Ridges Graveyard – Asylum Cemeteries
A neat and orderly graveyard where all the headstones are in lines. Row upon row, upon row. What makes this graveyard stand out? Maybe it is the fact that there are no names on most of the stones, only numbers. Or maybe it is the ring of graves off to the side. Or maybe it is the number of strange sightings that have been seen in this cemetery.
This is what you can expect to find if you visit the Ridges Graveyard in Athens, Ohio. It is reputed to be one of the most haunted areas in the world. Why would this cemetery be any more haunted than any other cemetery? Perhaps it has to do with the people who are buried here.
These people died within the walls of The Athens Mental Hospital. They were all patients. While they were alive they would have been subjected to numerous treatments that were to help them ‘get well’. Sadly, many of these treatments were not just horrific, many of them rendered the patient worse off than when they started. In fact, some of the treatments were often even deadly. When patients did die and were buried, they simply put a number on the headstone. No name or date, just a number.
Many of the patients who were treated at the hospital were not just insane. Many of them were also criminals. One of the most infamous patients of the hospital was convicted rapist Billy Mulligan. Although Billy is nor buried here, many of his predecessors are. Among the dead are hundreds of civil war soldiers who became residents of the hospital, following the war. These people were tortured souls in life.
The residents of the grave yard are not the only unique thing about this cemetery. There are numerous rumours and legends attached to the site and where the tombstones are placed. All the graves are neatly laid out in rows except for a few off to the side. These graves form a circle. Locals claim that this area was used by witches who were practising spells and magic. Sceptics say that the graves were moved by juveniles wishing to create their own mystery.
Whichever is true, either the witches or the vandals, there are numerous accounts and reports of paranormal activity in the cemetery. These range from strange lights to ghostly beings. Close to this area there is a wooden bridge which allows people to cross over the creek to reach a few isolated graves that are in a wooded area. Over the years there have been numerous reports of screams and noises coming from this section of the cemetery. Investigators of the cemetery have stated that there are high levels of energy in these areas as well.
Whether or not you believe in ghosts or the paranormal, the fact remains that the number of people who claim to have seen things in this cemetery is way above average.