Cole-Stratford Cemetery

Delaware, Ohio



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First, let me say that Cole-Stratford Cemetery is one of the most difficult to find cemeteries I've ever visited! It is located near (well, not really that close...it's about 300 feet northeast) the intersection of OH-315 and Bunty Station Road south of Delaware, Ohio (Delaware Township, Delaware County). To get to it, you'll want to visit the Stratford Ecological Center and follow the trail that leads from the center into the woods...the trail ends at the cemetery. You can visit anyday during daylight hours, with the exception of Sunday. Be sure to sign in at the center so they know you're there, it's free to visit. A HUGE thanks to Ben Fogt for telling me about this trail!

I can't say that Cole-Stratford Cemetery is very well taken care of...it's quite abandoned and overgrown. But I will admit that I was surprised at how many gravestones were still standing! Even though most are very weathered and illegible, there are plenty that aren't broken or fallen. Probably because people can't find it to vandalize...that's definitely NOT a bad thing!

So how did I find out about Cole-Stratford Cemetery? I'll have to thank Jon Kroninger, a great photographer and website visitor from Illinois. He had a very interesting experience at this cemetery, check out his e-mail for details:

"My name is Jon. I'm from Illinois, but my family settled just south of Delaware, Ohio, in a largely abandoned town called Stratford, during the 1830's.

In 1996 while researching my family history and the town, a distant cousin of mine took me to an abandoned graveyard there from the 18th century. It is well hidden and almost completely overgrown, with no signs. Plenty of headstones, though. Several of my relatives were buried there, one being a John also.

As my cousin and I were leaning over to do a grave rubbing of 'ol John from 1836, a drop of blood fell on the white sheet of paper. We both stood up and looked at each other. "Are you bleeding?" "No, are you?" "No". We both checked ourselves, and neither of us were bleeding. We were the only two there. One tiny drop, but red as can be. Didn't think much of it then, and we went back to our business.

A few weeks ago, I got to thinking about it, and wondered if I still had that rubbing. Sure enough, I still had it buried in my research papers. With that drop of dried blood still on it. I even started wondering how much a DNA test would cost, but it would take at least three to be exclusive or inclusive.

Maybe we weren't by ourselves, after all."

I haven't heard any stories about this cemetery being haunted (which isn't surprising since most people don't even know this cemetery exists!), but Jon's story is quite creepy! It's the perfect setting for a haunted cemetery though - lots of trees to block the sun, old overgrown gravestones...it was great :)

Honestly, we would have never found this cemetery if we hadn't run into Rob. Rob lives close to the cemetery, and when we ran into him he was out walking Max, his super cute dog:

Max with stick  Max


When we asked Rob about the cemetery, he offered to walk to it with us since it's so difficult to find. We had to wade through tick infested weeds and battle the mosquitos, but it was most definitely worth it! I can't even begin to express how much I appreciate Rob's help with finding this cemetery! He deserves a place in the Grave Addiction Hall of Fame for being one of the most helpful people I've encountered in my cemetery explorations :)

I also want to give a huge thank you to Jon. I wouldn't have even known to look for this cemetery if he hadn't told me about it. He shared lots of interesting information about the cemetery, and that's extremely helpful since finding information about the places on this site is the most difficult part. Not only did he share his eerie story with me, but he also sent me this old map that shows what the town of Stratford looked like in 1866 (yes, the cemetery is on it):

1866 Stratford, OH map


In September 2005 I received an e-mail from JR about a possible orb in one of my photos:

"I was studying some pictures of the Cole-Stratford Cemetery and noticed in the 5th picture there is a very bright orb, in which you can see a side profile of a woman's face. I looked and looked at this, and after getting a feeling this is a relative of Jon Kroninger, the gentleman that told you about the cemetery. I get the impression that this woman or young lady is there to protect something. I could be wrong but I get a strong feeling of this."

In May 2006 I received an e-mail from the "Queen of the Darkness" regarding the same photo mentioned above:

"5th picture: I can see four small faces. There are a couple in the first place. They look ahead, like they were posing for a photograph. The guy has dark, straight hair that reaches his ears, and a white collar. He's holding the woman. She has longer, probably curly hair, and she is wearing something that looks like fur. She is very young, maybe she is just a child. There is also one face on the right, and one over them. This one looks a bit scary when you look closely, but from a further distance it may be the profile of a soldier with a moustache and a hat on his head. If I look closely, I can also see some strange creatures under the orb. It looks like "danse macabre", but it is probably just my imagination."

Has anyone else noticed/felt anything strange about this photo? If so, send me an e-mail!



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