Where We Once Lived – A Ghost Story

Your past stays with you, for better or for worse.

Every now and then, a memory flits through Sherry Mullins’ mind. Like the creak of a floorboard in the middle of the night, the memory is unexpected and perhaps not always welcome.

Memories of the house. The house on Scranton Avenue where she lived as a girl.

The house in question in December of 2019. It’s clearly fallen into disrepair and no one is currently living there. When I sent a photo of the house to Sherry, she was dismayed at how it looks today.

Sherry sent me a message in 2016 telling me that she believed she and other family members had lived in a haunted house, and she wanted to know if I had ever heard anything about it. I hadn’t. However, the little bit of info she gave me piqued my interest, and we eventually spoke on the telephone in 2017. I made copious notes, took photos of the house in question and then…got sidetracked with other stories for this website

Now, though, it’s time to tell her story.

Sherry says the story began with her grandpa, Carl Hodges, who bought the house. Although Sherry wasn’t sure of the exact year, she’s pretty sure her grandparents were already living there when she was born in 1964.

Grandpa Hodges’ first eerie experience in the house occurred while he was doing electrical work in a closet and glimpsed a woman with long, dark hair. He thought it was his granddaughter, Debra Boothe, and began talking to her. However, when he turned around, the woman was gone.  He nicknamed this ghost Lucy, and that’s the name the rest of the family ended up using.

Sherry said that over the years her grandmother occasionally heard the sound of their piano and would say out loud, “Lucy, stop!” The piano would then go silent.

Around 1972, after her grandparents moved out, Sherry and her family moved into the upstairs of the house while a great aunt lived downstairs. When her great aunt later moved out, Sherry’s family had the run of the whole house.

During that time she lived there, Sherry heard the sound of footsteps on the stairs and experienced lights turning themselves off and on.

She also heard tapping on the walls. Sometimes, Sherry even responded to the noises:

“I would say something like, ‘Tap on the ceiling.’ And then there would be a tap, tap, tap. And then I would say, ‘Okay, now stop.’ It would stop.”

She said she was never particularly scared of Lucy, but she also admitted that, unlike her grandpa, she never actually saw the ghost either.

Other family members heard noises as well. Her mother, for example, also heard the sound of footsteps going up and down the stairs. When I asked her about her dad, she said that he saw things, too, but was a bit more skeptical and generally unwilling to ascribe their experiences in the house to the supernatural.

When Sherry and her family moved out of the house around 1977, her aunt and uncle, Bill and Loretta Markley, moved in with their growing family. They, too, had disconcerting experiences in the house. Loretta said that she was once taking a bath and afterwards couldn’t leave the bathroom because some mysterious power was keeping the door locked. Another time, one of Loretta and Bill’s daughters, Elizabeth “Missy” Ward, saw something fly off of the wall.

The Markleys moved out in ‘85 or ‘86. Since the new occupants weren’t part of Sherry’s family, she stopped hearing stories about the house.

According to family lore, the house, which was built in 1900, caught on fire at one point and a woman died. This was why Sherry had contacted me; she wanted to know if I was familiar with such a story.  However, I was unable to find any records of an incident like this.

Sherry left Marion in 1988 and moved down to the Piketon area and then on to Columbus, which is where she resides today.

She hasn’t been in Marion in years since she has few relatives still living here. All Sherry has are her memories. Of her family. Of the house on Scranton Avenue. And of Lucy.

~Josh Simpkins

9 thoughts on “Where We Once Lived – A Ghost Story

  1. Sherry is my mom and I always remember that while growing up the family would talk about this house! On our trips to Marion to see my Grandpa Tom, we would drive past it just so she could see it!

    1. I know now it looks bad. I would love to go in there to stay a night just to see if Lucy is still there. Maybe all the family members who died are there.

      1. I grew up on Scranton and for as long as I can remember it was always Estille and Hilda Gilliam that lived in this house. They have both passed on now. Estille had a heart attack in Elgin High School and passed away. I remember my dad telling us how one day he looked down the street and said that he saw Estille walking in the gate plain as day (this was after he passed). I don’t remember them ever saying anything about thinking the house was haunted, and I never felt uneasy in it. I would have to say it has been completely empty for nearly the past ten years. Hilda went to live with some family in Richwood

  2. When I saw this posted by a friend on Facebook, I just had to open the story. As a teenager and in my early 20’s, friends and I would all go to this house to party. I never knew it was supposed to be haunted. I have many great memories of this place and those friends. I was saddened when driving by it a couple years ago to see it had been torn down. I remember the slate in a room of the upstairs and the boys trying to scare us girls banging on the old boiler system. Thank you for posting. Cindy Brewer Combs and Melba Jones Sheets, we had a blast there, didn’t we?

      1. Its still in the sisters names that lizzy hersman wrote about and both r dead. Back taxes r 7000 probably what my grandpa paid for it when he bought it. Lol would love to visit the house.

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