Lost Children of the Alleghenies Monument – Imler, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

Lost Children of the Alleghenies Monument

Imler, Pennsylvania

It marks the spooky spot where the bodies of two young boys were found in the 19th century. 


In the mid-19th century, two young boys wandered from their homes in Pavia, Pennsylvania, never to be seen alive again. Their remains weren’t found until more than a week after their disappearances, when a local farmer followed the signs he saw in a reoccurring dream that led him to their bodies in a remote ravine.

The story of the Cox children’s disappearance is tragic, creepy, and suspicious all at the same time. The local lore is thick with speculation on the boys’ demise. A witch and dowser were even consulted in searching for the remains, and some proposed that the parents may have had a hand in their deaths.

In 1906, to mark the mysterious tragedy’s 50th anniversary, the community raised money to create a monument to the lost boys. In 1910, they had finally raised enough funds, and a monument was erected on the site where the brothers’ bodies were found.

In recent years, visitors have started leaving kids’ toys at the monument. The boys probably wouldn’t have had much use for snow globes, toy cars, and stuffed animals in 1856, but it really serves to accentuate the tragedy and break your heart when you visit.

Know Before You Go

The monument is close enough to the town of Bedford that it's a short drive, but remote enough that you're more likely to run into a porcupine than another person if you visit (as cute as they may look, it's best not to try to snuggle with them). The remote location and the drive down a long, (barely) two-lane dirt road makes the trip every bit as spooky as it is heartbreaking or more.

Don't expect the road to be passable in the winter, but it's a particularly pretty drive in the late fall when the leaves are falling and the forest is full of color. Be prepared for a little bit of mud when it's been rainy, also.

In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web