DEAD MAN'S HOLLOW & THE HAUNTED HIGHWAY
Dead Man's Hollow was the site of gruesome killings, banditry, and horrific tales throughout the earliest history of Scott County, KY. It's no wonder that such a bloody history would attract a whole host of ghostly sightings, hauntings and even a mischevious breed of hobgoblins in the surrounding woods. News of strange happenings in Dead Man's Hollow reached as far as Alexandria, Virginia in 1897, when a former resident detailed the area's history of violence & supernatural sightings. The following story was pieced together from their news dispatch.
The area of Dead Man's Hollow had very little to it's name except for a local tavern and roadway that ran from Cincinatti to Lexington. It was not uncommon for farmers and traders to drive livestock through Kentucky along this path and return with money on their person. (Traders as far south as Winchester, Danville & Richmond were commonplace). As night time would fall on this secluded patch of Scott County, the light of its lone tavern would pierce the darkness of the surrounding woods. Travelers would come together to trade tales of their business, and intoxicants would often take to the road only to be quickly sobered up by a haunting trek through the Kentucky backwoods.
In the Fall of 1823 a young man by the name of Abernathy was returning from Cincinnati after selling a large sum of cattle. He was transporting roughly $1800 on his journey back home, which is valued at nearly $50,000 in today's currency. Abernathy, being the young man he was, flaunted his newfound wealth as he stayed the night at the Scott County tavern. After a night of reveling in his success, he had even managed to win the heart of a local girl who was working at the tavern. Unfortunately for him, she also happened to be the daughter of a ruthless criminal.
News of a cocky kid with a stack of money traveled fast. The local bandits of the area likely frequented the tavern to scope out potential new victims, and quickly caught wind of Abernathy's foolish antics. One can only imagine that by the time the local girl's father heard the young cattleman was making advances on his daughter, the boy's fate was sealed. A plan was made that very night to break into Abernathy's room, kill him and steal his hard earned money. By the time they broke into his room, however, the boy had already fled.
Abernathy made such an impression on the young lady in the tavern, that she warned him of her father's plan before it could come to fruition. Begging him to leave before it was too late, the two instead decided to elope together as runaway lovers. Unfortunately, the pair did not make it far before they were overtaken by a mob of murderous bandits. In a fit of rage from his daughters betrayal, both Abernathy and the girl were brutally murdered. Their bodies were dumped in a nearby cave, where they would not be discovered for several, near-perfectly preserved by the cave's limestone composition. It is said that haunting sounds still emanate from the entrance of the cave to this day; The sorrowful sounds of a young love brutally cut short.
This is just a taste of the area's bloody history; turning a small stretch of Kentucky Highway into a breeding ground for spurnful spirits, creatures of the night and mischievous hobgoblins. Perhaps you'll see them for yourself, just know that they always see you first...
Follow along US Highway 25 from georgetown until you cross over Mile Run (A local waterway). You have now entered the fated Dead Man's Hollow. Drive along the winding, claustrophobic roadway and be sure not to get lured out of your vehicle by any wandering spirits. The path ends at the Scott County line (If you've reached the town of Corinth your journey has come to an end.)
Use The Map Below For Directions From Our Welcome Center (B marks the start of Dead Man's Hollow)