The Spirit of Esther Hale

The Spirit of Esther Hale

The town of Sprucevale, Ohio no longer exists, but one of its residents is still around. Esther Hale is often seen in the area, now part of Beaver Creek State Park, although she’s been dead since 1837.

That was the year Esther was to marry her beloved on an August morning. Esther couldn’t have been happier as she prepared for her new life with the man she loved. But, the groom never arrived, and Esther never recovered.

Esther’s love was never seen in the area again, but his deserted cabin and the cold ashes in the stove indicated that he had decided he didn’t want to marry Esther after all.

Esther’s friends tried to console their grieving friend, but she couldn’t be comforted. Day after day through the summer, Esther would sit in her home, dressed in her wedding dress. The wedding cake remained on the table, becoming first stale, then rancid and full of bugs. Finally, her friends succumbed to her wishes, and left Esther alone.

Summer turned to fall, and then the inevitable winter winds of December arrived in the little town of Sprucevale.

One especially windy day, a neighbor passing by Esther’s house noticed the front door open and banging against the side of the porch.

Esther was found by her parlor window, still dressed in her white wedding gown. Her body had already started to decay, so she hadn’t been alive for a while.

Every year on August 12, the date of the anticipated wedding, Esther, looking a bit rotten and using her hands as claws, is found by the bridge near Hambleton Mill in Beaver Creek State Park, Columbiana County, Ohio.

Sometimes Esther merely runs in front of your headlights as you drive down the road. If she is feeling particularly vengeful, she will scratch your car or grab your clothes.

One resident claims Esther causes her car to shut off every morning as she drives by the bridge.

The legend of Esther Hale includes a warning: If the ghost touches you, Esther will regain her youth, but you will grow old and die. That part doesn’t seem likely to me. Esther didn’t care about living at all after her true love left her at the altar.

Most likely, Esther is still bitter and angry, but is more than ready to pass from this world to the next.


Woodyard, Chris. Haunted Ohio II. Kestrel Publications: Beavercreek, Ohio, 1992.
.org/lore/ohio_lore_11.htmlEsther has grabbed at

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