Ghosts of Ohio
Lore & Legends

Simms Cemetery

Athens, Ohio has long been known as a haven for the supernatural. There appears to be stories of ghosts and hauntings surrounding literally every corner of this city. This may have something to do with the Cemetery Pentagram.

The legend of the Cemetery Pentagram involves five cemeteries that circle the city of Athens; Hanning, Hunter, Mathany, Peach Ridge, and Simms. According to many sources, when one connects these five cemeteries on a map, they form the shape of a pentagram, a symbol believed to have supernatural powers. And sitting at the top "point" of this pentagram is Simms Cemetery, considered by some to be one of the most haunted cemeteries in the United States.

Simms Cemetery is believed to have been named after John Simms, who is buried here with his family. Historians have stated that Simms was also the local hangman. Indeed, some stories go so far as to say that Simmsí hanging tree resides on the grounds of this cemetery, the marks from the rope still visible on its branches. There have been numerous sightings of spirits, supposed victims of Simmsí hangmanís noose, seen wandering around this tree. Some even report hearing the sounds of a noose tightening and of seeing ghostly figures hanging from the tree.

And then there are those who claim to have seen the ghost of John Simms himself. He is most often sighted wandering the cemetery wearing a long hooded shroud and has been known to chase anyone he finds in the cemetery after dark.

A final story that centers on Simms Cemetery involves a witch named Mary Roberts, who is allegedly buried near the Simms family plot. It is said that this was done so the witch could curse Simms for his sins. However, the Ghosts of Ohio has yet to turn up any evidence of Mary Roberts having been accused of being a witch. We have also been unable to find any connection between Simms and Roberts. As of this writing, it would appear that at least the Mary Roberts portion of the Simms legend may have been fabricated. But the area is still currently under investigation, so check back and see if we manage to turn up anything new.

© The Ghosts of Ohio