Ghosts of Ohio
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Lore & Legends

The Dark Angel of Maple Grove Cemetery

There are two versions of the legend surrounding the infamous "Dark Angel" statue located in Maple Grove Cemetery, both of which center around a woman named Alice. The most popular version claims that Alice took the life of her small daughter.

Overcome with grief, Alice erected the statue of a larger- than-life angel over the child’s grave. Shortly after, Alice went "insane with grief" and died. She was buried next to her daughter in Maple Grove Cemetery.

Almost immediately after Alice’s death, locals began reporting that their livestock were being slaughtered. Others noticed that the angel statue had what appeared to be blood on its hands and mouth. According to this version of the legend, it was deduced that the evil spirit of Alice was inhabiting the statue, causing it to leave its place in the cemetery at night and fly across the countryside attacking and killing livestock. It was decided that the hands and wings of the statue should be cut off, thereby preventing it from causing any more destruction.

After the hands of the statue were sawed off and its wings were "clipped", there were no more reports of livestock being killed. In addition, it is said that what appeared to be tearstains appeared on the angel’s face, supposedly caused by the spirit of Alice weeping for her sins.

Another version of the story also claims that the spirit of Alice inhabits the statue, however in this version, she was a kind spirit... at least in the beginning. It is said that during a cholera epidemic in the early 1900s, bereaved parents would bring the bodies of their children to the cemetery and place them in the arms of the statue, asking that the angel take the children away to heaven. According to this version, a local preacher convinced his congregation that placing their children in the arms of the statue was blasphemous. As a result, the hands of the statue were sawed off. This evidently angered Alice’s spirit and it is said that from that point on, anyone desecrating or tormenting the statue would meet an untimely death. Attached to this version of the legend is the fact that if you visit the cemetery and bring a tape recorder, Alice’s spirit will speak to you.

And now for the facts:
To begin with, a simple visit to the cemetery will dispel a majority of both these legends. To begin with, the base of the statue clearly states that it was erected in memory of two sisters, Alice and Lydia Fischer. And while it is true that there is a young girl, Betty, buried at the site, she is the daughter of Lydia, not Alice. The Ghosts of Ohio thought for a moment that perhaps the legend had incorrectly named Alice as the one who inhabits the statue when it was indeed Lydia. But a review of the tombstones quickly showed that could not be the case if we accepted the rest of the legend as truth.

In essence, Betty’s tombstone shows that she was born and died in 1918. When you consider that Lydia, the mother, was born in 1876, she would have been roughly 42 years old when she gave birth to Betty. Taking that into consideration, it is not that far-fetched to believe that perhaps Betty had died during childbirth. And the fact that Lydia was 50 years old when she died in 1926, a full eight years after her child, seems to dispel the rumor that Lydia went "insane with grief" shortly after she murdered her child.

As far as the second legend is concerned, once again a review of the tombstones shows it is highly unlikely that the events took place. The second legend claims that in the early 1900s, a cholera epidemic swept across the area, killing many children. Parents of the departed children allegedly placed their children’s bodies in the arms of the statue. Not only have we not been able to substantiate the claim of a cholera epidemic in the area in the "early 1900s", but since the statue was placed in the cemetery as a memorial to Lydia and Alice Fischer, it would not have been in place in the early 1900s. This is due to the fact that Lydia and Alice did not pass away until the 1920s.

As part of The Ghosts of Ohio’s investigation, we visited the statue several times. On each visit, the statue was scanned thoroughly with both IR thermometers and EMF gauges. At no time did we receive even the slightest reading. None of the photographs revealed anything out of the ordinary either. In addition, over three hours of audio was recorded, all of which was "clear".

When The Ghosts of Ohio first visited the statue, we were overcome with a feeling of sadness. However, this was not due to any spirit that might be inhabiting the statue. Rather, it was due to action of person or persons unknown who, for reasons known only to them, decided to decapitate the statue. And as if that were not enough, the grave site was littered with broken beer bottles and trash. It was due largely to this desecration that The Ghosts of Ohio chose not to pursue obtaining permission to visit the cemetery at night.

This senseless vandalism also brings us to the final aspect of the legend, which claims that whoever desecrates the statue will suffer misfortune. It’s for this reason that The Ghosts of Ohio would like to state that although the story of the Dark Angel currently resides, with good reason, in our "Hard to Believe" files, this is one legend we really wish were true.

Should you choose to visit the Dark Angel, The Ghosts of Ohio sincerely hope that you treat it with kindness and respect... she has clearly suffered enough.

As part of The Ghosts of Ohio’s investigation, we visited the statue several times. On each visit, the statue was scanned thoroughly with both IR thermometers and EMF gauges. At no time did we receive even the slightest reading. None of the photographs revealed anything out of the ordinary either. In addition, over three hours of audio was recorded, all of which was "clear".

UPDATE: Maple Grove officials recently removed the entire angel statue from the cemetery, leaving only its concrete base behind. No word yet if they plan to repair the statue or simply place it in storage. If you have any additional information on the statue's status, we would love to hear from you.



© 2008 The Ghosts of Ohio