Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in the Great State of Ohio

Dedicated to cemetery preservation in the great state of Ohio


"A cemetery may be considered as abandoned when all or practically all of the bodies have been Removed therefrom and no bodies have been buried therein for a great many years, and the cemetery has been so long neglected as entirely to lose its identity as such, and is no longer known, recognized and respected by the public as a cemetery. 1953 OAG 2978."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

"The Kissing Ghost of Greenfield Ohio" - Highland County - Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - Parade Starting at 6:00p.m.

Click on title to link to Greenfield's Old Burying Ground on "Find A Grave"

From my friend, Earlene Scott - Thank you, Earlene, for sharing!!:

"Here is a story about Greenfield (1881 published by New York Times).
This is our Historical Society parade entry for the Halloween Parade in Greenfield to be held on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 6:00p.m.

We'll have a float with the ghost, grave marker, a bench for her to sit on at times and of course she will blow kisses to the crowd!"

10/22/2010 7:04:00 PM

The Kissing Ghost


New York Times published story on Greenfield ghost in 1881


By JEFF GILLILAND
Assistant Editor


It's been more than 128 years since Greenfield residents have observed anything like they saw Tuesday, according to witnesses.

The three witnesses, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of being ostracized, said they saw a ghostlike being walking atop the walls of the Old Burying Ground, also known as the Pioneer Cemetery, in Greenfield. The witnesses said the ghost was mumbling something as it moved near a gravemaker that may lend some clues to its identity.

"She kept mumbling something about coming back for a parade in town," one of the witnesses said.

October 26, 2010 - The annual Halloween Parade sponsored by the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District will be held in Greenfield starting a 6 p.m. Tuesday. Lineup starts at 5:30 p.m. at colonnades at McClain High School.

On Feb. 7, 1881, The New York Times published the following account of what came to be known at the Kissing Ghost in Greenfield.

The story was titled "The Greenfield Ghost:

"Greenfield, Ohio has a real ghost. There cannot be the least doubt about it, for a local minister, while conducting a revival meeting the other day, told his hearers that the ghost was a supernatural visit sent to warn the people of the near approach of the end of the world. As the same minister also professes his belief in the alleged words of the prophetess Shipton, his intelligence and judgment cannot be called in question, and we must join Greenfielders in believing in the genuineness of their ghost.

"In the opinion of the women of Greenfield, the ghost is by far the worst that has ever made its appearance. There have been, according to ghost-seers, all sorts of undesireable ghosts. Such were the ghosts that threw things at innocent people and smashed crockery; the ghosts that came and stood by people's beds in the dead of the night without having the decency to knock at the door or to say what they wanted; and the ghosts that rattled chains and thumped on the floor overhead merely in order to make themselves disagreeable.

"The Greenfield ghost is, in local feminine estimation, more wicked than any of her predecessors - for she is a female ghost. It is her loathsome habit to waylay young men in the midnight streets to kiss them and then to vanish. Often, she throws herself upon young men who are on their way to visit young ladies, and so terrifies them that they flee to their homes or boarding houses, leaving the unhappy young ladies to watch the front door bell in vain expectation. Conduct such as this is to the last degree revolting to very well brought up young woman, and we can understand why the Greenfield ghost is firmly believed by one-half of Greenfield to belong to the satanic host.

"Among the young men of the town the ghost is, as a rule, greatly dreaded. It must be remembered that Greenfield is an Ohio town, and, as we have learned during the last four yeas, Ohio is a state inhabited exclusively by men of the loftiest principle, the clearest intellect, and the most shrinking modesty.

"Were a female ghost of not unattractive appearance to infest a New York or New England village and to violently kiss belated young men, it is probable that 99 of every 100 local young men would walk the streets of that town all night and betray not the slightest fear of the ghost.

"In Ohio, as has been said, a totally different variety of young men exists, and young men of Greenfield, with few exceptions, declare that there is no more terrible wild fowl than a female ghost who lawlessly kisses persons to whom she is a total stranger.

"Those who have seen the Greenfield ghost are numberless, and their testimony as to her conduct is unvarying. One the night of the 12th of January, young Mr. Smithers, assistant pastor of a recently developed variety of Baptists, was met by the ghost at 9:30 o'clock. He asserts that she approached him from behind with noiseless steps, threw her arms around him, and kissed him before he could call for help. He instantly broke loose and fled to his home, where he was at once put to bed and physician summoned, who afterward said that the nervous shock which the patient had sustained might easily have proved fatal.

"Two nights later, at about the same hour, Mr. Edward Potter, one of the most respected young men of the town, was kissed in front of Esquire Dewey's house, and left insensible on the pavement. He says that the ghost spring on him suddenly and kissed him three successive times. As he had never before undergone the operation of being kissed, he suffered acutely, not only because of the outrage to his modesty, but because he feared that his life was in danger. He has since wholly recovered from the shock, but he never goes out at night without tying up his mouth with large 'comforter.' and keeping a sharp lookout for sudden ghosts.

"On the night of Feb. 3, Mr. Thomas G. Wilson, who purity of character and freedom from all knowledge of languages have induced the administration to offer him no less than three foreign consulates, but who preferred to earn the proud distinction of being the only Ohioan who ever refused an office, was waylaid by the ghost, kissed within the sight of Mrs. Wilson's windows, and afterward brought home by his neighbors, who found him lying in the snow and uttering incoherent moans.

"These are but samples of the devastation caused by the Greenfield ghost, and so far as is known there is but one young man in the town who is not in terror of his life. the young man in question is a notorious plumber, and though he has repeatedly met the ghost, she has never once offered to kiss him.

"The popular theory is that the ghost was originally a New England school teacher; and that she is now wreaking on mankind her vengeance for their neglect of her during her life. This theory is based principally upon the personal appearance of the ghost, who is described as being very tall, very thin, and wholly unable to cast a showdown when one of her edges in presented to the light. This may be true, but it by no means proves that the ghost is a New England School teacher.

It might with equal force be quoted to prove that she was formerly a Boston poet or and eminent female philosopher. The host of a New England woman of any kind would never be guilty of kissing, and even could we imagine her entertaining for a moment the idea of perpetrating such a crime, she would be utterly ignorant of the way in which to perpetrate it.

"The Greenfield ghost is clearly a great mystery. That she should forcibly kiss unwilling citizens of Ohio is simply inexplicable, and the longer she continues that unsatisfactory and unaccountable proceeding the face of the fact that she would be welcomed in a hundred Eastern villages, we must assume that there are ghostly idiots as well as living Greenbackers."

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