Please note: An expanded version of this story, which includes interviews with people who lived in the Silver Street house, is in our book Haunted Marion, Ohio.
“You guys know any haunted houses around Marion?”
It was just an idle question, something to make the time go faster at work. I had been telling my coworkers about how my nephew and I were kicking around the idea of starting a web site devoted to Marion’s more macabre side.
“I know one,” said my coworker Fawn. “My brother lives next to a supposedly haunted house on Silver Street.” Since I had grown up on Silver, I was immediately interested in her story.
“Yeah”, she continued, “it’s near the corner of Silver and Commercial. Supposedly some guy murdered his family there. And there’s this thing with some of the upstairs windows. No matter how many times the owner fixes them, they always break again. That’s all I know, though.”
Later, I asked my mom if she’d ever heard anything about a murder on Silver Street. “Seems like there was one while you were in college. But I don’t really remember what happened.”
I eventually tracked down the story and found that Fawn was basically right. However, as I read through the brutal facts of what had happened, I began to see this as more than just a spook story based on rumors and half-truths. This was a story of real evil.
According to the October 11th, 1995, edition of The Marion Star, Wayne Thomas, a man with a history of domestic violence, murdered his girlfriend, Mary Welcome, and her nine-year-old son, Christopher Hook. Police speculated that, “Thomas…beat Welcome’s head against the baseboard in the downstairs living room, pinned her to the floor and strangled her. He continued upstairs and cut Christopher’s throat with a butcher knife.” Thomas took the easy way out by shooting himself up with a massive dose of insulin. Unfortunately, Mary’s father, Charles Hook, made the horrific discovery on Saturday, October 7th, 1995. He had gone over to the house because he had not heard from his daughter for a few days and had grown worried. Rightly so. The three had arrived in Marion only six weeks prior and were renting the house, located at 306 Silver Street, from Mr. Hook.
Seth and I pulled up across from the house. It was just another run-down house in the run-down end of town. My old neighborhood. We snapped a few photos, our mood somber. A few windows were indeed missing. I don’t know how they ended up broken out, but I suppose it didn’t matter. Far more important things had been broken in that house.