Hope-Moonville Rd

Trail Head for Moonville Tunnel

(740) 596-5033 Vinton County Travel

Status: Decommissioned Haunted Railway Tunnel; Ghost Town


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All Photos Courtesy of BreezeBabyBrie


Moonville was a very small mining town, only reaching a maximum population of 100 by 1870. The Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad ran through the town transporting iron ore and coal. By the 1960′s Moonville was all but abandoned leaving only some foundations, the town cemetery and one train tunnel.

The tunnel was very small giving the train’s almost no clearance on either side and multiple fatal accidents happened in the tunnel. The most recent fatality was in 1986 when a 10-year-old girl was struck and killed by a train just outside of the tunnel.

The rail line was completely shut down and the tracks dismantled in 1988. The abandoned rail line trail has been converted a set of trails. Reports say over 20 people met their death in some way connected with the tunnel or the old railway – this includes people who succumbed to injuries gotten while train jumping or dodging the train.


Paranormal Activity

The most famous ghost is that of the “headless conductor” who has been seen since the 1890′s. Some say he was killed by an engineer for having an affair with his wife although the more probable explanation is that he simply fell from a train; a very common accident. Either way he was decapitated by the train and now wanders the tunnel in a railway uniform carrying a lantern.

Another famous ghost is said to be that of a miner who was killed by the train in the 1920′s. He was walking home after work and was unable to dodge a train in the tunnel. This ghost is said to be a black man in a miner’s uniform and also carrying a lantern.

Other ghosts include a middle-aged woman who was killed on the tracks in 1905, a man who was beaten and left on the tracks to be run over by multiple trains and a young man who was killed crossing the tracks after the train went by. The second half of the train had become uncoupled from the first half and struck him.

Other activity – apparitions; strange lights; mysterious mists; disembodied voices; phantom sounds of trains and whistles; light anomalies and phantom screams.