Univ. from the Dayton student newspaper

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Woodland Cemetery, located next to campus, is one of many places in town where ghosts are believed to be seen. Courtesy of Bartsche.

Maddy Bartsche | Arts & Entertainment Editor

The spooky season is upon us and you don’t have to go far to find spooky legends. Dayton is home to several supposedly haunted places with ghostly stories surrounding them.

We asked Chris Woodyard, local author of the “Haunted Ohio” series and ghost authority, to talk about some of his supernatural experiences.

Woodyard has been able to see ghosts since she was a child and believes it is part of her family given that her great-grandfather, grandfather and daughter have the ability.

“I’ve seen statistics that say about one in ten people have the ability to do this on a regular basis,” said Woodyard, explaining how common the ability to see ghosts really is. “But I also think a lot of people have a kind of unique experience because maybe a loved one has returned or a relative has returned after death.”

If you are able to see ghosts, there are quite a few places where you might encounter spooky spirits.

US Air Force National Museum

When asked about some of the most haunted places in Dayton, Woodyard referred to the US Air Force Museum located about 16 minutes from the UD.

“There’s always a dead guy standing behind me in a flight suit or something and it’s very unsettling,” Woodyard said. “They were warbirds and they weren’t necessarily happy places, and I know aviators are very attached to their planes, so that’s what’s happening at the Air Force museum. . It’s very busy.

Dayton Masonic Center

Another haunted place in Dayton is the Dayton Masonic Center.

“I know there are several ghosts there. I encountered at least one of them in a very specific, odd way. He kind of introduced himself, he said, ‘Hi, my name is George. You can call me George. And then, as we were walking around the whole place, he was sort of following me and finally we came to a room where there were pictures of the Masonic classes by year. I’m sort of flipping through them. They’re in poster holders on the wall and he said 1962. So I go to the poster and here he is in the picture. We never found out if his real name was George because that particular photo was missing the list, even though it was on the others.

In a scary twist, Woodyard then spoke to the center’s security chief and he was very skeptical of his claim to see the ghost in the old photo. But, when she showed him the picture of George, the security guard realized he was seeing this man around the center all the time and turned pale with fear.

Woodland Cemetery sits side by side with student houses on the north side of campus | Bartsche.

Woodland cemetery

Another scary and notorious place is the Woodland Cemetery right next to campus.

Not far from the entrance to the cemetery on Woodland Avenue is the famous “The Boy & Dog” gravestone marking the grave of Johnny Morehouse, who died on August 14, 1860.

Legend has it that the boy played along the Dayton Canal with his constant companion and best friend, his dog. While they were playing, Johnny slipped into the canal. His dog desperately tried to save him, but eventually, by the time the dog was finally able to pull Johnny out of the water, he was already dead. A few days after the funeral, the dog visited the grave and stayed there morning, noon and night, surviving on the food scraps of the mourners.

Woodyard mentioned that “if you hold your hand under the dog’s nose it seems to be breathing.”

“Those nostrils are kind of pierced and there’s that weird feeling when you put your hand underneath,” she added.

Legend has it that the child and the dog walk through the cemetery at night.

Gravestone of the boy and his dog, located in the Woodland Cemetery | Bartsche

Woodyard spoke of a story that makes the legend of Morehouse seem less of a legend.

“I actually talked to someone and he said, ‘Yeah, I live over there by the cemetery, and I saw this little guy and his dog walking around. I thought the cemetery is closed. It is a problem [that] a child has strayed. In fact, they called the police and brought in the helicopters, with the thermal radar and everything. They never found anything. I was wondering if you would go quickly if you saw the bare pedestal where the little boy and the stone dog should have been.

The weeping women are another legend of Woodland Cemetery. The ghost woman, wearing jeans and Nike tennis shoes, is said to be sitting on her grave and crying.

Woodyard said: “A guy was visiting the cemetery and heard this woman cry bitterly, but couldn’t see anyone. He got back in his car and he felt someone in the car with him, and it was this thing that was crying all the way home.

Look out of Marycrest’s windows and you might see this weeping woman sitting on her grave in utter despair.

Liberty Hall at the University of Dayton

You don’t have to stray far from campus to see a ghost. Rumor has it that Liberty Hall at the University of Dayton is home to several spirits.

Woodyard, while speaking in Liberty Hall, was offered a visit by one of the police officers.

“So I walk around without incident, but on the top floor I reached the last corner and there was a man standing in the hallway. He was very old and hunched over. [He] It almost looked like he had had a stroke, because he was dragging a leg. The worst part was that he sort of made saliva flow out of his mouth and had broken teeth, ”said Woodyard.

“The hallway, of course, was too narrow for me to pass. I should have walked through it and I’m like ‘no way I think I’ll just go back.’ “

The officer and his companions told Woodyard that they saw this man standing looking out the windows of Liberty Hall and that other people in the building had reported hearing footsteps.

Mary Niebler, intercultural immersions coordinator, also had a supernatural encounter in the building.

“I was in graduate school and I was in my office – Liberty Hall, room 203, the same office I have today – writing an article. I was having a sleepless night because at the time my only computer was a desktop computer in my office. I was the only person in the building. It was about 2 or 3 in the morning. As I was typing, out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of what appeared to be someone walking past my desk in the hallway. All I saw was a dress shoe and a pant leg of what appeared to be a man, ”Niebler said. “I said ‘hello’ several times and there was no response. I quickly closed and locked my office door and went to finish my paper. I wasn’t going around the building, nor did I want to come home alone in the dark. I waited for the night in my office.

Liberty Hall sits near the rear of the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception | Bartsche

Nieber mentioned that Liberty Hall was an infirmary for the Marianists. As some people died in the building, this may explain some of the legends that surround it.

So are the Air Force Museum and the Dayton Masonic Center really teeming with spirits? Is Woodland Cemetery Really Haunted? Can you really see a ghost in the Liberty Hall window? Or is it just a bunch of urban myths?

One thing is for sure, the next time you hit one of those spooky places in Dayton, you had better look behind you.

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