Morgan County Ohio Ghosts and Hauntings - Morgan County Court House


 

Morgan County Court House
37 E Main Street
McConnelsville, OH 43756
39.64889,-81.852723
A streak of bad luck and death seemed to follow those who came into contact with a gun and those who held claim to it. What does that have to do with the court house? An attorney who discovered the gun in the courthouse safe shot himself with it in the early 1900s. His ghost walks this same building where he took his life.

 

McConnelsville (Morgan County, Ohio) Court House

 

Legend: A plague of bad luck follows those who possess a gun and also to those who come into contact with the owner.  A man who killed himself with this same gun is said to haunt the courthouse.

The courthouse in the early 1900s. 

A whole lot of bad luck could have been blamed on the trial of Mrs. Francis Allen who was being prosecuted in McConnelsville for murdering her baby way back in 1909. The man, a Mr. John Smith, who found the baby's grave on his property suffered a heart attack. Doctor Lucius Culver, the main witness to the murder, became paralyzed during the trial and could not speak. He would die a mere six months later. The young attorney, Francis Parsons, initially prosecuting the case committed suicide.

            It could have been called a fluke, a few coincidences that occurred closely together that just happened to take place during the trial. The doctor was nearly 72 years old and Mr. Smith had heart problems. The attorney had been under a lot of duress during the trial and he had bouts of depressions before. It could have been  coincidence, all of it, straight down to the last death. That is, if  someone had not noticed that the gun this young attorney had used to kill himself on the cool day of October 5th 1909 was also the same weapon used to murder someone else. Somewhere along the line, hoodoo sleuths traced the incident back to the small gun and then a ghostly presence haunting the town.

            It would appear to be nothing more than a simple revolver. But it was actually more important than that--the gun had been used as the main exhibit at a murder trial four years earlier. On September 7th of 1905, the McConnelsville City Marshal, Horace H. Porter, was ambushed in an alleyway and shot three times in the head from behind by Wood Stuard whose mental illness had been grossly underrated. Stuard had paranoid schizophrenia and the delusion that the marshal was trying to hunt him down. Marshal Porter died. Stuard was deemed unfit for trial and sent to an asylum in Lima, Ohio.

 Regardless, Morgan County Prosecuting Attorney Francis "Frank" Parsons found the gun safely tucked in the safe in his office at the Morgan County Courthouse four years later.

At some point during his years working at the courthouse, he probably turned it around in his hands, remembered where it had come from, cringed at the memory of Stuard killing Marshal Porter. One day, Attorney Frank Parson's would walk from his home he shared with his mother to his office at the courthouse, pick up the gun again. This time, he used it to kill himself.  

              Now there are those who hear footsteps in the courthouse. Doors close. Frank Parson's ghost is said to be the culprit behind the ghostly activities.

            So there you have it-- a doctor, an attorney and a marshal all came into contact with someone laying claim to the gun and they died. The man who initially had the gun was sent to the State Asylum for the Insane in Lima. Was it a simple twist of fate for those living in McConnelsville in the early 1900s or was it an unlucky gun that left a trail of death and a ghostly presence still hanging around their courthouse? No one may ever know, but here are the facts and you can surmise your own outcome. Or you can test it. The gun can be viewed in a case at the Morgan County Historical Society. .

 Citations:

Strange Nemesis Following Case: Perrysburg journal., October 28, 1910, Page 3. Worry Cause of Tragedy:The Bemidji Daily Pioneer., October 06, 1909

Officer Shot by Crazy Man: Omaha daily bee., September 08, 1905

 



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