A schoolhouse that once stood near Lancaster was thought to be haunted by a murder victim. The area was plagued by a family of stagecoach robbers who operated on the old Hamburg Road. A stranger who disappeared near the Clarksburg Schoolhouse was thought to have been one of their victims. After his disappearance the school's bell would toll mysteriously and horse hooves and other horrible sounds were heard coming from the building at night.

To add to the weirdness of this legend, a man walking home from Lancaster with his wife and son was followed by a black dog "as big as a steer." When they reached the Clarksburg Schoolhouse the dog disappeared.

It's not easy to determine what the Old Hamburg Road is today, or if it's even a road anymore. Often an "old" version of a modern road is an overgrown path at the edge of a farmer's field, particularly in a rural area like southern Fairfield County. Modern Hamburg Road runs SW off South Broad Street once you're out of the main part of Lancaster.

There is a Clarksburg in Ohio, but it's at the extreme north end of Ross County, just south of the border with Pickaway. That puts it not far south of Williamsburg and Route 22, and therefore just on the other side of Circleville from Lancaster itself. Is this ghost story misplaced? I don't actually think so, but I would like to know where the original Hamburg Road was, and more importantly, where the Clarksburg Schoolhouse is/was and why it was called that. Maybe there was a Clarksburg Road, too.



Turner, Herbert M. Fairfield County Remembered. Athens, OH: Ohio University Special Publications, 1999.