Boston, Ohio, is a Terrifying RV Destination
You’ll find Boston, Ohio, just south of Cleveland — if you dare. The town with a spooky past is a unique destination on an RV road trip.
Rumors abound over what happened in this abandoned place. There are even myths of a haunted bus. Or was it a Skoolie?
Keep reading if you’re dying to find out!
Why Is Boston, Ohio, Nicknamed ‘Helltown?’
Do a Google search of Boston, Ohio, and you’ll find several posts that say, “Helltown, formerly known as Boston, Ohio.” Boston is an abandoned village about 20 miles south of downtown Cleveland. There are many rumors of murderers, haunts, and chemical spills surrounding the town. But what really happened?
In 1974, President Gerald Ford signed a bill that allowed the National Park Service (NPS) to expropriate land to establish national parks. Boston, Ohio, was chosen as the home for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The NPS started purchasing local properties. The town’s residents moved away, leaving behind boarded-up homes. However, due to delays, the town ultimately sat empty.
More drama unfolded in 1985. The NPS acquired Krejci Dump. Rangers who visited the site suffered from illnesses and rashes. The dump ended up containing improperly disposed of toxic chemicals.
Soon after the dump incident, myths and tall tales about Boston, Ohio, began. And the nickname “Helltown” was born. The name has stuck all these years later.
Pro Tip: Interested in seeking out a portal to hell? Take a road trip to Spider Gates Cemetery and find the 8th gate of hell.
Common Myths About Helltown
The abandoned properties in Boston, Ohio, or “Helltown,” created quite a stir, particularly the Presbyterian church. Some said Satanists built it and displayed upside-down crosses. Supposedly, many dark rituals took place there. However, this myth has been debunked. Apparently, there was no satanic activity, and the crosses are part of the architectural style.
There’s another myth about ghosts inhabiting an abandoned bus in town. It turns out a family was just using the bus as temporary housing while their home was being repaired. Sounds like some ghostly RVers to us!
Other myths suggest the Krejci Dump chemical spill created mutants, one of which was a monstrous snake known as the “Peninsula Python.” The myths may be debunked, but “Python Day” was celebrated for years.
Does Anyone Live in Boston, Ohio?
Boston, Ohio, is empty. In 2016, all of the abandoned houses in “Helltown” were torn down. However, some people do live outside the designated national park area.
If you do visit, stay within the park’s boundaries and don’t trespass on private properties outside of the park.
Is It Legal to Visit “Helltown?”
“Helltown” is technically within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Therefore, it’s legal to visit.
However, there are some places in and around the town that may not be safe. Be sure to follow all park rules.
Is It Safe to Visit “Helltown?”
Yes, it’s safe to visit “Helltown.” You can see the village of Boston, Ohio, on foot, by bike, or via the Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s scenic train ride.
In addition, you can do a self-guided walking tour to learn more about the positives and negatives of Boston’s haunted history. But don’t expect a “ghost tour.” The national park steers away from the “Helltown” myths and instead provides family-friendly adventures.
Where Is Boston, Ohio?
Boston, Ohio, lies within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northern Ohio. It’s about a 20-mile drive from downtown Cleveland. While you can visit year-round, late-spring to early-fall are the best times to go to Ohio to avoid winter freeze.
How to Get to Boston, Ohio
Getting to Boston, Ohio, is best done on a day trip from nearby Cleveland or surrounding areas. You can take I-77 South from Cleveland. From Akron, drive 20 minutes north on either Riverview Road or OH-8 North.
It’s a two-hour drive from Columbus on 1-71 North or another hour-and-a-half from Cincinnati. Cuyahoga Valley National Park has various parking lots for easy access to the trails and activities in the park.
Things to Do in and Near Boston, Ohio
There are lots of urban adventures near Boston, Ohio. You can spend time in Cleveland or Akron. Lake Erie is also close by for a break from the summer heat. But there’s also plenty to do in and near Boston.
Hale Farm and Village is in the Cuyahoga River Valley. It’s an outdoor history museum owned by the Western Reserve Historical Society. You can walk through mid-19th century buildings and observe candle-making, blacksmithing, and hearth cooking demonstrations. There are also beautiful gardens to stroll through.
A popular activity in the winter months is Boston Mills and Brandywine ski resorts. They’re great places to enjoy downhill skiing or snowboarding. While Boston Mills and Brandywine are two separate resorts owned by the same company, they’re only five minutes away from each other. The Polar Blast Snow Tubing park is also right next door and is a fun family outing.
Is an RV Trip to Boston, Ohio Worth It?
Boston, Ohio, is a worthwhile stop on an RV road trip. Even if haunts aren’t your thing, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park has some great hiking trails. You can also bike or do some fishing in a pond.
If you’re RVing through northern Ohio, we recommend taking the time to see Boston and more. The scenic train ride through the park is often a highlight. And perhaps uncover the truth behind some of these spooky stories as well. Are you brave enough?
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