Fall and Halloween in particular is the perfect time to come explore Hocking Hills with the fall leaves boasting their vibrant colors and the eerie chill of the haunted stories, it will be an experience you won’t soon forget! Here are some of the spookiest spots in the area!
Moonville Tunnel was once a part of a long forgotten coal mining town called Moonville. The town itself only lasted a little less than a hundred years, but the ghost stories remain.
Ghosts include the Engineer, Lavender Lady, the Brakeman, and The Bully.
The Engineer was tragically killed in the 1880’s when his train collided with another oncoming train. It is said you can see him walking across the end of the tunnel.
The Lavender lady was killed while walking the tracks, folks who walk by where she perished say they can still smell the sweet lavender perfume and can see her ghost walking the tracks and in the tunnel.
The Brakeman’s ghost was guilty of one thing… having too good of a time and a little too much to drink. Legend says he passed out on the tracks causing him to be run over. People still talk about seeing his lantern shine and sway at the end of the tunnel.
Last, but not least is The Bully. Rightly named, because he was the town bully back then, where he got thrown out of the bar and is believed to be murdered, since his body was found some time later. They say he is still a bully, throwing rocks and pebbles from the top of the tunnel at those walking below.
You can find out more at: https://www.moonvilletunnel.net/
Athens Lunatic Asylum aka The Ridges
It operated as a mental hospital from 1874 to 1993. The hospital treated Civil War vets, children and those declared generally mentally unwell. There was room in the asylum to house 572 patients. Epilepsy and general ill health were the top admissions in the early days of the hospital. Other problems such as menopause, alcoholism, and tuberculosis were also causes for enrollment. .The first patient was a 14 year old girl with epilepsy who was thought to have been possessed by a demon. The hospital that is now a part of Ohio University and was redeveloped by the State of Ohio is best known for the infamous lobotomy procedure and now for it’s paranormal sightings.
There are 3 cemeteries on the grounds of the old hospital, now known as The Ridges, with 1,930 people buried there. 700 women and 959 men were marked only by a number on their headstone, most of which have been replaced. Of those, 80 veterans were buried at the Ridges, 68 of those fought in the Civil War. One was in the Confederate Army and two others had served with the United States Colored Infantry. There are even some buried here that were still on active duty at the time of their demise. Flags have since been put at the gravesites of all veterans at all three cemeteries.
With documents recording the inhumane treatments that were used at the beginning of the hospital such as, electroshock therapy, lobotomies, hydroshock therapy, and other extremely discredited ways of treating patients it is no wonder that the ghost stories abound in this beautiful haunt! You can look at the tour schedule here: https://athenshistory.org/asylum-tours-with-george-eberts-restarting/ You can call to schedule a tour and purchase tickets at 740-592-2280.
With a name like Devil’s Bathtub you are sure to feel a chill down your spine here. It is actually quite beautiful and breathtaking to see as well.
Found between the Upper Falls and the A-Frame Bridge the Devil’s Bathtub is a bowl-shaped basin forming a whirlpool. The upper part of the falls drops into the tub of weak Black Hand sandstone and then drops again to a large pool below, it’s been said that it goes into the depths of Hades ( although it’s only actually a few feet)!
The stroll you take to get there is beautiful with sights of the Upper Falls, the stone bridge, and if you continue on your walk to the Lower Falls and A-Frame bridge. You will be sure to enjoy the sights, the smell of the fallen leaves, and taking in the gorgeous fall colors showing on the trees of Hocking Hills.
Check out https://hockinghills.com/ for more information about Hocking Hills State Park!
– Tabetha Dunlevy