Friday, June 27, 2008

Zombie Land

zombie 2


In Mahoning Township (Lawrence County), hard on the Ohio border, Zombie Land (called White Bridge by the locals) is a lovers lane, party spot, druggies hangout - and the scene of murder. The desolate, two acre spread of land is frequented by teens, state police, and the supernatural.

The first tale concerns Frankenstein Bridge, from where a youth once leaped to his death. It's said that if your name appears on the bridge, the "bridge people" living underneath will find and kill you. It's also known as Puerto Rican bridge, because its early taggers were Latinos.

Another tale concerns an old oil well near the bridge. It seeps natural gas, and if you light it, you'll trigger an attack of the easily annoyed bridge people.

There's a small church by the bridge. It's reported that its boneyard sports a glowing grave.

It's home to the Blood House (now burned down), where an alleged witch lived. She only came out when she wanted to put a spell on someone - or snatch a child to kill. Her yard is supposed to be the kiddies' burying grounds.

Zombie Land has its own Green Man legend, too, featuring a handy man that was badly burned in an electrical accident who now roams the ZL roads, all the way to Steubenville. This tale is based on reality, and has been part of Tri-State history - mostly exaggerated - for decades.

The area also includes lore of ghost hounds and a phantom train, although the train legend could be explained by the echoes of actual trains resounding off the hills.

It's been the scene of grisly death, too. A car crash claimed another life. The tale, as told by one of our readers, is that Chris Jordan, aka Spoon, was riding with his friend Pat, with other friends traveling in a car behind them. Supposedly they were running from something which had chased them from Graffiti Bridge, leading to a wreck that took his life. Of course, there may be a more mundane explanation.

A reader wrote us and said "Hey, this is Patrick, and there was nothing spooky about what happened with me and Chris. And I wouldn't have lived if it wasn't for Ricky and Vinny. We hit a patch of black ice. That's it, nothing more."

A child was murdered there, when three men raped and killed a 12 year-old Ohio girl. They burned her body and left it under the Robinson's Crossing bridge.

It's also said that the mob use to dispose of their victims in the mine shafts that dot the area. But those deaths were the results of evil that walks the earth, not the supernatural.

Tom Rupe, Youngstown blogger ("Y-Town and Beyond") was kind enough to share his knowledge of Zombieland
"I guess rumors and ghost stories must evolve over the years. I was in high school in Struthers in the early 1970's and our tales our completely different to some of the accounts I've read here.

The Green Man was from Transfer, Pa. and I personally read the story of him being tragically burned by a 50,000 volt overhead powerline.

The Zombies were actually a colony of people who had 'Water On The Brain,' a medical disfigurement that causes the skull to be grossly distended making a person's head twice the size of normal. As the story goes they lived there to escape ridicule from gangs of people. Isn't that an irony?

The Eternal Flame was a 'Preventer' from keeping pockets of natural gas from accumulating in low-lying areas and being a hazard. The gas company diverted a small pipe about 10 feet in the air and lit it to burn off the excess gas."

Another reader took the time to give us an update on the locale:

"I grew up in the area and still live near there. I graduated from Campbell in 1977. We knew the area as Hook Man's. It was the same legend as lovers parked by the bridge: their car got attacked, they sped off, and later found a hook stuck in the door.

The bridge is still there. Last I knew the flame was still there. Apparently if you lit the flame hook man would come. If you walked down the stream, south from the bridge, there was a small waterfall supposedly with a coffin buried under it.

Zombieland was farther out near the quarries. A partying/swimming area mainly where you weren't allowed to be. The Green Man was real. He passed away a few years back. The glowing grave was an effect of a small light on the church reflecting off of the head stone of one grave.

Alas, progress has changed a few things. The gravel road is now paved. The trees along the sides have been trimmed up. There are housing developments going up on the east hill of the bridge. The church has updated, added more and brighter lights and now everything is lit.

I loved growing up here with the legends and stories, like the ghost lights at Lake McKelvey, Mary's Grave, and the voices at the Greek Cemetery."

There is one final legend with a saving grace. A statue of the Virgin Mary, the sole remaining piece of old St. Lawrence's church, will open her arms when it's safe to enter Zombie Land, and clasp them in prayer for the people there if it isn't safe.

No one ever recalls her arms being open.

53 comments:

darian said...

thats crazey iam goin there today and iam scared to go but i can go but wooo i dont want to get killed

Ron Ieraci said...

Ah, Darian, Zombie Land's a great place to get your spook on. Just watch for the party people - the living are more dangerous there than the legends.

Spino said...

The Blood House burned down in the early 2000's.
I went inside once (only once) back in about 1996, it was a bizarre experience.
The house was full of coffee mugs, hundreds of them. The only furniture was a couch in the old living room that someone had crapped on, and there was one hanger hanging in the bedroom closet.
In the back yard was a shed with old homemade jelly jars (with rotten jelly still inside), a rusty old bicycle, and some old tools. There was also an upside-down boat that had begun to rot away, and three small telephone poles running towards the woods behind the house.
The entrance to the basement was also out in the back of the house, but we were too scared to go down there.
The legends of Zombieland were mostly superstitions made up by the locals, but several of them are based in fact:
The "ghost train" is a real occurrence, because the sound of the horn from the REAL train bounces off the hillsides, making it sound like there's an invisible train running through the hills.
The Green Man was a real person who was injured in an electrical accident and who lived alone in a house out there, although he didn't glow and never killed anyone.
There was an actual murder there in 2000, when three men raped and murdered a 12 year-old girl. They burned her body and left it under the Robinson's Crossing bridge.

Ron Ieraci said...

Hey Spino - thanks for the history of Zombie Land. I wish more locals would share their knowledge of sites with the other readers; I don't get out of the crib much to check the places out. Much appreciated comment.

Anonymous said...

woohoo Zombie land, That little girl was nmot the first to be killed there. mod used the mine shafts to killpeople there in the early years. most recent deaths was that 12 year old girl from struthers ohio, a young man who died in a car wreck (no supernatural event behind it, wet roads high speeds, nugf said) but people forget about the ghost hounds, the glowing grave at the small church just part the graffiti bridge (Latino Bridge) all kind of stories to this place. and crazy people down there. when i was younger and hung out down there we used to chase people at night in our cars. high speeds no headlights, we ere craxy. this article also fails to mention the exessive amount of drug addicts that used to go there, this caused the cops to go down theremore. hurt more of our fun.

Ron Ieraci said...

Anon - Thanks for the Zombieland stuff. Must be a popular spot; I've gotten a few comments and e-mails about it. - Ron

Anonymous said...

Ok ...i knew the " man " that died in that car wreck very well and trust me there was supernatural causes for that wreck ....something didnt want us going down there anymore .

Anonymous said...

That "Kid" who died in the car wreck, that was apparently caused by a supernatural cause. The Kid's name was Chris Jordan, aka Spoon. And the story goes, he was riding with his friend pat. his friend rick and someone else was travelling in a car behind them. Supposively they were running from something which had chased them from Graffiti Bridge.

Ron Ieraci said...

Anon - Thanks, I'll add that to the post. I tried to research a couple of the stories associated with Zombie Land, but without names or dates to work with, I came up empty. I appreciate you sharing the knowledge.

Anonymous said...

I am 19 year old from a city near zombie land. I frequently visit zombie land with my friends and sometimes strangers as well just to smoke some cigs, scare the girls, and get spooked myself as well. Ive been here many times during the day too and even filmed a movie for my high school class. I know the area like the back of my hand. Many people doubt the zombie land history that nobody has commited suicide, murders, or used the area to dump dead bodies killed by the mobs from Ytown. Let me assure you that all if these "stories" are true. I am training to be a police officer in a neigboring county and i have checked police files to confirm that these suicides, murders, and body dumpings are infact police reports and they are. Due to my experiance and knowledge of the paranormal, zombie land is a paranormal hot spot due to these untimely and unwilling deaths, and let me assure you that zombie land is indeed a hot spot of the spiritual realm the experiances my friends and i have had. I would like to tell you all of them but i would be typing for hours lol if somebody responds to my post, i will tell my stories. I plan to visit zombie land a few times this fall and i plan to begin video recording and voice recording for EVPs to attempt at capturing a spirit or whatever may lurk the land. I am not completely sure that the haunting of spirits are in fact real but i am extremely intrigued by them.
If you have any questions about anything or want to know more, feel free to respond to my posts. I will check this every day or so and will post my results from my EVP sessions. Who knows, if you plan to visit zombie soon also, maybe you will see me there!
ps. If you plan to light the natural gas well, aka eternal flame, it is capped off so dont try. Sorry

Anonymous said...

Btw, the green man was indeed a real man. I havent found any credited reports on the man but my uncle and his friends during the 80s used to bring the man beer and he occasionally had a green glow of his skin but nothing to be alarmed about. My uncle has shown me the pictures that he took. I know hes real and did glow. Id like to give more detail so im easier to believe but people are fucked up and like to screw with others that mean no harm and ruin shit for the rest of us.

Ron Ieraci said...

Anon - your green man was probably Beaver County's Ray Robinson, who was disfigured in an accident and used to walk the local roads.

blackhart said...

i want prove this is real before i waste my time

blackhart said...

someone please let me know i need to go there and need info to write about

blackhart said...

for your info ill give you the biggest ohio haunted info from personaly being and recording there

Anonymous said...

There's also rumors that a man by the name of Mr. Burke will present himself late at night if you have any doubts about whether it's real or not. He's dressed in dirty early 1900's clothing and speaks very softly. It's rumored he only appears to people new in town.

Anonymous said...

It's not quite a joke. I was in an accident on Puertorican bridge on December 21st. I never associated it with any paranormal activity. My friend was going around the slight bend and lost control and we crashed head on. We weren't messing around down there. Just driving. Though one of my friends in the car said when we were turning off the main road passing by the Mary, 'her hands are closed. that means she's praying for us...' I don't know if it was coincidence or not. But we crashed. Thank god nobody died. It could have easily been a fatal car accident. I never want to go down there again. And if you do, please be very careful with those hills. Especially if you don't know back there to well.

Ron Ieraci said...

Anon - thanks for sharing your tale. Hopefully, it'll serve as a warning to use a little caution when visiting Zombieland.

Anonymous said...

HOW DOES ONE GET THERE?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Address for this place?

Ron Ieraci said...

Zombie land is a pretty spread out area. It's west of the New Castle Airport and runs roughly between Youngstown/New Castle roads and Route 224 with Churchill Road splitting it.

Anonymous said...

I'm Brian I go there a lot and we have our moments of spoons and people with us get scared and drive off so I read every thread and I wanted to add that from what I hear and what I do. is that when u go to zombie land u follow a step process first and that is park on the side of the road by the bridge walk across to the eternal flame or what we call the torch light it wait for a min then walk back to the car pull on to the bridge turn off the lights and car roll Windows down and then flash the lights 3 times...... I did this I have a video recording of while we are there in a row a howl who's and wolf howls then a baby crying yea a baby I'm super in to this place I am very interested in locating the mine shafts if anyone knows the whereabouts contact me korn102989@AOL.com... I love new places if u know that as well

Tom Rupe said...

I guess rumors and Ghost stories must evolve over the years. I was in high school in Struthers in the early 1970's and our tales our completely different to some of the accounts I've read here.

The Green Man was from Transfer, Pa. and I personally read the story of him being tragically burned by a 50,000 volt overhead powerline.

The Zombies were actually a colony of people who had "Water On The Brain", a medical disfigurement that causes the skull to be grossly distended making a person head twice the size of normal. As the story goes they lived there to escape ridicule from gangs of people. Isn't that an irony?

The Eternal Flame was a "Preventer" from keeping pockets of natural gas from accumulating in low-lying areas and being a hazard. The gas company simply diverted a small pipe about 10 feet in the air and lit it to burn off the excess gas.

I 've written a few stories about Strange Happenings in the area and posted them on my blog, "Y-Town And Beyond". The website is www.ytownandbeyond.blogspot.com.

Patrick said...

Hey this is Patrick, and there was nothing spooky about what happened with me and Chris. And I wouldn't have lived if it wasn't for Ricky and Vinny. And we hit a patch of black ice. That's it, nothing more.

kahlia said...

hello well, i o to zombieland almost everyday. ive seen several strange things. me and my friend cheyanne drive there all the time. my cuzin rene was the one who found the man who died in the car accident but he was by him self... the other person, as named wasnt there. well i drive down there because me and my friends want to find these aclaimed scary things. i went to the church in zombieland, not st lawerence. and if you look closely there in a lady in the bell tower. zombieland is located off of newcastle road in lowelville ohio. or you can come off off state st, pensylvaina. skyhill road. i have wrote my name on the bridge, i am alive and well. i have been under the bridge its just rocks and water. i just havent been under at night. i havent seen the witch house therefore, its burnt down so i cant. the mary statue at st lawerence her hands are closed but an old man comes out and yells get the f back to ohio if you drive past. theres more i have witnesses and heard of but these are my tales. if you want more then find me on facebook. kahlia ferrell and tell me why your adding me.

Anonymous said...

I just returned from Zombieland and I have a few questions. First off we went to the church and the bridge. Is that it? We never got out the car just drove through. Also right before the bridge there were two pathways, one left one right. Does anyone know where those lead? I was also wondering where the Blood House was. I know it burned down but is there any remain of the building or does anyone know the location of it. Lastly on our way back from from Zombieland we heard a sound right all we turned onto the intersetion. To me it sounded like a hawl from a dog, but my friends thought it sounded like a girl screaming. anyone else have this experince?

Email me if you know any answers.

Superstevie0@gmail.com

Thanks,

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Zombieland and never heard it called that until I went to high school. We always called it "White Bridge". It was a place to go scare girls at. Guys still take girls there.I knew about the blue flame but I never went there to light it. I just went there a couple of days ago to show my kids what Zombieland was. I filmed the area and tested the legend on the bridge along with finding and lighting the blue flame.
Take a look on youtube. type in zombieland hillsville, there are two videos of the area.

Anonymous said...

I have been to Zombieland before and I couldn't find any of these things. I think my friends and I went over the railroad tracks but we couldn't find the bridge. I heard the bridge is called crybaby bridge? That's what people from Poland call it. Nothing scary has ever happened to us and it's disappointing. We've been there during the night and the day.

Anonymous said...

im from struthers. last night, me and 4 other people went to zombieland. we went all the way down to the 'puertican bridge' and it was scary. upon entering, we all got an uneasy, stomach turning feeling. once we hit the bridge, we parked, and got out. we went under the bridge and our friends had a voice recorder. three guys, two girls. me and my friend (both being the 2 girls) were talking and all the guys were talking as well. we didnt hear anything. we went back ontop the bridge and seen a figure walk infrontof my friends flashlight. we also found a few bullet casings, and then left. we played back our voice recorder, and during the 3minutes we were all talking to each other, and trying to talk to the spirits, a little girl said 'get out', in a calm, and giggly manner. needless to say, i will never go back.

Kahlia ferrell said...

Newcastle road, Ohio. I would consider it lowellville township. Or skyhill road Edinburg pa. But I've lit the torch, burnt myself, and nothing real scary has happened. The torch is the path right next to the pull off next to puerto rican bridge. Any way it's just another city another town, I drive around there almost everyday, trying to find something interesting but there's nothing.

Anonymous said...

Graduated from Poland High School in 1975. The Green Man is real. My dad used to take him supplies from the time I was a little girl. Beer, cirarettes and food. He had been electrocuted, my dad said. Also said he did have a faint green tinge and was in poor health. Unable to work due to what had happened. I would certainly assume he passed away some time ago. I don't remember his name anymore. Zombies were real, as well. Some sort of deformity, I was always told. The high school boys used to go out there and came back with lots of tales. Some boys I new well & trusted. Married one of them some time later, so I know the tales are true. I walked that road when I was 13 with some friends. Never saw anything. I stayed on the road & did not go back into the woods. We went out there quite a few times when I was in high school, too. I never saw or heard anything out of the normal. But it was always spooky to me. From hearing all those stories my whole life I'm sure! Kathy

Juan Rod said...

can someone please give a detailed directions on how to get there ive been there befor but my friend that took me moved away so now i cant remember how to get there. also i never could find the torch where is it???? thank you

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me how to get to the bridge I couldnt find it last time I was ther

Anonymous said...

Cry baby bridge has been rebuilt! it is not longer the old steel bridge that it used to be, and it is off churchill rd after you pass st lawrence church.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in the area and still live near there. I graduated from Campbell in 1977. We knew the area as Hook man's. The same legend as lovers parked by the bridge,car got attacked,sped off, and later found a hook stuck in the door. I was there many times and nothing freaky ever happened to me/us. When I was little I actually used to hunt the lands around there with my uncle. Things I can tell you of the legends. The bridge is still there. Last I knew the flame was still there. Apparently if you lit the flame hook man would come. The house, I believe was owned by a Dr. Kennedy. Some friend of mine got arrested while in the house back in '77. If you walked down the stream,south from the bridge,there was a small waterfall supposedly with a coffin buried under it. Zombieland was farther out near the quarries. A partying/swimming area mainly where you weren't allowed to be. The Green Man was real. He passed away a few years back. There was an article about him in the Youngstown Vindy when that happened. Alas, progress has changed a few things. The gravely road is now paved. The trees along the sides have been trimmed up. There are housing developments going up on the east hill of the bridge. The glowing grave was an effect of a small light on the church reflecting off of the head stone of one grave. The church has updated,added more and brighter lights and now everything is well lit.
I loved growing up here with the legends and stories. The ghost lights at lake McKelvey, Mary's Grave, The voices at the Greek Cemetery.

Anonymous said...

I saw you there kahlia you and cheyanne weaver and i will eat you the next time i see you there :O

Anonymous said...

I lived out that way . lit the flame and it really works takes a min then a huge fireball comes out scared the hell out of me. There are alota cave and old mine shafts out there. Many places to hide bodies. Hillsville has a mafia past i wouldn't be suprised if they used the area as a body dump. An old neighbor of mine once told me that if all the bodies burried out there were to stand up we would have a population problem.

Anonymous said...

I had gone to zombieland once around midnight. Nothing spooky happened. All just myths.

Anonymous said...

Take 289 to Nee Castle rd and just follow it

Anonymous said...

Go at night and eat lots of acid. That's what we used to do.

J.D H. said...

just went there a few nights ago, we went to the church and sadly the trail behind it has been overgrown, but the inside of the church is still really creepy! check it out when you can

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this blog. I was looking for material for an RPG and remembered wandering around Hillsville, PA with some friends in my late teens/early 20s. It was creepy, but I witnessed nothing supernatural. But you do got to worry about aggressive drivers. It's dark, hilly, curvy, etc. I heard Chris was the passenger and there was someone in a truck chasing the folks in the car. Crazy to think he turned into an urban legend himself. He would have probably liked that. He was into the occult and pretty crazy (not just for being into the occult but other things which I think would be uncouth to say about a deceased person). I dated him for a few months and ran like hell a few years prior. Whether it was supernatural or no, I think he would have prefered to be remembered it as a supernatural event. Hope he's found peace.

Anonymous said...

The Green Man never lived in Hillsville, his name was Ray Robinson, born in Monaca Pa, moved to Koppel Pa, and died in a nursing home in Beaver Pa back in 1985 at the age of 74...some people on here are still trying to add to the myths of that guy, my dad claims he used to drink beer with him at McDowell's bar in Koppel...

JOHN MILAKOVICH said...

Can i have an exact address...really want to check this out

Anonymous said...

https://www.facebook.com/groups/564792753663434/?hc_location=ufi

Ethan Baker said...

Where is the blood house

Laurie Burkey said...

I grew up in Zombieland. I used to walk to that bridge on occasion with friends. There are no Bridge People. Bad things did happen at The White Bridge. The most I ever saw was a dead dog gutted and stuffed with beer bottles. I attended the Church as a child. And I only have good memories of that church. I love a good legend, but the only thing you have to watch out for in that area is stupid people doing stupid things! It is very dark and bendy on the roads so you do have to be careful and watch for deer! There is, however a house on McBride Rd that is rumored to be haunted and I have had my own personal experiences in that house that are unexplainable.

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend and friend recently went to 'Zombieland', specifically speaking about our experience in the St. Lawrence Cemetery which sits behind the old St. Lawrence church. We were there at just about dusk, but I didn't start my video recording until it was officially dark (which is surprisingly a well lit cemetery, with numerous lighting on multiple graves). Anyway, we made our way through the cemetery and about half way through the walk my boyfriend suggested I start video recording on my phone. I was taking pictures prior, and caught nothing out of the ordinary. We made our way up to the hill where there lies a few numbered headstones (that I saw) and if you look to the left of the hill parallel with the back of the house there is a wooded patch with hidden tombstones. This is when I started to get a little freaked out, just wondering why they wouldn't bother keeping up with that part of the yard. I didn't get very far up the small hill at all, I had felt like something weary came over me since I started up the hill. I continued video recording as we looked around a bit at the graves, and my boyfriend tried creeping me and my friend out by pointing out all the numbered ones he was finding. By that time, I decided it was time to go, with the eerie feelings I was getting and the obvious paranoia of getting caught in there after dark. I kept my phone recording the darkness as I walked down to the path that led me back to the car, when all of a sudden my boyfriend says "Did you guys hear that?' "I just heard someone over by those trees say hey to me.' I had my phone facing the way he was pointing for us to look, but I did not see anything with my own eyes. My friend and boyfriend both claim they did in fact see a white figure of some sort standing in front of the wooded area at the side of the hill which I mentioned earlier. After that I was urging him to come on and we finally got back to the car. It wasn't until the next day when my boyfriend was looking through the pictures I had taken the night before and he finally watched the one and only video I recorded in the 8-10 minutes we were there. I was in the shower when he watched it, but right after he saw it he ran in the bathroom to tell me we had caught a ghost on my recording. All I had to say was what, I was just overwhelmed because of what I felt that night there. I hurried up and got out of the shower, and I was just amazed when I saw the video. It just goes to show that the supernatural is real and sometimes people just can't cross over. There are a lot of lost souls in that whole place including the cemeteries, and in my opinion is very real. I don't have any experience with the paranormal, nor can I explain the video recording I got with my phone that night. All I know is that, there are crazy things out there and if you're curious that's one place to go curb your curiosity. If you'd like a little more info on this place, I don't have much but maybe I can answer a question you have! MOST IMPORTANTLY, if you are seriously interested in my video recording or are some kind of investigator in the paranormal, I would LOVE to hear from you or get your opinion on my video! Kweezy07@gmail.com

tony raynovich said...

Buddys grandparents own a farm on hillsville rd. I use to spend alot pf time there even camping in the woods where the bridge is sometimes for a week just to get away from everthing and have some alone time. There is nothing scary out there except people who go down to the bridge and trash the place. I jave lit the so called torch a few times which is in the woods to the south east of the bridge and is hard to find if you dont know where it is because of the growth. The torch is not 10ft tall and dosent light up the woods at night it is about 4ft.tall and is just a capped off 2inch pipe stcking out pf the ground with a couple small holes punched in it. I spent alot of time alone in those woods and never had anything creepy happen to me. There is just alot of good family people and small farms around there. However while the grandfather was still alive he would always tell us to stay away from there and go around to baird rd where the church is with the grave that dosent glow. The grandparents went to that church every sunday and the whole family is buried there. Really nothing to see but a bridge with a bunch of graffiti

tony raynovich said...

Buddys grandparents own a farm on hillsville rd. I use to spend alot pf time there even camping in the woods where the bridge is sometimes for a week just to get away from everthing and have some alone time. There is nothing scary out there except people who go down to the bridge and trash the place. I jave lit the so called torch a few times which is in the woods to the south east of the bridge and is hard to find if you dont know where it is because of the growth. The torch is not 10ft tall and dosent light up the woods at night it is about 4ft.tall and is just a capped off 2inch pipe stcking out pf the ground with a couple small holes punched in it. I spent alot of time alone in those woods and never had anything creepy happen to me. There is just alot of good family people and small farms around there. However while the grandfather was still alive he would always tell us to stay away from there and go around to baird rd where the church is with the grave that dosent glow. The grandparents went to that church every sunday and the whole family is buried there. Really nothing to see but a bridge with a bunch of graffiti

Jennifer Roy said...

Please email me since I have more questions for you thx jen.roy@live.com

John Fink said...

I've seen a bunch of cars parked on both sides of Rt. 224 near a bridge very close to the PA/OH border.

Is this part of Zombie land?