Happy Friday! Since many of us enjoy the things that go bump in the night, I wanted to visit another cemetery. This one is located in Dayton, Ohio and has been a place of eternal rest for over 175 years. The cemetery holds over 110,000 souls, and has some big names resting inside. Also with some souls that are unable to rest in peace. Welcome to Woodlawn Cemetery.
Woodland Cemetery was established in 1841 to accommodate a growing city. Located on the other side of US 52, the cemetery is said to be haunted by several ghosts. The resting souls in this cemetery do include to very well known names, to honor them and all those in the cemetery I wanted to share a couple of the well known names as well: Erma Bombeck, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Charles Kettering and The Wright Brothers.
- Erma Bombeck – An American humorist who had a syndicated newspaper column describing suburban home life from 1965 – 1996. She has also published 15 books that became best sellers.
- Charles Kettering – Nicknamed “Boss” as he was an inventor, engineer, businessman, and the holder of 186 patents. He founded the company Delco, and was head of research for General Motors from 1920 – 1947.
- Paul Laurence Dunbar – An American poet, novelist, and short story writer. His parents had been enslaved in Kentucky before the Civil War. He began writing when only a child.
- Wilbur and Orville Wright – American aviation pioneers. Generally credited with inventing, building, and flying the world’s first successful motor operated airplane.
Now for the souls that are not resting peacefully in their graves:
- The first ghost that is reported in the cemetery is a young woman who was killed by her abusive husband. I was unable to find out her name or when she died, but the story goes that she was thrown down a flight of stairs. She has a life sized statue at her grave and it’s said that that the statue has a handprint on its cheek, even after being sandblasted. If you do locate the grave and touch the statue, you will find it to be warm year round.
- Doctor Lowry – He haunts the cemetery seeking revenge for his murder and mutilation. He is often walking with his mother who had broken her neck after being thrown from a carriage. They walk towards the gate but never make it further than the bridge at US 52.
- In the cemetery there are two above-ground vaults. One of the vaults will stand open at night with a man seen walking around. The vault is always closed in the morning.
- The Ballerina – A woman who was a ballerina is entombed in one of the mausoleums. Her picture is carved into the structure and is said to bleed on certain nights. She has also been seen dancing on full moons.
- The Weeping Woman – A blonde girl in jeans and white shoes is seen sitting on a stone. She sometimes talks to visitors who think she is alive. She will also sit on her grave and cry, weeping loudly.
- Johnny Morehouse – This is the saddest story from the cemetery. Johnny was only 5 years old when he was out playing with his dog. Johnny fell into the canal and his dog tried to save him, but Johnny froze to death. The dog visited the grave all day and survived on scraps from mourners. Eventually the dog died as well. Visitors to the grave leave toys. In 2008, vandals sawed the head off the dog statue that was with Johnny’s grave. It now stands headless. The boy and the dog are said to wander around the cemetery at night.
If you do visit the cemetery please be respectful of those that are buried, follow posted rules and regulations, and do not vandalize the graves, markers, or grounds.