This brief, but intriguing story appeared in the “South Bend Tribune,” February 24, 1880. Unfortunately, this is the only news report I’ve found about the mystery.
Lebanon, Ohio, is the scene of a great excitement caused by a wonderful phenomenon of showers of ordinary bird-shot falling from the ceiling of John W. Lingo's hardware store. This strange occurrence was first noticed by parties who retort to the place each evening to spend a few hours in social chat. On the first evening quite a number of persons were in the store when the shot began to fall in different parts of the room, but principally in the midst of the crowd of persons sitting about the stove. As the stove was near a hatchway, it was thought by some that some person or contrivance was in the upper portion of the building which threw or dropped the shot down. Parties were selected and a thorough search made of the building. All the floors were visited and every nook and corner ransacked, when the committee returned and reported no spooks found. Then someone suggested that they all go to the front end of the store where the ceiling is perfect and no hatchways to the upper rooms. The shot continued to fall the same way at the back portion of the room. Then it was proposed that all present hold their hands up over their heads, in order that no one could use his hands to throw or drop the shot. Still the shot fell, as usual. Many believe the shot is thrown by the spirit of a burglar who was shot and killed in the store in 1874 while attempting to rob it.