Ohio’s Miami University is located in Oxford, a small town in the southwestern part of the state. This small school has a wide range of academic program, a diverse class of students, and a few ghosts. They may not have enough ghosts to compare with other Ohio schools such as Kenyon College, or Ohio University, but they do have their own share.
Reid Hall is the most famous haunting at Miami University, and the rumors have surrounded the building for nearly fifty years. The story revolves around a grisly murder, and while many locations have similar ghostly rumors, this murder is something that actually occurred.
The small Miami University campus was rocked by an accidental murder, and suicide on May 9, 1959. Two men began fighting in Reid Hall, and one of the men waved a gun. The Resident Advisor, Roger Sayles tried to calm down the fight, but was accidentally shot in the process. The shooter ran to Ogden Hall where he killed himself only minutes later.
After that the story strays from fact based, to rumors and ghost stories. According to local legend, Sayles gasped once and reached for the door, leaving a bloody hand print on the wood. Others say that he left two hand prints on the door. Regardless of that, there are those who claim that the bloody hand prints refused to fade, and are still visible on the wood. There are also stories of people in the building who hear men arguing loudly, but when they try to find the people, there is no one there.
Miami University is also rumored to be haunted by a ghost who dwells at a fountain that is no longer there. Harry Thobe was an Oxford resident who prided himself on his ability to sneak into athletic events without paying. He had attended the World Series, Rose Bowl, and many more, usually several times. Thobe was a big supporter of Miami sports, and was a frequent visitor to the campus.
Thobe was also a stonemason, and donated a handmade fountain to the school. After his death, the fountain was replaced by a smaller one. That too was later removed, and replaced with a monument. Students say that Thobe still watches over the place where his fountain once stood, and will repeat his name if you yell towards a tree in the area. This legend might be one born out of the echo effect.
Miami University is also haunted by a legend surrounding the mysterious disappearance of a popular student from Fisher Hall. Fisher Hall was part of the Oxford College for Women, and was later used as an asylum and for a short period of time, a sanitarium. In 1925 the building became part of the campus, and was renamed Fisher Hall. Rumors plagued the building when a group of students uncovered straitjackets in the basement, and things only worsened when a student disappeared.
Ronald Tammen Junior was a wrestler, a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, and belonged to a band on campus. For all intensive purposes, he was a popular and well liked student. Tammen was last seen on April 19, 1953 when he asked for new sheets to put on his bed. A fraternity prank has caused someone to put a living fish in his bed, but Tammen simply laughed off the prank and continued on.
That night his roommate arrived home to find the lights on, and an open textbook on the desk. When he still didn’t appear the next day, the roommate informed their Resident Advisor. One student claimed to see Tammen the next day, but most agree that he was never seen again. Fisher Hall was torn down in 1978, and still no sign of Tammen found. Some claim though, that his spirit still walks the area where the building once stood.
Miami University is also haunted by the ghost of Helen Peabody, a former principal of a neighboring school. The Western Female Seminary was almost a sister school to Miami, and their female students were known to occasionally fraternize with male students from Miami. Peabody kept a close eye on her girls, and kept the male students from taking advantage of them. She was also very vocal on her belief that men and women should be educated separately. Peabody is now rumored to still walk Peabody Hall, keeping an eye on the male students.
Miami University is located in Oxford, Ohio. The beautiful campus is open to the public, and their ghosts are always friendly.