Meigs County Ohio/Hartford City W VA Ghosts and Hauntings - Sliding Hill


Meigs County Ohio Map

 

Sliding Hill
West Virginia Route 62
Hartford City, West Virginia
38.999546, -81.985601

 

 

If you live down by the Ohio River about an hour from the Hocking Hills and near Pomeroy and Middleport, you’ve probably heard of the tiny towns of Syracuse in Ohio and Hartford City and New Haven in West Virginia. Hartford City and New Haven are nearly back to back, about 1 1/2 miles apart. You could probably stand between the two towns along West Virginia Route 62 that runs through both of them and yell loud enough for somebody to hear you across the river in Syracuse. But close proximity to each other isn’t the only thing these three towns have in common.  Actually, they share something really old and really haunting . . . and that is nothing less than a ghost that’s existence can be traced back to a murder long ago- the Ghost of Sliding Hill.

A   March 1910 Point Pleasant Ledger newspaper places the haunting as beginning right around 1810. You see, in those early times, there weren’t as many highways and byways as there are now. Ohio and West Virginia were in their infancy of being settled. What roads existed were either muddy or rutted from carriage wheels or they were rugged, little dirt paths barely big enough for a horse to pass. So those working their way to this new territory usually paddled their boats down the Ohio River until they came close to a place they wanted to settle. Two such men did just that, their boat full of money to purchase land for themselves and their families. They were told how beautiful the area was right around what is Minersville and Pomeroy now, so they paddled their boats westward until they decided to pull off for the night to rest near the town of Antiquity in Meigs County.

Although the early travelers were always wary of thieves, the men must have thought themselves safe from trouble in their little boat tied to the shore. But they were not out of harm’s way at all. Two thieves came upon them in the dead of night and murdered the men. They stole a couple bushels of coins and hid the bodies near a high ledge along the river. The boat, they let loose to flow down the river empty.
But the thieves began to worry they would be caught. The money and items they stole were too cumbersome to carry all at once without being discovered. So they traveled just a little down the river until they came to a ledge between what is now Hartford City and New Haven. Here, they began to bury their loot of silver coins up and down the hillside in various places, planning on returning to the locations once no suspicions of their robbery would fall upon them. Then they marked the places where they had buried treasure and left.
But luck would not be with the robbers. They joined a band of Native Indians in the war against the settlers and were killed in battle. One was even said to have his head cut from his body and set out on a stake during the war. But before one of them died, he confessed of the robbery and made a map to show where the money was hidden along the hill.
No one searched for the money right away. Strangely, however, lantern lights began to show up on the steep hillside where it was buried almost immediately after the death of the thieves. Folks living in or docking near Syracuse across the river from the hill saw little lights bobbing up and down.  One boatman even followed a light only to come upon a headless ghost trying desperately to move a huge rock.  Steam boatmen commented often about seeing the hillside illuminated.

You may still see the lights yourself if you drive from Hartford City to New Haven along West Virginia Route 62 where this hill is located. You may know the hillside for once in a while, the road is closed due to the slippage of rock on to the road. They call it Sliding Hill because for as long as there has been a road there, the land tends to tumble down the hill and hit the roadway or the railway not far beyond. If you do pass that way, take a quick look upward at the hillside. Maybe you’ll see the lantern lights bobbing around and catch a glimpse of ghosts searching for the money.


Sliding Hill on Route 62

 

Ghost of  Sliding Hill

Sliding Hill Road

Sliding Hill in West Virginia

The Weekly Register. Pleasant, Mason County WVA January 15 1896

Sliding Hill

 


  
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