Mt. Nebo

Ohio is well known for its ghost towns. Most of them were situated around the railroad or mining industry. After the company built the houses for its employees, they suddenly let the mines run dry and the railroad was not necessary anymore. Sometimes the company left the little towns with nothing behind. This is the reason some little towns from Ohio turned into ghost towns. Some of them have a special history, such as Mt. Nebo.

The town of Mt. Nebo was mainly known for the Spiritualists who used to live in the area. The area that surrounded Ohio was full of wild animals and lightly populated by humans. Even if in the early 1800s the region was not highly inhabited, some people interested in mysticism lived there. Spiritualism was a mainstream and raising in popularity during this period of the American History.

The most known man in Mt. Nebo was Jonathon Koons, a devout atheist. He moved in the district in order to draw attention to the fake spiritualists that were living in the area but he soon found out that he believed in the words of a young girl that claimed to be connected to the other world. She pretended that she would ask questions and that she received some answers by tapping on the table. History has demonstrated since then that all these claims of numerous persons were definitely works of charlatans.

Jonathon Koons remained a believer and soon he began to claim that spirits were appearing in his home as well and he ordered the members of his family to strictly follow his actions. The alleged spirits asked him and his family to build a table in order to use it in communication with them through ghostly writing. Koons soon discovered that his oldest son and wife poses the same powers he had. The man pretended that he was holding a pen in his hand and the spirits would work through his hand to write their own words.

The spirits also convinced the family to build the Spirit Room, a cabin for their own private use. Koons had said that all the details of the room were inspired by the words dictated by the spirits. They would remain there after the family went to sleep and continued their ghostly work through the night.

Soon enough, the Koons family was famous all over the country. People were coming in pilgrimage and the locals become upset by the flocks of persons that were wandering into the town. The Koons family farm was burnt down and their children were attacked eventually by others in the are tired of the supernatural occurneces. After a period of prosecution, they decided to leave Mt. Nebo and went away to spread the word about the spirits in other places.

The legend of this family is still remember these days. when the cabin was still standing visitors would come from all over the world in order to experience their talents. When in Mt. Nebo, many people claimed that they felt ghostly hands on their skin, whispers in their ears and some instruments floating over their heads that were being played by the spirits. Some of them reported translucent hands that were writing messages at an extreme fast speed as well.


13 Responses to Mt. Nebo

  • Andrew Wilkinson says:

    Hi, I was wondering how to get to Mt. Nebo, the site where the old spirit room used to be?

  • Xnode says:

    It’s on private property and the spirit room is not longer there. It’s simply just a wooded area now. However if you search for it on Google maps you can get a good idea of the location.

  • Athens county prince says:

    its off mcdougle rd near millfield. I grew up in millfield and it is a very old town. theres many haunted places in millfield. the property of my parents has been in the family for 7 generations.

  • Daisie says:

    I know sombody that lived down the road from here her Names Morgan Sorrell And Kroy Sorrell My 2 step sisters

  • matt b says:

    Mt. Nebo is the tallest point in Athens county

  • David Kuhn says:

    I am looking for more info on my family. My name is Dave Kuhn. Our family name was changed in 1935 by Dora Koon because she did not like what our name was associated with. This is all the info I have. Our family history goes back to my great grand-father William Koon which was born in 1858 and died in 1930. I can’t help but think he was one of the children. All my family knows about him is that he came from some place out west.

    • Sharon Hatfield says:


      Jonathan Koons had a younger brother named William, born around 1818. Perhaps your great grandfather is William’s son or nephew. Many members of the Koons family moved to Athens County from Bedford, Pennsylvania, in the 1830s. There is a beautiful old cemetery beside the Concord Church in Ames Township where William Koons is buried. Hope this helps.

      • Sharon Hatfield says:

        I need to correct my post above. After studying this further I think William Koons was Jonathan’s nephew not his brother. The William Koon that died in 1930 was a later one.

  • David Kuhn says:

    Other family members say we are related to this family but for some reason they will no longer talk about things that happened there.

  • Walt Elliott says:

    I am a direct descendant of Jonathan Koons. He is my Great, Great Grandfather. I have always heard rumors of this stuff but never really saw any proof until now.

    I hope my neighbors don’t hear of this and burn me out. I’m not a warlock or witch.


  • My family owns the property that the Koons family cemetery is on. It has Filenia and George S Koons graves in a small cemetery along with some smaller grave markers with only initials on them. All of the stones have since fallen but they are still here. I believe that the place now known as Mount Nebo (pictured in this article) was much larger in the mid 1800s and is what all of Sand Ridge was known as. The graves could be seen from the Koons’ home and the Spirit Room was built between the grave of Filenia and the house that the Koons lived in so it had to be on my families property and not the place pictured above. That place is about a half mile up the road. There is still an old house on the property but the cabin (Spirit Room) was burned down by the angry neighbors. I don’t know if the house was the original home of the Koons family but if it isn’t I’d almost bet that the old stones that the house is built on is the original foundation of the home. There is a book that was written about the Spirit Room and the Koons family and here is a link to it… I’ve done a lot of research on the family and the Spirit Room, I find it very interesting that the property that I grew up on was such a spiritual place. I have searched for years for a map of where the spirit room may have been but can’t find one. Where the house is now (and I believe the Spirit Room was) used to be the main road up on the ridge from Chauncey but is no more than a cow path now and the main road up here is McDougal Rd. I have also added a link to the pictures that I took of the headstones in the Koons Family Cemetery.

  • M. Walker says:

    I have recently read a great book called “Chauncey’s Blood” that mentions Mt. Nebo and the instruments. Very interesting how many of these family names are still right here in our area. And our local war heroes.

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