Moonville Tunnel – McArthur, Ohio - Atlas Obscura

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Moonville Tunnel

McArthur, Ohio

The only remnant of a small mining town is an abandoned railroad tunnel that is steeped in ghostly lore. 


Deep within the woods near Lake Hope State Park, the supposedly haunted Moonville Tunnel is one of the few reminders of the small mining town of Moonville which has otherwise disappeared from the map.

Peaking at just around 100 residents in 1870, the town of Moonville, Ohio was never a large place. Consisting of just a few houses along the track, a general store, and a saloon, the tiny mining settlement was far removed from any other town and could only reach them by walking along the active railroad tracks. Largely an unremarkable stretch, the one feature near the town was the concrete Moonville Tunnel. Over the years a number of people died walking the tracks to other towns, at least 26 of which centered around the tunnel over the years leading to the rise of a number of ghost stories surrounding the dark expanse.

Dating as far back as 1880, the ghost stories generally involve the restless souls of railway workers that died on the line. While a number of actual rail workers did perish near the tunnel due to the dangerous methods of controlling the trains, such as brakemen that were made to stand atop the moving train, the hauntings do not seem to be attributed to any one death, but a shifting conglomerate of paranormal culprits that changes along with the story through the decades.

While the ghost stories are unverifiable, the Moonville Tunnel still stands out in the middle of the Ohio woods, creating an eerily isolating reminder that an entire town used to stand near the spot and its legacy still haunts the site as well.   

Know Before You Go

Detailed Directions to Moonville Tunnel - and GPS-: 39.31006,-82.32434 - Stop before the metal bridge on the roadway and park in the gravel pulloffs. This is Ohio Division of Forestry property and there are unmarked trails at the pulloffs. Follow the trail by the boulder along the edge of Racoon Creek. It will wind around through the old town of Moonville (nothing left but a few stones and a couple wells) until you climb a small hill to the railroad and tunnel. If you go past the bridge, you can see the tunnel. There is now a bridge leading across the creek to another parking point.

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