BEDFORD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — By pure coincidence, in order to get to the trail for the “Lost Children of the Alleghenies,” you need to drive by Slaughter House Road.
The origin story behind this haunted hike goes all the way back to April 24, 1856 at a farm just west of Claysburg. Two boys, George and Joseph, ages 7 and 5, took off into the woods to follow their father.
According to the legend, the boys started to panic as the sky grew dark and it became impossible to see. The community and other hunters and trappers started a search.
Bob’s Creek was flowing fast nearby, and it seemed that there was no chance for the young boys to survive if they attempted to cross it. The search stayed on the east side of the creek and lasted for almost two weeks.
Legend says the community even brought in a witch to help with the search. Others say that the witch’s arrival helped to haunt these creepy woods.
As the search continues, a farmer named Jacob Dibert that lived a dozen miles again woke up suddenly after a strange dream.
In the dream, Jacob was searching in the woods for a deer carcass and found a child’s shoe before coming to a small stream and ravine. A fallen tree allowed him to cross to the other side, where he found George and Joseph under the roots of a tree.
Jacob kept the eerie dream to himself, only recalling the details to his wife. However, the dream continued to haunt him, repeating several more times every time he managed to close his eyes. He told his brother-in-law, who thought he knew of the place Jacob was seeing in his dreams.
The two set out and elements of Jacob’s dream started coming to life: the dead deer, a child’s shoe, a tree that allowed them to cross the ravine.
And the two boys, dead at the roots of the tree.
Today, you can travel down Monument Road to a small, marked parking lot. From there, you can take a small hike to the site where the boys were found.
“On May 8th this is where they found the boys, huddled together, most likely succumbed to hypothermia. 50 years later they built this memorial,” the memorial sign says.
People still visit the monument to this day, with some people leaving toys. Some report strange occurrences, and others even see two sets of children’s footprints in the snow just lying just around the site, but nowhere else.
To add to all of this, Cidney Griffith of Pavia supposedly got lost in the same woods in 1887 and is said to still walk these woods today.