The whole state is full of abandoned landmarks, hidden tunnels and other secrets. Some involve local legends that skeptics shrug off, while others involve long-forgotten events that have been swept under the rug. Here are 10 little-known (and slightly disturbing) secrets about Ohio:
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. The town of Utopia
Once upon a time, the small unincorporated community Of Utopia was one of the "phalanxes" (or social communes) established in America in the mid-19th century. Utopia was founded in 1844 by Charles Fourier, a Frenchman who believed that the world was about to enter a 35,000-year period of peace. While the utopian society idea of the town failed, a spiritual group still held secret services in the town's underground chapel (pictured.) Today, along the banks of the Ohio River in Clermont County, you’ll find what some consider to be a ghost town, although the town is still home to some residents.
2. The Round House
Hidden along Old US 33 in Logan, Ohio once stood a mysterious, round and concrete house. Weird Ohio reports that the house was built in the early 70s and completed in 1973 by a Mr. Stewart. Known as "Stewart's Folly," the round house was supposedly a prototype for a new, highly durable type of home for people that lived on hurricane-prone coasts. For unknown reasons, Stewart stopped production and never moved into the house as planned. Additionally, the blueprints and design notes were reportedly lost in a fire. Today, the strange house no longer stands, as it was recently burned down.
3. Egypt Road "Cry Baby Bridge"
The Egypt Road "Cry Baby Bridge" (pictured) isn't actually located on Egypt Road, but on an old, unusual road right off of Egypt Road in Salem near the Mahoning County line. This road and bridge is associated with a couple who once lost their child along this road while stopped at the bridge. Some say the child drowned beneath the bridge, while others say it just wandered off. Whatever the story, many say you can still hear the child's cries at night.
4. Cincinnati's abandoned subway
Not many people are aware of the dark, lonely and long-forgotten subway beneath the streets of Cincinnati—the country’s longest abandoned subway system that never transported a single individual. Located under Central Parkway in downtown Cincinnati, (from Walnut Street to just south of Hopple Street,) sits the incomplete, eerie series of tunnels, which have been abandoned since 1928.
5. The Circleville Letter Writer
The small town of Circleville and the people of Pickaway County began to encounter what some might call a real-life-A-from-"Pretty-Little-Liars"-experience in the late 70s when thousands of individuals started receiving personal, mysterious letters about their lives. The letters were written in block style and contained vindictive, violent and vulgar material. One of the letter recipient's husband was murdered, which was believed to be connected to the letters, and the letters continued even after a suspect was placed in prison. The letters continued to arrive in residents' mailboxes—both city officials and average citizens alike— until the late 90s. The writer was never revealed.
6. Moonville Tunnel
The abandoned coal mining town of Moonville in southeastern Ohio (Vinton County) was founded in 1856, when the Marietta and Cincinnati railroad ran through the area's woods. One structure of the town that remains today is the Moonville Tunnel; a haunted tunnel where legend has it the ghost of a man who was killed instantly by a train passing through the tunnel wanders along the track bed near the old tunnel at night.
7. The legend of "Hell Town"
The area known as "Hell Town" today was once known as Boston Mills, before the town was bought out by the U.S. government to make way for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The once thriving town eventually turned into a ghost town. Today, some people claim that the government actually closed the town after some sort of chemical accident that caused the citizens to mutate—and some people claim to have actually seen disfigured, mutated people still hiding in the area. Legend has it, there is also a decaying church with an upside down cross within the abandoned town that was once (and possibly still) used for satanic worship.
8. Cleveland’s abandoned subway
Cleveland is also home to a lonely and long-forgotten subway system. The Detroit-Superior Bridge, (also known as the Veterans Memorial Bridge), is a 3,112 ft. long arch bridge over the Cuyahoga River, linking Detroit Avenue and Superior Avenue. When cars pass over this bridge, they’re also passing over a lower streetcar level that hasn’t been in operation since 1954.
9. Haydenville Tunnel
Did you know southern Ohio is home to another abandoned tunnel? The small town of Haydenville in Hocking County was once a booming mining and manufacturing town. The Haydenville Tunnel was once used to retrieve clay that was blasted into tile and brick, so it was a highly accident-prone setting. Today, the tunnel is rumored to be haunted by ghosts of former workers.
10. Everett Road Covered Bridge haunting
While this covered bridge is a charming sight to see in the daylight, it's rumored to actually be haunted by the ghost of a farmer from the 1800s who drowned in the water below the bridge while trying to cross it one night. The bridge was also allegedly built over an ancient burial mound. Whatever its backstory, this bridge certainly has a lengthy history and is the lone remaining covered bridge in Summit County.