Take I-75 to the Harrison Avenue exit. At the exit, follow the signs to Queen City Avenue. Follow Queen City up the hill for a couple miles and then turn left at the traffic light onto Sunset Avenue. Follow Sunset until you get to Guerley Road and then turn right onto Guerley. A half-mile up the road, at the first private driveway on your right, is a sign for the potter’s field. The actual graveyard is in the thick woods just to the right of the sign. The section of the potter’s field directly adjacent to the private driveway is protected by a barbed wire fence. Walk past the driveway to a dirt access road, and follow the access road. Turn into the woods on your right when you see anything that may pass for a path. This is the potter’s field. It is completely overgrown. Since you cannot park in the private drive, you may have to park at the CVS pharmacy a quarter mile farther down Guerley and then walk down to the cemetery.
When the cholera epidemic struck Cincinnati in 1849, there was a desperate need for cemeteries throughout the city. Many were created based on the religious faith of those buried there, but there was also the need for potter’s fields—cemeteries built on non-consecrated ground for those too poor or too ‘evil’ to be buried in faith-specific graveyards. The potter’s field in Price Hill was built in 1849.
During its years of operation, an estimated 6,000 to 10,000 people were buried in the graveyard.
Many were buried without markers, and many markers used during the operation of the graveyard have been lost through the years. During the time when a tuberculosis hospital was located at Dunham, the patients and staff participated in the upkeep of the cemetery. Some of the patients were buried in this cemetery since few people wanted to bury tubercular patients for fear of getting the disease themselves. By the time the cemetery closed down, upkeep had become a problem. In 1981, the city of Cincinnati decided not to continue upkeep of the cemetery, which quickly became completely overgrown.
This cemetery is quite haunted. People will hear strange voices and sobbing coming from the grounds at night. When people walk through during the day or night, they feel that they are being followed or watched. Sometimes people will actually see ghostly figures, which vanish when they are approached.
Perhaps the spirits of all those unfortunate souls who are buried here are upset about the shabby condition of the cemetery or about having been buried in a potter’s field. The ghosts here always seem to give off an angry and menacing vibe.
A couple of obstacles stand in the way of visiting this cemetery: parking and access. It is difficult to find a place to park. The sign for the cemetery is situated beside a driveway on Guerley Road. From what I could ascertain, this is a private driveway, so you cannot park there without permission from the homeowners. Another option is the CVS pharmacy about a quarter mile down the road near the intersection with Glenway. You can park there and walk down to the cemetery. Also, you can park at Dunham Park and head through the woods toward the potter’s field. But Dunham closes at ten p.m., and it’s easy to get lost in the woods because there is no clear path to the cemetery.
Access to the cemetery is also a problem, though the field is open to the public, and you can enter it legally at any time. In fact, it’s unlikely that anyone would know you’re there, even if you had flashlights in the middle of the night. But the area is overgrown and nearly impossible to navigate. There were times during my visit when I literally had to crawl from place to place. For that reason, I suggest visiting during the day. Finding your way around at night through the thick brush is more of a challenge than any ghosthunter should have to face.
There are only a few headstones in the potter’s field, but there are some markers. Many of them lay flat along the ground and do not feature names—only numbers. There is at least one stone made of granite with the name and dates carved into it. When visiting the cemetery, try to find these headstones and markers because this is where most of the activity is rumored to occur.
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