We were checking out Ohio for some of its witchy past, and hey - we discovered that not many witches seemed to ply their craft there.
But we did find an urban legend concerning a storm sewer where some devil worshipers used to chant and sing, and figured "close enough." This is the tale of Satan's Hollow, a series of drainage channels located by a small creek in Blue Ash, a suburb of Cincinnati.
It's said a group of satanists used to meet in the pitch-black, cave-sized tunnels (you can easily walk upright through them) and conduct their rituals, including, of course, animal sacrifice. The followers of Beelzebub were said to have brought forth spirits and were visited by the kingpin, Satan himself, during their ceremonies.
They gathered in an altar room, and even opened a direct gateway to Hades, now marked in graffiti and tagged as "God's Chamber," a manhole with an impressive drop; it seems deep enough to reach China, if not the depths of hell. It doesn't appear that the coven is active anymore; teens with spray paint seem to have taken over the complex. But the cultists have left their reminders behind.
Female screams can be heard at night echoing through the concrete conduits. There have been reported sightings of various apparitions, including floating skulls and a demon, not to mention the usual assortment of earthly critters drawn to a nice dark cave.
The star spook is the "Shadow Man," one of Old Scratch's loyal demons, left to guard the tunnels. Kinda appropriate that one of the Devil's boys is keeping an eye on a sewer, hey? He gets his name because the imp has a human form, but it's completely blacked out, like a floating shadow.
One reader shared his experiences there: "We heard a girl's voice saying 'help me' and there was a black figure walking back and forth that just disappeared. We freaked out and started to run, and it felt like something grabbed me and my brother by the ankles when we were running out up the side hill, and we felt like we were being dragged."
There are a also couple of Satan's Hollow YouTube vids out, filmed by intrepid explorers of the occult. One group has seen and heard spooked-out things, the other just walked through with nary a sighting.
Urban legend or not, Satan's Hollow is the perfect place to spawn a scary tale; black as sin, echoes resonating, occult symbols (and no small amount of obscenities) covering its walls... a shadow man would be the ultimate finishing touch.