Friday, October 22, 2010

Ghosts of the Russ House - Marianna, Florida

Built in 1895, the historic Russ House in Marianna is one of the most beautiful old houses in Florida. Some say it is also one of the most haunted.

Now the home of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, the restored house faces West Lafayette Street (U.S. 90) in Marianna, a Northwest Florida city founded in 1827 and rich in history. For 100 years, however, the Russ House was a family residence and seems to have been the focal point for an unusual series of tragedies. These included disputes over a marriage, the loss of a family fortune and the suicide of its builder.

Perhaps because of these events, the house has developed a reputation for ghosts. Photographs taken of the structure's exterior sometimes show what appears to be the indistinct of a man looking out from the windows, even when no one is inside. Visitors report encountering strange scents that remind them of old-fashioned powder or perfume. Employees say the elevator opens and closes on its on and without explanation.

Ghost hunters have investigated the house and have come away convinced that it is haunted by at least two ghosts, one of a man and one of a woman. Those who believe in such things are convinced and many report having seen the figure of a man with a mustache looking down from the top of the stairs. Skeptics, of course, say that the stories originate from the fact that for many years it was a big, weathered, spooky old house.

To learn more about the history of the Russ House and some of the ghost stories told about it, please visit

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