Midnight at Moonville

Last year’s Midnight at Moonville event drew many visitors to the ghost town in Vinton County.

Note: This story appears in the Thursday, Oct. 10 newspaper on Page A3.

MOONVILLE, Brown Twp. — The festival celebrating Ohio’s most famous ghost town returns this weekend for its fourth year.

Midnight at Moonville will be held on Saturday, Oct. 12 from 3-11 p.m.

Those attending the Halloween-themed festival may notice a few changes to the town that once was. Volunteers coordinated by the Moonville Rail Trail Association replaced and added bricks to the tunnel’s front, so now Moonville visitors can again clearly see the town’s name at the tunnel’s entrance.

Much has happened at Moonville since last year’s event. To start, the Moonville Rail Trail Association submitted an application to Ohio History Connection to add the tunnel to the National Register of Historical Places. The Association also obtained funding to add bridges in the Moonville area.

Midnight at Moonville boasts a diverse line-up of entertainment.

Music Schedule

At 4 p.m., Todd Martin and his band, MOTHMAN, will perform. The group has played a variety of cover songs ranging from classic rock to traditional folk or bluegrass since 1990. Martin also teaches a class at Ohio University’s Southern Campus about paranormal phenomena.

Starting at 5:15 p.m., Joe Rollin Porter will entertain the crowd with folk and blues. Porter is a lifelong Ohioan, currently living in Cleveland.

J.D. Hutchison will play from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Hutchison, a native of the Appalachian region of southeastern Ohio, has an extensive background of Blues, bluegrass, folk, country, R&B, ‘50s and ‘60s pop, Western swing and Appalachian mountain music.

The Donna Mogavero Band will take on the stage starting at 7:45 p.m. Mogavero (vocals, acoustic and electric guitar) and Dave Fowler (drums) make up the group. Mogavero calls Columbus home, and her sound is inspired by ‘70s music, folk rock and blues. Many of her songs are original, and she also performs covers of her favorite artists.

Spooky Activities

At the event’s beginning, tarot card readings and storytelling will commence.

Wagon rides to nearby Moonville Cemetery begin at 7 p.m.

At midnight, an interactive paranormal investigation will be led by a research team.

Attendees should arrive early and follow the signs to the designated parking area on Shea Road. There will be a $5 parking charge per vehicle, but most activities and entertainment are free.

There will be some walking over rough terrain, so comfortable shoes are recommended. A flashlight is also recommended; the event organizers will also have some available for sale. The event is in a rural area, so cell phone and Internet service is not reliable.

The event is hosted by the Vinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau in partnership with the Moonville Rail Trail Association. For more information, call the Vinton County CVB at 1-800-596-4459.

* * * Sydney Dawes is the editor of The Vinton-Jackson Courier newspaper.

sdawes@vintoncourier.com; @sydneydawes_95

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