Cornfield Meet

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The woman in the cemetery

Most people I know grew up someplace with some kind of creepy urban legend centered on a local highway or a woods or a bridge or, of course, a cemetery. Crybaby bridges are all over the place, I heard variations on the school bus wreck and headless motorcycle rider tales from northwest Ohio when I went to college in Bowling Green, and my dad used to tell me about the time he and my grandma tried to go see a haunted headstone over in Carey.

Earlier this summer, on a night my daughter and I were hanging out, I asked her if she wanted to drive past a headstone that used to spook kids around Lake Township. We’d only just watched the Doctor Who episode “Blink” – one of my all-time favorites – so I knew this would give her that fun, goosebump kind of thrill.

The sun hadn’t set yet when we took the narrow two-lane road past the old church and its cemetery.

The thing about this particular headstone is a practically life-sized statue carved from one side, depicting a hooded woman leaning against the monolith. Kids used to say that it cried real tears, or that the sculpture was supposedly sacrilegious in some way. All I know is that because of where it is, out on that isolated stretch of road, and sitting on the edge of a hill in such a way that driving past, you can really only catch a quick glimpse of it before the embankment hides it again, and that’s where the little thrill has always come from, for me: That buildup (especially past dark) of driving out there, slowing down juuuuuust enough to see the pale woman slip into view, then that cold-water-down-the-neck feeling for just a second, and then you were past and laughing.

So Kelsey and I did that – turning around and passing three times, in fact, just for not-too-spooky fun, and joking about Doctor Who and Weeping Angels.

I was never one of those kids who actually pulled over and walked up to the thing – though one of my friends has related a story about hiding behind it and absolutely terrifying a bunch of his friends.

When Jim came up to visit this summer, he and Kelsey and I decided to visit the cemetery on the way to Hartville late one Friday morning.

While it was broad daylight and not nearly as spine-tingling as a midnight drive-by, the headstone itself still had a little of that shuddery feeling to it – I think it’s the eyes: Continue reading

August 15, 2011 Posted by | 1980s, eighties, Ohio, photos | , , , , , | Leave a comment


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