Already heard about the ghostly horse of Myers Hall or Hilda, the Woodlawn ghost? The “Haunted Ohio” series can provide you more creepy stories from the Buckeye state, with a handful of them taking place in Springfield.
Author Chris Woodyard has written seven books on hundreds of hauntings throughout the state.
While she did cover the famous story of the Myers Hall horse brought to the top floor of the building to be with its owner in his last moments, only to be unable to get back down, Woodyard also focused on other lesser know stories on Wittenberg’s campus and throughout Springfield.
In one story, “Double Vision,” Woodyard recounted the story of Ken Magnuson, who saw an apparition of himself in his dorm room at Wittenberg. Magnuson wrote that while working on his master’s degree during the summer, he left for lunch and came back to find his “exact double, apparently working on [his] paper!” After research, he found that in Scandinavian cultures, seeing ones double is in common in folklore, but never found a concrete reason for why the image appeared or what it meant.
Another story that happened close to campus, “Death Wish,” recalled a night when Carol Harbaugh saw a man walk into her car. Driving down Plum Street, right near Fern Cliff Cemetery, a man “walker from the driver’s side diagonally into [her] lights.” Although Harbaugh tried to brake, the man had disappeared completely.
The Springfield YMCA acted as the setting for another short story “Death Takes A Dive.” Amy Mundhenk told the story of when she and two friends explored the old, unused building. While her friends didn’t see anything but graffiti, Mundhenk discovered a dead body floating in the pool. No one else saw anything, but she still wonders if the ghost haunts the parking lot where the building once stood.
The short stories in the books, whether set in Springfield or not, are entertaining and eerie: perfect for Halloween. While Woodyard did not write some stories in the books, she did compile them all, adding her own twist to each one. Even the tired tale of the Myers ghost took on a new life as Woodyard wove in in-depth details.
The Wittenberg library currently has the first five books in the series available.