Chilling Tales By Jay Bronc
                               A Haunting Story by Jay Bronc
The infomation that I gather was in the Alden Library on the O.U. campus in the locked archive section and not online. But the Simms Cemetery account appears to run a close parallel to the story of Peachtree Ridge that I have heard. When I went to school at O.U. way back when, I knew a student that was a practicing white witch, so the 5 cemeteries in the Peach Ridge area thing I was well aware of. She also told me at the time that Athens was one of the largest practicing witch cult areas in the country and she would know. She also did stone rubbings at the graveyards and most likely had one of the largest collection. Back to Peachtree Ridge that I visited. I found it interesting to read this from the web page you sent me. "Once a place has been used to conduct any kind of spiritual ritual, the place tends to gain a certain significance in the minds of the people who hear about it. This significance is passed on in the form of stories and folktales." As you approach the place that I speak of we discovered on one visit way back in the woods a circular sacrificial alter obviously used for practicing rituals. I had never heard this mentioned in any stories I had heard and we happened upon it by our guide a mysterious little black dog that kept barking at us until we followed it. Of coarse he led us right to the alter and then disappeared without us ever hearing another bark. Now I realize that I have become one of folks that pass this information on as a stroy or folklore. Kind of haunting in itself. But I also believe I am haunted by the witch of Peachtree Ridge as she is known. Not a haunting as most know. And not an evil or bad haunting. I will explain later. Since I have you some where in the middle of this story and you are probably scratching your head wondering what the hell I'm talking about,
part two.

It was no mistake that I found myself thumbing through the
pages of books at a library sale at the corners of Literary Street
and Professor in the Tremont area an older section of Cleveland that
had just undergone the transformation of restoration into a very hip
and upscale neighborhood. But rather a well thought out plan of my
wife's to both reward herself and punish me put me in front of those
tables of books. I had really outdone myself this year by planning a
trip down to the Ohio River with a bunch of friends on the weekend
that was to be her birthday weekend. One day birthdays just aren't
good enough any more and to stretch them for a weekend or even a week
of celebrating has become common practice. Not to be denied my wife
had settled for the exchange of celebrating the weekend before and
the weekend after, since I chose to be gone on the actual weekend
that we should have celebrated. Her first choice "A taste of Tremont"
where the streets are lined like tent city with arts and crafts and
some of the finest foods and wines from some of the best restaurants
in Cleveland that you will find. Dishes and meals they serve are so
good that I thought to myself "this shouldn't be too bad" and finding
a book sale amongst the tents of glassware, paintings, and crafts was
a total delight.
In no time three or four books found their way into the
cradle of my arms. A like new repair manual for my vintage Buick
LeSabre and a patio and deck building book were easy pickings. Then a
treasure, a book on "Gaint Earth-Moving Equipment" that my wife
discovered thinking our grandson Stephen would enjoy. It wasn't the
title or the excellent illustrations that made me claim this book for
my own, but the author. I recognized the name as soon as I saw it as
a tax client from several year back. I recalled the different income
strategy we discussed and certain expense costs to be taken, but I
never saw the finished product as he soon after moved out of the
Cleveland area to Chicago.
"Ah, yes" I thought to myself, "this isn't bad at all." But
perhaps I should have been warned by the next event that occured. I
found myself sandwiched between my wife on one side and a
hippy on the other (kind of like we all were
after our first year down at O.U.). As if in unison I hear voices
from both sides of me. Mr. Grunge is looking at me and facetiously
yelling "I found it, just what I have been looking for". And he is
waving around a book titled "How to be a devote Chatholic". My wife
on the other side is waving around two books and yelling "Ghosts". I
dismissed Mr. Grunge with a "you are now truely saved my son, go in
peace", and turned my attention to my wife. Somehow this picture
looked reversed and I might have suggest the two exchange books as I
thought that more apropos, but taking a closer look, the ghost books
were on Ohio. I ask my wife to look see if there were anything on
Athens, in particular anything on Peachtree Ridge. I know, I know,
you guys never heard of it but this is where it turns real freaky. A
tall thin young guy with short hair looks over and says "You can't go
there". The hairs on my arm immediately stood up like a razor backed
scared cat and I say "Excuse me". The guy says he is from Athens and
he works for the water company and that he works back there every day
and that they don't allow anyone back there anymore (of coarse this is always my trigger to trespass). Later we are
joined by his wife (I know this has to be me overthinking but she
looks just like a young witch with jet black very long somewhat with
a little curl hair) and she tells the story how she went back there
on Peachtree Ridge when she was younger but got too freaked out and
had to leave. Being born and raised in Athens I thought she would
have more to add to the story my wife told her of the Peachtree
witch, and her child and grandfather (Hangman Simms, Jeff?) but she just kind of nodded her
head and left it at that.
That couple was actually quite friendly and nice (white
witches usually are) and it was good to talk to them about Athens.
Now I ask myself these questions. What are the chance of me screwing
up the birthday date (I guess pretty good if you know me)? Of all the
events that day how did we pick Tremont? With all the people that
crowded the book tables all day how did we manage to pick up the
ghost books? What are the chances of running into someone from Athens, almost 400 miles away,
that not only new of Peachtree Ridge but worked there at that very
same time?
The next post can go either way - "The Curse"
"the Curse"
When I went to O.U. I lived off campus with about ten or eleven other guys on East State Street. The place we lived in was a two story wood framed house that had all these little room that the owner rented out to college kids. Turns out this house was originally the old Athens jail and all those little rooms were the old jail cells. That puts me in the same building that hangman Simms may have frequented but even worse the same cell that may have housed some of those that were hung. I remember the antiquity of the building as in the attic where two log cabin looking roof beams were joined together by wooden dolls not nails or bolts. Not sure where this is all going or leading up to. Other than visiting the Peachtree Ridge I have never sought out information on it. Strangely enough it all finds it way to me in bits and pieces and strange occurrences

      Here is a section that I will try to interpret from the above link that pertains to me.

         "Simms Cemetery, one of the pentagram five, rests on a slope off of Peach Ridge Road and has been designated the thirteenth-most haunted place in the world by the British Metaphysical Society. The graveyard was named after John Simms who, according to legend, was a local official known for his noose and multiple hangings. Simms supposedly wanders the cemetery at twilight wearing a hooded robe.
It is also said that Mary Roberts, known to be a witch, is buried near Simms and his family to curse them for all eternity."

        I'm not sure if you recall me emailing you how haunted the area was but I believed this to be in the National Register where it state both its U.S. ranking and World ranking. I believe the area to be Peachtree Ridge not Peach Ridge. Should be easy enough to check. The grave site that I have visited is the grave of Mary Roberts which is not in Simms graveyard but on a hilly knoll with only one large dead tree on it. At the foot of the tree are three graves, Mary Roberts, her father and Mary's young baby daughter that died at birth or close to it. The tree is located not far from the Ridge and on the property that was once her fathers farm. Simms graveyard is not far from here but I don't know this for sure because I have never been to Simms. My conjecture from the very first time that I visited the grave of Mary Roberts was compassion and sorrow it filled my body and soul. I felt that something had made this woman life horrible (never any mention of a husband or father of her child. Could Simms have hung her lover?). And the death of her child was almost unbearable (Could this have lead to the curse of Simms and his family?). I also experienced a feeling that this woman was not a witch at all but falsely accused and ridiculed by the town. To actually step on the ground that the graves are on I did feel an uncomfortable charge coming from the earth my boots touched that made me want to back off immediately. My belief that Mary Roberts was good person may be my own false belief. I was told a story that if you returned to the grave site under a full moon that the Peachtree witch would not only appear with a vengence but also wickedly haunt you. Who the hell would go there at night anyway. I've only been there during the daylight hours. I wanted to be able to see. When I told my wife of the site you sent me and how it fit in she told me "something is drawing you there now isn't it". I have always felt a draw to return. But I didn't let her know to the contrary that i feel something is holding me back and does not want me to go there

Graphic by Dark Offerings
        Thanks Sabrina