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Book review: Cincinnati Cemeteries—Hauntings and Other Legends by Roy Heizer

As a member of The Association of Gravestone Studies, this reviewer was anxious to get her hands on a copy of “Cincinnati Cemeteries—Hauntings and Other Legends” by author Roy Heizer (Schiffer Publishing 2017). Having attended an AGS Conference in Cincinnati in the summer of 2016, it was refreshing to read more about some of the historic cemeteries the group visited during what we have nicknamed “Cemetery Camp.”

A visit to Spring Grove Cemetery is nothing less than awe inspiring. The first interment to pass through the ‘one-way’ entrance gate was on September 1, 1843. As a funeral cortege approached the cemetery, the gate would slowly swing open to allow the horse driven carriage inside—the casket to never leave its ornate passageway again. Some say the dearly departed still wander the old graveyard or their spirits become entangled in the gate in an attempt to find an exit. Read about supernatural visits to the grave site of John R. Hugh and voices from the grave of little Miss Alice. Look closely and perhaps you will discover them wandering the fine trimmed gardens yourself!

Visit the grassy hillsides of Walnut Hills Cemetery after you read some of the legendary tales associated with this historic burial ground. Learn the tales of Jacob Woelfle’s horror with a fireplace and its gateway to Hell. Read and you may discover if the widow Wurth had ghostly visits at her husband’s grave site? What did one visitor say about the unexplained phenomena he witnessed while strolling the grounds of the serene cemetery.

Stroll through St. Mary’s Cemetery where the children from a nearby Catholic orphanage perished in a devastating fire. Can you hear their calls for help? Can you still smell the smoldering ashes from the blaze?

“Cincinnati Cemeteries—Hauntings and Other Legends” offers tales of ten historic cemeteries you will most definitely explore on your next visit to the ‘Queen City’. Filled with great photography, it is a wonderful travel guide to bring along with your camera and gusto for adventure.

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Debe Branning

Debe Branning has been the director of the MVD Ghostchasers–a Mesa/Bisbee, AZ based paranormal team since 1994. The team conducts investigations of haunted, historical locations throughout Arizona and has offered paranormal workshop/investigations since 2002. Debe has been a guest lecturer at Ottawa University, Central Arizona College, Arizona State University, Scottsdale Community College, and South Mountain Community College. She has been a speaker at science fiction conventions such as Phoenix ComiCon, CopperCon, FiestaCon, HauntedCon and AZParacon. Debe has been the guest speaker at many historical societies and libraries talking about historic/haunted Arizona.

She has appeared in an episode of “Streets of Fear” for which aired October 2009 and on an episode of TRAVEL CHANNEL’S “Ghost Stories” about haunted Jerome, Arizona in July 2010. She recently appeared as an extra in the 2017 horror movie “The Covenant”. She enjoys assisting in the research field for various Travel Channel TV shows such as ‘Ghost Stories’, ‘Haunted Highway’, and ‘Deadly Possessions’ and MTV’s ‘Fear’. She has traveled, toured and investigated at haunted locations across the United States, England, Scotland, Ireland and Mexico.

Debe is the author of “Sleeping With Ghosts-A Ghost Hunter’s Guide to AZ’s Haunted Hotels and Inns” (2004), “Grand Canyon Ghost Stories” (2012), “The Graveyard Shift–Arizona’s Historic and Haunted Cemeteries” (2012), “Dining With the Dead–Arizona’s Historic and Haunted Restaurants and Cafes” (2017) and a series of three children’s books, “The Adventures of Chickolet Pigolet: 1. “The Bribe of Frankenbeans” —-2. “Murmur on the Oink Express” —-3. “You Ought to be in Pig-tures”. For 7 years Debe penned 3 columns for titled: “Phoenix Travel Adventures,” “Arizona Haunted Sites” and “Haunted Places” so travelers could know where they might find a ghost or two when they visited Arizona and the United States. She was the Managing Editor of “Paranormal Investigator Magazine.” As a paranormal travel writer, Debe traveled to Europe to cover haunted castles, jails, ships, inns, cemeteries and ghost walking tours. She has been the guest of several US tourism departments such as Carlsbad, Historic Hotels of the Rockies, Salem, and Biloxi.

Debe is a preservation activist with a special interest in preserving historic cemeteries. She is on the board of directors of the Pioneers’ Cemetery Association and the Arizona Genealogical Advisory Board. She is also one of the co-hosts of the Association of Gravestones Studies in Arizona.

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