4 November Volunteer & Charity Opportunities in Chagrin Falls

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Whether it’s through volunteering or via charitable contributions, assisting your local nonprofits aids them in making the Chagrin Valley a better place to live.

These are four organizations we think are worth your attention and support:

The Chagrin Valley Jaycees

Getting involved with the Jaycees is a great way to keep some of Chagrin Falls’ most enjoyable happenings alive.

Responsible for events like the Annual Blossom Time festival and the Blossom Time Road Race, as well as volunteering to help decorate the town for the Christmas season, helping the Chagrin Valley Jaycees helps ensure this remains one of the region’s most breathtaking destinations.

Valley Art Center

The visual arts and the cultural enrichment they provide are vital to any community, which is why the non-profit Valley Art Center works to provide classes, exhibits, and more to thousands of students in Northeast Ohio.

Thanks to their efforts, we enjoy the Valley Art Center Mural, the Art by the Falls outdoor show, and an appreciation for the arts throughout the region, while also helping create a new generation of people who love and create art.

Chagrin Falls Dads’ Club

Since 1996, this non-profit organization has worked to improve educational, recreational, and social opportunities for children of the area. Over the years, they have raised over $350,000 for our schools.

All Dads living in the Chagrin School District who want to help find ways to make our schools, family and community better are welcome. Their efforts have helped bring new playgrounds to children, smartboards into their classrooms, playing fields, and more.

Give! Chagrin Valley

Existing for nearly 60 years under several different names, Give! Chagrin Valley is devoted to making life throughout the Valley a little better. Give! identifies local organizations in need and reviews projects those organizations hope to accomplish.

Once beneficiaries have been selected, they work to raise funds, boost awareness, and help make the recipient’s goals a reality.

They are also involved with supporting the Annual Blossom Time festival and related events, and in supporting the efforts of the Chagrin Valley Jaycees. 

Ride to Ohio’s Mysterious Gravity Hill This Halloween

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Ohio is full of weird places, and in some of them you can experience the weirdness firsthand. Mentor’s “Gravity Hill” is one of them.

Imagine stopping your car at the bottom of a hill, placing it in neutral, and then sitting back as your car rolls UP the hill, hits the crest, and down the other side.

Sounds impossible, right? Like something that can only exist in your imagination?

Turns out you don’t need to imagine it. You just need to take a short drive to King Memorial Road in Mentor.

We know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. In fact, Mentor’s infamous “Gravity Hill” is one of many dotting the American landscape.

To find this one, you’ll want to go to King Memorial Road in Kirtland Hills. Find the intersection of Little Mountain Road, then go about 100 yards past it. That’s where the magic happens. Pop the car in neutral – though be aware that local police discourage people from doing this – take your foot off the brake, and wait as your car begins rolling UPHILL.

It’s kind of unnerving. And yes, it’s a real thing.

How does it happen? Most say it’s nothing more than an optical illusion. By all appearances you are sitting on an uphill incline, but in fact you’re actually on a downhill slope.

Sit in your car in front of this “hill,” though, and you’ll be all but certain that you are facing an uphill slope. As you roll, the feeling that you’re rolling uphill is unmistakable, but it’s just a trick of the eyes.

One thing that sets Mentor’s Gravity Hill apart from others in the country is that there are no scary myths about tragic car accidents and fiery wrecks attached to the hill.

Most other “gravity hill” locations come with local legends about flaming school buses and families caught in terrible wrecks, but not King Memorial Road. It’s just a weird bit of local oddness.

So needless to say, if you like weird stuff in Ohio, this is a road trip you’ve got to take, and on or around Halloween seems like the perfect time to do it.

Just one thing that is important to clarify first: stopping in the middle of the road is dangerous and can cause accidents. The hill is a cool curiosity, but don’t be irresponsible. People can get hurt. And understand that the local police probably don’t want you doing this, either.

4 Creepy Cleveland Crimes to Recount For Halloween

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Cleveland has some chilling, often creepy historical murders that not everyone knows about, or at least they don't know that they happened in our city.

October 31st being Halloween, right now seems the perfect time to dip a toe back into these unsettling cases...

The Franklin Castle Murders and Haunting

Franklin Castle, which you can see in Cleveland’s Ohio City at 4308 Franklin Boulevard, is often called Ohio’s most haunted house – and that should come as little surprise, considering four children died there in just a few short years in the 1890s.

We should first point out that Hannes and Luise Tiedemann, the parents of those ill-fated children, were never charged with killing their kids.

That did not stop the rumors from running rampant, though, especially when three of them died three years in a row. Afterwards, the Tiedemanns began adding gargoyles and turrets to the home, supposedly constructed secret passages, and generally turned it into Weirdsville. Neither parent lived much longer, though.

The house was sold in 1895, and over the decades many owners have tried to turn it into a home, only to move out shortly thereafter.

The Torso Murders

In the 1930s, a maniac sometimes called the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run tormented Cleveland by chopping up at least a dozen of the city’s residents.

And we do mean chopping up. All the victims were decapitated. Many were cut completely in half. Males were castrated.

Yes, it was a messy business, so messy that the famous Eliot Ness, the man who took down Al Capone, came to Cleveland to help with the investigation.

The killer, alas, was never caught. Maybe that reclusive old guy down the street has a dark past …

The Real Life Fugitive

Remember that awesome movie where Harrison Ford jumps off a dam while Tommy Lee Jones looks on in frustration?

Well, turns out it and the show it was adapted from was loosely based on the story of Dr. Sam Sheppard, a Cleveland surgeon wrongly convicted of killing his wife.

The real killer was (probably) Richard Eberling, Sheppard’s handyman and a killer convicted of another murder (Ethel May Durkin) and suspected in several others.

Most of the evidence against Eberling didn’t begin to surface until late in life, however, and when he died at 68, the cases he was tied to were unofficially closed.

John O’Mic, Cleveland’s First Execution

Native Americans in Ohio sided with the British during the War of 1812 in part because of the hanging of John O’Mic.

O’Mic was part of the Massasauga band of Chippewas, and in April 1812 he was accused of murdering two trappers, Buel and Gibbs. O’Mic became the first Cuyahoga County man found guilty of murder and was hanged in Cleveland’s Public Square before a crowd of excited onlookers – but not before causing a big scene and demanding to be given whiskey before his hanging.

His executioners obliged. He got his whiskey. And then he was hanged.

On that note...Happy Halloween!