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Mater Dolorosa Cemetery

One of the most interesting, and eerie, cemeteries in this region. Hidden within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park just east of Peninsula, this abandoned Irish cemetery lies sequestered within the woods adjacent to the Happy Days Visitor Center on Route 303.

Established in 1869 as the burial ground for the Mother of Sorrows (“Mater Dolorosa”) Catholic Church, This very old cemetery attained a certain local status as belonging to an infamous “Satanic Church” in Peninsula. Before the church it was a tiny family plot belonging to Irish farmers, John and Mary Ann Doud, who left it to the First Bishop of Cleveland, who in turn gave it to the Mother of Sorrows Church. It’s hard to know when this essentially unremarkable Catholic church got its reputation as “satanic,” but the churchyard it left behind is constantly plagued by mysterious white figures of unknown origin.

A view of the gated Cassidy Family plot.

The cemetery seems large for its size – approximately 11 to 13 headstones. In actuality, at least 23 persons are known to be buried here. Upon a review of historical records, at least 5 graves remain unaccounted for.




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