The tale, as passed around by locals, is that this small, non-descript graveyard, with only a dozen or so scattered tombstones remaining, is spilling over with the ghosts of children. These little ones, caught in the grips of an infectious disease no one understood, met their fate there in the tiny village of Gilboa, the only home they ever knew. Legend has it that long after the sun sets every evening, small voices emanate in the darkness. These disembodied calls are known to come from the rear of the cemetery, where it’s believed that an unmarked mass children’s grave is located. Some claim to hear laughter and the sounds of children playing. Others claim to hear the distinct, visceral cries of young ones in distress. This legendary story has held now for more than a century. Ghost hunters and history buffs alike know all too well the claims of this tiny cemetery, situated not far from a towering grain elevator amid flattened fields and forests.
Come hear from a local herself. Nancy Kline is a semi-retired writer for the Putnam County Sentinel. She shares a passion for both the lore and the history of place. She’s a member of the Putnam County Historical Society, and graciously agreed to share both her knowledge and experience of this speck of a graveyard. Luckily for us, she and her grandson once decided to do a little amateur paranormal investigation there. Although previous attempts at ghost hunting in other cemeteries proved fruitless, they encountered unique and unexplainable experiences at the Cholera Cemetery. Could that mean that mean that these legendary claims, told ‘round campfires and dinner tables, are true?
Listen to Ohio Folklore on your chosen podcast platform, or to download the episode, click here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/236393/8356776-gilboa-s-haunted-cholera-cemetery.mp3?blob_id=38002698&download=true
Gilboa's Cholera Cemetery at the corner of US Hwy 224 and County Rd. 5-F. Picture taken Apr. 2021.
A Gofundme Account has been established to build funds toward the construction of a new tombstone worthy of Dr. Thatye's selfless sacrifice and love for our Ohio ancestors. Click below to donate. Thank you!