The Salem House

Note: We hope you like this story about the Salem House, but we also hope you don’t actually go out to the Salem House. We hate the thought of any of our readers getting hurt and/or arrested out there!

First things first: The Salem House and the Mongoloid House are not the same place. A lot of people (including me) have confused the two places over the years.

This 2011 photo shows the burned out remains of the house on Salem Road. This house is no longer there.

The Salem House is actually a collection of buildings located, unsurprisingly, on Salem Road just north of Marion Cardington Road East. It occupies a place in local lore as a ‘haunted house,’ though how it got that reputation is unclear.

Facts about the Salem House are few and far between. According to the Marion County auditor’s office, the property is owned by a Mr. Kramer of Powell, Ohio. A note attached to the property file states that, “All buildings are…in very poor condition.” Furthermore, the house on the property burned almost to the ground at some point, and it was later razed completely.

Spook stories about the Salem House, however, are fairly widespread in Marion County

One of the more common stories surrounding the place goes like this one, courtesy of Kari Hall.

The man was a Civil War veteran and he and his wife couldn’t have kids. Suddenly she got pregnant and they ended up having two kids. During a fight they were having, she told him the kids weren’t his, and so he killed them in the barn with a shotgun and then killed his wife in the basement before killing himself.

Likewise, the following story, which an anonymous reader submitted, clearly has a lot in common with the one above:

When we went to the house on Salem Road, one of my friends told me the story about how a Civil War veteran had owned the property (in the 1800s) before going crazy and murdering his wife and children and then hanging himself in the barn. In the 1950s another family moved into the house, and the spirit of the soldier remained and didn’t want anyone living there so he drove the new father mad, and he, in turn, killed his family and then himself.

[When we went out there] we walked into and through the first story of the house. There were a lot of odd things spray painted on the wall, most of them negative towards Jesus and God and glorifying Satan. This was 11 or 12 years ago. In any case, we didn’t see anything supernatural.

So what’s the source of these stories?

Long before this web site, Andy Henderson posted a little piece on his excellent web site, Forgotten Ohio, about the Salem House (though he also confuses it with the Mongoloid House):

The story goes that a Civil War veteran who lived there killed his wife and children and then hung himself in the barn. Today if you visit the barn you might hear the strange noises which many report. The house is also said to be haunted, although it was merely built on the site of the murder house and is not original.

Andy, who isn’t from Marion, told me he received his information anonymously and has no idea about its origins. Obviously, the story on his website shares similarities with the stories above. This begs the question: Were people in Marion first telling the story about a murderous Civil War veteran before someone submitted it to Forgotten Ohio? Or did Forgotten Ohio publish the story first, and then people in Marion started repeating it? It’s hard to say.

The sheds and barns on the Salem House property.

There are other stories that are not variations of the one appearing on the Forgotten Ohio website, though they, too, have a supernatural bent. Take, for example, this story which someone submitted anonymously:

Some people claim that if you drive out on Salem Road, turn off the engine and sit there, these people/spirits would come and rock the car and try to get in. The car wouldn’t start back up until they left or decided to leave you alone.

Other people have talked about their personal experiences at the Salem House. Heather Ingle, for example, says:

I went the house in around 1994. The house was standing and walls were all intact. There was graffiti on the walls like “Leave while you can.” and “This is hell.” I looked around [and was] scared out of my mind. I remember there being a basement but no stairs [leading down to the basement] and none [lying collapsed below] in the basement.

Then in 2009 I went back to the house. At the time I didn’t know it was the [same] house. We were just out with friends and told us they knew where a haunted house was. So we pulled into the driveway, and I told everyone I had been there before. We didn’t get out but just took pics. When looking at the pics [later], we could see orbs.

For others, their experiences at the Salem House were much more mundane. Take this example, courtesy of a woman who went there in 1997:

I attended Pleasant High School and some friends and I were bored (like always around those parts). I had just moved to the school, so I hadn’t heard of the house. My friends wanted to show me, so we went to Salem Road.

The house hadn’t burned yet. It was kind of unimpressive, really, but it gave us something to do. I remember the walls having stupid things written on them, probably intending to scare people. Nothing happened while we were there, but some of the other girls got scared so we left.

Mike Z’s photo from January of 2014.

Nicholas Peer, who visited the property back in February of 2011, had this to say:

We went out there on February 21st at around midnight. We pulled up in the driveway, turned off the car and walked out to the barns. We went through them, but nothing happened until we went into the basement of the house. That’s when we saw a head peaking through the window and I heard a noise. We freaked out and ran back to the car. Before we got to the car, I turned around and saw a black figure by the barn. My buddy tried starting up his car quite a few times, but it wouldn’t start. We had to push it down the road and then it started.

In the end, it’s easy to dismiss stories like Nicholas’ as nothing more than the product of overactive teenage imaginations. However, in early 2014, I received an e-mail from Mike Z. with an intriguing photo attached. The image appears to show a face staring out at him from the ruins of the burned-out house. Regardless of whether or not one believes the Salem House is haunted, the photo is pretty darn creepy.

– Josh Simpkins

21 thoughts on “The Salem House

  1. I have been to the Salem House and have some pictures that are pretty scary. When we tried to leave, our truck tried to hit a tree – very scary stuff indeed. When we went we were able to go into the basement of the house and everything was still there. We went into the barns and explored the whole property. Like I said we have some pictures of orbs but we have a really good picture of a pretty good detailed spirit. Thanks for the read!Natlaie's Salem House Figure

  2. I’ve been there one time, back when I was in high school. When we pulled up to the house,I saw a person – full figure – standing in the first window on the left. Never went back. I felt too much of an evil vibe

    1. Don’t you think that is a little too skeptical? I mean, could it have been your eyes playing tricks? I don’t know – this seems too short for me to believe it. Everyone who goes to the Salem House has to at least get out of the car.

  3. My aunt used to live here, and my mother went to investigate this house over 10 years after my aunt moved out, so her furniture is and was still in the house when they tore it down. My mother went up to the window, and of course she didn’t feel anything around or on the window. She took a picture with the flash on, and she got a picture with a dead crow on the left hand side of the window, and it actually looked like a hand was grabbing for it. I don’t know if this helps, but I thought I would share this information about the house. I do think something is there. Then again, I’m only 14 and I think ghosts are real. Whether it’s a ghost or a demon I don’t know, and I haven’t been to the house myself but just looking at pictures gives me the creeps. If that Michael guy or whatever really got those pictures, it’s really creepy, and I believe him because of the photo my mother got. Anyway, I hope this helped in your investigating in finding out what really happened. Glad to be able to post this comment. 🙂

  4. I was there just past Sunday July 12th, 2015. The house is gone and the basement is filled in. Only the barn stands. It is overgrown and unkempt. As a lot of people who’ve been out there know, the house sat by a big bush and a tree, and they are still there.

  5. I went there as well since it’s right down the road from me. This was about 5 years ago. I pulled in and my flashlight and cell phone immediately went dead. I did have a friend with me and we went first to the barn way back in woods first. We both felt like someone or something was watching us. Then there was another barn further inside the woods that had a tractor inside and a spiral staircase (which I thought was odd). There was straw up in the loft. We went back to the house and saw graffiti everywhere but nothing like what we felt in the barns. When we left, the car started just fine. After driving down Salem Road, we were getting ready to turn left onto 745 and my car stalled and then died. I tried to start it and it still wouldn’t catch. It took 5 tries before it would start. I don’t know what to think. It was by far the most bizarre event of my life, and to this day I refuse to drive down 745 past Salem Road. I will drive 30 minutes out of my way so I don’t pass that road!!!!

  6. I went down there a couple nights ago. The house is gone. I went to the barn and walked up the spiral stairs… I asked a few questions but got no response. It felt a little heavy, like someone was watching me but nothing major that really scared me. My wife gets mad at me for ghost hunting, lol, but it’s all good. It’s what I love to do. I have also been in the Silver St. house. That place is no joke.

  7. I’m actually really interested in finding this place. I drove down Salem Rd. one night but I could not find the place. If anyone has some specific directions, please inform me. Thanks!

    1. This house is no longer standing. It has been demolished. I have family that lives on 746 near here. Maybe you will be interested in researching the Fairchild homestead, and the standing ruined graves nearby.

  8. I’ve been to the place a few times, once in 2008 when the burned out shell of the house was still standing during the day and lastly during the summer of 2015 late at night. There’s nothing paranormal about this property. The only thing you’ll find is graffiti and junk in the buildings, no ghosts or satanists. If you do want to visit, I’d advise going at night so you don’t get caught trespassing.

  9. Absolutely. These stories are nonsense. I lived down the road from that house. Been inside the house that had been a shell for many many yrs.

  10. I revisited the property today, 8-13-19.
    It’s very overgrown, all of the buildings are concealed by trees and plant growth. There are buzzards living in the hay loft of the largest barn.
    There’s still old farming equipment in two of the barns, and although the property is essentially derelict, you can see paths in the tall grass made by people who continue to visit the dilapidated farm structures in hopes of experiencing the supernatural.

  11. My friends and I a LONG time ago are the people responsible for giving the Salem House it’s reputation. It’s FAKE!! I am one of the people responsible for it’s reputation.

  12. I have been to this house personally, and I had a good time. When I went there, I got this eerie feeling about the house the first time. It was around the second time, when the house was half torn down and not much was left but the house still gave me that same eerie feeling.

  13. My husband and I were dating back in 1975/76. We went there with another couple one night coon hunting after midnight. We were in the barn in the back. There was a shrill scream (like a woman) and we got out of there! My husband and I went back about a week later just looking at the half burned house. We didn’t get out of the car, but when we got ready to leave, our car wouldn’t start. We had to spend the night in the car. We didn’t even have a dome light, no phones back then either. It was the most terrifying night of my life! I didn’t see anything that night, but you could sure feel an evil presence. We knew nothing about what had happened back there until 10 years ago.

  14. It’s funny how this story is still around. My mom’s family owns it and has since I was a child. I’m now 31, lol. It’s by no means haunted. No one even died there. I will say that if people are caught going there, they will more than likely get a trespassing charge! My little brother and dad hunt the woods behind the barn, and I used to take a metal detector out there, too. Here’s a funny story, though: One Halloween my brother, my mom, my dad and I pulled our car back by the big barn in the back and then shut the car off and waited. Wasn’t more then 5 minutes before some people tried pulling back the long drive way, and we waited until they got about halfway to the house before starting the expedition up, lights on, and watched the cars reverse (or try to reverse) down the drive way, lol. It was Halloween, so of course people were coming that night. We chased about 5 people off that night!! Final note: Watch pulling back there becasue my grandpa likes to get boards and drive nails through them and flip it over to stop people from trespassing.

    1. This is private property, and I strongly recommend not trespassing on it. I would hate to see anyone get into trouble.

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