other side of Moonville at the point where Engineer Lawhead lost his life and Engineer Walters was injured. The ghost, attired in a pure white robe, 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. When the train stopped, the ghost stepped off the track and disappeared into the rocks nearby."
People hiking through that area still report seeing the ghost, but its not the only one they see! The reputation of Moonville has been added to over the years by more events with possible supernatural ramifications.
The railroad didnt leave much room for error when it built the tunnel and four surrounding trestles. The tunnel is just fifty yards long and barely wide enough for the trains that once ran through it on a single track. The trestles were just wide enough for the tracks placed on them and most were long spans. If you happen to be walking on any of the trestles around mid-span when a train came, you would either be hit by the train or have to take a long deadly plunge into a very shallow creek. Numbers vary, but most people who have taken the time to go through area newspapers claim that at least five to ten people were killed in just such a way. The last person killed on one of the trestles was a ten year old girl walking the tracks in 1986 when a CSX train hit her. Shortly after that the line was shut down and more then a few people have seen her ghost!
Hikers that travel along the old track bed and stop for the night to camp out have also reported seeing the ghosts of an older woman who died on a trestle, a prospector, a worker that died in the local mines and one who perished while working at the Hope furnace that still exists in the State Park. But the stand-out spook in all this is still the original Moonville Ghost. Even those who visit the tunnel in broad daylight have reported seeing the apparition standing in dark corners of the structure waving his hideous lantern!
In July of 1977 a B&O freight train was headed west through the Moonville area. Near midnight, an inexperienced engineer saw a man standing on the track and swinging a lantern. Just before he could brake, a conductor told him to ignore the man and wait. He had already been through this many times before. At fifty miles an hour, the lights of the engine shown on the man and flowed through him. The figure then vanished!
New horror stories involving Moonville have joined the old ones. In addition to the original lantern ghost and those of various people killed on or near the tracks; not so ghostly, but equally frightening stories have surfaced of missing hikers, mutilation deaths and teen suicides.
Supposedly, a number of people who were set to hike the old railroad bed through the Moonville area were never seen again. People who sought out the tunnel ghost vanished in the presence of their friends, only to be found days later having been murdered and horribly mutilated. Several Teens are said to have committed suicide in or near the tunnel for no apparent reason. These stories come from the late 1980s and 1990s.
Although I have been unable to substantiate the stories of missing hikers, mutilation murders and teen suicides near the tunnel, the original Moonville Ghost and his spooky friends make up for any horrific exaggerations that might exist in the area. They do have actual histories to back them up and have been seen by enough credible witnesses to be considered real. Ironically, the small nearby cemetery that's no longer used and holds the remains of many of Moonvilles residents is probably the least haunted of all the places in that area!