Moonville Tunnel Ghosts - The Engineer

The Ghost Engineer Moonville Tunnel

On a cold November night in 1880, Engineer Theodore Lawhead was taking the dark Two Trainspassage from Cincinnati to Marietta. He would have no more time than to blink at a light bearing down on him before his life was stripped away from him. The dispatcher failed to notify the train there was a second train coming toward them on the tracks. The train he was driving along the Marietta and Cincinnati route through the tiny town of Moonville would take a headlong trip straight into another train coming along the same tracks. He died, most likely, instantly along with the fire man on board the train.

The Fort Wayne Weekly wrote this on November 10th 1880:

1880 Frank Lawhead, Engineer Killed in Train Wreck Near Kings station in this county on Thursday last, Engineer Lawhead and Charles Krick, fireman, both of Chillicothe, were instantly killed by collision of freight trains, which, we are told, was the result of a mistake of train dispatcher. The trains were totally wrecked. (Athens Messenger, Thursday, Nov 11, 1880).

The Fort Wayne Weekly November 10th 1880

That should have been the last of it. But not long after the engineer and fireman were killed, a ghostly form dressed in white began showing up along the tracks frightening the engineers running the route from Cincinnati to Marietta. Those riding the desolate route would see something shining in the distance, then a white form would appear. Just as quickly, it dissipated into the blackness of the forest around them.

A February 1895 Chillicothe Gazette wrote the following:  The ghost of Moonville, after an absence of one year, has returned and is again at its old pranks, haunting B&O S-W freight trains and their crews. Monday night the ghost appeared just east of the cut, which is one half mile the other side of Moonville. It showed up in front of fast freight No. 99 west bound, which is due at Moonville at 8:50 p.m. The train was hauled by engine 226, in charge of Engineer William Washburn. The conductor was Mr. Charles Bazler. The ghost was attired in a pure white robe, and carried a lantern. It had a flowing white beard, its eyes glistened like balls of fire, and surrounding it was a halo of twinkling stars. As the train approached, the lantern was swung across the track. . .




Since then, there have been countless eyewitnesses who claim they have seen odd lights flitting about the tunnel akin to a lantern swinging back and forth. Many have felt a cool chill surround them at the far end of the tunnel sending goosepimples sliding up their arms and hairs standing up on the backs of their necks. There have been photo images of a foggy mist and even a few who have taken pictures of an apparition of a man in an engineer hat walking
across the tunnel. .

Ghostly figure taken at Moonville Tunnel. Click for larger view. Image by Nicholas Viltrakis.

Click for larger view: Image Taken by Michelle Schrader


Moonville Tunnel

Moonville Tunnel Access:

Moonville Tunnel Access: There is a bridge near a parking area to the tunnel located here: (39.308458, -82.324539). Simply cross the steel bridge and continue up the hill. It will be on the left.

For a larger view of the map, please click on the + at the bottom right corner.