Please note: A expanded version of this story appears in our book Haunted Marion, Ohio.
An article that appeared in the Marion Daily Star on March 25th, 1921, had the titillating headline “Many People Flock to Haunted House.” However, it’s probably a better example of how gossip spreads around small towns than it is a legitimate ghost story.
The genesis of the story was a murder that occurred at a house located on the southwest corner of Creston Avenue and Niles Street in 1919. This story, appearing in the March 3rd, 1919, edition of the Star, described how Miller Herman, heartsick over having been rejected by Dosha White, showed up at her mom and dad’s house and shot both Dosha and her new suitor, Lee “Pat” Patterson. Dosha later died from her injuries while Lee survived. When Miller turned the gun on himself, it was Dosha’s mother who, surprisingly, grabbed his hand and diverted the shot so that Miller only succeeded in grazing his scalp.
After the crime, Herman ran back to his house not far from the White residence. When police showed up a short time later, Miller didn’t protest his innocence but instead willingly went to jail where he made a full confession a short time later.
Herman’s crime, while shocking, was nonetheless not especially brutal or hard to understand. The man was jealous and angry, so he thought he’d get revenge on his ex and her new boyfriend.
Still, that the house where the murder occurred became known as “haunted” is probably due more to rumor than to the accounts of people who actually lived in the house. In fact, the man who owned the house – the White family had apparently moved out some time before – seemed baffled by the attention his residence was receiving. He was quoted as saying, “[I’ve] never heard of the house being haunted. Other families never complained about it, not even the Whites.”
Was the house really haunted? The truth, as with so many ghost stories, will probably forever remain a mystery.