Friday, October 19, 2012

Haunted Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio

October is upon us…. a time for hauntings, Halloween - and all things spooky.  This month, A Grave Interest takes a look at several haunted cemeteries.  Get ready as we explore some ‘lively’ places, and the people who make them so…….

Spring Grove Cemetery
Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio is the second largest cemetery in the United States.  Founded in 1845 by the Cincinnati Horticultural Society, it is comprised of 733 acres, but currently only 400 acres are landscaped and in use. It was renamed Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum in 1987.

Rock Bridge in Cemetery
Bronze Sculpture
Many of the most notable figures from Cincinnati history are buried here, but some remain a bit restless in this scenic “garden of paradise.”

Norman Chapel
The Norman Chapel, located just inside the main gates, is rumored to be haunted.  Designed in the Romanesque Revival or Norman style by Cincinnati architect Samuel Hannaford, in 1879, the chapel is complete with gargoyle guards.

Norman Chapel @ Turn of Century
Jail Bars
Legend has it that cries can be heard coming from the chapel basement at night.  A holding cell was built in the basement during the late 1800’s to jail those who were traveling too fast through the cemetery.  Drivers were arrested, put in the jail cell, and held overnight.  It is rumored that some still remain….

Dexter Mausoleum
Edmund Dexter
The most eerie structure in the cemetery is the Dexter Mausoleum. It was built in 1869 as a private family mausoleum for whiskey baron, Edmund Dexter.  The mausoleum boasts the only two symmetrical flying buttresses in Cincinnati, and was constructed to resemble a Gothic Revival funerary monument.

Dexter Mausoleum
White Dog Statue in Cemetery
Some say that the mausoleum is guarded by two white dogs.  Legend has it that if you sit on the steps of the mausoleum, two white dogs will appear.  They may run past you, stop and quietly watch you, or stop and growl.

Optometrist's Tools
Breuer Monument
The strangest tale of the cemetery involves the grave marker of Charles C. Breuer.  Breuer was an optometrist by trade.  When he died in 1908, he supposedly requested that his eyes be removed, put in glass, and placed in the bronze bust likeness of himself, located on the side of the monument. 

Breuer's Brown Eyes
Breuer Bronze Bust
Other stories report that Breuer requested glass eyes to match his own and had them placed in the bronze bust that was mounted on his marker.  It was his way of “keeping an eye on things”, even after death.  Regardless, many people report feeling watched when they are near the Breuer marker and some say the head has moved…

Interesting Stone
There are other reports of mists and wispy things passing by in the cemetery.  When I was there on a rainy April day, I heard footsteps approaching behind me.  When I turned, expecting to see my husband, no one was there.  Only a slight breeze blew past quickly and then all was quiet again.

Mausoleum Door
Sinking Mausoleum
Spring Grove is located at 4521 Spring Grove Avenue in Cincinnati.  The cemetery grounds are open from 8 A.M. to 6 P.M. each day.  The phone number is (513) 681-7526.  Visit their web page at or on Facebook at

Next week we’ll visit one of the most haunted cemeteries in the United States.

~ Joy


  1. An excellent report on the place. Wish I’d have had the opportunity to visit some of the Cemeteries in the US when I was there, problem was work got in the way.

    1. If you do get a chance Bill, this is definitely a cemetery worth the visit!

    2. this is interesting could you find more really interesting facts i am doing a science project on graves and tombstones

  2. Another wonderful ghost story! Looks like I'm going to have to make a trip to Cincinnati.

  3. That bit about the eyeballs is too strange! Did you feel like you were being watched?

    1. Not while I was standing there, by the monument, but from farther away........

  4. I have done extensive evp work at Springrove with fantastic responses from some very long winded spirits. The place is alive but I must warn you, you may get more than you bargained for.

  5. CC Breuer was a realtor, his daughters sued him for child support in 1908, because they didn't like his new wife, and when the judge found in favor of the girls, he was ordered to give them the rent revenue from a building he owned at 4th and Plum in Cincinnati. He was caught trying to blow the building up with dynamite and spent the rest of his life at Longview Mental Hospital. It was big enough news to make the NY Times in 1908. Truth is stranger than fiction!

  6. Whether or not CC Breuer had a fixation on eyes, I can't say. His home on Ludlow Ave near UC is still standing, and is still a private family residence. Huge red brick 3 story home.

  7. If you google Charles C Breuer capitalist, it will pull up an abstract from the NY Times, Jan 18th, 1908, with the whole story.

  8. Hi, Joy. I was in Cincinnati teaching this week and was able to spend some time at Spring Grove. I had been there a couple of years ago, but forgot how many fantastic monuments and statues there are. I love the Dexter mausoleum.

    1. Hi David, Glad you had a chance to visit it. I could spend days wandering that cemetery. There's always something new to discover around the next corner.