Tuesday, October 30, 2012

FAVORITE HAUNTED PLACES - KINGS ISLAND

Kings Island amusement park opened in Mason, Ohio when I was two years old and it's been one of my favorite places my entire life.  (It also happens to be the location of my favorite Brady Bunch episode and my favorite Partridge Family episode and I am not obsessed.)  I had known for a long time that there was a cemetery on the grounds (specifically in the parking lot), but it wasn't until a Ghost Adventures episode piqued my curiosity that I actually ventured in there myself.

This small cemetery is maintained by Deerfield Township and is known as The Dog Street Cemetery, Union Methodist Cemetery, Dill Graveyard, and The J.D. Hoff Farm Cemetery.  The graves date between 1828 and 1869, with approximately 70 people interred and 50 tombstones still standing.  This map shows the Kings Island land in 1867, with the yellow square representing the cemetery on the Dill farm.



Missouri Jane's tombstone.
As for ghosts, stories have been making the rounds for decades.  The most prominent (and featured in the Ghost Adventures episode) concerns the spirit of a little girl in an old-fashioned blue dress who has been seen in the parking lot, around the front gate, and in the International Restaurant. She is sometimes known as "Tram Girl", as she is often seen by the tram drivers transporting patrons to their cars at closing time.  One tale says she is the spirit of a young girl who drowned in a lake located on the farm.  Some folks have made the link between the ghost and a tombstone in the cemetery belonging to five year old Missouri Jane.  Some of the Ghost Adventures investigators chose to look for her by calling out for "Missouri Jane."  If the ghost is, in fact, some other little girl it's no wonder she didn't make an appearance for the cameras.  Girls are not thrilled with people who get their names wrong.

If you see the Ghost Adventures episode, be aware there are some hefty factual errors.  At the beginning the Kings Island rep stated that there had been a munitions plant on the property and that a 1942 explosion killed hundreds of people.  Later a couple of the investigators went into the graveyard and the female stated that there was a gun powder factory on the grounds and an explosion in 1890 killed 50 people and a lot were buried there.  The Kings Great Western Powder Works did indeed have an explosion in 1890.  However, the blast killed about a dozen people and it was not located on the Kings Island property but about a mile away.  I know of no explosions which took place in 1942 in the area, let alone one that killed hundreds.  And since the newest tombstone in the cemetery is from 1869, obviously none of the inhabitants died in the explosion. 
 
In addition to the little girl in blue, there are also tales of a ghost haunting the Eiffel Tower, a spirit who hangs around The Racers roller coaster, and miscellaneous sounds, sights, and flying objects.  Kings Island has been the scene of some real life tragedies including the death of a high school senior in 1983 after a fall from the Eiffel Tower.  (Some refer to the ghost seen around the structure as "Tower Johnny.")  Other documented deaths include two men who were electrocuted in a pond, a woman who died after falling from the Flight Commander ride, and a ranger who was mauled by lions after leaving his vehicle in the Lion Country Safari.

I personally have had no strange experiences at Kings Island outside of the usual antics of obnoxious teenagers.  Well, there was one kind of strange thing.  Over the summer my brother and his family were visiting from St. Louis and we went to this cemetery.  I got out my trusty iPhone with the Ghost Hunter M2 app and turned on the EVP analyzer.  I got a number of words as I wandered the cemetery.  As I mentioned in a previous post I don't necessarily believe this $.99 piece of software is a phone to the spirit world, but...  My brother has a rather unusual middle name.  For his privacy's sake I won't reveal it, but let's say it's not your classic name like Michael or Paul or Joseph.  As I was in one corner of the fenced cemetery, his middle name appeared on my ghost meter.  If he had a regular old common middle name I'd say coincidence, but since he doesn't (and since that name never appeared on my meter before or since) I'm open to thinking somebody was trying to tell him something.  The ghost wasn't very specific, though, so I don't think my brother got the message.  He's kinda dense that way.

** Unrelated note:  I do not control the content of the ads on my website.  In particular, I want it to be known that any political ads are not an endorsement by me.  I've had candidates from both political parties show up in ads and I don't want readers to think I'm pushing an agenda one way or another.  If you disagree with a candidate shown, please don't hold it against me.  Depending on who it is, I may not like him/her either.


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1 comment:

lillianscupboard said...

I'd like to know more about the people buried in the old cemetery, ghostly or not.
Mom