Top 5 Urban Legends of Cleveland, Ohio

It seems that just about every state, county, and city in the world has some sort of creep story. Whether it be haunted houses, old burial grounds, or some unexplained phenomenon, it is sure to be found somewhere. Ohio is no different. In fact, many would say that this state is home for large amounts of creepy phenomenon.

R.L Stine based most of his children’s horror in Ohio. Bigfoot sightings are almost on the same level as the upper Northwest, and let’s not forget about little green men.

Join me as I share with you my Top 5 Urban Legends of Cleveland, Ohio.

Dr. Crow and the Kirtland Melonheads

A short drive down the road will bring you to Kirtland, home to a strange urban legend. In Kirtland, on Wisner Rd, it is said there was a mansion owned by Dr. Crow and his wife. IN this mansion, the two of them cared for children that were reported to have a medical condition that caused them to have abnormally large heads. The details of this legend vary depending on who tells it.

In one version, it is said that Dr Crow accepted children who already had a condition that gave them swollen heads. He collected these children to conduct experiments on. In the course of his experimentation, their heads became larger. The story suggests that Crow physically and mentally abused these children, one day they had simply had enough and revolted against the treatment. They burned the house down with Crow and his wife still inside. Once the house was burned to the ground, they realized they had no were to go. They retreated to the nearby woods where they supposedly still live.

Other stories suggest that the government conducted experiments on Houthis kids and that Crow and his wife took them in to give them as close to a normal life as they could have. During their care, the house somehow burned down and the children escaped. Crow and his wife were trapped inside. The kids retreated to the woods for safety and have been there ever since. There are other stories, as well. If you have heard any different variations, comment below and let me know.

It is said that if you want to see the Melonheads, there are two places you need to go. First is King Cemetery in Chardon. This little cemetery is a family owned plot that is reported to have unmarked graves in the rear, supposedly where some of the Melonheads are buried. This is a family owned plot with its own history that doesn’t mention the Melonheads. Is this a cover up or simply the truth of this family plot? The largest sightings come from a bridge located on Wisner Rd. In one story, this bridge is famous due to Crow throwing bodies of baby Melonheads over the side to the creek below, Many people report seeing the Melonheads camped out near the creek here or wandering through the woods. Have you had a brush with this urban legend? Let me know below.

The Haunting of West Side Market

If you are from Cleveland, it is a fact that you have been to or know about West Side Market. In case you dont, here is a quick run down. West Side Market has been a cornerstone of Ohio City for over 100 years. For many, this is their place for groceries for their households. Inside the market you will find many booths that support local butchers, grocers, and vendors. The outside is flanked by produce stands hocking every kind of produce imaginable. Who would have thought that this business cornerstone would have a darker side?

Cooler No. 9 has been the home of a dark entity for many years, vendors and overnight maintenance, alike, have talked about the eerie disturbances around that particular booth. Many spectral entities have been seen around the market, much like the bloody girl that haunts one of the back alleys. D.W. Whitaker Meats is home to cooler No. 9 and and the ghostly inhabitant, that has been seen by the owners, wearing an old style butchers apron. Tim Jeziorski, co-worker to Don Whitaker, has heard sounds, at night, that are similar to a hacksaw sawing through bone. The times he has heard it, he was the only other person there.  

In November 1913, the Plain Dealer ran a story about Joseph McCurdy. McCurdy was known as the “Housewife’s friend” as he had allowed neighboring houses to store fruits and pies in his coolers. By 1915, McCurdy’s story had taken a darker turn. He started to fall into financial despair. It was at this time his wife also discovered that he had been having an affair with another woman. February 11th, 1915, laborers found the huddled body of McCurdy on top of a cooling vent. At his feet laid a double barrel shotgun that he was alleged to have killed himself with, the report in the Plain Dealer stated that he used his big toe to pull the trigger and take his life.

Do you know anything about this urban legend? If so, let me know below.

Loveland Frogman

The year was 1955, a man was traveling through Loveland, Ohio enjoying his trip. He was somewhere near the Little Miami River when movement caught his attention. As he looked up he saw, what he described as, three mysterious creatures. These figures were roughly 3 or 4 feet tall and appeared to talk to one another. What struck him as the oddest part of the exchange was that those beings had leathery skin and what appeared to be faces of frogs. This man also stated they carried, what described as, a wand that they would occasionally wave above their heads. This frightened him thoroughly and he left the area.

Credibility was added to this story in 1972, when a Loveland police officer Ray Shockey reported to a fellow officer about seeing an animal consistent with descriptions of the frogman. TWo weeks later, the second officer Mark Matthews reported seeing an unidentified animal crouched along the road. Matthews shot and killed the animal, collected it and put it into the trunk of his car. It was later identified as a large iguana that was missing a tail. Shockey claims to have agreed that it was the same animal.

As recent as 2016, people have reported seeing these Frog people. One such event came from a couple that had been playing Pokemon Go nearLoveland Madeira Road and Lake Isabella. They claimed to have seen a large frog near the lake that stood on two legs and walked away from them. 

The legend of the Loveland Frogman is so ingrained in the area that it also spawned a musical, titled Hot diggity dog! It’s the Loveland Frog.

Defiance Werewolf

Many of you may be familiar with the movie The Silver Bullet that was adapted from the short story with the same name by author Stephen King. In the opening of the movie we see an inebriated railroad worker walking along the tracks at night singing. Suddenly he is confronted by a large hairy figure who in turns murders him. 

This encounter is similar to many stories people have shared about an entity called the Defiance Werewolf.

Defiance, Ohio became popular around the 1970s with a rash of sightings reported of none other than, you guessed, a werewolf. Ted Davis was working late at the rail yard in 1972. He told the police that he was looking around when he noticed something out of the ordinary. He saw two fur clad feet sporting sharp claws. As he looked up he realized what he was seeing was wearing ripped jeans and covered in fur. The face had a long snout like a dog and sharp teeth. He was attacked and told his boss that he was sure it was a werewolf. His boss didn’t believe him, until he noticed movement in the distance. When he looked closely, he saw the same werewolf that attacked Ted.

A few weeks after this incident, a local grocer was driving home after closing his store. In front of him, something caught his eye. As his headlights framed the figure better, he realized he was staring straight at a werewolf. The encounter lasted only a few seconds before it ran off into the neighboring woods. 

Sadly, it seems that the story of this particular werewolf has faded since the late 70s. There have been no recent reports of this furry fellow. If you have any knowledge or sightings of this Ohio cryptid, let me know in the comments below. 

Bessie – Lake Erie monster

I saved the most talked about urban legend to the end. I am sure that everyone has heard of the Loch Ness Monster and there are plenty of stories similar to Nessie all over the world. In fact, our very own city by the lake has its own version, Bessie.

South Bay Bessie, as she is sometimes called, or simply the Lake Erie Monster dates back to the early days of our fair city. In 1793, a captain of a sloop called Felicity was out hunting ducks. During his hunt, he somehow startled a 16 and ½ foot snake like creature. The captain being startled stated that it disappeared soon after.

1827 near Toledo, two french settlers encountered a huge monster in, what they thought, were death throes on the beach. The brothers described the monster as being between 20 or 30 feet in length and was similar to a large sturgeon. There was one noticeable difference, the created had arms. The brothers freaked out and fled the scene. When their bravery returned, they went back to the beach only to find the creature had disappeared. All that remained were a few silver scales about the size of silver dollars.

Bessie’s history far out dates the European settlers that came to this lake. The Iroquois people speak of a tale about Oniare, pronounced own-yar-eh, (according to one website ) however the name of this lake spirit originates for the Mohawk language. According to legend, “Oniare is a horned dragon-like snake that breathes both poison and fire.” According to legengs, Oniare has been known to capsize boats and eat the humans inside of them. It is also said that the creature may spare you if you make a good enough offering.

To this day, people still claim to have seen Bessie, from Cleveland to the Lake Erie Islands. The closest I have gotten to see her is on a hoodie I bought from a local clothing designer at Kay-Em Apparel. Be sure to check out all of their awesome Cleveland inspired gifts. 

Creepy Ohio

Cleveland is home to a great many haunted places, horrific history, and scary stories. If you have seen any of these urban legends, I would love to hear about it. You can drop me a line at gayinthecle@gayinthecle.com or in the comments below. If you know of any stories, legends, or spooky things I have missed, let me know and maybe it will become a topic for a future post. Thanks for reading.

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