Subject: New Story by KC
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 18:54:37 GMT
OK, so when I upgraded my AOL version I must have lost my kaseym24 handle so I’m posting under this name. I have another quick story for you all to enjoy.
I grew up in SW Ohio right next door to the Ohio Veterans Children’s Home. It originally started in 1874 as an orphanage for children whose fathers were killed in the Civil War. Over the years, it turned into more of a juvenile delinquent facility for wards of the State instead of an orphanage. I have a lot of memories associated with that place: playing the fields, swimming in the pool, sneaking around the graveyard (that is full of children who died in the diptheria epidemic in the late 1800’s.) The place is like a small college campus with various buildings for classes, administration, and housing. It closed in 1995 after several accusations of abuse were brought forth against teachers and houseparents.
This particular story of the Home (I have many, many more…) begins in the summer of 1998. Since moving home after going to school, I had become re- fascinated with the place, spending time walking through the campus with my mom and sister, or “showing it off” to other friends and relatives. I had done quite a bit of research on the Home, fully intending to dedicate a website to its history and importance in the life of the children who had been there. I spoke to many of the members of the AXP (Association of Ex-Pupils, their alumni association) and they had regaled me with tales of how it “used to be” when they were there, mainly during the Depression. These tales often contradicted what I had heard about the place from my friends that actually lived there in the 70’s and 80’s. From what I heard, there was a lot of mental, physical, and sexual abuse going on in that place. The Home was self-sufficient, with their own hospital, so they didn’t have much need to go outside their own boundaries for help. I’m sure that they didn’t exactly report everything that went on there, either.
OK…so, like I said, it was last summer that I became interested in the place again. I went one fine day to take pictures of the campus with my digital camera as well as my regular 35mm camera. I took my girlfriend, who I had suckered into being my chauffeur, and we drove around the campus to get shots of the more prominent buildings. We pulled up to Peter Pan, the housing for the junior campus. Peter Pan was where the youngest children lived, and the building had been closed for about ten years. It was pretty run-down, but it was a major building on the junior campus, so I felt it was necessary to include it on my website. Since the FBI had been doing plastic bomb tests in the basement of Peter Pan earlier that week, they had blocked off the surrounding street area with yellow CAUTION tape. We parked the truck right outside the tape, and I hopped out and ducked underneath the tape.
As I walked closer and closer to Peter Pan, I felt a pull, like a tractor beam, bringing me in tighter to the building. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but as I stood in the yard searching for that perfect angle to take a picture, I felt something brush by my legs. I looked down, thinking it was maybe a bug or a stray dandelion, and took it as such since I didn’t see anything in my general vicinity. I walked even closer to the building, and suddenly I felt mobbed by something around my legs, like a horde of kids all clamoring for my attention. I tried to walk away, but the horde kept following me, keeping me from moving normally. After working with preschool age children, I know how it feels to be mobbed like that. I hastily took my picture, and moved to go back to the truck. Somehow I made it out of there. There were no children (of course) no panicky feelings, no bad feelings, just…sad feelings. Back at the truck, my girlfriend asked me what had happened there, and I told her. She said that she watched me the whole time, and could almost pinpoint the moment when I began to have trouble walking. She thought I had maybe stepped in doggy doo or gotten something wrapped around my foot, but I hadn’t.
I couldn’t take anymore pictures that day. I was too sad. I get a lot of sad feelings from the Home, mixed with a foreboding sense of evil. I know that a lot of bad things happened there, and maybe that day the kids just wanted some attention from someone who wouldn’t hurt them. I pray for those children who lost part of their spirits at the Home, that they may find their way to wherever they need to go.
More stories about the Ohio Veterans’ Children’s Home/Ohio Soldier’s and Sailor’s Orphanage can be found in one of the “Haunted Ohio” books…look under Greene County and/or Xenia.