The Hatchet Man is a scary story about one of Ohio’s first homicidal maniacs, Andrew Hellman.
The Hatchet Man is a terrifying ghost who haunts a cemetery in Ohio. In the dead of night, around campfires and at slumber parties, people tell the story of the infamous murderer named Andrew Hellman. They say his restless spirit stalks the road, searching for victims to chop up with his trusty hatchet.
The legend of the Hatchet Man begins in the 1830s. At the time, Andrew Hellman was a wealthy tailor who lived in Ohio with his wife, Mary. They had three children, Louisa, Henry and John. Those who knew Hellman described him as a violent fiend and a bloody devil. Far from being a happy family, the wife and children lived in fear of their husband and father.
They say Hellman was a brutal lunatic with an intense hatred of women. He believed that all females should be treated like slaves and thought that the only things women were good for was cleaning the house, cooking the dinner and darning his socks.
He beat his wife mercilessly and treated his children like dirt, often starving them and denying them everything except the barest necessities of life. He even went so far as to disown young Henry when he was born. He said the child was not really his son. He was sure that his wife was cheating on him with someone else. After young John was born, Hellman swore that if his wife gave birth to another baby, he would kill her.
By the spring of 1839, Hellman’s violent madness had blossomed into a murderous fury. Sick and tired of living with his family, he decided that the time had come to rid himself of them once and for all.
First, he tried to murder his wife by sprinkling posion in her milk at breakfast. His plan failed when she noticed the white powder floating in the milk and threw it out. Next, Hellman decided to poison his children. One day, all three of the youngsters suddenly became sick and spent two days in bed, suffering from a mysterious and agonizing illness.
Louisa and John finally died in terrible pain, but thanks to his mother’s valiant efforts, young Henry managed to survive. Of course, when Hellman’s wife accused him of poisoning the children, he denied everything. To save money, Louisa and John were both buried in the same grave. From that moment on, the wife and son lived in fear of Andrew Hellman, trembling and shaking with terror whenever they were in his presence.
Five months later, Henry went off to work on his uncle’s farm, leaving his mother and father home alone. After a vicious argument, the crazed Hellman completely flipped his lid and went stark raving mad. He flew into a violent rage, grabbed a hatchet and chased his wife around the house, hacking her to pieces.
When he came to his senses and saw what he had done, he knew he would have to cover up his evil deed somehow. The house was covered in so much blood that he couldn’t clean it up, so he tried to make it look like a robbery. He went through all the rooms, emptying out the drawers and overturning all the furniture. Then, he covered his hands in his wife’s blood and rubbed it all over himself.
When the police arrived, they were horrified to discover the mangled and mutilated remains of the poor wife lying on the bedroom floor. Her head was only hanging on by a thread. Andrew Hellman was lying in bed, moaning and groaning and claiming they had been attacked by a gang of thieves.
The police, however, were suspicious and when they washed the blood off his body, they couldn’t find so much as a scratch on him. He was promptly arrested and taken to jail. However, prison couldn’t hold The Hatchet Man for long.
One year later, he made his escape. When the prison guards weren’t watching, he managed to slip out of the heavy iron chains that were attached to his legs. He stole a horse and galloped off into the night before the guards even knew he was gone. A search party was gathered and they hunted day and night for the escaped prisoner, but after combing the area, they couldn’t find even the slightest trace of him.
Andrew Hellman fled to Baltimore, Maryland, where he opened a small tailor shop and began the next chapter in his weird, psychopathic life. Calling himself “Adam Horn”, he married a new woman named Malinda Hinkle and moved into a house with her. However, the honeymoon would not last very long.
Prison had not altered Hellman’s evil character or his violent temper. Before long, Hellman was getting into bitter fights with his new wife. He told his neighbors that she was too young for him and he suspected she was cheating on him with other men. Eventually, he just got sick and tired of her company and when he discovered that she was pregnant, it was the last straw.
Once again, he picked up a hatchet and chopped his wife into pieces. After he was done, he gathered up the dismembered body parts and spread them all over the property. Her arms and legs were hidden in the bedroom and he buried a sack containing her torso in a shallow grave near the orchard. Her head was never found.
When his crime was uncovered, the police finally put two and two together and realized he was the Hatchet Man. Hellman was tried in court and the judge found him guilty of murder in the first degree. He was hung by the neck until he was dead and his corpse was buried in a grave next to his first wife and his two kids.
According to the legend, the ghost of Andrew Hellman still haunts the cemetery where he is buried. The house where he murdered his wife and children is very close by. Locals call it Hatchet Man Cemetery and his tombstone is said to glow with a ghastly, spectral light.
Reports of hearing mysterious voices and footsteps are common among those who try to find the house. There are those who say that, late at night, they’ve heard the sounds of a hatchet being repeatedly slammed into the side of a tombstone. A few brave souls have even reported seeing hatchet marks all along the side of the headstones.
Many years ago, the cemetery caretaker was making his nightly rounds when he was attacked by an unknown assailant who was carrying a hatchet. The caretaker was chopped to bloody bits and his killer disappeared into the night, never to be seen again.
There have even been unconfirmed reports that the hatchet-wielding maniac killed three university students who were camping in the cemetery on a dare. When the students came to the site, they reportedly vandalized some tombstones and went up to check out the dilapidated ruins of the Hatchet Man’s house. Even though it was the middle of Winter, the walls of the house were hot. The students looked up and were horrified to see the silhouette of a man standing on the roof, holding a hatchet. The legend is that he killed the students and hid their bodies. Either way, they were never seen again. They say that if you go there and the walls of the house are hot, it means that The Hatchet Man is on the prowl and looking for fresh victims.
Many people claim to have seen his restless ghost lurking among the tombstones and walking down the road that runs past the cemetery. They say he appears at night, terrorizing drivers, particularly female drivers, whose cars break down on the nearby road. He particularly hates women, so if you are unlucky enough to be passing through this area at night, beware. You may just see the shadowy figure of the Hatchet Man, stalking down the road, hatchet at the ready, eager to satisfy his blood lust with another female victim.