Opened in 1870 on Lake Erie, Cedar Point is the second-oldest amusement park in America and was home to the 1921 Dentzel Carousel, which traveled from park to park until landing there in 1971.
Artist Shelly was unaware of the stories whispered by employees about the ghostly lady who rode the carousel at night. She was simply fascinated by historic carousels – so fascinated that she made them the main subject of her work. Her life-sized renderings in pastels and oils depict carved animals from famous carousels. As drawn as she was to some of those marvelous menageries, she cannot explain why one plain old brownish horse captivated her two decades ago.
“I spent several days in a row, one summer, going back and photographing it,” she confided. She had no idea that the one horse by which she was so inexplicably mesmerized was haunted.
During its time at Cedar Point, the carousel charmed children during the day and frightened employees at night. For it was then, when the park was closed, lights off and the workers sweeping up, that the carousel would come to life. It would start up – light, music and all – and a ghostly woman in a long white dress would mount the carousel horse. She always chose the same brown horse that Shelley had, carved in 1924 by Daniel C. Muller. As the specter rode around, witnesses swore that the carousel glowed.
Legend has it that Mrs. Muller fell in love with the horse that her husband had carved. So much so, that after she left this world, her spirit would return to Cedar Point for a ride on the carousel.
Adapted from the book Ghosts Among Us by Leslie Rule.
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