I was very proud that we were able to find the Mount Union-Pleasant Valley Cemetery, a haunted rural cemetery that's home to "Elizabeth's grave." It's located off Egypt Pike in Ross County, northwest of Chillicothe. If you're leaving town, you'll turn left onto Union Road (291) just past the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Area. The road is only paved where it curves around a cluster of houses; then it becomes the dirt track you see here:

Not a very well-travelled road, obviously. Of the few who use the unpaved tail end of Union Road, more than a handful are people searching for Mt. Union-Pleasant Valley's resident ghost, Elizabeth. She haunts the graveyard for more than one reason. They say she committed suicide here, by hanging herself from a tree. I'm not aware of what her reason was, but I'm betting a relationship was involved. They can be rough.

Elizabeth's legend further states that she's buried somewhere near the road, but the exact spot is forever lost because vandals broke her tombstone off; it now resides in the pile at the back of the graveyard. And there is, in fact, a pile of broken tombstones in the back left corner of the graveyard.

And yes, one of the stones belongs to an Elizabeth--more precisely, an Elisabeth. She's Elisabeth P. Eagleson (Nov. 16, 1819-Jun. 5, 1896), wife of John B. Eagleson (Jul. 31, 1809-Nov. 13, 1893). She outlived her husband by two and a half years. Maybe the grief drove her to suicide. Assuming, that is, she's the right Eliz(s)abeth. The location of her grave makes her a strong contestant.

There is at least one other Liz in the cemetery: Elizabeth Augustus, wife of T.E. Augustus. She was born August 21, 1830, but no death date is given, so we can only assume that she's alive and kicking at 175. (I never get tired of that joke.)

This second Elizabeth could also be the one, since her tombstone is broken off as well. It's propped next to its base, though, and would seem to be pretty easy to match up to a burial plot.

A handful of encounters with Elizabeth's ghost have been reported to me by website readers. A few are quoted here for your reading pleasure.

"My nephew and his friend visited the cemetery late one evening. I believe they said it was located off Union Road in Ross County. There was a full moon and it wasn't quite completely dark yet, still light enough to see if anyone was there. They took a camcorder and used a flashlight to shine on the tombstones to see the writing. Not until they got home and looked at their tape did they see a girl in the bottom left corner. When the camera was aimed at her, she ducked and whirled out of the picture. It was cold out and my nephew's friend had a yellow toboggan and dark jacket on. This girl was dressed in a white blouse and no coat. She was only there for an instant and ducked her head as she whirled, but you could tell her hair was sort of light. They were walking in her direction, and a split second later you could see the yellow toboggan appear on the girl--they more or less walked right through her. This is not hearsay; I watched the tape and saw the girl in it myself."
- Anonymous

"My brother and I were out one night around Halloween (of course), looking at some reported haunted places. We knew that we were going to go to the grave but we wanted to save the best for last. I took along my digital camera and was snapping pics everywhere we went. To our disappointment nothing showed up on the pics and we had no strange happenings...until we went to Elizabeth's grave, that is!

"As we drove down the lane, we both began to feel as if we were being watched and we just had an eerie feeling. We stopped the car and rolled down the windows so that I could snap a pic before we got out of the car. I took a pic of the tree that is supposedly the one that Elizabeth hung herself from. Just as the flash went off, we heard something running full speed at the car! It was coming from the field on the opposite side of the rode from the cemetery. We started the car and began screaming like little kids, because when we looked behind us there were weird yellow eyes just standing at the end of the road!

"After I got calmed down enough to look at my camera, I checked the picture of the grave site and there in the tree was a small single orb of light. We have not been back and we don't talk about it much. It was the scariest experience I have ever had with an entity and I have had several. Elizabeth is only telling people that she has been to the depths of hell and now she just wants to be left alone. I suggest that if you go there, be prepared for the scare of a lifetime!"
- Rebecca A.

Sadly, the ghost did not appear to me and my ex-girlfriend when we visited the Mount Union-Pleasant Valley Cemetery in the late summer of 2003. One interesting and creepy thing we did notice was the presence of three old slate tombstones--side by side, same shape, same thin cursive inscription. They belong to three children of the same family: John, James, and Sarah Corbit. What's so strange about this is that all of them died young--and within the span of two weeks.

In Memory of
Who died Oct. 23, 1832
aged 19 years 9 months
& 3 days
In Memory of
Who died Oct. 25, 1832
aged 21 years 8 months
& 21 days
In Memory of
Who died Nov. 5, 1832
aged 17 years 8 months
& 28 days

Two brothers and a sister, all three of whom died in the fall of 1832. The nineteen-year-old middle child, John, died on October 23. Two days later the oldest, James, followed him at age twenty-one. And finally, eleven days later--probably after both boys had been buried--the seventeen-year-old sister died, on November 5. It's just impossible to imagine the pain this family experienced that fall.

The Corbits, it turns out, succumbed to cholera, a disease which took the lives of many early Ohioans. A particularly bad outbreak swept southern Ohio in the fall of 1832. I've even spoken via e-mail to a descendent of the Corbits who cleared up some of the details for me. I'd still like to visit the Chillicothe library and page through the local newspapers for this period; maybe there's a mention of the unfortunate family.

I'd be interested to hear from you if you know anything else about this cemetery or the ghostly Elizabeth. My thanks to the Corbit descendent who filled me in about the cholera epidemic, and to Katydid for the photos. She's the one who noticed the Corbit tombstones.

Grave Addiction: Elisabeth's Grave (Mount Union-Pleasant Valley Cemetery)