Tale of Helltown

Posted by junketseo in Cincinnati Ghost Tours
Tale of Helltown - Photo

Helltown. Its name perfectly fits its legend, as it’s known for murderous Satanists and toxic chemical spills. A weekend’s road trip away, nestled in The Cuyahoga Valley in Pennsylvania’s neighboring state, Ohio, sits an eerie, deserted place locals regard as ‘Helltown.’ No people live in the area – living ones at least – but there are still remnants of the lives of former residents left behind. The whole town is surrounded by hazardous roads that seemingly lead to nowhere, and locals believe this was done to confuse any wandering explorers. But the Helltown church seems to have inspired the town’s ominous name.


Helltown Church


The tiny white church is in the center of Helltown and is central to all local theories. Some say the church was a place of worship for practicing Satanists, who still lurk around the closed-off roads, hoping to ‘recruit’ unwelcome visitors. Others believe the town was evacuated after a chemical spill that resulted in bizarre mutations of the residents and animal population. The legend of the ‘Peninsula Python’ stems from this theory.


There even sits an abandoned school bus with legends of its own. The bus was carrying a group of high school students was headed to one of the local ski resorts near the small town of Boston Township. An elderly woman flagged down the bus and, in a panic, explained that there was a young boy in her house who was seriously injured. The bus driver, attempting to help, turned down her driveway and drove into the woods, hoping to revive the boy.

When the bus approached the house, it became clear that this was just a trap to lure breathing souls to their deaths by sacrifice. According to the legend, a group of Satanists swarmed the full bus and murdered all the riders aboard. The bus rotted in the woods for over thirty years, standing as a stark warning to all who dared to venture into Helltown.


Helltown’s Background


Helltown is home to six or seven separate legends, which has led this area in Boston Township in Ohio to be grouped as one large haunted site. The overgrowth creates a dark, almost cursed place where ghosts, cults, Satanists, and even a wild-eyed serial killer are said to lurk. Helltown is the nickname given to the northern part of Summit County. The areas most associated with the legends are Boston Township and Boston Village, and portions of Sagamore Hills. First settled back in 1806, Boston stands as the oldest village in Summit County. The construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal brought loads of people to the region in the mid-1820s. The area began flourishing when a railroad station was constructed in the town. The station was named ‘Boston Mills,’ and the name stuck.


For a century, little changed in the small, unassuming village. However, in the late 1960s, a nationwide movement was gaining traction that expressed concern over the destruction of our forests and called for more National Park land.  In 1974, President Gerald Ford signed legislation that enabled the National Park Service to purchase land and use it to create national parks and reservations. As a result of this legislation, on December 27th, 1974, hundreds of acres in Ohio, including the land within Boston Township, were officially designated a National Recreation Area. Many who supported the movement did not realize that this legislation allowed the federal government to buy homes and land right out from under current owners with no warning. Once it was decided to buy a plot of land, no negotiation was allowed – the owners were forced to relocate.


In what can only be described as a mass evacuation, hundreds of residents began leaving, and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park swallowed entire townships. These events were so tragic that they were even featured in the 1983 PBS Documentary “For the Good of All.” The feelings were summed up in a statement left painted on one of the home’s walls: ” Now we know how the Native Americans felt.”


However, the saddest part of this story is that the area was never actually converted into a park for all to enjoy. It now sits quietly, totally abandoned, with residents leaving ages ago for no reason.


The Horrors and Hauntings of Helltown


Loads of legends come out of the Boston Cemetery, which sits deep in the middle of the area known as Helltown. One tale involves a ghost who sits on a bench and stares out into space, forlorn, waiting for his family to return for him.

There are two roads through Helltown, both labeled as ‘dead ends’ even though you can watch them continue in the distance. Legend says that local Satanic cults put up these signs to keep people out of their secret hideouts. Stanford Road, one of the main roads in Helltown, is sometimes referred to as The End of the World or Highway to Hell. Some stories indicate that the road is evil and is known to take possession of your vehicle, causing fatal accidents.

One rumor persists through the ages that the town’s residents were evacuated due to a large chemical spill, and the National Park was just a cover-up. The chemical spills were said to have caused mutations in local children and even created the Peninsula Python, a gigantic snake that slithers the area.


A First-Hand Haunting


This account, found on the Weird US website given by a local paranormal researcher who explored the area, truly sums up the overall vibe of Helltown – “I have experienced much in my explorations of there, some of which I don’t care to remember and some of which I can never hope to explain.


Helltown is not truly abandoned. It does have residents, but they are a strange and frightening breed. I have gone exploring the woods and cemetery of the area in the late night and wee morning hours, and have returned to my car to find strange people looking into its car windows. This has happened twice––once at 2:00 AM and once at 4:30 AM. Both times, the people fled as soon as they saw me approaching the car before I had a chance to speak to them. Both times, they were dressed in all black.


A part of me is glad that I didn’t get to converse with them because I have heard too many tales about the ways of Hell Town residents. Supposedly, they are all Satanists and worship at the town’s two evil churches. I have been to both of these churches, however not inside them. One, the Mother of Sorrows, has upside-down crosses hanging from it.


I have also been to the Boston Cemetery, where a ghost has been seen sitting on a bench. This cemetery is as dark a place as I have ever been. The graves date back to the early 1800s. I didn’t see the ghost when I visited, but I did hear strange growls and howls from the depths of the graveyard.  This was more than enough to convince me to leave, as the prospect of getting attacked by some strange bone yard dwelling beast was not appealing, to say the least.”



Helltown of Today


If you’re hankering for a spooky road trip, then Helltown in Northeast Ohio should be at the top of your list. Helltown remains one of Ohio’s most spooky legends. Hundreds of locals traverse the area, searching for truth in the scores of myths. It is one of those local spots to visit on a dark autumn night when there is just the right amount of chill in the air.

Nowadays, Helltown isn’t as ‘creepy’ as it once was. The area is now part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area, and many of the abandoned structures have been demolished. The cemetery and its ghosts remain, however, and only they are left to tell the tale of Helltown, Ohio’s toxic ghost town.

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