Several TOGHS members attended our annual road trip to South Eastern Ohio’s Hocking Hills area on August 6, 2012. Some team members decided to spend this trip camping in South Bloomingville, OH while others chose to camp out in a local hotel. Our itinerary included several sites in the town of Haydenville, OH including the Haydenville cemetery, Wolfe cemetery and the infamous haunted Haydenville tunnel. We set up camp at a pleasant campground called Top of the Caves Campground. South Bloomingville is a small town in Benton Township.
By the time fellow team member Becky and I arrived, TOGHS part time team member Joe St John and his partner JoAnn had already set up their campsite and met some of the local people. Joe is the type of guy that likes to meet new people and had not only introduced himself but had spent the afternoon talking with several of the other campers. They told him about an old church chapel that sat conveniently across from the campground. I have been to this area of Hocking Hills many times in the past but had never heard of the chapel. The locals said that there was also an old cemetery that sat directly behind the church. One of the stories related to Joe was that when evening comes, just before the sun sets, we could witness a red glow rising out of the church and reaching towards the sunset. Interesting, but definitely not paranormal we thought, but it gave us a chance to visit an old historic landmark.
Team member Becky and I couldn’t wait to finish setting up camp, grab a camera and a digital recorder and head to this old Chapel that sits at the top of Chapel Ridge. We were both surprised at how spooky the place looked when we got a closer look. The chapel itself is still standing but is in need of repairs. Although someone had put in a new front door several of the windows were out and the floor inside was buckled and warped. The windows were only four feet off the ground making it easy for us to look inside. You could feel a sense of what it might have been like to attend mass years ago in this abandoned church that sat alone in the hills outside this sleepy old town. Becky and I walked to the back of the church and into the cemetery and discovered that most of the hundred or so gravestones dated back to the early 1800’s. The grounds were well kept with the exception of a few shattered headstones sitting along the back fence. I took pictures while Becky did an EVP session. At first she stood outside one of the broken windows looking into the church where we could see a stack of bibles sitting on an old chair and a couple of dozen tiny wooden crucifixes resting on the floor. Next to where the altar would have stood sat a huge old piano. I knew that look on Becky’s face too well; she had decided to climb through the window frame and into the dark to get her EVP. I didn’t think safety was a huge concern but I warned her that the floor may be give way due to the condition of the floorboards. As usual, before I finished my warning she was inside.
I stood outside and took as many pictures as I could while quietly listening to her EVP session. She was speaking to a congregation from years gone by. She asked politely if anyone still residing inside the church would like to give us a message or share a story or if any of the church members buried in the old cemetery out back would like to join us for this session. She even played a few notes from the keys on the old piano hoping the familiar tones would stir a presence. After a few one sided conversations we decided that we should let these fine folks get back to whatever they may have been doing before we arrived.
Once back at the campsite, we downloaded our pictures and the audio recordings from the digital recorder. Becky captured one small EVP but we decided that it could possibly be debunked. We will post several pictures from this unplanned investigation at the bottom of the story. Some of the photos are very interesting; you will see a very strange mist that we cannot explain inside the church. I am also including a couple of web sites that will give you some of the history of the Wesley Chapel Church and the town of South Bloomingville and the people that once lived and worked there.
Wesley Chapel Church
Wesley Chapel Cemetery
Also Known as Chapel Ridge Cemetery
Benton Township, Hocking County, Ohio
From South Bloomingville, Ohio, take State Route 664 north traveling about 3.5 miles a
Past Old Man’s Cave State Park, to State Route 374. Turn right onto State Route 374 and
travel 1.5 miles to Chapel Ridge Road. Turn right onto Chapel Ridge Rd. and travel .5 mile.
The church and cemetery are on the right.
This Information is from our friends at Ancestry.com http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ohhocki3/Wesley%20Chapel-Chapel%20Hill%20Cemetery.html
Hocking County was established March 1, 1818. It was named from the
Hockhocking River, which was named by the Delaware Indians, whom
Called themselves the ” Lenne-Lanape or real people. Hockhocking in their
Native tongue meant “bottleneck”. The Hockhocking River, renamed the
Hocking River flows down narrow gorges and over water falls into wide
Channels, looking like the shape of a bottle neck.
Hocking County is known for its natural beauty. With its lush forest, falls,
And rock formations, it is a tourist paradise. Surrounding the small town of
South Bloomingville, in Benton Township, which lies eleven miles west of the
County seat of Logan, are the “Hocking Hills State Park’s “. The Hocking Hills
State Parks consist of ” Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave, Conkles Hollow, The
Rock House State Park and Cedar Falls
This in formation above is from our friend at Ancestry.com Dust in the Attic http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ohhocki3/Hocking%20County%20Genealogy.html