5/14/11

Mystery of the Merchant Ball - The Rotating Tombstone


For generations, Merchant monument in the Cemetery of Marion Ohio has moved on its own.  
The unpolished base of the massive granite ball, that once rested on the pedestal, has moved for over a century.  No one has a positive answer as to why the two and half tonne granite ball is able to move with out the help of any known external forces.  There are many theories but no solid answer.


The Merchant family, was a wealthy and important name in the early years of Marion.  Soon after erecting the monument on the family grave site in 1896, the ball began to move, exposing the unpolished base beneath.  The Merchant family had the ball put back in its original place.  The ball was secured with tar.  Little time passed before the ball was on the the move again.  It's estimated to move about 2 inches every year.

Some have speculated unnatural reasons for the movement; mystery vortexes of energy, restless spirits etc.. Something to do with astronomical alignments and 2012?  Maybe not.     

The ball became popular when it was published in Ripley's Believe It or Not in 1929.


Vincent Price in House on Haunted Hill
Vincent Price, star of classic horror films, is said to have visited the ball on a visit to Ohio.  The ball has been a kind of local curiosity. We use to talk about it when I was a school kid.

A site called the Avalon Foundation has written a fairly good summary of the balls history and their account of applying scientific tests to the monument. The mystery continues.             



The unpolished spot


Another Marion Mystery Grave is The Gypsy Queen of Marion Ohio


Ghost Stoires on this site . . .

The Ghost that Communicates through TV


Spirit Board


Sleeping Where a Man Died


The Haunted Radio Station-My First Encounter with a Ghost


Ghosts of Harper's Ferry, Ghosts of Antietam

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  5. It's gravity. It's just gravity. It happens to ANY spherical tombstone like this, in ANY cemetery.

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