Moonville Tunnel Ghosts - The Engineer
On a cold November night in 1880, Engineer Frank Lawhead was taking the dark passage 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.
1895 Chillicothe Gazette wrote the following:
A ghost (after an absence of one year) returned and appeared in front of a freight at the point where Engineer Lawhead lost his life. The ghost is seen in a white robe and carrying a lantern. "The eyes glistened like balls of fire and surrounding it was a halo of twinkling stars" - Chillicothe Gazette, 17 Feb 1895
And to this day, visitors to the site still swear they see lights at night, find images of an engineer on their cameras.
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 Access:
Moonville Tunnel Access: There is now a bridge crossing from 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.