The Captain’s Tomb

Located a mile down from Horseshoe Casino, the Captain’s Tomb has long been seen as a haunted location in the Metro area. Halloween night on the Ohio: Listen closely and you may hear the breath of Captain Frances McHarry, an old steamboat captain in the Louisville area.. McHarry, born in 1805, was a wealthy and well-known steamboat captain who ran ferry boats from Portland to New Albany. “The steamboat masters were not patsies by any means,” says historian Jack Custer. “It was a dog-eat-dog business.” The eccentric McHarry was right in the middle of it, Custer said, describing him as “a rather fiery-tempered Irishman.” McHarry had a volatile relationship with other river captains jealous of his success. According to legend, he was stabbed during a fight. Before his death in 1857, the bitter captain built a burial vault on the river. He wanted to be entombed standing upright to curse passing boats through his porthole. “He came back to visit these people in his grave up on the hill at Beeler’s Landing below New Albany,” Custer says. So even in death, the captain got his revenge. “It would sound like a very convenient place to put your curse on the river people.”

Soon passing captains began blowing their whistle to ward off the Captain McHarry’s curse. Several years after his death, McHarry’s body was moved to the James Irvin Tomb at Cave Hill Cemetery so the captain could be with his wife. But according to legend, his spirit remains on the river.

One more eerie detail: as successful as McHarry was, historians have searched for a photograph of the Kentuckiana captain for decades. It has never been found. “They’ve all looked for the same photographs and nothing has shown up,” Custer says. “The man is still vicariously cursing. We can’t even see his image to know who’s cursing us.” The tradition of passing boats sounding their horns when passing it continues to this day. Spooky!

Location: Elizabeth, IN

Price: N/A

Write a Review


Comments are closed.