One of the infamous spots around here is Buffalo Ridge, a hilly road that's just a bit northwest of Cincinnati in Cleves. It's actually home to the Mitchell Memorial Forest, a park complete with a nature trail, lake for fishing, and a playground for the kiddies! Woo hoo! Not only that, but SUPPOSABLY this road is where Charles Manson himself spent his Cincinnati years! (I say supposably since I know his family lived around here at some point, but I never really looked into whether or not he grew up around Cleves. Not that it's important to the story anyways) Well, the urban legends of this road are outrageous. Stories range from being chased across the road at night by white vans, to phantom cars from failed gang initiations, an evil dog with glowing green eyes, ghosts that run across the road searching for their missing parts for all eternity, and most importantly, the Crematorium. You see, the urban legends say this road was the site of a corrupt crematorium that dropped bodies out in the woods, blah blah blah. And now supposably bodies are still out there somewhere.
Well, in high school I actually had an english teacher who told me that one time he and his friend drove down there, pulled over and juuuust happen to open a random barn door for whatever reason, and found chickens hanging from the ceiling on chains, and their blood being collected on leaves below. So they ran back to their car, and of course Gravedigger or some other monsterous truck comes tearing out of a driveway and chases him all the way out of Cleves! EXCITEMENT!
That's all well an good, but as I soon found out from personal research.. there was never a crematorium there. What IS there to this day, however, is the ruins of Cincinnati's first Planetarium, hidden in the woods. In fact, if you're still reading and want to know more about it, I made a website explaining the whole background of Buffalo Ridge (with pretty pictures!). At the time I made that site, I had tried just about everything and experienced nothing more than a police officer pulling over and literally laughing at us as we explained to him that we wanted to see dead people run across the road. I can feel my self-esteem rising. It also occured to us that the park's staff had rangers in white vans visiting it frequently, thus killing the chased-by-white-van experience for us.
And so! with all that out of the way, I can now explain my story. About two weeks ago, I lead a couple friends that are new to the area down to Buffalo Ridge. These friends being my old friend Jonathan, who's the same age as me and grew up in Indiana, and Kay, his as-of-now-girlfriend. I think. Well, we get there at about 9:00 pm when the sun was close to setting all the way, and as usual I have them park down the road a bit near another road (the name of which slips my mind) and walk back up to a "No dumping or we'll own your butt" sign. Behind which, is a trail leading down the woods and into the ruins of the old Planetarium.
Being the loser who loves to tell the local history that I am, I was talking pretty loudly about the area, while Kay and Jonathan walked behind me. They both carried a couple flashlights to see better in the thicks woods, and I just toughed it out in front. Oh yeah, I'm a real man! ...I try. Anyways, we come to what I can only describe as the foundation of the building. A bunch of bricks and torn metal in the hill side is all I got.
We sat down and started chatting it up, about whatever, and a good 30 minutes passed. Jonathan and I were discussing manly things, like whether we should go get those tiny fries at Steak n Shake, or an even manlier jug of root beer at the Jolly's up in Fairfield. Around then, Kay started mumbling about how "the air changed" or something to that degree. So, in hopes to see something spooky, I climbed down into the foundation of the ol' planetarium, and took Jonathan's flashlight so I could navigate walking around on the fallen stones and what not. At one point, I remember Kay saying we should get going, and by then I had already made my way to the other side of the rubble and was wanting to look around some more. But! Jonathan didn't like making her nervous, so I agreed to climb back out.
So, being the nice guy I am, I started to make my way back across the rubble. At this point, I shined my light back up the wall I had climbed down to see Kay and Jonathan, when I saw it! A man I couldn't really make out from where I was, was approaching the two of them, so jokingly I shouted "Hey, better tell that guy that we aren't sacrificing babies. Or drug dealers. Or drug dealers sacrificing babies!" and went back to my climbing across the rubble. Eventually, I made it up the wall and... no one was freakin there! Annoyed, I walked back up the trail to Buffalo Ridge, and found Kay crying while Jonathan hugged her. Aww. So I asked what happend to our guest, when Jonathan starts RANTING on, and ON about how "This dude just totally came out of no where, walked right up to me.. and vanished!!" Which made our heads spin.
From then on, we were pretty ecstatic, running back to the truck with Kay frightened, while Jonathan was excited, and I was pissed. I want a ghost to walk up to me and disappear! and I didn't even see it since I was walking over some flippin' stones and what not. Never again will I look where I'm going! ...Ok, bad idea. So finally, the story has become one of the only real ghosts we've got to talk about. But it's a fun story none the less, and has actually gone down at the Art Institute I go to as "Jonathan and Alex vs. the Invisible Amish Ninjas."