(Orig. Published 3/2002)

(Summit County, Ohio).   Hundreds of individuals have reported widespread violence, murder, stalking, wild animal attacks, satanic worship and other occult activity, and unexplained (possibly supernatural) phenomenon isolated within and around Boston Township, Bath, Sagamore Hills and Peninsula. 

Details are sketchy. Corroborating sources could not be reached for comment as of press time.  However, the individuals making these allegations are largely relatives or friends-of-friends of the witnesses involved.  Many of these incidents date back more than thirty years.

Local citizens have been unable to confirm these incidents, although some have filed criminal reports of late-night trespassing, loitering, and other suspicious activity by gangs of unidentified youths. 

Investigative research has revealed the following:

. . . is a , a particularly steep, hilly road that abruptly ends at a crude barricade at the bottom of a long hill.  The road continues into the woods, and is accessible only by foot.  And for good reason.  The road has been badly damaged by the elements, and the steep drop-off would make driving treacherous. Of course, some believe that this road is closed off for a more sinister purpose. . .

In the woods surrounding this part of the road, are rumored to perform vague rituals, as well as stalk and kill unwary trespassers.  These cult members are cleverly disguised as normal citizens, blending  in  with  hikers  who  regularly   pass  through  on  a  park  trail  that–coincidentally–intersects the “Highway  to  Hell.”      Those lucky few who have escaped  their clutches and continue  up this  road  report discovering . . .

Well actually, “an”   located within the woods  and just off the closed part of the road.  Sources report within.  Others say that this is the home of a deranged man who drives a , chasing motorists who venture into this area.  This is also believed to be the site of a that was involved in a horrible “accident”, which killed all the children on board.

There is indeed an abandoned house &and here.  There was no hearse, although there is elsewhere on the premises.  Could this have been the vehicle, mistaken for a hearse by its terrified victims? [EDITOR’S NOTE: The abandoned car has no engine.  The school bus no longer exists here.]


Or,   THE CHURCH WITH SOME UPSIDE DOWN CROSSES ON IT!  Actually, it is an early Irish Catholic church called “Mother of Sorrows.”  In addition to the suspect architecture that belies its holy name, sources report midnight satanic masses held in the basement.  Direct witnesses to these satanic events could not be reached for comment.  However, an investigation has confirmed that the church does in fact have some upside-down crosses on it.  [EDITOR’S NOTE: There is a larger, more prominent right side-up cross atop the steeple.]  Investigation has also found a direct connection between this church and the spooky Mater Dolorosa Cemetery, located about two miles from the church.  “Mater Dolorosa” is Latin for Mother of Sorrows.  The deceased members of this church are buried there.

Boston Cemetery looms ominously atop a mound at the end of a dead end road.  Sources report the of a man sitting on a bench among the tombstones.  inexplicably move on their own accord.  Gravestones testify to the mysterious, mass deaths of area children.  An investigation was unable to find the bench or its tired occupant.  However, incredibly, the cemetery did contain and tree branches did move occasionally.

The Peninsula makes its home in the surrounding woods, periodically coming out to feast upon its human prey (and their pets), a taste for which it has developed over the years after escaping from a traveling zoo roughly fifty years ago.  Although local townsfolk have been unable to capture (or see) this elusive reptile, it is only a matter of time before it outgrows its environment, leading to its own destruction.

    To those of a supernatural or conspiratorial mindset, Boston Township is MECCA.  To others, particularly local residents and skeptical inquirers, its appeal is a constant source of exasperation.      Boston Township’s legends read like plot synopses of at least 4 seasons’ worth of X-File episodes: hauntings, stalkings, serial murders, ritual killings and other satanic practices, and just plain WEIRDNESS. Perfectly rational explanations–including verifiable public records–have failed to overcome decades of unconfirmed and sometimes non-credible oral accounts that have taken on lives of their own.

     Despite such rumors, Boston Township nonetheless emanates a  distinctive, eerie atmosphere that cannot be so dismissively denied.   It is one of the oldest cities in Ohio, the oldest in the county, and has retained many of its historic elements. Consider also the mass eviction in the 1970’s of numerous residents by the Federal Parks and Recreation Department (hey, how did you think the Cuyahoga Valley Parks and Recreation System started?), which resulted in abandoned houses and buildings that have remained neglected while under the care of the parks system.   

    My visits to this area did not–of course–substantiate any of the above-mentioned stories.  While I was followed by a strange gentleman while traveling the “End of the World” road and trekking up the closed road to the abandoned house, this person could have easily been another curiosity-seeker like myself, or perhaps even a watchful local resident.

        Nonetheless, this area is rich with history and atmosphere, and well worth a trip for the scenery and hiking alone.  But be reasonable. This is a nice, quiet community better enjoyed during the daytime, so exercise some common sense.  Recklessly snooping around at night is not only stupid and disrespectful, it can also be dangerous.  Drive carefully, and resist the temptation to speed along the “End of the World” road for the safety of yourself and persons who have no choice but to walk in the road due to the lack of sidewalks.

Law Enforcement-types do regularly patrol the area, so . . . Be very, very quiet.

October 2002 UPDATE!!  Check out the sequel, Return to Helltown–if you dare!
            Do check out Creepy Cleveland’s extensive coverage of the Helltown phenomenon.  The stories are quite fantastic (excluding my own, rambling submission posted last year).  Definitely worth checking out–Creepy Cleveland’s feature on Helltown inspired the creation of this website!

5/4/05: Growing up as a child in Helltown sure isn’t pleasant, as Faith explains:

I lived in the Helltown area for about 20yrs, about a few miles or more from town. I remember when I was young, my sister and I shared a room that faced our driveway. I remember seeing two times this ball of light that would appear in the middle of the walkway and it would go up to the door.  As it passed by a window, it would break up into a bunch of little balls of light. I don’t know what I saw, but it could not have been a flashlight because I did not see any shadow like you would see if you looked straight at someone holding a flashlight. It also could not have been headlights since one side of the house was not accessible by cars. I heard a lot of theories on what I saw.

On another occasion, my sister was sick. My dad and I wanted to go to a coffeehouse when we heard the sound of a car door slam. My dad looked at the two cars he had and they looked alright, and there was no sign of anyone around the cars. He also looked at the empty house next door for any homeless or “neckers”. My dad did not see anything amiss.  However,  my sister wanted us to stay because she was scared. I still remember the incidents to this day.

8/7/04:  “Helltown Guy” tests his mortality by venturing into the forbidden Helltown house.  Don’t try this on your own, kids:

Well, we got to the house, and uh… walked in. The door was boarded, along with the first floor windows and everything, but we had little trouble moving the boards propped against the door. Much to my surprise, we saw an eerie glow coming from the depths of the house. There was a lot of wood everywhere, a few Burger King cups from the early 90’s (age determined by my friend, loyal BK employee that was fired three days before this trip) and old… things. Dolls, toys, a radio, etc. The light was puzzling enough, so we ventured to the kitchen, and discovered the light to be coming from none other than…. the basement.

Down we went and found… flourescent lights. Yeah, it would appear the house is finally being renovated. There was an old pickup truck from the 40s (like a lot of the things from the house) which was cool to look at, but all in all, it was a let down. So, just to spite the legends, that proved to be such an expected disappointment, we took the radio as a souvenir.

10/28/03: Another brave soul escapes the menacing car….just barely.

My friends and I decided one night it would be fun to go and explore Helltown. There were 3 of us and none of us had ever been there before. We drove past the cemetery and the church, but I was too scared to stop. While we were going down the road, the only car I had seen since we got off the highway was coming near us. It blinked its lights twice and I thought that this person wanted us to stop. Well, while we slowed down the person kept going and turned right. We drove back and saw that there was no road, no path, no driveway or anything. It’s like he turned and disappeared into thin air. I was not much in believing any thing superstitious and maybe that was because I thought whatever I didn’t see wasn’t really there. But I saw this with my own two eyes. I saw something turn into nothing and he wanted us to follow or something. That was the only thing that happened to me that is freaky and I hope that is the ONLY thing that will happen.

9/2/03:  Creeping fog and strange red lights–some of the bits Ben shares from his recent group exploration of H-town.

On Friday evening, four friends and I drove to Helltown.  Two of them had been there on two other occasions and had photographs.  On this trip, though, no one had a camera and one of the members of our group did not have his video camera charged.  Also, for some reason, none of us were able to bring a flashlight–I could not find batteries, two people had forgotten, another had not been able to find his, and another person did not bring his thinking four would be enough (an omen?).

After a difficult time finding the area, we finally found Stanford Road and slowly continued down it at the advice of someone who had been there previously.  He was right since there is a steep hill.  If you go too fast it can cause some serious damage to the car.  We parked near the gate with the rusted “ROAD CLOSED” sign and got out.  We climbed the trail up the hill, and found the house and barn at the top.  We went inside the barn and I looked around and felt a definite cold spot in the middle.  After investigating, we left and went to the house, but found no way to get inside.  We walked on the trail thinking it went to the cemetery but didn’t feel like walking a mile so we walked all the way up the hill and back to the car.

By now the area was very foggy and we cautiously drove back out.  We went to the Boston Cemetery where the caretaker told us she was closing the gates but allowed us 10 minutes to look around.  The gravel road is quite dangerous and we were worried we’d slip off but managed well.  We parked near the creepy tree in the center and saw the crushed bench probably destroyed by vandals where the ghost is rumored to sit.  Another tale we heard from a previous visitor, not found on any website, is that between the twisted dead tree and another tree, there is a mysterious fog every night which is only there and no where else.  After our time was up we left and headed back to Helltown since it was now getting dark.

The fog was now extremely thick and added to the creepy atmosphere.  We drove back very slowly to Helltown and positioned the car so we were facing the opposite direction for a fast escape.  One of the two girls in the group did not want to leave the car so she stayed with her boyfriend who moved to the driver’s seat and kept the keys in case we had to leave quickly.  We got out and I saw 2 dark figures on each side of the path but I did not say anything thinking my eyes were playing tricks on me.  We ventured a short while up the path and the 2 people ahead of us bolted saying there were red lights coming straight at them that they had both seen on a previous trip.  I went to see for myself and saw them and ran back to the car, after everyone was in, we zoomed out of there as fast as the car would go up that hill.

We had heard about the lights before and all figured they were pranksters, cops, or satanists, but we all now know they could not be human–the way they moved and looked, no human could do those things or move around like that.

While the tales of the serial killers, satanists, or escaped mental patients may be false, there is something bad about the place.  You can feel it when you get out of the car.  There are cold spots at the site and you can feel a presence there.

8/12/03:  BUSTED!! With Halloween coming around again in a couple months, before making a trip out to Helltown, you may want to check out this cautionary tale generously submitted to us by the very lucky ThaAKing1nospam@aol.com:

My friend and I were just at the Boston cemetery today. Obliviously disregarding the closed gate we jumped the fence. Only later were we greeted by a sheriff walking up to meet us, and two more outside.  It was around 7pm and we were up to nothing crooked so we had no need to be discrete, combined with being very cooperative with the officers involved.  They let us off without an arrest. … they told us next time we were down there we would be getting arrested and taken straight to jail… whether this means only at night or if they would even during the day, purely being tired of our shit I don’t know, nor do I know about the legality of us going back during the day, but I plan to play it safe. My point with this is that I’m wondering if they would be able to arrest somebody during the day on suspicion because the impression I got from the police is that locals would have it that way if it were easily possible… kinda hard to explain to police that we were just ‘hanging out’ in the cemetery cause we ‘thought it would be cool’, but all’s well that ends well I guess…. I think it would be a good idea to make it clear that locals DO NOT welcome visitors and that the cemetery is private property. Why do they have such a bitter attitude to visitors? Maybe because of the recurrent vandalism, as the cops told us?  Or maybe the reasons run deeper than that…

WEBMISTRESS NOTE:  No, we’re pretty sure it has something to do with climbing the fence of a cemetery that was obviously closed.  That, and the fact that Boston Cemetery is in a residential neighborhood, so chances are you will be caught.

Remember, kids, most cemeteries are private property.  If you choose to venture in a cemetery after it is closed, you are technically trespassing.  Some cemeteries have posted hours, others do not.   Even if a cemetery has no gates, most are considered closed after dusk.  If you must go in after sundown, best to get permission from the local authorities. Use common sense to fit the situation. 

5/21/03:  Dregg, formerly of the punk band The Jerkoffs (the band whose name is spray-painted on the tank at the Helltown house) fondly recollects his own exploits at Helltown, as well as offers his view on the whole Helltown hoopla:

I attended Bedford High School in the late 80’s, and me and my friends spent many a Friday night down there looking for ghosts. Many of the stories we heard were told to us by older kids we knew. Over the course of several years, we added our own myths to the overall legend.

I’m really glad to see that the legends live on. Kind of gives me a sense of immortality that some of my own stories still survive. I was also stoked to see the picture of the tank with “The Jerkoffs” painted on it. The Jerkoffs is my old Punk band from the mid 90’s. My Bass player said he had painted that on there years ago, but I never got to see it. I guess he also painted it on the bus, but I’ll never know since the bus is no longer there.

We had so many great nights down there scaring the Hell out of our girlfriends (and ourselves on occasion). When I was in another band a couple years after the Jerkoffs (called DEADMEAT), me and my Bass player (the same one who painted the tank) even wrote a song about the place.

For the record, there’s not much supernatural about Helltown. In the later 90’s, I lived just on the other side of All Saints Cemetary (on Old Eight Rd.) and went down into Helltown often (mostly to hang out by the falls). The only hostile entity I came across was a pissed-off park ranger who didn’t like the way we looked. But I bet High school kids will always be looking for the supernatural no matter what, so it’s all good.

1/22/03:  Jim recalls his group’s narrow escape from stone-throwing Satan worshippers wearing black hoodies.  And can back it up:

Growing up in Garfield Hts., we knew of Helltown as Mutaytown. I assume the name is derived from the word ‘mutant’.

During one visit in ’86 when I was about 13 or so, a carload of us was coasting very slowly through Helltown when a small group dressed in dark clothes ran into the road behind us and started chasing the car while throwing rocks at it. The most identifying feature of the rock throwers was the pointed hoods they were wearing. My impression was that they were wearing black jeans, black tennis shoes, black hooded sweatshirts, but the hoods seemed more pointed than you would expect. I got a good look at them from the back seat because at one point they were only about 30 feet away.

Spooky by itself, but consider the fact that before I started writing this, I called my older sister to confirm the location of Mutaytown. I wanted to make sure it was the same as Helltown. Upon hearing the name Mutaytown, my brother-in-law volunteered ‘We got chased by devil worshipers there once! A bunch of guys wearing black robes and pointed black hoods chased our car and threw rocks at us!’

He had had exactly the same experience as we had 17 years ago.

P.S.–Next is Gravity Hill. It is located near the Cry-Baby bridge but I’m not sure where. Creepy Cleveland has a posting with a good location description. If you put your car in neutral you seem to actually coast UP the hill. It works but it is just an optical illusion as I’m sure you may have guessed.

8/6/2002:  Putting the Helltown hysteria to rest?  Here’s a post from one of “Helltown’s” own, courtesy of Bejoux1nospam@aol.com:

Hi I live in Helltown and the whole thing is nothing more than rumors that originated from the neighborhood kids telling scary stories to each other. Then they told it in school and then it got told to other kids from other schools and now there is alot of rumors. No ghost, no satanists, no secret societies. just kids being kids.

2 thoughts on “Helltown!

  1. Growing up in Cuyahoga Falls, and attending Woodridge Local Schools, the stories of Helltown are well known. I’ve been to/heard of all these myths many times but only have a few incidents to report myself. In high school and college, we visited “the end of the world” countless times. There are two times in particular that stand out, both at night. The first time I went, I went with a group of about 6 and the guy who drove was a part of a well known and athletic family in peninsula. It was almost all of our first times going there and being only sophomores or juniors, we were terrified. We drove slowly up standford rd and parked at the last “park entrance” right before the last house on the left and did not go down the steep hill that ends at the dead end. We walked down to the dead end signs in the dark and as quietly as possible because it is known that the man in the house there will call the cops on first sign of kids wandering around. Especially around halloween, which is when we happened to go. Getting down and exploring the road turned to be pretty uneventful. We came back to the car however, and saw another car coming up the hill. Freaking out thinking that it was the cops, we jumped in the car and started to take off– until we realized it was just a group of kids like us. We turned the car back off and got out to talk to them and talk about hell town. We talked about going back down there with them because one of the kids was familiar with some of the off-road trails and the possible scare of that was appealing. After conversing for a while.. must have been at least 15-20 min, this park ranger shined what seemed like stadium lights on us and told us to freeze. After being in the silence and dark for so long we were startled. We got in trouble for illegally parking (note for future visitors — there is no place to ‘legally’ park that isn’t a hell of a hike away), and started getting interrogated, thinking that we were commissioning a drug deal (like really?). He called the cops to come join him and check it out. Two patrol cars showed up. Also note, Peninsula is so small, there are usually only two-three cops on patrol at once. After noting who our driver was and recognizing his family and that a few of us were members of a state championship team, they let us go. The other kids weren’t so lucky because a few of them did have pot, cigs (under the age of 18, and they had 7 people in a 5 person car. We didn’t stick around to find out what their fate was, and left quickly. We did talk about how odd it was that the ranger there waited to long to get us in trouble and that he seemed to mysteriously appear. There was no sound of a car driving up or of him being there the whole time we were conversing until he turned all the lights on us. Needless to say it was an interesting first experience.

    Another time I was up there, we had a dog follow us through our entire explorations but stay about 10-20 feet back. when we got back to the car, the dog had disappeared. That was really the only out of the ordinary thing we had occur… until we went to leave. We had car lights following us the entire way down windy Standford Rd (they appeared out of nowhere), until about 200 meters before we went down the last downhill right before you make the sharp left curve onto the last part of Stanford Rd that passes the hostel and connects out onto boston mills. if you are familiar with the roads there, there was no place for the car to go… the lights disappeared just like they appeared. Having hearing stories of the old man chasing trespassers with his hearse,we were definitely freaking out! We were speeding away like maniacs too, and the lights stayed the same distance behind. I was the driver on that trip so you can imagine the panic I felt! But those are really the only two out of the ordinary experiences to be recorded. We run on the towpath past haunted canals frequently– no sightings. We also used to do what coach called “blood and guts” hill repeats up that hill right past the first sharp curve on stanford rd too… during the day, but still no weird sightings. It’s still a fun convo to bring up on runs through the area in the day light but it is still a place that will feel eerie and haunted to me at night! There is a rich history in peninsula, but the storied of satanic cults and the church of satan, haunted graveyards, etc are definitely fabricated or no longer exist.

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