Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ghost of Esther Hale - Beaver Creek State Park near East Liverpool, Ohio (Hambleton Mill Ghost)

In the late 1830s, in a former town called Sprucevale, Ohio located along the banks of Beaver Creek, lived a young woman name Esther Hale. She had a small cottage near the Hambleton mill by the creek. Esther fell in love with a local man and was engaged to be married to him one summer afternoon.  As the wedding date came, at the ceremony Esther waited patiently for her groom to arrive.  However, after hours passed, he never showed.  After a few people went looking for him to determine where he was, it was obvious that he had fled, leaving Esther waiting at the alter.

Although this is not the ghost of Esther Hale, this is how she may appear if you encounter her along the banks of Beaver Creek

Esther was so distraught over the loss of her love, she locked herself in her cottage bedroom.  As days went by, she did not eat, she did not remove the party settings put in place for the wedding reception, she did not even emerge from her room, and she did not change her clothes.  When people would approach her to offer her help or to encourage her to eat something, she would attack like a possessed demon.  She had gone insane.

Remains of the old Hambleton Mill near where the ghost of Esther Hale makes her appearances along the banks of Beaver Creek

Weeks later a passer by noticed the door to her cottage was open.  Upon investigation, Esther was found slumped over dead in her wedding dress. She had starved herself to death. Out of respect for Esther's loss, they buried her in her dress just as she was found.

The canal traffic along Beaver Creek faded and the towns along the locks died out. Sprucevale was no more.  All that remains are the walls of the old mill and some of the canal locks. And according to some, Esther remains as well.  Some refer to her as the Hambleton Mill Ghost. Many have seen her wandering along the creek still wearing her white wedding dress.  Most witnesses say they have seen her on the bridge that crosses the creek there during the anniversary of her wedding.  She seemed to be looking very withered and very sad and sometimes crying.  However, there is a legend that says she is looking for another young woman to take her place, mourning her lost lover for eternity.  They say if the ghost of Esther touches you, she will become a beautiful young woman again and you will wither and die and take her place waiting for her long lost love.

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