Cleveland May 24, 2017
Stay Away From Cleveland’s Most Haunted Street After Dark Or You May Be Sorry
Many streets of Cleveland stand in memoriam of the extravagant wealth that contributed to the growth of the city. One such street stands apart from the others, though. Like many residential streets built in years past, it is lined with life, gardens, and beauty. Unlike the others, East 9th Street is incredibly haunted. That’s partially because its primary residents are dead.
One large block of this street is occupied by the grand Erie Street Cemetery, located at 2254 E 9th Street.
This nine-acre plot may seem rather out of place in the bustling atmosphere of modern Downtown Cleveland, but when it was established in 1826 as the city’s first permanent cemetery, the location made sense.
It was built at what was, at the time, the edge of the city.
But, of course, Cleveland would expand and grow over the years, and this final resting place was suddenly at the heart of a restless city. The location was prime real estate, and many developers made offers to reuse the plot for development. Bodies were even removed in the early twentieth century in preparation for new streets. But the Pioneers’ Memorial Association, which formed in 1915, ultimately managed to protect the remainder of the property.
Not all of the Erie Street residents are in love with their real estate.
Joc-O-Sot is one such spirit who purportedly haunts Erie Street Cemetery. He was a Sauk Chief who fought in the Black Hawk wars against the United States in the 1830s. After war and disease ravaged the warriors, Joc-O-Sot worked as a performer in a Cleveland vaudeville company. While traveling in England, an old bullet wound caused him to fall ill. He rushed back to America, hoping to die in his homeland of Minnesota, but he only made it as far as Cleveland. Unhappy with his final resting place, Joc-O-Sot is said to wander the grounds of Erie Street Cemetery.
But Joc-O-Sot has something else on his mind, too.
This restless chief is said to wander across East 9th Street to Progessive Field. It is speculated that his presence may be to express discontent at the use of the controversial Chief Wahoo as a mascot, or perhaps to scare locals away from what they do not realize is sacred ground. Either way, sighting Joc-O-Sot at Progressive Field is said to be highly unlucky.
It is rumored that Progressive Field is built upon a Native American burial ground.
The desecration of sacred burial ground has reportedly stirred up paranormal activity around the 9th Street area. Locals have even claimed that this ghostly radius of activity stretches across the street to the corner of Bolivar and East 9th, in what was formerly the Local Heroes Bar and Grill.
If that isn’t unsettling enough, wait until you meet the Woman in White.
Some have reported spotting the lonely figure of a woman in a long white dress lingering outside the gothic gates of Erie Street Cemetery, beckoning to cars in the hopes of obtaining a ride home.
While her identity might be unknown, the Woman in White could be one of 17,000 interments.
Many victims of the 1850 Griffith Steamship Fire, considered to be the largest loss of life on Lake Erie, are buried here alongside early settlers, politicians, and war veterans. A great deal of tragedy, scandal, and secrets are buried within the gates of this cemetery.
Though there are many buried within Erie Street Cemetery, not all graves are marked.
Perhaps some wandering spirits are bitter that their names have been lost to history.
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, a trip down East 9th Street after hours will give you the chills. Have you ever ventured past Erie Street Cemetery at night? What was it like? We’d love to hear about your experiences in our own creepy City of Cleveland!