Moonville Tunnel


Moonville TunnelMoonville was once scarcely known as little more than just one tiny coal mining boom town among hundreds just like it in Southeastern Ohio. During its prime in the mid-1800s, there were never more than a hundred people living in the tiny community and within a couple mile radius of its limits. The road leading to it, even then, was a rugged twisting and turning path just large enough for outlying farm wagons to make it to Samuel Coe's mill on the east side of Raccoon Creek or the Ferguson's farm on the west side where a tunnel would be built through a long section of Appalachian hillside. In fact, by the early 1950s, the only things remaining were a few abandoned houses and a lonely stretch of railway between Marietta and Cincinnati. It seems farfetched now to think Moonville could have become such a hub of paranormal activity. Or perhaps, not.

Woman (probably Hungarian) coming home along railroad tracks in coal mining town, company houses at right, Pursglove, Scotts Run, West Virginia

This is an image from a West Virginia coal mining town along railway tracks and would have been much like the town of Moonville in the 1800s. Courtesy, Library of Congress.

Moonville Tunnel And NowNow the old roads are overgrown with poison ivy, wild rose and greenbriar. A much anticipated path with grand bridges along a section connecting Athens Ohio Rails to Trails to Vinton County's Rails to Trails never occurred. The only way into the belly of the old ghost town and the tunnel is across a treacherous section of Raccoon Creek or along crumbling and collapsing trails on Ohio Division of Forestry property. The sandstone foundations are nearly hidden beneath scrubby brush. It is hard to tell anybody was even here at all. The entire idea a town even existed in this little patch of State of Ohio forestry land would, most likely, be buried in time along with those who lived and worked there if it wasn't for a few local legends still hanging around. Moonville Tunnel MysteryA young brakeman, an engineer, a woman crossing the tracks and a murdered man have all contributed to keeping Moonville from fading into oblivion. People have found themselves walking the same dirt paths those living in the sleepy town of Moonville once trod more than one-hundred and fifty years before. They come to see what these legends are all about - to find out if they can defy logic and touch a bit of the past.