Bellbrook, Ohio

Many years ago, the small town of Bellbrook, which is located near Dayton, acquired quite a reputation for stories of ghosts and haunts. In fact, it was nick-named "Ohio's Sleepy Hollow" by local residents. Outside of town, along Little Sugar Creek Road and near Magee Park is a small river called Little Sugar Creek. It is said to be haunted by two different ghosts, with two different stories to tell.

The first ghost is that of an Englishman named James Buckley, who built a sawmill on the creek, which was then known as Possum Run Creek. Buckley managed to become quite wealthy and was envied by many who lived in the area. Then one morning, his cabin was raided and his money disappeared. Buckley was killed in the attack and his body was found outside... minus his head. That portion of his anatomy was found a short distance away, bloody and covered with dirt and mud.

The murderer was never caught and Buckley's death remains unsolved to this day. As time passed, many started to claim that his cabin was haunted and it was avoided by the people in the area. Years passed and it was finally rented to a couple from nearby Dayton.... until the young woman saw Buckley's ghost, with his head under his arm, standing in the doorway to the house.

It is believed that his ghost still haunts area of the creek where the sawmill was located today and many claim to have seen his ghost, holding out his arms as if asking for help.

The other ghost haunts the area of the creek where Magee Park is located today. She is the spirit of a young girl who died there many years ago in a tragic suicide.

In the 1880's, the influential mayor of Bellbrook became involved in an affair with a young servant girl whom he seduced. When she found herself pregnant, he ordered her from his house and, broken-hearted, she was forced to get by as a prostitute to support herself. The girl was the main source of gossip for people in the town. They knew that she had gotten herself into trouble, but they didn't know with whom.

The baby was born early and the girl refused to tell anyone who the father was. She only left the house after dark, the baby's face covered, because it was said to resemble the father so much that she didn't dare allow it to be seen. Many believed that the girl had lost her mind as they began to see her walking along the banks of Little Sugar Creek, singing and talking to a bundle of rags that clothed her baby.

Finally, one June night, she returned to the mayor's house, hoping that if he saw the child, he might take pity on her and if he didn't accept the baby, at least he might give her something to eat. Needless to say, she never even saw him as the door was slammed in her face by a servant.

She wrapped the baby close to her and jumped off the bridge into the creek. A week later, two boys found her body washed onto the riverbank. Her arms were still tightly gripping the old shawl but the baby was gone. It is now said, that on foggy nights in June, the ghost of the servant girl walks along the banks of the creek. She softly sings to a bundle in her arms as she stumbles along.

The town of Bellbrook is located just southeast of Dayton, Ohio on Highway 725. Magee Park is located north of the highway along Little Sugar Creek Road.

Copyright 1998 by Troy Taylor

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