Coon Holler

"Just downstream from Shadyside" is the nearly lost little town of Coon Holler, home to a scattering of oblivious citizens and at least one regularly-seen ghost. The old woman is seen trudging back and forth between Shadyside and her former home, usually with a package or bag of some kind, as if she's making the trip to the market. She probably lived in the area before the Civil War, since sightings of her are recorded back at least that far. But the old lady isn't a technophobe like so many antebellum spirits; she's been encountered and spoken with as recently as 1988, and even occasionally hitches a ride.

The most recent sighting was probably the 1988 one, where a couple driving by saw her walking beside the road with an old-fashioned lantern in her hand, carrying a sack. But a couple named Brad and Cindi did more than that back in 1968; according to their story, recounted in Ghosts of the Ohio River, they gave her a ride. Brad was driving and after they stopped and offered her a ride, Cindi turned and talked to the old woman "about the weather and all." Then she realized that their passenger was being unusually quiet, looked back, and saw that she had disappeared into thin air. Another "vanishing hitchhiker," though a bit of an original one.

In earlier years, particularly before cars were common, people often encountered the Coon Holler ghost as they walked the road to and from Shadyside themselves. More than one remembered her being accompanied by a small dog, which she had trained to do tricks and would show off to people she spoke to on her trip. Both she and the dog would then disappear. It's not clear whether she still travels with the little dog, but she is still seen from time to time, walking or resting beside the road on her endless trip.



Carlson, Bruce. Ghosts of the Ohio River. Wever, IA: Quixote Press, 2005. pp. 19.