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"Urban Exploration", "Haunted Cemeteries", and "Road Geekery"

We've always used "The End of 40" to describe where US 40 was terminated for the construction of I-70. The end of 40 gives you easy accessability to the Egypt Valley Wildlife Perserve. There is also a small pond there that is part of the headwaters for Piedmont Lake. This area is quite possibly the most haunted part of Belmont County and could rank up there as one of the most haunted places in Ohio. It is also very close to Morristown, Ohio, which has afew ghost stories of it's own.

The pond off to the right is a decent place to fish that I have been too many times. One of the few intresting things that has happened to me at this part of the Egypt Valley Perserve was one day when I was fishing. I kept hearing cow bells and was like "what the hell?". Then awhile later I heard ATV's, and was getting really confused. Normally I do not go fishing here alone, but on this ocasion I was alone. A short while late I saw 2 guys on ATV's, and I was like "ok, this can't be good" and I was expecting some form of trouble. Shortly after that I saw a herd of cows starting to cross 40 from left to right in the above picture. This was followed by afew more guys on ATV's. At that point I started to get worried that a cow would destroy my car and trying to explain that one to the insurance company

This pictures above wer taken near the very end of US 40. This is picture is from gribblenation.com and roadfan.com. Both have some nifty information on Belmont County. That's where US 40 ends for at least afew miles. Above that object you can see I-70 which is the reason 40 ends at this point. The bottom picture shows a close up of how the pond at the end of US 40 has flowed over the existing road. On the top picture, in the distance you can see what appears to be a large truck, van, or camper and above it is I-70. As you can tell picture, people drive across the standing water.. It is also possible in the summer time to see the entire section of the road way when the water is low. The right side of the road is starting to slip into the pond.

The top pictuere was taken by my friend Doug on a trip back from Nashville, Tn. He didn't take this picture due to anything to do with Egypt Valley or anything, but I saw it and it was awesome to describe the area known as "The End of 40". This is heading east on I-70 near exit 204. The first intresting thing about this is that you can exit from the eastbound lane, but cannot get back on. And from the westbound lane, you cannot exit, but can get on. If you look above the truck, you will see a road. This is US Route 40 near where it ends in western Belmont County. The road that juts off to the right is part of the exit ramp. The curve in the road is Lady Bend Hill. The one point of intrest in this photo is in the upper right corner. The building up there was known as "The Mediterranean" or just "The Med". My mother worked there in the early to mid 80's before it closed. The site not only contained the restraunt, but offices for the owner's brother's company, which was a coal mining company. Part of the story why the med was closed was the owner had several antique cars he stored in the basment that got vandalized. He suspected it was employee's. Or so I have been told. There are many buildings up there and I have been up there and seen activity. Afew years ago, I know the restraunt no owned by somebody else was used as an indoor flea market. I'm not sure if they still do that or not. The bottom picture is a sedction of road ajoining the current 4 Lane US 40. This is said to be the original US 40 that was replaced in the 1930's or 40's. Both sections are called "Lady Bend Hill". I find this highly suspect because if you walk to the end of the paved area there is nothing, not to mention it is not wide enough for 2 cars to pass. It does not appear to be anything more than a paved lane. But then, it's more intresting. Why was it paved?

Now as for the "Lady Bend Hill" story...

The story goes that a lady while trying to escape her lover after a fight was struck by lightning. This strikes me as your typical "Lady In White" story and I have never personally heard of any facts that confirm the story. What Forgotten Ohio has to say about Lady Bend Hill. Another story I ran across while researching pictures of the area states that she is seen riding a horse up and down the road looking for a lost lover.

What I will say for paranormal events that I have experenced in this part of Belmont county is curious to say the least. This is the 3rd reason I love the above picture. I was traveling from Columbus towards St. Claisrville late one evening with a friend. It was very late at night and she was telling the story of lady bend hill. I was in a spot very near to where the above picture was taken. I looked directally to my left and saw a glowing white object on what appeard to be the ridge over the pond at the end of 40. This was in the winter time, so the trees in the median were bare. This was NOT on lady bend hill. The object seemed to be wandering through the forest. When I attempted to point it out to my friend (who was driving) it was gone. I am not totally familar with the lay out of Egypt Valley, but this location does not appear to match up with any of the sites I have heard of hauntings in the past.

Update: On January 16th, 2009, I spoke with a lovely lady named Helen who provided me with a host of information. She mentioned reminded me that US Route 40 was widened/relocated in the 1930's as part of a WPA project. She said that the old right of way is not far from the current right of way, and that there is a barn that sits on the old brick paved right of way. The story she told me is that they were moving the barn, and it fell or was otherwise unable to be moved any further. They left the barn where it fell and it sits on part the old US Route 40 right of way.

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