Exploring Moonville Tunnel, one of Ohio’s most terrifying urban legends


Moonville Tunnel was once part of the Marietta Cincinnati railroad, and at one point the area was quite remote and surrounded by a think forest...

Moonville Tunnel was once part of the Marietta Cincinnati railroad, and at one point the area was quite remote and surrounded by a think forest of trees and brush. For years, the area was mainly used for coal mining. Though there hasn't been a train to pass through the funnel for well over 20 years, locals say that on dark nights, an old railway brakeman stands near the entrance of the tunnel, waiting for the next train to pass. 

Many people who needed to visit the nearby larger towns, “Hope” and “Mineral” would use the tunnel, which at the time was considered a rather long tunnel, especially for those on foot. Unfortunately, it was not uncommon for someone to get caught while a train passed by, and many people lost their lives inside the tunnel after being struck by a passing locomotive. 

There have been countless ghosts witnessed in and around the tunnel, and many visitors agree that when it comes to paranormal activity at Moonville, there are many more than just one ghosts still haunting the desolate passage. 

The most popular ghosts witnessed over the years include, the Headless Conductor, a headless man who is often spotted wearing an old train conductor outfit and carrying a lit lantern. Sometimes the flame is spotted hovering at shoulder level inside the tunnel, but other times people have witnessed the light darting through the nearby forest that surrounds the water. The sighting is so common, in fact, that it's been photographed and filmed numerous times. See video above. 

Another is the ghost of Rastus Dexter, an old miner from the 20s, who died after having one too many, and chancing a walk through the tunnel at night. He was struck and killed by a passing train. Often times people will see strange lights that dart around the entrance once you've gone inside. The lights are often associated with a ghost known as the “Lady in White,” who died in 1905 in trestle accident nearby. 

In 2012 the television series Haunted History visited the tunnel and captured what they believed was the light from the Headless Conductor, and also interacted with the ghost of the White Lady. They’re just one of the many paranormal enthusiasts who have captured something strange while visiting the tunnel. 

If you want to visit the Moonville Tunnel, it is a short hike, so be prepared to make a trek through the overgrown woods. In recent years it’s also become a favorite spot for visiting thrill-seekers, so there’s a good chance you may bump into some other ghost story lovers. Maybe, bring a flashlight. 

What's that? You want more haunted places? How about taking a Drive down 5 of America’s most haunted roads, if you dare!

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Or, Have a weird weekend in one of America’s creepiest towns: Danvers, MA.

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And last but not least... Don't go looking for Hawaii's legendary Nightmarchers. They'll come to you.

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Are you looking for strange and wonderful Halloween spots this fall? Don't worry because we have a guide for that! Look no further for all your Haunted Happenings and Horror-Fueled destinations. Mwahahah! 

Places explored in this article:

This was originally written for Roadtrippers, a great resource for anyone interested in travel.
Want more articles by Dana Newkirk? Find them here!