In the year 1884, just west of the town of Mexico, Missouri, was an area designated as the “Ghost District” due to the frequent sightings of paranormal activity on the hill of the main county road.

According to the 18 Sep 1884 issue of the Mexico Weekly Ledger, local farmers and other citizens in the neighborhood called this the “Haunted Hill.” Each individual had a different story of an accident that had befallen them or a family member in the fall of that year including “as many as fifty runaways, smash-ups and other accidents to vehicles, with serious injury to limb, and even occasional loss of life.”

The activity began with “the first frost in September” and included “great moanings and wailings” coming from the Hill. According to the 13 Sep 1888 issue of the Mexico Weekly Ledger, night travelers heard “terrible noises” and saw “blood curdling sights in the strip of woods.”

The locals were stymied as to why this well-maintained road continued to cause such a fright to their horses and “cause them to turn wild, as they do, and run from it, breaking, overturning and generally damaging the vehicles to which they are attached and their occupants.”

There were many reports of horses no sooner starting up or down the hill before they would begin foaming at the mouth, rearing, bucking, smashing their wagons, and running away “as though pursued by the Evil One.”

During this time, all along the side of the road over the hill, could be seen pieces of “buggies, carryalls, driving wagons and buck-boards” from the numerous accidents that had taken place.

The Hardin College and Conservatory of Music for women was located in Mexico from 1858 to 1931. Often, the young female students would enjoy driving parties on the road. However, during 1884, after many of the young ladies were thrown from their buggies onto the side of the road, “no young female collegian could be induced to go out with her best young man driving, until he had promised to avoid the “Haunted Hill.”

During the night time hours, travel over this road was avoided completely by everyone.

Many people claimed to see the entity, and descriptions of the ghost were quite varied. It was described as a “gigantic figure, clad in pure white, floating in the air; some said it was mounted on a white horse; some defined the creature as a “grisly skeleton, surmounted by a ghastly death’s head in the shape of a horrible, grinning skull.”

One man, John Creasy, was scared into “fits in every instance.” He believed the being must live in a cave located in the woods behind the summit of hill road. The cave was thoroughly searched by local hunting parties, but no evidence of inhabitation was found. Some of the searchers returned in a terrible state with no explanation as to how their clothing had been torn and their “nerves completely shattered.”

Not long after this, the ghost ceased to make any further appearances. According to the newspaper story, though, many additional disasters took place on this road.

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