Haunted Belmont County
Updated: Mar 12
When it comes to ghost stories and haunted sites, Belmont County has many. Two of the most infamous that still attract attention and visitors are Lady Bend Hill between Morristown and Barnesville and the tragic tale of Louiza Fox whose murderer, Thomas Carr was the first and only person legally hanged in Belmont County.
Visit https://www.ohioexploration.com/paranormal/hauntings/belmontcounty/ for more spooky tales of ghosts and local legends.
The Legend of Lady Bend Hill (Located on Ohio National Road 40)
Local lore has it that in 1833 a young lady from a wealthy Wheeling family, who had been courting a younger man of lesser means from Fairview, stole away in the night from her parents’ home in a coach with a particularly energetic horse. She headed for the Guernsey County town on what was known at the time as Zane's Trace to steal away with her lover. On the third bend from the top of this hill west of Morristown, a sudden bolt of lightning spooked the horse, forcing the coach to slide and ejecting the young lady from it and breaking her neck. Afterward, the horse ran aimlessly around for three days until it was finally corralled. Like many legends and ghost stories, the details vary. It is said that even today on very stormy nights, the apparition of a headless young lady astride a spirited steed can be seen riding recklessly up and down the hill. Even in the daytime there is something spooky about this stretch of road.
The Tragic Tale of Louiza Fox
The ghost of Louiza Catherine Fox is said to haunt the area where she was brutally murdered by her suitor, 22-year-old coal miner Thomas Carr, in 1869. A small marker is located at 35615 Starkey Rd., Barnesville, OH 43713 (40.104476,-81.174702) and her grave is located in nearby Salem Cemetery where she has also reportedly been seen weeping. People have also claimed to see Carr's ghost near the murder site.
At the time, Egypt Valley as it is now known was the small farming village of Egypt. Louiza was a 13-year-old house made who worked for a local family who also employed Carr. There are conflicting reports as to whether she and Carr were ever engaged at all or if her family retracted the engagement due to learning of his character and temper.
What is known from the highly publicized court proceedings is that Carr was a member of the Union Army during the Civil War Era and reportedly struggled with alcoholism, fights, and even committed murders before being discharged. It was late afternoon on January 21, 1869 when Carr attacked Fox. He hid behind a fence post until she passed by, leaving her body in a ditch on the side of the road. This is the area where many have reported seeing the ghost of the girl.
Before he was apprehended, Carr attempted suicide, first with a knife and then a gun. After being treated for his wounds, he was sentenced to death just five days later. He confessed not just to Fox's murder, but many others. According to hauntedhocking.com, one of Carr's other reported murder victims is said to haunt the Wheeling Tunnel. Carr’s reported last words blamed whiskey for his downfall and called for it to be banned.
In 1870, Carr was hanged on the property of the current location of the Belmont County Heritage Museum in St. Clairsville. At the time, the courthouse was located there and the jail was behind it. He was hanged on the second floor of the front hall in the old jail (built in 1842).
In Egypt Valley people have also reported seeing what are described as "hell hounds". https://www.ohioexploration.com/paranormal/hauntings/belmontcounty/
Want to learn more about Belmont County cemeteries? Click here to access the Belmont County GIS cemetery locator app. Learn more about this and other resources and hear the above stories told by Judi Tarowsky at the Spooky Tales of Local History even on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 12:30 p.m. at the Belmont County Heritage Museum. See the event section of this website or our Facebook Page for more information.