Moonville Tunnel 

What's the Story Behind Moonville?

Moonville was originally a small mining and railroad community with only a few families residing in the town itself. However, due to its location in an area with limited roads and the presence of a railway, the town became interconnected with other communities along the train route. Both miners and their families utilized the railway as a means of traveling from one town to the next, solidifying Moonville's role in the larger network of towns along the railroad. Just outside town, the railway forged a path through a large hill and put in a tunnel known as Moonville Tunnel "for the way the moon shines over the hillside on certain nights." 

Want to know more? Buy the newest book on Moonville! More ghosts! More stories!

Or quick-load them in ebook format pdf!

What Happened in Moonville, Ohio? 

The tunnel became fodder for much gossip over the last 140 years for the ghost of an engineer who was killed in a train wreck nearby was seen by engineers traveling the route!

Interesting connection with a ghost at Moonville:

Road to Moonville Tunnel in Zaleski, Ohio.


Can you Visit Moonville in the Hocking Hills?

You can visit Moonville-It is along the Vinton County Rail Trail which is tucked into Zaleski State Forest. It is only about a forty-minute drive from Old Man’s Cave. The main road is paved, but the last mile is a raggedy dirt and gravel and, in some places, only wide enough for one car. There are a couple areas that run along a high cliff edge along Raccoon Creek. And during the winter, at times, the icy or snow-covered road can be impassable for vehicles. When you get to Moonville, there is a small parking area and you can see the tunnel across the bridge that was once a train trestle. It is only a short hike to the tunnel. A longer hike can be taken to Kings Station Tunnel.

Moonville Tunnel Map.


What is the Abandoned Town in the Hocking Hills?

There was once a small mining community along the Marietta and Cincinnati railroad tracks called Moonville, taking its name from the breathtaking way Earth’s only natural satellite showed itself above the tunnel in its many phases.
Although there were only a few homes here, mainly the Ferguson and Coe families (both had large families), people from neighboring towns like Hope Furnace, Hope Furnace Station, Ingham Station, Zaleski, and even Luhrig near Athens used the straight path of the train tracks cut through the steep hills. During the 1800s, logging companies, iron furnaces, and coal mining operations popped up in the region. When companies laid-off workers in one area, they walked or hopped a train to commute to the other communities offering jobs along the railway. Between a couple of properties in Moonville, the railroad company built two trestles over the winding Raccoon Creek and gouged a tunnel through one particularly high hill. When the railway came and the community grew, the trestle, tunnel, tracks, and trains became the perfect mix for deaths-(I have found over 21 researched through newspapers and local sources).  And after that, ghosts.

What happened to Moonville Tunnel? Although the coal mining industry boomed from the 1850s to the early 1900s, it began to decline in the early 1920s leaving people without work. Many families moved away, abandoned the towns, and their homes eventually turned to ruin.

Can you hike at Moonville? Upcoming Haunted Hikes and Ghost Hunts: Click here:

Moonville Tunnel Night Hike: Ghost and Bigfoot Hunt

For the Hocking Hills Bigfoot Festival August 2 and 3

Thursday: August 1st, 2024 9:00pm

Saturday: August 3rd, 2024     9:00pm

To sign up, please click here to choose your hike!


Join author, folklorist, naturalist, and cryptid enthusiast Jannette Quackenbush on a night hike into a part of the vast Zaleski State Forest system known as Bear Hollow that is known for Bigfoot sightings. Along the way, she will tell local stories of the ghosts seen along the trail and of Bigfoot sightings in the surrounding forest. This is your chance to explore the nocturnal habitat of this elusive creature and perhaps gather vocal evidence or sightings on the return. After the hike, there will be a ghost hunt at the famous and haunted Moonville Tunnel. The hike takes about 30-40 minutes one way at a leisurely pace. However, the group moves steadily with a few short stops to hear the local ghost stories, so it may be too challenging for those with health issues, walking difficulties, or who are out of shape. It will be dark on the return. Bring a flashlight, light, and bug spray. Please note, no pets are allowed. Restrooms are only available at the nearby Lake Hope State Park, a couple of miles away. Directions, registration confirmation, and information will be sent the week of the hike.



Moonville Tunnel in Zaleski, Ohio.

Moonville Ghost Stories and Haunts!

Moonville February 2022


Buy the little book of Moonville Ghosts by Jannette Quackenbush

Or come take a hike and ghost hunt with me along the old trails of Appalachia, like those in Moonville, with ghost stories and legends attached.


A couple Haunted Hikes: Occasionally the roar of wheels to rail and the mournful cry of a train horn fill the air on the old Baltimore and Ohio tracks between Zaleski and Athens, Ohio. Yet, locomotives have not run the nearby rails in over thirty years. Trainmen dreaded taking the late night runs through this isolated section because the ghost of one of their own, engineer Theodore Lawhead, was killed here when his train collided with another near this tunnel on a cold November night in 1880. After, newspapers reported his ghost was seen floating down the embankment dressed in white with a lantern in hand and eyes glowing red. Perhaps you will see and hear these ghosts too during a special night hike with author Jannette Quackenbush on a night with a full moon. Find out more here-

The Book of Moonville Tunnel and Moonville. Its Past. Its Ghosts.

Click here to buy the book!


Take a walk with Lucy and Jannette and see Moonville through the eyes of the Lucy Cam!

A video I took many years ago that was on "My Ghost Story" when few people ventured because you had to hike through Forestry to get there or cross the risky waters of Raccoon Creek. And no, no other people were around. . .

The Moonville Rail Trail is maintained by Moonville Rail Trail Association, established in April of 2001 in order to build and maintain the muscle-powered Moonville Rail Trail system.

Zaleski State Forest

Moonville Rail Trail

Moonville Tunnel



...and much more