“This bugs me the worst. That’s when the husband thinks that the wife knows where everything is, huh? Like they think the uterus is a tracking device. He comes in: “Hey, Roseanne! Roseanne! Do we have any Cheetos left?” Like he can’t go over and lift up the sofa cushion himself.” — Roseanne Barr
I remember watching Roseanne that night back in ’85 when she wowed Johnny Carson. This particular joke always cracked me up. I was a young wife myself at the time, and the ring of truth to this statement pealed clear. I’m no longer married and haven’t been for quite some time. For a different reason, though, this joke came back to me when I took another day trip in July of 2021.
It was as though I was on a mission from the god of medieval structures. Once I found out there were castles in Ohio, I couldn’t get enough. First, Chateau Laroche, aka the Loveland Castle, got me hooked. Next, I spent an afternoon with my daughters checking out Squire’s Castle in Willoughby Hills. Squire’s, unfortunately, is more of a shell of a castle. Just looking at it, the outside of the structure gives off that medieval castle vibe. However, once you cross the threshold, only a few pictures explaining some of the histories of the former residence adorn the interior walls. Nestled within the Cleveland Metroparks, the Castle stands behind a generous grassy park area and in front of wooded hiking trails. We tried to set out on a few of the paths, but my almost-two-month-old-grandbaby’s stroller said, “I don’t think so.” Although Squire’s lacked all the authentic bric-a-brac of Loveland Castle, my girls and I had a lovely afternoon together. I don’t know if I’d go back, but it was worth the personal day I took from school if only to put Squire’s Castle in my castle repertoire.
So on to the next. And I’d already decided the next was going to be Landoll’s Mohican Castle in Loudonville, Ohio. I was pretty thrilled when I googled the directions and found it was only an hour and a half drive away. I’d gotten used to my day trips taking up to four hours to arrive at my final intended destination. Maybe that was the reason I did very little research before I hopped into my car and drove off. Maybe, but probably some of you are starting to get me by now. I figured I’d find someplace quirky to stop along the way, so plan, schman, am I right?
But I did not stop anywhere. As I started my journey towards southern Ohio, I realized I was passing the same sites I’d seen and visited during previous travels. So I decided I would get to the Castle then go from there. As I knew from word-of-mouth and a visit there over a decade ago, Mohican is a huge tourist area. Undoubtedly, I’d find some other weird place in which to poke around.
Is anyone else like me in the traveling department? I can get to the place by the time set by Maps, but finding parking, oy vey. There were many twisty turny roads around the Castle. Many of them wound around and ended in front of wooden glamping cabins. However, I could not find what I would consider a public parking place. So finally, partly because I was exasperated and partly because I was nervous that I would end up at a dead-end next to an occupied cabin that I couldn’t turn around on, I decided I was just going to park THERE. A place that kind of looked like a parking lot but had no other cars. It was behind the Castle, though, so close freaking enough at this point. After I pulled into the parking spot and looked up, I guffawed aloud. Of COURSE, I’d pulled into a parking space right in front of my allegory Cheeto – a cemetery. Just like Roseanne’s uterus, my bones seem to have a homing device for finding them.
My parking frustration turned to exploration eagerness. I’d known there was a cemetery attached to the Castle, but I didn’t think I’d find it so quickly. Within minutes, I was strolling across the damp earth, soaking up the vibe of the old headstones that populated Heyd Cemetery. Of particular interest was a double gravestone. It had a long coffin-shaped base with a marker on either end. What was most compelling about this tombstone, though, was that there were scads of tokens from the living strewn about covering much of it. People had left dolls, stones, coins, even jewelry for this duo. I later found out the grave belongs to Sarah and Samantha Carnagey – a mother and daughter who had passed away ten days apart from each other in 1857. I had known going in that Heyd Cemetery was allegedly haunted. Did this pair have anything to do with that claim? My research since the trip says – maybe? There have been reports of a little girl in blue roaming the graveyard at night. Maybe visitors think that little girl is Samantha. However, there were a few other headstones in the cemetery where people had left dolls and toys. Perhaps these were leftover trigger objects that ghost hunters forgot to collect. While they were intriguing, my subsequent web inquiries have given no reason for any keepsake offerings; even the many presented to Sarah and Samantha. I even asked an acquaintance who I noticed took a trip there and got a tour through Heyd, and all she could tell me was “it’s haunted.” Mmmmk. Sometimes one will just never know. Unless, perhaps, one makes a return trip to the Castle!
After my traipse through Heyd Cemetery, I decided to walk around the Castle proper. I already knew I wasn’t going to get inside the actual Castle because I messaged ahead and found out they still weren’t doing tours due to Covid. Most places in Ohio were open again a year after the pandemic, so I was a little surprised. The messenger person informed me I could walk the grounds, though. And, although Loveland Castle still wins for best landscape, in my opinion, Mohican Castle grounds were pretty cool. Fountains, and waterfalls, and pretty flowers, and a statue of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Wait, what? Why the heck is there a dinosaur statue on the grounds? Did medieval people know about dinosaurs? Was this supposed to be like a dragon? Because I’ve watched Game of Thrones, and I know castle dwellers knew about dragons. This cement representation was maybe 6-feet tall, so maybe there were mini-T-Rexes? My head began to hurt at the thought.
I decided to eat my feelings, so I followed the signs along the sidewalks to The Copper Mug Bar and Grille, Mohican Castle’s on-site eatery. Its exterior lent a log cabin ambiance that blended in with the smaller rental lodges scattered amongst the grounds on the outside. Once inside, the sheer volume of stuff-on shelves, on the walls, sitting on counters-was both intriguing and overwhelming. Some items looked antique. Some looked as though they were supposed to evoke nostalgia. All of it looked like it was supposed to come across as quirky yet inviting, just like grandma’s or your crazy on-the-verge-hoarder boomer neighbor’s house. Personally, my first thought is always: “who dusts all this junk?” Then my server led me to my table, and when I saw the picture on the wall next to my table, I knew I’d come to the right place. So I ordered some fancy copper mug mule drink and my go-to: fish-n-chips. While I waited for my food, I decided to do a little web searching of other possibly haunted locations to visit in Mohican. Unfortunately, most of the places I found were more of the “Halloween haunted house” variety. Thanks, but no thanks, Google. I’m looking for the real deal. But I did see that Mohican Castle was supposed to have its own haunted cabin right on the grounds. Macbeth #13. I was excited to at least have some direction when I left the Copper Mug.
After I finished my drink (unremarkable, especially considering I can’t even remember its name) and lunch (excellent – you can’t go wrong with fresh-cut, semi-greasy, shoestring french fries), I headed outside to find Macbeth 13. How hard could this be? I should be able to simply walk the sidewalks until I found the pattern of the cabin numbers, and 13 would present itself, correct? Wrong. First of all, the numbers were all right next to the doors of the cabins. I began to feel like a creeper having to practically circle some of the places to find what number it was, and I was sure someone was going to call security any second. Before that happened, though, I pretty much ran out of sidewalks realizing none of them were #13 anyway. Finally, calling up the photo of Macbeth from the web, I noticed it looked more like a stone cottage than these log cabins.
I walked a little more, scanning the area, and saw nothing that resembled the picture. How could I not find it? Disappointed, hot, and tired of fruitless walking, I decided just to leave and see what else I could find. As I turned followed the road past the Castle that would lead me to the main highway, I thought of the place I’d passed earlier that promised Amish donuts when….hey! Glancing left, I’d noticed a stone cottage sitting alone at the bottom of a hill in front of the Castle. A green sign on a tree in front of the hovel read “MacBeth #13.” There was also an arrow under the word pointing toward the small stone structure. No way! My High Strangeness Homing Device was still in service! Not knowing (and really not caring) whether it was vacant or not, I swerved into the little driveway next to Macbeth. There were no other cars there, so I hopped out of mine and began to creep around the small yard. It looked like no one was staying there, so I snapped some pictures and even peered in a few windows. Being unique from all the other cabins in both distance and style, Macbeth #13 radiated the aura of a solitary forest witch’s house. Or maybe the grandma’s house in Little Red Riding Hood. I wasn’t bold enough to try and open a door. I mean, someone could have been staying there, but just out for the moment. I was not looking to be rude or to be eaten by the big bad wolf.
Feeling satisfied, I made a mental note to find a date to stay at Macbeth #13. Maybe even the Castle’s haunted tours would be back in session by that time. Perhaps my time at Landoll’s Mohican Castle had come to an end for the day, but this day’s paranormal trip was not at an end. So watch for part two of this series and see where my High Strangeness Homing Device decided to take me next!
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