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Miami University Motorcycle Ghost?


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Anybody ever hear about this?


Perhaps the most notorious of the MU stories. I have a special connection to the story because of all of my involvement and personal anecdotes from the numerous times I went.

The Motorcycle Ghost

Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio is set smack dab in the middle of farmland. There are no two ways about it. No matter how you drive to Miami, you have to pass through five or ten miles of farmland. A small section of this farmland, and the surrounding area, is home to the legendary Miami Motorcycle Ghost. A handful of people in Ohio may be familiar with this particular story, as it's gained considerable notoriety due to the Internet and recent interest in haunted locations.

If you're at all familiar with Miami, or wish to acquaint yourself with the motorcycle ghost, you can reach the motorcycle ghost by traveling past Millet Hall and Yager Stadium, out past the University property, past the Beta Headquarters on the left, and up to the first four-way stop you come to. It is at this exact location where a considerable amount of our story takes place

The history behind this story takes place back in the '40's. Innocently enough, the legend begins as a story of love. If you look at the map, on the left side, you can see a 90 degree turn. If you're driving on the road, turning right on the 90 degree turn, the first driveway you'll come to on the right is the site of an old farmhouse. A young woman used to live in this farmhouse, and is one of the key people in our story. This particular lady had a boyfriend who used to visit her very frequently. Her boyfriend was a rebel -- a real trouble-maker, and rabble-rouser. He owned a motorcycle, and again visited this young lady very frequently. His visits were usually very VERY early in the morning.

As I've indicated before, this particular area is farmland. The farmer, whose daughter is the object of affection, was not too fond of her daughter's lover. Night after night the boyfriend would tear up and down the streets on his motorcycle, during the wee hours of the night. After many restless nights, and complaints from surrounding farmhouses, the father told the boyfriend he did not want his daughter to see him during the week, or at night. The farmer insisted people have to get rest to tend to the fields in the morning.

The boyfriend glad-handed the farmer and promised not to create any un-needed trouble. Sure enough, the next night, the boyfriend came to see the farmer's daughter again, during the very early morning hours. The father had reasoned with the young man, and insisted that his daughter not see the boyfriend. The boyfriend and daughter knew the father was not fond of the young man, but that would not deter their love. The two concocted a scheme. After the girl's parents had gone to bed for the evening, the daughter would take the car to the 90 degree turn, park at the top of the hill, and flash her lights three times to signal for her boyfriend that the 'coast was clear'. Upon seeing the flashing lights, the boyfriend would come pick up his lady.

After a few nights of this the farmer was INFURIATED. He wanted to put an end to this... and did. The farmer strung barbed-wire across the bottom of one of the hills, at shoulder height, so that the boyfriend would be in a mess of pain, and potentially headless, if he decided not to heed the father's words.

Just like clockwork, the next night our man was on his way to meet the daughter. This time, however, he was on his way to propose! I think I can spare the details, as anyone with an ounce of deductive skills can figure out what happened to the boyfriend.

The ghost story portion of this wonderful tale is as follows:

Steps you take to see the motorcycle ghost -

  1. Drive to the farmhouse, pull in the drive, and turn your car off.
  2. After a few seconds, turn the car back on, drive back out to the ninety degree turn, stopping before you come to the hills.
  3. Turn your car off (which isn't exactly the safest thing to do, seeing how you're parked, in the dark, after a ninety degree turn, at the top of a hill.)
  4. Flash your lights three times.

If you do all of these steps, you will see the headlamp of the motorcycle ghost. Now, trust me when I say this is DEFINITELY a ghost. I will provide you with the following lines of evidence...

You know how when you're driving at night, and a car's coming over a hill, you see a dim glow, then a little bit lighter glow, then a bright glow, then you see the headlights? Well... with the motorcycle ghost, there's no glow. There's a light that rises, then sinks. You see the light go over a couple of hills, then flicker out at the spot where the farmer strung his barbed-wire. Also, it's not one of these typical white lights that you'd see on today's cars. It's got a yellowish tint to it, and shakes a bit as it moves towards you.

I know what you're thinking... it's just another car coming down the road towards you, right? Well... I, too, have had this thought. So, I did what any person would do confronted with this predicament. Upon seeing the motorcycle ghost, I quickly turned on the car, and GUNNED it toward the light! (Again, probably not the safest thing to do.) AS SOON AS the keys went in the ignition (time and time again) the light would disappear, even if it wasn't to the point where it normally flickered out.

During my Freshman year is when my friends and I had the most experience with the motorcycle ghost. People in our dorm started catching wind of the motorcycle ghost, and became skeptical. Spurred by skepticism and curiosity, the number of people that went with us to see the motorcycle ghost grew nightly. Because lots of people on campus are familiar with the motorcycle ghost, you had to beware of patrolling police officers, too.

At any rate, after we'd come back from a night with the motorcycle ghost, we'd recount our tales to anyone in the dorm who would listen. Word would spread that we were going out to see the ghost, and people would literally flock to the lobby to listen to us talk about it, upon returning. It was kind of cool!

Late one night, we had nothing to do, so we started talking 'logistics' about the motorcycle ghost. We decided we were going to catch the motorcycle ghost -- prove that it wasn't real.

Our plan included taking TWO cars out to the site. One car would go and do the barn, park, lights rigamarole, and the other car would sit at the four-way stop, looking for any cars or any other possible explanation for the source of the light. The first time we tried this system I was in the car that went to the farmhouse, and parked at the top of the hill.

The instructions were that if you see ANYTHING... even if you know it's another car... to call the other car's cell phone and tell them what you saw, just to verify visibility, traffic, etc. So, we went on our merry way, parked at the top of the hill, flashed the lights, and sure enough here came the motorcycle ghost. As soon as we saw the light, we picked up the phone to call the other car, and the light disappeared! We were ecstatic. We told the other car that we had seen it going over the hills, and that if they were at the four-way stop, they HAD to have seen it. The car at the four-way stop reported that they didn't see ANY headlights, but they did see the reflections of red tail lights on the back of one of the stop signs, even though there were no cars around. Both parties thought this was weird, and shrugged it off.

Next, my car went down to the four-way stop. The others in the car with me had decided they were going to GET OUT of the car, and wander in different directions down each of the roads at the four-way stop, to get a better view of on-coming traffic. The mere thought of getting out of a car, and walking around late at night, when we were TRYING to find a motorcycle GHOST was just mind-boggling to me. Oddly enough, I found myself getting out of the car. I'll be damned if I'm going to be the lone person, sitting by themself in a car.

If you look at the map, there's a house on one corner of the four-way stop. Our car was parked in their driveway. One person in our car went up the road to the north, another one went down the road to the east, and another went to the top of the first hill. Bear in mind that this hill is one of the ones the motorcycle ghost is supposed to drive over! As for myself, I stayed in the driveway, as close to the car as possible! So, there we were, sitting... waiting.

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pt 2

The other car crept around the corner, and flashed their lights. IMMEDIATELY, a large vehicle came TEARING around the corner of the south-most road of the four-way stop, and turned left, going over the first hill. Now, let me just say that I'm EXTREMELY thankful I was not in the road. I didn't hear a car start, and a I sure as heck didn't see it coming! Even though we're at a four-way stop, the vehicle didn't stop. Again, it tore through the four-way stop, and careened over the first hill.

We all started yelling and immediately dialed the car at the top of the hill. Between breaths, exhausted from running back to the car, we proceeded to tell them about what happened, insisting that they saw it. The vehicle went OVER the hill. They HAD to see it. They definitely DID NOT see it! We could not friggin' believe it!!! During this time, the guy from our car that went to the top of the first hill ran over the hill to see where the vehicle was going. During that time, the rest of us piled in the car, and went over the first hill to see where the vehicle went.

The other car said they had seen nothing, meaning it had to be between the first and second hill. When we drove to the bottom of the first hill we were AMAZED at what we saw. On the left side of the road, there was a lone driveway. We began to pull into the driveway, but were met with a steel cable across the drive. This meant that whomever was in the vehicle would have to pull into the driveway, get out of their vehicle, undo the lock, move the cable to one side of the drive, pull the vehicle forward a little bit, get back out, re-hang and re-lock the cable, get back in the vehicle and drive down the about half mile lane to the house. Keep in mind all of this had to be done before the guy from our car walked a few steps to the top of the hill to see where the vehicle was. It was IMPOSSIBLE!!!

COMPLETELY FLABBERGASTED we went back to the dorm and started telling everyone our story. Lots of people were listening because everyone knew of our plan. Once again we were foiled by the motorcycle ghost. I think we were all starting to take it personal.

Well... in the meantime, I'd go home for Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks and tell all of my friends back home about this story. I'd get really into it, and draw out diagrams on the sidewalk, using coins for cars and people. It was kinda' pathetic, actually. So, naturally, my friends turned skeptical as well. I kept prodding them to come down to Miami and see it with me. However, in the back of my mind, I was sort of scared/freaked out about the whole scenario.

Finally, one summer night, two of my friends and I were COMPLETELY bored. My friend Ryan suggested going to see the motorcycle ghost. I caved and we were off. Now... it should be noted that between the time when I did this my Freshman year to when I went out there with my friends, the farmhouse and barn had been torn down. I had tried a couple of times intermittently with no luck. I attributed this to the absence of the barn. I guess they decided to tear down the barn so college kids would stop coming out there and creating a ruckus. Anyway, I was secretly afraid the motorcycle ghost wouldn't show.

My worst fears were realized all too soon.

My friends were SOOO pumped to see the motorcycle ghost, after as much as I had been talking it up. Here we were... ACTUALLY doing it now.

We pulled into the old site of the barn and farmhouse and turned the car off. We pulled around to the top of the hill, turned the car off, and flashed the lights three times.

There we sat for a couple of minutes. I WAS DEVASTATED!!!! I wanted SOOO bad for my friends to believe me. I wanted to PROVE to them that it was true!

After a couple minutes of sitting in the dark, silently, I told my friends that we should have seen it by now. They sort of shrugged, not really affected. We pulled to the four-way stop and sat there, talking about what we'd do with the rest of the night. We didn't drive an hour and fifteen minutes down here to not see the ghost and drive back. I suggested going to UDF, or something.

...what happened next I will NEVER forget for as long as I live...

My friend, Ryan, was driving a '99 Mustang. Before I knew what hit me, in mid-sentence, we were going like 70mph down these country roads. My friends who were 18 and 19 were in HYSTERICS, BAWLING!! I couldn't friggin' believe it! I was trying to figure out what the hell had happened. Here are two late-teen guys completely broken down.

Between sobs they told me that there was some sort of figure coming towards the car. [Holy crap... just thinking about this is giving me all sorts of chills!]

The messed up part is that I hadn't told them, like I haven't told you, the rest of the story.

According to the rest of the legend, after you flash your lights, you're supposed to see the headlight from the motorcycle. Then, if you wait longer, you're supposed to see the sirens of the ambulance that went to pick up the boyfriend. (The red lights the first group saw reflected on the back of the stop sign!) Finally, if you wait even longer, the GIRL is supposed to WALK PAST YOUR CAR, looking for her boyfriend.

Again, I hadn't told my friends this part, and they kept saying that it was in the shape of a woman... black silhouette, long hair, long gown, coming towards the car.

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I know where its at, and have heard it from several people. It was the big deal when I went to school there. There is a few other spots on campus that are "haunted", and I think there is a book out there called "Haunted Miami".

I do a lot of work on campus and I have heard some good stories from the maintenance staff about stuff that was seen or done on campus during odd times.

On western campus, there is Peabody Hall, has a bleeding door, or doors that will swing shut and lock themselves.

Cook Place on the northeast side of campus used to be part of a patient / psych ward and you could "hear" the noises of shackles.

Fisher Hall which is no longer there had a granite statue that weighed a ton or so get moved from the ground floor to the first floor with no signs of a crane or any other type of rigging over the weekend.

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I did it back in the mid 80's when there were no houses there , just farmland. I did see a single light coming down the road.

I have a friend that lives there now and never sees a thing. He told me it was some of the local kids on a moped. Maybe recently the kids have done it. I have been there at 2 or 4 am and have seen it. Not a lot of places to hide and didn't hear anything.

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I think the problem with that area now, and maybe I'll ride there tomorrow, is that I think they are starting to put up street lights in the general areas. What was always so weird about the area was that no matter what it was always pitch black at night.

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