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Home Elmore hosting annual Tombstone Derby
Elmore hosting annual Tombstone Derby
Written by Larry Limpf   
Thursday, 04 October 2012 14:55

What would an observance of the Halloween season in Elmore be without tales of the headless motorcyclist and a race of motorized caskets?

The Elmore Chamber of Commerce will host the 8th Annual Tombstone Derby Oct. 27 at Depot Park in the village.

The power of imagination will be in full force.

Anyone interested in participating in the motorized casket races will need to construct a vehicle body resembling a coffin, decorated with a Halloween theme. Go karts, golf carts, four wheelers may be used to power the “vehicles” but they will be allowed to race only at a top speed of 25 mph.

Working brakes are also required.

There is a $20 entry fee.

The race is similar to a poker run, with participants receiving a card for each completed lap.

If racing isn’t your forte, but you have a personal experience of the spooky side of life, then Martika Robertson wants to hear from you.

The host of the Spectral Travels Haunted Site Locator, Robertson will be at the derby to hear your stories that could be included in an episode being planned for television next year.

The first 100 persons to share their tales of mystery will receive a limited edition wristband.

The Spectral Travels Facebook page has links for several area sites connected to stories of ghosts, goblins, and ghouls including the Woodville Tunnel, Maumee Bay Brewing Co., Civic Theatre in Akron, and, of course, the Headless Motorcyclist – a tale that has ridden more miles than the motorized coffins that will be competing in the derby.

The legend of the Elmore Rider is set on a road outside of the village. A young man returning home from World War 1 rides his motorcycle to his girlfriend’s home only to find she’s taken up with another man.

With the bike roaring from the girl’s property, the man is killed after losing control of his motorcycle near a bridge.

But the lore is his ghost – at least the beam of the motorcycle’s headlight - can be summoned by flashing the headlights of a vehicle.

The website, The Ghosts of Ohio – Lore and Legends, said the story may well have rode off into obscurity were it not for the “research” of a man named Gill and a friend in the late 1960s.

On March 21 – the supposed date of the fateful ride many years earlier – the two men were said to be able to summon the light; not once, but three times. The last time Gill’s friend stood on the road near the bridge. After the light passed, Gill is said to have found his friend lying along the side of the road, disoriented.

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By: Larry Limpf

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