Columbus Ohio is filled with ghost stories and supernatural legend and lore. One such tale is that of the Walhalla Witch, a mysterious hag like creature that resides in the woods of Wallhalla which can be reached off of N. High Street in Clintonville, a township within Columbus Ohio.
It was in the autumn of 2004 when I first heard the stories of the Walhalla Witch and the events of Mooney Mansion. James, a friend of mine who was a researcher and connoisseur of all things related to the occult and supernatural told me a terrifying tale of a witch that haunted Walhalla woods as well as the legend of Mooney Mansion, the story of a man, who in the 1950’s, supposedly lost it and murdered his wife and then proceeded to decapitate her with an axe. The man had also murdered his child and proceeded to dismember the little one’s body; by the time the police arrived, the wife and the child’s remains were barely recognizable. According to legend the man was so crazed that night that he even murdered their dog in his frenzied state. As soon as the man had realized what he had done, he grabbed a length of rope and tied it to one of the beams on the Walhalla Bridge and hung himself.
According to local legend, the witch was supposedly lived in the area since the Clintonville was established back in the 1800’s. Rumor has it that she may have been responsible for placing a magic spell on the man, causing him to go crazy. By night, the witch roams the woods around Walhalla Drive at night, terrifying the locals and laying hexes and curses on any passersby who trespass the woods at night.
My friend at the time had warned me that investigating this legend could be potentially dangerous, as the witch could in fact be some sort of demonic being, but at the time we were young, brash, fearless and adventurous so we had decided on hunting down and confirming the existence of this witch and possibly any other supernatural presence within the area.
It was a on a cold October night around 2:00am when we arrived at the edge of Walhalla Drive. We had decided to park the car off of High Street in front of Four Seas Emporium (a pretty awesome Chinese market by the way) and proceeded on foot to our destination, since having a vehicle may disrupt any supernatural presence.
Being careful not to trespass on private property, we proceeded to walk through Walhalla Drive until we reached the bridge where supposedly a man had hung himself after murdering his wife and child. As we approached the bridge, we heard strange cackling noises and branches snapping in the surrounding woods which caused James and I to stop immediately within our tracks. The noises were brief and for the several minutes in which we stood there, we heard nothing again. I remember debating with him what the sounds could have been and we had both decided that perhaps it came from some kind of animal, but we were not sure.
As we walked along Walhalla Drive, we both kept our eyes focused on the wooded darkness flanking our sides with the constant expectation of something suddenly leaping out at us, I supposed that maybe we had allowed our imaginations to run wilder than we should with all the horrific supernatural possibilities. The most disturbing aspect of the trek was the constant feeling as if we were being followed, as I recalled how I kept looking over my shoulder in anticipation of the witch. I remembered how I had tensely gripped my tire iron and was ready to strike if threatened, but there was nothing behind us except the darkness, the surrounding trees, a lamp post and the black top road we walked onward until the bridge was finally within sight; for some reason I had expected to see the silhouette of the hanged man, but none was there.
As soon as we reached the bridge it became suddenly became deadly silent and I immediately felt a cold, chilling numbness surrounding my face as we examined the area for possible activity. Within the wooded area, we heard more of the strange cackling noise and the sound of branches snapping again and again. Started, we both froze for a moment and decided to wait it out. Minutes passed by, but nothing out of the ordinary appeared as we stood silent, back to back at the edge of the road beneath the bridge.
Over the course of time, we had both decided it was time to leave. In spite of discussing the possibility of exploring the wooded area, we had both agreed that it was a bad idea since we would be trespassing on private property. Getting shot by some psychotic home owner thinking we were burglars was more frightening than encountering the witch, even though we should have been more frightened of the witch. The journey back was a trek with a general discussion of the cackling noises and the sounds of branches breaking within the wooded darkness. We had discussed the possibility of the witch stalking us, but we were unable to verify the source. Truthfully, we did really not want to back then, simply because we were ill prepared for hexes and curses.