I’ve been having so much fun during the last week that I’ve been here in Erie. Granted, it’s way better now that Grey has flown up to join us, but something about this place in the summer is amazing. Although really, there’s no time I don’t like being in Erie; everyone who knows me knows that I have tons of hometown pride. One of the things I especially love about my “Mistake on the Lake” (a misnomer if I ever heard one!), is that there is so much local legend circulating about this place. I mean, I know all towns have their share of lore, but Erie just seems to have way more — relatively speaking of course. Just like we supposedly have “more bars and churches per capita than any other city in the country” — I’d venture to say we also as more regional mythology as well.
Take for instance the famous Mad Anthony Wayne. Apparently he was a Revolutionary War general who had his bones boiled right here in good old Erie (because this was normal practice in the 1700s) and then transported across the great state of Pennsylvania to his final resting place. Of course, some parts got lost along the highway and now every good Erieite knows Mad Anthony’s ghost haunts the area looking for his lost femurs and metatarsals. You can’t make this stuff up.
A few of my other favorite examples of this legend include the deer man — a half man, half deer creature that haunts the local woods after midnight. And, of course, the mythical nudist colony that no one’s ever been to but sits somewhere on the outskirts of town. Then there’s Ax Murder Hollow, where some guy chopped up his wife and threw her body down a well 80 years ago, which is now inhabited by “gypsies” who will throw bricks through your car window if you drive there on Halloween. Oh and then the vampire’s grave in the Erie Cemetary — an old mausoleum that is black as night and is devoid of all writing except an upside-down “A” with wings on it (a dead give-away a blood sucker is housed there). Plus, you can’t forget the wolf-boy (who my dad swears lives over on Plum Street and who I’m convinced just needs a good brow wax) and also the Lake Erie monster (affectionately called “Bessie” by the locals).
I’m sure you could ask any Erieite and they could tell you 20 more kooky tales they “swear” happened right here. Maybe the long winters cultivate active imaginations, or maybe the name “Erie” just lends itself to weirdness — I don’t know — but I like it!
Tags: Ax Murder Hollow, Erie Beer, Erie Cemetery Vampire Grave, Erie PA, Erieite, Keep Erie Weird, Lake Erie Monster Bessie, local Erie lore and legend, Mad Anthony Wayne, Mad Anthony's APA, Sherman New York Nudist Colony