Ghosts of the Russ House - Marianna, Florida
Ghosts of the Russ House - Marianna, Florida
Ghost of the Russ House?
The historic landmark is located in U.S. 90
(Lafayette Street) in Marianna, Florida. It is so
beautiful that some say its former inhabitants linger.
The Russ House
The beautiful old Russ House in
Marianna, Florida, is the focus of
several ghost stories. Some say its
builder still walks the halls.
Ghost in the Russ House?
A strange figure can be seen in the
window. Is it one of the ghosts said
to inhabit the historic home?
The Russ House
Built in 1895 and extensively
renovated in 1910, the historic
home is a Marianna landmark and
may be one of the most haunted
houses in Florida.
Marianna, Florida
A Haunting in Marianna, Florida
The historic Russ House in Marianna is one
of the most beautiful old homes in Florida.
Some also claim that it is one of the most

Located at 4318 West Lafayette Street (U.S.
90) in Marianna, the historic structure is the
home of the
Jackson County Tourism Office,
The stories of ghosts and strange sounds,
however, go back for decades.

The Russ House is undoubtedly Marianna's
most photographed historic house. Some of
those photographs, however, show much
more than a beautiful old building.

It is probably Marianna's most photographed
historic house. As the image at left shows,
pictures of the house often capture a
shadowy figure that appears to be looking
out from the tower windows.

The Russ House has been investigated by
several teams of paranormal investigators,
most recently
Emerald Coast Paranormal
Concepts. Investigators from the group report
that they recorded strange sounds and
encountered weird electronic readings in the
house. Some wonder if these oddities are
caused by the home's long-deceased owner,
Joseph W. Russ, Jr.

Mr. Russ built the house in 1892-1895. A
successful Marianna merchant, he owned
large landholdings in Jackson County and
his home was a showplace.

The house was originally built in a Victorian
style, but it was remodeled in 1910 when the
rounded two-story porches and beautiful
columns were added. It has been a Marianna
landmark since the day it was built and
overlooks the intersection of Lafayette and
Russ Streets.

The yard of the house is hallowed ground.
Although the Russ House itself had not been
built at the time, the intersection of Lafayette
and Russ  was the spot where the heaviest
fighting of the Battle of Marianna began on
September 27, 1864. Then called Ely Corner,
the intersection was the point where the
Union 2nd Maine Cavalry charged into heavy
fire laid down by Confederate troops.

Several men were killed and wounded on the
grounds and some speculate that the
strange manifestations at the house may
linger from the Battle of Marianna. For more
information on the battle itself, please visit

Tragedy associated with the site did not end
with the Battle of Marianna. While his early
years in the house were happy, Mr. Russ lost
a fortune in the Great Crash of 1929. Turned
down by banks for a loan to save his home,
he committed suicide early in 1930.

The Russ family was able to keep the house
and slowly rebuilt its prosperity, but former
residents described mysterious sounds and
unexplained apparitions there.
The Russ House was renovated and
restored in the 1990s and is now publicly
owned. The strange happenings in the
house, however, continued and one former
resident even cautioned employees against
working in the house alone after dark.

A number of different groups of paranormal
investigators have spent time in the house
with mixed results. One group reported an
odd "perfume" smell and concluded that
elevator door openings and closings were
caused by a ghost.

The most thorough research has been done
by Emerald Coast Paranormal Concepts,
which has returned to the structure several

Please click here to see and here some of
their evidence of ghosts in the Russ House.

Perhaps the most unique evidence of a
ghost in the house is the photograph at left. It
shows a mysterious figure in one of the
windows of the tower. The figure definitely
was not a person as the tower has no floor. It
functions as a skylight for the second floor.

The historic Russ House & Visitor Center is
located at 4318 Lafayette Street, Marianna,
Florida. Free to visit, it is open to the public
Monday-Friday during normal business

Staff members and volunteers give free tours
and can provide visitors with a wide array of
information on visiting Marianna and Jackson
County. Rooms can be rented for meetings
and receptions.

For more information on the Russ House,
please visit
Copyright 2012, 2013 & 2014 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Updated: October 29, 2014
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