Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mrs. Muller and Her Wooden Horse

Mullers Military Horse shot by Andrew 94 on Flickr

Muller’s Military Horse is a wooden merry-go-round unit that was carved in 1917 by Daniel C. Muller, and it circled the midwest, entertaining generations of riders. Its claim to fame? Hey, it's the only haunted carousel horse known to be in existence.

The carousel spent its first five decades making the rounds of county fairs, carnies, and small-town amusement parks, until it found a home at Cedar Point's Frontiertown in 1971.

The legend begins thus: Mrs. Muller fell in love with the horse that her hubby had carved. She loved that wooden horse so much that after she left this vale of tears, her spirit would return to Cedar Point to ride it.

In fact, her love was so strong that she wouldn't allow anyone to photograph the horse. Jealousy lives on, even in the afterlife...

Another bit of more grisly popular lore claims that Muller murdered his wife and stuffed her body into his creation.  (Kati wrote in and said "The Mullers were my great-grandparents. My great-grandmother certainly wasn't murdered by my great-grandfather and stuffed in the horse! But the urban legend is a fun one." When a story is too good to be true, it usually isn't.)

Either way, Mrs. Muller was connected to that horse. (One story claims that a woman on her honeymoon at Cedar Point had a jones for the horse and is the spook. We'll stick to Mrs. Muller; better drama.)

The tale continues that after midnight every evening, when the park was closed, the carousel would start up, lights, music, and the whole nine yards, while a ghostly apparition, assumed to be Mrs. Muller, could be seen riding the Military Horse.

But the amusement park biz being what it is, the entire Frontiertown carousel was sold and moved to Dorney Park in Allentown in 1995, with one notable exception: the Muller Military Horse. And here's where it gets confusing.

The original horse stayed put at Cedar Point. But a fiberglass replica of the famous steed was placed on display at the Merry-Go-Round Museum in Sandusky. And of course, the ride itself was at Dorney Park, known there as the Antique carousel.

The result is that spook stories began at all three sites.

The original Military Horse is now a part of Cedar Point's Frontiertown Museum, tucked away off the beaten path in the back of the park. And since it was so rudely yanked from the carousel it spent so many years being a part of, the sightings of Mrs. Muller have come to a screeching halt, too.

First, the no-photo lore can be debunked, since there are pictures of Muller's Horse, from all three locations. This tale is probably a recent add-on to the legend, started because, well, no one could find the original to snap after it was sold. The story has switched focus some, now claiming that if you take its picture, some misfortune will befall you.

As for Mrs. Muller's ghost? She's not been seen in the museum. Maybe the truth is that she wasn't such a fan of the horse; could be that she just liked merry-go-rounds.

But if you're ever roaming around Cedar Point's Frontierland and stop by the museum, don't be surprised if you see a white mist protectively surrounding the wooden horse it houses or if your Nikon acts up.

Just say "hi" to Mrs. Muller.


LC said...

Reportedly, Dorney Park is home to a ghost in its own right. Solomon Dorney, I've heard, used to haunt the Dorney Manor. It's now gone, but for years it had been the Gold Mine walk-through and storage.

kati said...

the mullers were my great-grandparents. my great-grandmother certainly wasn't murdered by my great-grandfather and stuffed in the horse! but the urban legend is a fun one. i'd love to see the horse and the carousel.

Unknown said...

I would love to use your picture of the Muller Horse in a blog about the carousel. I worked at Cedar Point for three summers and the story I heard was different from yours, but no less wrong than Mrs. Muller being stuffed in the horse!
Ken Keckler DVM

Ron Ieraci said...

Be my guest, Ken - just follow the link and credit to Andrew 94; it's his shot. And yes, lots of tales about Mrs. Muller's horse; let us know when your post is up and I'll link it.