Saturday, November 26, 2016

Johnny Morehouse and His Dog

Many claim Woodland Cemetery, located in Dayton, Ohio, is haunted. * 

The most famous story is about the ghosts of a five-year-old boy and his dog.

Woodlawn Cemetery
Like many ghost stories about young children, this one is more charming than scary.

In the mid-1800s residents of Dayton used a series of man-made canals to transport goods and people.

Miami and Erie Canal
The Morehouse family lived in the back of their shoe-repair shop in downtown Dayton. 

Behind this shop ran the Miami and Erie canal. In August of 1860, the Morehouse’s youngest son Johnny was playing near the trench with his dog. 

The young boy lost his balance and fell into the water.

His dog jumped in after him. He was able to pull his master out of the water, but it was too late—Johnny had drowned.

The Morehouse family buried Johnny at Woodlawn Cemetery. Within days of his funeral, people began to see an unusual sight. Johnny’s dog was lying on his grave and would not leave.

As the days passed, people worried this dog would starve to death, so they began to bring him food. 

Because of this dog’s constant vigil, a new headstone was carved for Johnny’s grave. It has “Johnny Morehouse” inscribed on the front and “Sweet Slumber” engraved on one side.

It depicts a large dog enfolding Johnny tenderly.

Today, this gravesite is the most visited in the cemetery. People leave offerings of coins, stuffed animals, various toys and food—in fond remembrance of this child and his devoted companion.

Offerings in remembrance.
For three months in 2008, a rumor was spread that the gravestone was vandalized. These stories were false. 

The head on the statue of the dog did disappear –the reason for this was with age it had fallen off. It was repaired and placed back on the figure.

Over the years, witnesses have claimed to see the ghosts of Johnny and his dog throughout the cemetery. They are seen running and playing together.

Many have heard the sounds of Johnny’s laughter as his dog barks.

Most impressive are the reports that people have seen what appears to be the statue of the dog breathing. Some have put their hands directly under the dog’s stone nostrils and felt these breaths.

*  Woodlawn is the 5th oldest garden cemetery in the U.S., Orville and Wilbur Wright are buried here as well as Erma Bombeck.


Unknown said...

I've never heard this story, very interesting.

SUSANRAE82 said...

Went to the cemetery today on December 9 2019 with my son to see the statue we felt its nose it was cold just like a dogs nose !!!!

Unknown said...

I saw this 50 years ago when I was a young child, and then again with my own kids in 2002. It is smaller than I remember it from childhood, and this article is VERY accurate. It was explained to me during my last visit by the cemetery keeper that the gifts and tributes are tied to putting your hand over the dog's nose to feel it breathing, sort the price for it. At the time a local lady collected the "offerings" weekly and donated them to the children's hospital.

The cemetery is weird and gorgeous, with many really odd statues, i.e. the grave of the king and queen of the gypsies, a "fallen angel" monument to the local madam and her girls, a guy sitting on a chair with 30' high legs looking over the town, etc. It is also an arboretum with one of every tree indigenous to Ohio, plus a lot of "Ohio Champions," the largest specimens of each of those trees. A really great place to visit if you're a fan of historic cemeteries and beautiful vistas.