Dead Man's Hollow

A wooded area near the village of Olentangy, Ohio, is known as Dead Man's Hollow--a name with roots in a murder more than 170 years old. Daniel Bender and his brother-in-law moved west from Pennsylvania to Crawford County to start a new home in 1836. They were joined in their journey by two other men, ostensibly for company but actually with the intention of killing and robbing them. As the four of them camped near Olentangy, the two robbers shot and killed Daniel Bender, while his brother-in-law managed to escape into the woods.

Daniel Bender's ghost still haunts the place where his life ended. Horses fear to pass through the area. Several years after the murder a man taking his sick child to see the doctor met a stranger on horseback in Dead Man's Hollow. The stranger ominously told the father that his trip was in vain and the child would die. He was right.

There is another place with this name in Ohio: Dead Man Hollow, in the Scioto County village of Friendship. That one also involves a robbery/murder. Is there some relationship betwen the two?



Gerrick, David J. Ohio's Ghostly Greats. Dayton: Dayton Press, 1982. pp. 40.