From downtown Cincinnati, take US-50 west. Just past the first gas station you see, you’ll find Fairbanks Road. Turn right. There is a park at the corner of Fairbanks and Route 50. Sleeper’s Hill is the wooded hill directly behind this park.
In the 1950s a man whose last name was Sleeper lived in a farmhouse up on this hill. He was a hermit, and he hated when anyone trespassed onto his property. He would take out his gun and chase them away. Other times he would chase people away with an axe, or he would even sometimes set his bull loose to chase the trespassers away. Parents warned their children to stay away from that hill.
Eventually Old Man Sleeper hung himself in his barn that sat at the top of the hill. Today the foundations of the old farmhouse are still visible up at the top of the hill.
There are several private residences up there.
The most famous ghost story about these woods on the hill is that people who trespass at night are chased away by a man with a bloody axe, perhaps the ghost of Old Man Sleeper, still protecting his property despite the fact that he is dead.
Other times, people will see an old man walking through the woods in the middle of the night. The man never acknowledges anyone, just simply walks by, appearing from a tree line and disappearing into the opposite tree line. Again, perhaps this is the ghost of Old Man Sleeper, forever wandering his property.
There has never been a report of someone being killed by the man with the bloody axe. At the same time, if the man with the bloody axe actually did catch someone, would anyone be able to tell the story?
This location is a tricky one to visit. Private homes have been built up there, and some of the owners have large dogs and would likely not appreciate you walking through their property in the dead of night. If you insist on walking these haunted woods at night, stay as far away as possible from anyone’s home.
Whenever I have visited this site, I have always gone during the day. I went to the park and walked up into the forest behind the park to get a sense of the terrain. During daylight is the easiest time to access these woods, but if you can somehow safely find your way in at night, I’m sure that it would be much creepier.
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