Mater Dolorosa Cemetery - Peninsula, Ohio


For my final 2015 installment of Cemetery Sundays, my original idea was to visit Boston Cemetery, in Boston Township, Ohio. This cemetery is famous for its part in the local legend of Helltown. The Helltown legend goes back at least 30 years (I remember hearing about it and subsequently going to find it back in my high school days, some 25 years ago) and has been well documented and since debunked on sites such as Ohio Forgotten and Ghosts of Ohio among others.

And as I didn't want to rehash the old Helltown legend, I did want to explore the old tombstones in Helltown's famously haunted (or not) cemetery. Unfortunately, as I pulled up to the main entrance, I noticed that the gate was locked. There was no way in, and with all of the residential homes so close by, no discreet way to park my car and hop the fence. I was out of luck...

So I did a quick Google search and came across a story on Dead Ohio that talked about exploring another "haunted" cemetery close by, the Mater Dolorosa Cemetery. I quickly made my way over to the Happy Days Visitor Center in Peninsula, Ohio, located within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. And of course, I didn't have a specific location of this cemetery (all that it said was that it was "adjacent" to the Center), so I jumped out of the car and began to search it out.

As I walked down a path from the parking lot, I came upon a tunnel that went under the main road...




A slightly creepy tunnel that, with a little less light, would be a perfect scene in a horror movie! But as I emerged from the other side, I noticed a small path off to the left that went up into a clearing. And in that clearing, I noticed something. Tombstones! I had found the Mater Dolorosa Cemetery.






Notice the misspelling on this sign... The first thing you notice in this fairly small and sparse cemetery is the Cassidy family plot, the main focal point of the grounds. It contains the largest tombstone as well as a decaying iron fence...

 







The rest of the stones are scattered about the grounds, most dating back to the mid- to late 1800s. This now abandoned cemetery was originally an Irish cemetery, but in an interesting twist, is currently under the care of Mother of Sorrows Church in Peninsula, Ohio. Mother of Sorrows (which roughly translates to "Mater Dolorosa") is the supposed "satanic church" from the Helltown legend. Even funnier is that I attended Mother of Sorrows church when I was younger and can vouch that this small Catholic church is anything but satanic...

 














Halloween Weather Forecast Update:


Wait, what? Please define "showers late." Definitely something we'll have to keep an eye on. Only 6 more days to go!!

  

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