Editor’s note: The last article J-T columnist Melanie Behrens was working on before her death April 30 was the following story about Werewolf Lane. The information was supplied by Leroy Cook, who collaborated with her on the column.
North of Marysville, there are two county roads that run east and west – County Road 132, now called County Home Road, and County Road 128, now called Hillview Road. Years ago, there was a dirt lane used by farmers to get into their fields to plant and harvest crops which was accessed from both county roads. It was just dirt most of the way and was very low and subject to flooding after a hard rain. At that time it was referred to as Mud Road, but today it is named Pine Lane.
In the bend of this lane, a farmer nailed a couple of reflectors on a tree, and at night with a car’s headlights on high beam, it would look like the eyes of some kind of a large monster. (This would make a girlfriend move closer to her boyfriend for protection, but only after she insisted on the windows being rolled up and the doors locked!) There were trees on both sides of the lane, and on a warm summer night the temperature might drop 10 degrees. There was also a Dover Township dump and landfill on the lane.
In the 1960s, the lane was a good place for teenagers to go in the summertime to drink beer and have fun. A group of teens decided to have some of that fun. One of their mothers had a full-length fur coat she no longer wanted so a plan for a prank was formed. The coat was put on a bale of straw and a rope was tied around the bale. With the rope, the bale was pulled over a tree limb hoisting it up in the air. Another rope was wrapped around the fur coat-covered bale and was used to swing the werewolf-looking creature across the lane about windshield high, scaring many who drove down it. This was done on several different occasions.
On one warm Saturday night in July after the farmers had cut and baled three fields of hay and that smell filled the air, this group of teens decided to relax with beer and music on their car radios. There was no stereo then. They noticed a cloud of dust from a car that was coming down what they now called Werewolf Lane, and using the rope, pulled the “creature” across the path when the car was in range. But this time the car suddenly stopped, and to everyone’s surprise, Union County Sheriff Ed Amrine and a deputy from Richwood got out. The girls ran into the woods, but the boys were nabbed. Apparently some parents were informed by their children about the “werewolf” sightings and asked the sheriff to check it out.
The sheriff took down names and addresses. He took out his pocketknife and cut the ropes, removing the fur coat from the bale and putting it in the trunk of his cruiser. He then scattered the straw throughout the ditch. Neither he nor the deputy thought it was a harmless prank. He told the boys they would be hearing about this later.
The group left worrying about what was going to happen. After a week went by, nothing was said by anyone, including the boys’ parents, so the group decided that that Saturday night in July was the date that the werewolf died. About a month later, a news story was reported about a sighting of the Mothman creature in the area.
The legend of Werewolf Lane, however, did linger for years. Today it is Pine Lane, a dedicated road, some parts paved and others with gravel, and homes all along. But those who want to drive down it are cautioned to be careful when there is a full moon!