Tuesday, July 24, 2012

THE CONTROVERSY OF GHOST HUNTING

According to DeadOhio, this little cemetery was owned by the Mother of Sorrows Church in Helltown, Ohio.  This church was also known as the Satanic Church of Helltown.  The church is torn down now.  We went to this little cemetery while on our camping trip at the end of June in the Akron area.  It is sad when a beautiful little cemetery gets a name like this that is associated strictly with hearsay and legend.  That is where the controversy comes in.  Should you write about things like this that ultimately might hurt someones feelings?
That is a hard question.  G12P did a podcast at this little cemetery.  It is actually a funny little spoof that has us telling the ghostly legends of the cemetery while our brawny male ghost hunter, Dave, flexes his muscular arms (sort of a spoof of Ghost Adventures).  Yes, that is controversial, but if you even mention the "S" word (Satan), that is almost a taboo thing.  So, yes, we lightened it up.  And I won't change it.  I like it just the way it is.  We did a few EVP sessions there and got absolutely nothing.  I think it is just a sleepy little cemetery with an undeserved bad reputation.
Cry Baby Bridge in Salem, Ohio is another controversy.  While there are several versions of this urban legend, all over the country, Salem's bridge has a few extra stories about it, including the Demon Truck said to haunt the road beyond the bridge.  The controversy here is the unfortunate murder of a woman in 2010 and the fact that her body was left burning very near this bridge.  Should people still go out there since this happened? 
That is a hard question to answer.  What about the stories that have been told before that?  They are a part of the history, albeit, legendary history, of the area.    Don't forget the many people who have gone out there for years and had scary adventures with the ghostly white lady or the ones who heard the cries of the baby coming from under the bridge. People grew up with these tales.  They are part of the culture of the area.   
It is this reason that we chose to include Cry Baby Bridge on the trolley tour for Salem this year in October.  Controversial?  Yes. 
Yet another example of controversy in this field is dealing with the long dead.  The Silver Crypt of  Wellsville, Ohio has a legend about it concerning an evil doctor who was refused burial on hallowed ground.  The real story has him being a well loved and respected doctor in Wellsville along with several family members who made history being buried there with him.  His wife was daughter to the founder of Hammondsville and his son became mayor of Wellsville and later a republican representative for Ohio.  But there is still that legend that keeps floating around.  What do you do with it?  G12P tells the story, but always including the real story that we think is much better than the legend. How can we teach the real story it if we don't tell the legend? The Silver Family has relatives out west who have been upset by our video. Even though they never met these family members and that 125 years separate their times on this earth, they are still affected by it.  If we were just spreading the legend portraying Dr. Silver as an evil man, I would say that would be wrong.  But we work to get his real story out there.  Controversial?  Yes.  Worth the controversy to keep doing it?  Yes.
Dealing with the paranormal will always be controversial.  We are dealing with the dead in many cases and with that always comes sadness or fear.  Getting the truth out there is worth the effort though.  Our real history always is.

1 comment:

Ken Summers said...

As the webmistress of Dead Ohio discussed on her site, the cemetery was part of Mother of Sorrow's Church which was claimed to be a "satanic church" in the urban legends of "Helltown". That was all based on an "upside-down cross" on the front, which was just a misinterpreted Gothic decoration. The church itself is still in use in the small town of Peninsula. (Peninsula is not the location of "Helltown" in the legend, which always puzzled us.) Mater Dolorosa was originally the Cassidy family cemetery. Some of their headstones still stand.

Having grown up in the area and researching most of the legends and stories around, I haven't come across any local legends tying the cemetery and any satanic activity together. There are just rumors of the cemetery being haunted.

Most of us who've lived in the area for long enough know that what is most commonly known as Helltown is just a group of urban legends dating back to the 1970s focused on one area of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Sadly, none of these legends highlight any of the strange history and hauntings in that specific area.