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Simms Cemetery in Athens, Ohio

Updated on August 12, 2009

Simms Cemetery

One of the cemeteries in Athens, Ohio is regularly surrounded by ghost stories. It is not new information that Athens has been labeled as one of the world’s most haunted places. The city is home to hundreds of ghosts and some people believe that every spot in the community must definitely have a ghost. The town of Athens seems to deserve this label, from the college campus to the old mental asylum. The story of Simms Cemetery is one of the most popular and well-known stories in the area.

Simms Cemetery lies in Athens, Ohio and a lot of people say that it is one of the most haunted cemeteries and locations in the world as well. It is one of many cemeterieds in the area and it's located off of Peach Ridge Road. According to a local legend, five cemeteries in the area can be connected with drawing lines in the form of a pentagram on a map. It is very helpful to note, for tourist’s relief, that almost any points on a map can be connected in such a way that they create a pentagram.

A local man, John Simms, is the one that gave the cemetery it’s name. He was one of the town officials and had a pronounced taste for capital punishment. He was known for sentenceing to death by hanging people for the most common offenses. He was also well known for the awful prejudices towards the freed slaves that were living in the area. In fact, the majority of people hanged by him were African Americans.

Locals believe that the ghost of John Simms is still wandering in the cemetery in his hooded robe, still searching for criminals. Some legends even tell that he is carrying a sickle in his hand and that he chases people who trespass away from the cemetery. Mary Roberts is another ghost figure associated with this cemetery. Allegedly, she was a witch that was buried near the plots of the Simms family and she continues to haunt his family in death to this day. This legend was demonstrated and it is not true, taking into account the fact that she was buried along with her daughter and father on a piece of land that was part of her farm, outside the cemetery.

Another popular story that surrounds Simms Cemetery involves the Hanging Tree. This is said to be the spot the infamous John Simms watched his victims being condemned to death. This tree still exists in the cemetery and there are visible spots where the ropes were once hung. It is not a pleasant thing to imagine how the poor souls took their last breath there from the tree. The tree was no longer used after 1890s. Locals claim that bodies hanging from the tree can be seen late at night.

Some people even have siad that the cemetery frequently moves itself and that it changes its location in order to elude any potential visitors. There are some stories of odd lights, of shadows moving inside and even of odd voices coming from it at night.

Simms Cemetery in Athens, Ohio is on private property and, if you want to experience ghost hunt, you need to ask for the owner permission to visit it, even though it’s less likely that you'll get his permission to enter there at night.

See pictures and more haunted places around the Athens, Ohio area at Haunted Athens Ohio

Simms Cemetery

Simms Cemetery
Simms Cemetery


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