Outdoor Pursuit Center leads Spooky bike tour across Oxford


Photo by Zed Zhu

The Siliko family and Jack Stevens are among the group that assembled for the Ghost and Gear Tour.

By Zed Zhu

People have always told supernatural tales. As one of the oldest universities in Ohio, Miami University was the site of many bizarre stories. As Halloween approaches each year, a brave squad heads by bike to these places with sinister reputations.

The Ghosts and Gears Bike tour, sponsored by the university’s Outdoor Pursuit Center, was created by intern Zach Cross six years ago, Pursuit Center Director Jen Siliko said. 

“He came up with the ideas, and he went to the King Library to the archive, then he put all the stories in a document,” she said.

To this day, tour guides reach into this horror-filled tome to tell ghost stories during stops at locations on the 3.5-mile ride around campus. This year’s tours leave the Miami Recreation Center at 6 p.m.  Oct. 25, 26 and 27. 

Tours take nearly two hours and, because the recreation center has only 12 bikes, are limited to 10 people. Those under 5-feet 3-inches should bring their own riding equipment, Siliko said. 

“My favorite part is Fisher Hall,” said Ryan Siliko, Jen Siliko’s son, who joined the tour for the first time with his brother Sawyer. “Heard an RA went missing there, which sounds scary.” 

As a resident of Fisher Hall, which is now the Marcum Conference Center, sophomore resident assistant Ronald Tammen disappeared in April 1953. To this day, Tammen’s fate is unknown. Some say the location is host to the supernatural. 

“And my favorite one is Peabody,” said Sawyer. “It looks scary from everywhere.”

Peabody Hall was part of the Western Female Seminary from 1855 to 1888. The principal, Helen Peabody, was a critic of coeducation. According to the tales, her ghost still lives there to protect female students. 

The tour costs $10 per person, which includes the rental of an adult-sized bicycle. Participants can register at the outdoor pursuit center at the Rec.