Category: Franklin

Headless Hattie

As told by David Robinson.

As the story goes, a lady by the name of Hattie was coming home after a day of shopping with her baby. They were traveling along the section of Watkins Road that crossed over Big Walnut Creek, in southeast Columbus, which at that time, about 25 years ago, had an old one lane bridge. As they approached the bridge, another car was traveling in the opposite direction as Hattie and her baby on the other side of the bridge. The elevation of the crest of the bridge prevented the two drivers from seeing the glow of the oncoming headlights of their cars headed in each others direction. As the two cars approached the bridge from both sides, neither knew of the other speeding right towards them. They both drew nearer to the bridge. The other car made it to the bridge before Hattie did, and her car was forced off the side of the bridge, which flipped over guard rail and landed on it’s top in the creek. The accident killed both Hattie, who was decapitated, and her young baby. It is now local legend that if you go to the bridge on the night of a full moon, park your car, flash the headlights 12 times, and wait, you will see Headless Hattie carrying her head in the crook of her arm and walking around the area looking for her baby.

The old one lane bridge that the accident happened on has since been replaced by a unusually wide two lane bridge (the old one was much more scary!). The location of the bridge, Franklin County,southeast Columbus, is just off 104, south down Alum Creek Drive till you get to Watkins Road on the left. Go around the bend and take the first left, which will still be Watkins Road. The Big Walnut Creek Bridge will be the first bridge you come to. This bridge is approximately 150 yards from my apartment, where I sit right now.

(This tale sounds similar to the Headless Motorcyclist of Elmore, Ohio.)

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets’ site.

The Bott Brother’s Billiards

As told in WCMH Channel 4’s “Ghosts of Columbus & Beyond”.

At the turn of the century the Bott Brother’s Billiards was one of the most fashionable places in town. A lively place of drink, song, and cards. Our story takes place on a cold and frigid night in February of 1909.

A blizzard had been raging for two days and the all the electricity had been knocked out. The Bott Brother’s Billiards was illuminated by candle and lantern light, but otherwise it was business a usual. At the bar sat a notorious womanizer, card cheat, and knave by the name of Colonel Randolf Pritchard. The Colonel was sitting alone not by choice, but partly due to his infamous reputation. Playing himself a game of solitaire he sat there drinking, and passing the cold night away. It was shortly after 10 o’clock that the door to the saloon opened. Cold air blasted in the establishment though the open doorway. The Colonel glanced up at the entrance to the place. He saw something that made him rise up and move towards the open door.

From the entrance a woman emerged, possibly one of the many jilted lovers of the Colonel. In her upheld hand was knife. Again, and again the knife plunged into the chest of Colonel Pritchard, his arms flailing about to fend off the deadly blows. Then the knife wielding apparition dropped the blade and fled back out the door, and into the frigid night. The Colonel immediately falling down on the dirty wet floor next to the knife which had taken his life.

Several of the patrons rushed out into the street in a vain attempt to apprehend the murderess, but she had disappeared into the cold night in a coach the had passed by. The only thing to mark her passing was her dainty footprints in the snow.

Legend has it that the lady is doomed to walk the Earth forever for her heinous crime. You cannot see her, but on the night of the anniversary of the murder, if you stand outside near the clock who’s hands have been frozen at 10:05 since the night of the murder, and if there is snow on the ground. You can see her footprints appear in the snow as she makes her escape for all eternity.

The saloon still stands in the same place at 162 N. High Street Columbus, Ohio. It is still open for business as far as I know. The place is known to most Columbus natives simply as “The Clock” which hands are stuck at 10:05.

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets’ site.


As told by James A. Sheets

It is only fitting that as the caretaker of this site, that I include a tale of my own. This one concerns the former residence of my maternal grandmother on my mother’s side. This was a run down two story affair, with dirty green shingle siding. The first floor held the living room, sitting room and kitchen. The second floor housed the three small bedrooms, and bath. This is the area of the house where my story takes place in the early 1970’s.

I have never been afraid of the dark all my life. Hollywood can do it’s worst in any of it’s films, and I’ll still get a good night’s sleep. My mother worked nights, and as she was divorced, and I had to spend numerous evenings alone by myself. Never once was I ever scared to sleep because no one else was in the house with me, but the second story of the old house in German Village was a different story. It was a place to visited for short periods in the daytime, and avoided at all costs at night. The problem as you may have figured out on your own, is that the only toilet in the house was up there! To complicate matters, the light to the upstairs was one of those pull string affairs in the center of the upstairs hallway.

I was around 14 years old or so when my mother elected to stay late at her mother’s. Around 9 P.M. or so I couldn’t hold off my expanding bladder any longer, and had to ascend the dark twisting stairs to the second floor. After entering door to the stairwell, the stairs were to your left, and a door to the alley adjacent to the house was directly in front of you. The only light in the stairs was provided by light coming in from this door from the street light outside. After ten steps or so the stairs twisted to the left at 90 degrees, and this delivered you to the head of the upstairs hallway. Like a drowning man clutching at a floating piece of wood, I would grab for the drawstring to the light. Quickly I would finish the call of nature, and then begin the trip back down the steps. This was the part of the trip that I dreaded. I always felt like someone or something was glaring at me from the darkened end of the hallway. On this trip I decided that I was acting like four year old and vowed not to hurry my steps down the hallway. As I moved toward the light in the center of the hallway my fear increased. I felt like I had a set of eyes boring into the center of my back. I stopped and turned looked back to the door to the spare bedroom. There in the shadows was a five foot column of dark mist, or more like a area of air that was darker than area surrounding it. I bolted for the stairwell. I leapt to the landing mid-way in the stairwell, and then jumped to the base , shaking the whole house. My mother promptly launched into one her lectures on what a brainless child she had. I received the how my grandmother was poor, and how I was a thoughtless boy for leaving the light on upstairs later on as well.

I never again left the light on upstairs, but you would have sworn that a herd of buffalo was coming down those steps everytime that I had to use the bathroom at night. I also refused to ever sleep upstairs, and the couch became my sleeping area. I think my grandmother knew more than she was willing to let on, as she always leapt to my defense against my mother, and step grandfather everytime they scolded me for leaping down the steps. She would have the blankets on the couch every time I went to stay the night, and I will always remember her whispering “Sweet dreams my angel” before turning off the lights and going upstairs to bed.

My grandmother past away when I was sixteen years old, and my step grandfather moved to a different house there after. The house still stands on Fifth Street just off of Livingston Avenue in German Village in Franklin County. I will not publish the address, or photo of the house out of courtesy to the current occupants whom I do not know. The area is somewhat nicer than it was back in the 1970’s, and the house now has beautiful brick siding. I do hope that what ever dwelt in the bedroom at the far end of the hallway has departed with the remodeling of the old house. That is for the current owner’s sake. I still would not stay the night on the second floor of that house by myself without a good reason even to this day.

This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets’ site.