Walnut Grove Cemetery

The old graveyard off Sharon Springs Drive in Worthington has had a reputation among local teenagers as haunted for generations. Some of the legends were attached to the house across the street, a mysterious place hidden behind overgrown bushes and low-hanging trees. They said that the woman who lived there was a witch, or that the house itself was haunted.

The real horror of this story, however, is the incident which took place there on the evening of Tuesday, August 22, 2006. Five girls, seniors at Thomas Worthington High School, were investigating the cemetery. They may have started up the walk toward the house. One honked the horn to scare the others. What they didn't know was that the "haunted" house at 141 Sharon Springs Drive was home to Allen S. Davis, a reclusive 40-year-old gun afficianado who, for some reason, thought the seventeen-year-old girls were going to attack him in his home. When the girls circled the block and came back for another look at the spooky cemetery, Davis opened fire on them from his first-floor bedroom window with a .22 caliber rifle.

The girls thought it was firecrackers until they realized, driving off, that Rachel Barezinsky had been hit twice, in the head and upper body. She survived the shots, ending up in critical condition at the OSU Medical Center, and Allen Davis was arrested and charged with five counts of felonious assault.

From the Columbus Dispatch story, August 24, 2006:

"Lt. Francis gave this account of what happened Tuesday night:

"The girls had gone to the Walnut Grove Cemetery for 'ghosting,' which amounts to teens trying to scare one another. The girls told police that the Davis house, right across the street, is known among local kids as the 'spooky house.'

"'They dare each other to walk into the property,' Francis said, saying this week was the first police had heard of the practice because the Davises had never filed a complaint."

The Walnut Grove haunting was little known outside of Worthington, but due to this recent tragedy it has gained considerable notoriety. I think the lesson to be learned here is, obviously--be careful when you're out doing this stuff, because people have guns. And if you have a gun, don't just fire it at any strange noise you hear, fuckhead.

Columbus Dispatch article: "Prank Gone Awry Stuns Worthington"