Ghosts of Ohio
Lore & Legends

Little Sugar Creek

The small, unassuming town of Bellbrook, located near Dayton, has more than its share of ghostly legends and stories. Indeed, some refer to the area as "Ohio’s Sleepy Hollow". In particular, the area of the town near Magee Park is alleged to be home to several ghosts.

The first spirit may be the one responsible for Bellbrook acquiring the "Sleepy Hollow" moniker. Legend has it that the headless ghost of a man named James Buckley wanders the area along Little Sugar Creek where his sawmill once stood.

Buckley lived in a small cabin along the creek and also operated an sawmill on the property. Over the course of time, Buckley managed to transform his small operation into a successful enterprise. In fact, he became one of the wealthiest men in the town, making him an easy target for thieves.

One night, Buckley’s home was broken into and robbed. When authorities arrived, they found the headless body of James Buckley lying outside. Despite an investigation, the murder was never solved... and Buckley’s head was never found.

While the cabin still stood, it was avoided by locals as it was alleged to be haunted. The few people who were brave enough to venture near the house reported being confronted by a headless ghost, his arms outstretched to them as if pleading for help. One couple who rented the old cabin claimed to have sighted George Buckley’s standing at the front door, his ghostly head tucked under his arm.

Today, nothing remains of Buckley’s cabin or his sawmill. But there are those that claim his headless ghost still wanders the property, imploring anyone who sees him for help.

Another ghost rumored to haunt Little Sugar Creek is that of a young suicide victim from the late 1800s. It is said that this young woman was involved in an illicit affair with a prominent politician, perhaps the Mayor of Bellbrook. The secret relationship went from bad to worse when the woman became pregnant.

Once the child was born, the woman found herself unable to support it. With nowhere else to turn, she went to the politician’s home and begged for help. The politician refused to have anything to do with the woman or the child and had them removed from the property. Despondent, the young woman walked with her child to a bridge overlooking Little Sugar Creek. It is reported that she stood there for a while, softly singing to the bundle in her arms. Then she plunged into the dark water below. Her body was recovered several days later. She was still tightly clutching a bundle of cloth in her arms, but the child was gone.

Today, people have reported seeing the ghostly apparition of a woman walking slowly along the banks of Little Sugar Creek. She is most often sighted on foggy nights in June. Many also state that she appears to be singing softly to a bundle she carries in her arms.

© The Ghosts of Ohio