Belmont County Ohio Ghosts and Hauntings - Louisa Fox Murder Site


Belmont County Map


Louisa Catherine Fox Murder Site
35615 Starkey Rd Barnesville, OH 43713

13-year-old Louiza Fox was returning to her father’s farm on the late afternoon of January 21st, 1869. It was just a couple miles from Sewellsville in Belmont County, Ohio. She had been living and working as a housemaid for the Alex Hunter family, a local coal mine owner, and her services with the family were completed for the time being.

One of the miners also in Hunter’s employ, 22-year old Thomas Carr, had been pursuing the little girl relentlessly since the previous autumn. Louiza refused any idea of courting the older man again and again. He had, several times, accompanied her from work to home. When he was questioned with a wary eye by her father, John Fox, Carr had insisted he only walked with Louiza to watch over her because of her tender age. However, it was brought to her father’s attention by Louiza, herself, some weeks later that Carr had asked her to marry him. The child asked her father to please refuse the peculiar, threatening, and unpleasant man; she had no interest in him.

When Carr confronted the father to ask her hand in marriage, John Fox kindly excused the askance telling Carr that Louiza was simply too young. Perhaps in. . . maybe two or three years if he proved himself worthy by keeping a job and purchased a bit of land AND if the young woman, who would be closer to marriageable age, was willing, he could ask for her hand again. But during the last weeks of January, knowing her time working at the Hunter’s home was coming to an end, Carr’s menacing presence had increased. Although Carr’s continued advances and gift-bestowing was thwarted, his stalking had come to a head on that fateful day as he followed her from room to room asking her to marry him. So much so, her employer had tried to persuade the young girl to stay at the Hunter home for her own safety until they could take her by horseback to her father’s farm.

But really, her walk wasn’t too far away. Her home and the homes of other family members were just off what is now Starkey Road and near the Egypt Valley Wildlife Area. Carr was known to be odd and argumentative. He was not working, was a braggart, and offered meager social skills, most believed, but they would have never imagined him a monster that would stalk and kill a child. Such, in the tiny tightknit community seemingly protected from the evils of the outside world, no one, not even her family, appeared to surmise the extent of evil broiling inside this madman.

In fact, he had already begun to believe the polite rebuttal offered by the father was a door open for them to be wed. In his irrational state, he believed that the well-mannered rebuffs from the sweet little girl were only to please her father, and she was simply hiding whatever love or lust she felt for him behind her modesty. It was, in fact, her 6-year-old brother, Willy, they sent to escort her home when worried about her welfare returning from the Hunter home. Carr had demanded for a last time to speak with John Fox and had threatened the man to give his daughter’s hand to him in marriage . . .or else. John had refused him.

Probably out of youthful innocence of Carr’s intentions, Louiza refused Missus Hunter’s advice for her to remain in the house that day. When her brother arrived to walk home with her, she did set out around four or five in the afternoon. After several attempts of Carr to waylay Louiza on her path home, she tried desperately to allude him along the isolated roadway by running at some points.

Then as Louiza and her little brother passed a small chestnut orchard a stone’s throw from home, Carr made his move and crept from beside a fence by the trees and into their path. After sending the younger brother on his way, Carr asked the girl to marry him once again. She refused, telling him that she was far too young to be wed. He then pulled a razor from his pocket, tossed her by one shoulder to the ground. She called out in sobbing screams for her papa, and Thomas Carr slit her throat clean to the spinal cord. He then continued to stab her relentlessly. By the time her father had hastened to the spot, he found young Louiza lying dead in a small ditch by the road where Carr had dragged her during the short struggle.

Carr was hunted down and eventually apprehended. He was described in one newspaper as being a monster and “of medium in size, muscular, and as active as a wild animal. He had a villainous face, made up of a cramped receding forehead, cold cruel eyes, high cheekbones and coarse sensual mouth rendered more disgustingly prominent by a growth of hair on the upper lip.” Before Carr was hanged, he made many wild confessions that were printed in newspapers and publications across the United States including his rendition that the little girl loved him in return, professed she could not live without him, and the family had approved of the relationship and made wedding plans. This could not be farther than the truth.

Still, there were those who truly believed the deranged man’s words after his outrageous confessions were printed. Little was printed in Louiza’s defense to cover Carr’s fake news. This untrue story he conjured up is even propagated today. You can still find it written Carr had killed his 13-year-old fiancé even though court notes printed in newspapers clearly state she and her family continually rejected him. There was never a relationship.

And yet, Carr also confessed to killing at least 14, including the trampling of a prostitute in Cleveland and another woman in Tuscarawas County. Some were delusions like the relationship with Louiza, others could be proven. When he was hanged in 1870 for Louiza’s murder, it took 7 ½ minutes for him to die. He was buried in an unmarked grave at the Methodist Cemetery in St. Clairsville.

But there was one confession many believed did hold some truth. Among those he acknowledged killing was another man—a German immigrant by the name of Alois Ulrich. Along with Joseph Eisele (also known as the Parkersburg Hatchet Slayer), he admitted to helping murder the man by bashing his head to a pulp with a stone in the Wheeling Tunnel on June 29, 1867 for the small amount of money in Ulrich’s pocket. The body of Ulrich was dragged from the tunnel and concealed in a culvert.

There is a stone in Belmont County tucked into the Egypt Valley Wildlife Area that marks the place where Louiza was murdered by Carr. It is not the only sign Louiza was killed there. Her ghost is seen walking the grassy hillside, stone silent for her screams for help had been spoilt by the razor to throat. But it is not so silent 29 miles away in Wheeling. For another ghost attached to Thomas Carr has been seen there. And he is more vocal. Not long after the murder in Wheeling Tunnel, the ghostly form of Alois Ulrich began to appear emerging on the ceiling swathed in the green slime certainly gathered from the dead patrons left in an old cemetery above the tunnel along with his own rotten flesh. His arm is always extended with bloody fingers hanging half-severed from the stems. The forefinger of the other hand points desperately at the temple where a huge gash lays, fresh but with dark, clotted blood. With unmoving lips, those who run into the ghost of Ulrich will hear his blood-curdling moans and listen to the fight ensue that left him dead before the guttural words come from his throat: “Let the dead rest!”

But the dead won’t rest. Only about 29 miles apart, both places are haunted. You can also visit the sites, and perhaps see at least two of the ghosts that one monster left behind. But be wary. Not far from the tiny stone that lays a memory of little Louiza, there was once a coal heap for the Fox’s home. It is there that Thomas Carr would later creep up into the shadows before he was apprehended. He hid behind the dump with a gun he had procured from a neighbor. He crouched there for hours, lurking, listening to the family mourn, waiting, watching, stalking the girl even after death. It is believed he returned there to collect Louiza and her soul to keep forever, like a ghoul returning to a grave to feast upon the remains. His dark remains are said to be seen there even today. And if you aren’t careful, he might not see the ghost of sweet Louiza who is said to pass by the grassy lawn and relive her horrid last moments struggling with Carr on the ground. Instead, it will be your soul the prowling Carr takes after he creeps up from hell. Then he’ll snatch you up and drag you back down with him and dine on you . . .




Strange mist working its way across the old orchard lot where Louisa Fox was murdered. Click images for larger view.

 Belmont County, Ohio. Louiza Fox Murder Site

Belmont County, Ohio. Louiza Fox Murder Site

Belmont County, Ohio. Louiza Fox Murder Site