August 23, 2013
Ask anyone in the Midwest which university in Ohio is most associated with the paranormal, and they will dive into tales of Ohio University and the many haunted houses in Athens, OH. Scream for terrifying scream, however, Oxford’s haunted houses could send any OU Bobcat running for the hills. Miami University has been soaking up spirits for over 200 years, and now lays claim to five of the most notoriously haunted attractions in Ohio.
Wilson Hall, Fisher Hall, Peabody Hall and the Shriver Center have all gained ghostly fame at one time or another, but it is the now defunct Reid Hall which offers the most terrifying tale:
On May 9, 1959 Reid Hall’s RA, Roger Sayles, awoke abruptly to a horrible commotion in the hallway outside his room. Roger wiped sleep from his eyes, donned his robe and — with a heavy sigh — went to investigate whatever unknown terror the undergraduate men of Miami University had loosed on the dormitory this time.
As Roger entered the hall, it became clear that this was no ordinary collegiate prank. A crowd had gathered, forming a ring in the hallway, and at the center two young men were fighting as if the devil himself had entered them. To some this brawl in the Hall might have been a moment of crises, but Roger was too good a man to let it continue — and too vain a youth to miss a chance to show off. Besides, this was the moment all RAs dream of; he entered the fray attempting to settle it.
Roger collared the first bloodied boy in seconds flat, and reached for the other. He noticed the gun just as his fingertips felt the cotton of the second fighter’s shirt. Roger died in seconds, painting the wall with a thick red hand print — his last attempt to maintain balance as life left his body and his blood covered the floor.
The gunman fled to Ogden Hall, and though no one immediately followed, the now unforgettable sound of a snub-nosed .22 announced that he had chosen his own fate just as he chose Roger’s.
To this day, the site of the now demolished Reid Hall is home to inexplicable noises, and older Miamians recall days when you could still see the bloody hand print on the wooden wall outside “Roger’s Room.”