Since my favorite season is coming, I thought I'd start telling some ghostly tales that come from different places around the country. I'll pick my cities and towns at random, unless you have a special request you'd like to propose. Today, I've chosen Fort Wayne, Indiana and there's a couple I've happened upon while doing research that sounded a little like urban legends but still sounded like fun. Maybe some of you that live in Fort Wayne can check them out and report back.
In Fort Wayne is a place the locals call "Devil's Hollow" and is located on Cedar Canyon Rd near Auburn Rd. Apparently as you drive, you find yourself going up a hill and you see a the remnants of a burnt chimney stack in distance. A little further, and you see the burnt remnants of what once was a lovely home.
There seems to be two different stories told here. The first goes that because of its secluded spot local satanic cults and witch covens used the area for their meetings and sacrificial rites where goats and pigs and other small animals were slaughtered. Word got around that the woman who owned the land and lived in the house was a witch and not only went along with this heinous activity, but joined in. Since the people of the Fort Wayne considered themselves a Christian community full of God-fearing people, they would have none of this, and decided this must be stopped. One day they made their way to the woman's house,set it on fire, either not realizing or perhaps knowing to well that she was inside, killing her in the scorching flames. All activity stopped at that point. All further cult activity stopped at that point with speculation being that the cults moved on to another location, possible out of the county.
Story two is much milder. It states that a sweet old woman was bothered by the bunch of teenagers who frequented her secluded property, using it as a party spot and lover's lane of sorts, blaring music from their car stereos and leaving the grounds littered with beer bottles and other less appealing items.
Word has it that there were police reports and arrests made regarding the teenagers but nothing was really done about it. Talking the matter into her own hands, together with some friends, the old woman thought if she spread the rumor around that she was a witch, it might frightened the teenagers enough to keep the teens away from her house and off of her property. Her strategy didn't work. In the still of one quite night, her house was burned to the ground with her inside, and no one was ever charged with the crime.
It is said that if you go to the spot around Halloween you're supposed to be able to have a sense that the old woman is still there and haunting her grounds. This feeling of her presence is stronger if you go there during a full moon, which may lend credence to the witch part of the story but maybe not.
Fort Wayne is actually has the potential for being a very haunted city. Pretty much the entire city was the home of Miami Indians with both French and English Forts in the areas. There are sites where wars took place, there are sites of Indian torture grounds, burial grounds, sites where soldiers and settlers died premature and grisly deaths and the whole city is built right on top of those spots.
There are many reports of hauntings in the old city jail (calaboose) housed under the historical center. It has the original cells where at least one prisoner hanged himself. Incidentally, Fort Wayne has one of the top 3 libraries for genealogy research in the entire country so it's a good place to visit if you are interested in ghost stories or genealogy.
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