actually, the cemetery was well-maintained and quite quaint. We actually spent more time there studying the various, historic headstones and family plots. It was quite interesting, though somewhat sad--for instance, the Fayreweather family who had tragically lost many young sons within a very short period of time (during the civil war, I believe).
But the cemetery wasn't creepy. Rather, it was our trip to the "end of the world."
At first, the drive up to the "road closed" point was fairly neat, with the steep dips and everything. However, when we approached the "road closed" sign and saw the narrow, deserted, leaf-covered road down below, I immediately lost my nerve and made my husband stop. We turned around and drove for a while. I later regained my nerve and we went back, about an hour before sundown. As we were driving slowing down the steep hill, we came upon a tall man who was walking in the middle of the road, who turned around. He wore light, neutral colored clothing with an off-white fishing hat. The weirdest thing about this guy was that he didn't seem phased by the fact that he was in the road and that a car was coming up upon him. He turned back and stared right at us. Even though we were looking right at him, I could not tell how old he was. He could have been in his 60's or 70's or he could have just as easily been in his late 20's early 30's--light, fair haired features with a moderately weathered look, but with no discernible expression on his face.
We past this man and continued cautiously beyond the "road closed" sign. We traveled about 40 yards and then came up to a barrier which appeared to have been there for quite some time, at least a couple of years. So much for being able to drive through. We pulled off to the side of the road (?) and decided to get out of the car and continue on foot. As we worked ourselves around the gate, I looked back and saw that man slowly walking down the hill behind us. Honestly, he could have been a local on his usual hike. My husband was not visibly concerned that he was there, so I continued without having another wuss-out fit. The road to the house on foot can be somewhat strenouse for a 30 year-old smoker, but we made it up the hill. The road was pretty worn and in disrepair. It was very quiet during our hike. So I was surprised to see this guy still keeping a steady pace behind us--it didn't occur to me later that this guy didn't make a noise, even with all the dried leaves on the road.
Anyway, we got to the top and saw the house about a hundred feet back, behind some trees on our right. To my relief, we came across a few hikers passing through on a trail, so I became less concerned that this guy was still walking behind us. Also, with some people around, I regained some courage. We walked up to the house, following a "trail" of leaves and gravel. As we came up to the front of the house, I turned around and noticed our "friend" walking past the house, continuing on down the road, albeit slowly. We walked up to the house. The door was nothing more than a board. There was no school bus, nor its shadow. We walked around to the right, down up to the basement garage door, but that's as far as we went. I felt that there may have been a vagrant or other individual inside the house and we both made the sensible decision not to trespass further. Interestingly, while the house appeared more or less abandoned, there was an air-conditioning unit in one of the upstairs rooms. We walked around the house further, and came upon the legendary "hell car"--a rusted out late 60's model which probably hasn't moved from the spot in over ten years. I find it curious that it has remained here in this state. There was a large barn/shed on the left side of the house, with tarp-covered junk in front of it. While the barn had windows, it was dark and, as with the house, we could not detect anything or anyone behind the windows. However, I couldn't get rid of this feeling we were being watched. We left, walking back down the same path/driveway. As we came upon the road again, I saw the same man up the road to our right, who had been standing there but was now walking (quietly) back down the road toward our direction. It was as if he was standing up on the road watching us the whole time. My husband noticed him, but he carried himself high, and we both walked confidently back down back the hill to our car. The man was walking behind us. While this was really starting to creep me out, we then came upon a two groups of other hikers, and so I felt relatively safe even though I couldn't hear this guy behind us but knew he was there. When we got to our car, I didn't look back. I got in the car, but then when I looked up from my seat of the car (it was faced forward, where we had just come from), I didn't see that man.
No spooks, no ghosts, no axe murderers (or their victims) but very . . .strange.
P.S.--The Boston Cemetary was nothing. There is a really eerie cemetery we had visited a year ago that's close by and worth the trip. It's located off Route 303 (heading West, toward route 8), and within the Cuyahoga Valley Parks property. It's called the Mater Dolorosa cemetery, and can be accessed off the Haskell Run trail, from the (ironically named) Happy Days visitor center. We literally stumbled upon it while hiking this trail, and we were quite surprised to see it there in the middle of park grounds. It's very old and very small, surrounded by mostly dead trees. There are maybe 20 graves. The ground is weak, lumpy and dark (even in the day time). As we were strolling, reading what we could from the more preserved headstones, both myself and my husband were struck by an overall gloomy feel while there. Perhaps it was the aesthetics. However, as we finished the trail and approached the visitor center from behind and travelled to the left, we came upon the foundation of an old structure. The park literature never mentioned it, and I have always been curious if this is linked to that god-awful cemetery we had just visited. I've researched this issue but turned up zilch. Have you or any other person heard of or know of any additional background about this area? I know I'm never going back there.