By Beverly Bailey and
For the Daily News
Deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, stands a house rich in history and urban legends. Originally built by Dr. Charles Hatfield for his wife and young children, Thaddeus and Elizabeth, the home was structured with stone from the rigid mountain region. Dr Hatfield hired laborers, who were willing to work for a day’s pay to build the house completely out of stone. Once completed, the Hatfields filled their happy home with the finest of things…but the house still seemed to have a sinister feel.
Though the children’s rooms were overflowing with all of the toys they could hold. Thaddeus’s room was covered in toy clowns while Elizabeth was filled with baby dolls of every size. However, the children lacked the attention of their mother, who was completely consumed with the improvements to her new home…so the children soon become lost in a world of their own…
The local railroad helped to carry in many families searching for work and a roof over their heads. The Hatfields became more than willing to assist the needs of the new families. With acres of land needing farmed and upkeep on the home, there was more and more need for extra hands. The county jail had already been sending over chain gangs to work to help pay the doctor for his services. So hearing the state would soon have to close its doors to the State Mental Hospital, the good doctor and his wife seen this as the perfect opportunity to get free labor.
The State was more than willing to allow the Hatfields to take over the patient care.
After being brought to the Manor, the patients were only allowed out of their caged rooms for work and tend the grounds. Dr Hatfield soon begin to realize that having all of the free workers was a great benefit to him. The patients worked the farm, cleaned the home, cared for his children and it provided Mrs Hatfield something to do besides boss him. Over time, the patients would dress as clowns and giant dolls for the children, who felt their mother had turned her back on them and devoted her attention on her lavishing home.
Winters in the coal fields can become harsh and the Hatfields found that keeping everyone fed was not quite as simple as first thought. So after mulling things over, the Hatfields made a decision to release the patients and prisoners into the wild to survive as best as they could.
One evening, as the doctor returned from making a few house calls, he felt an odd chill run down his spine. As Dr Hatfield walked up that long, dark hollar, he felt as if there was someone or something watching him from the weeds. Meanwhile, Mrs Hatfield was sitting at home patiently waiting for her husband’s return to the Manor. As the fog began to roll in, she watched patiently from the windows for a sign that Dr Hatfield had safely returned.
In the silence of the dark, still night, she could hear the sounds of footsteps. Because of the thick fog she was unable to make out whose foot steps she heard or the direction they came from. As the footsteps came closer, Mrs Hatfield, felt assured her husband had made it safely back home. She flung open the door and stepped out into the cold, damp cement porch to discover the body of her beloved husband, Dr Hatfield. His body, or what was left of it was bloody and was lying face down on the very porch, they had enjoyed entertaining their guests over the years….before she could gather her wits…the patients, who had been trying to survive in the wild on their own, grabbed her. They dragged her thru the home to the back building to an awaiting prisoner, where at one time Mrs Hatfield felt it was good enough to house the prisoners..
As a blanket of new falling snow blanketed the land, a dark spirit remained. No one has ever seen the family again…no one knows what happened to the Hatfield children, Thaddeus and Elizabeth or the remaining patients or prisoners.
Some of the neighbors say you can still hear the sounds of children’s laughter as the many clowns and dolls continue to entertain. Some say they can hear the remaining patients rattling chains as they have often tried to leave with the dead still attached to their ankles.
The only sound now heard up the long dark hollar is the lonesome howl of the passing train…which stands as a reminder of the souls longing to return to life as they knew it…but never to leave the property of Hatfield Manor
The Hatfield Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting tours of the forgotten Hatfield Haunted Trail beginning at 10:00 PM on Friday, October 2nd.
Brave visitors will purchase tickets at the fire station, located at 8619 N Big Creek Road, Hatfield, KY. Admission is $5.00 per person with refreshments available for purchase.
Hatfield Volunteer Fire Department is located on Route 468. If traveling from Route 119 at Millers Creek towards Williamson (please note the Nolan Toll bridge is closed) so continue on 119…take the first exit on the right past Victory Lane. Turn left onto 292 and head toward Martin Co Warfield/Hatfield area. Continue on past the closed Nolan Toll bridge onto Route 468…Travel 6.5 miles to the fire station, which will be on the right.
From Pikeville take the first Sidney Exit on your right.. to the Family Dollar Store & Bevins Grade School. Turn left onto RT 468…travel approximately 9 miles to the fire station, which will be on your left
If you are coming from Belfry and going to Pikeville on 119, take the second Sidney exit on your right. Then at the bottom of the off ramp make a right…go past the Bevins Grade School and Turn right onto RT 468 for approximately 9 miles.
Visitors are encouraged to wear flat comfortable shoes (tennis shoes recommended) and dress warmly. The shuttle will transport the visitors to the site, where they will be greeted by a friendly tour guide, who will take you thru the former Hatfield Manor.
Haunted Trail Tours are as follows:
Fridays 10 pm: Oct 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30
Saturdays 8:30 pm: Oct 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31
Sundays* 8:30 pm: Oct 4, 11, 18, 25; Nov 1
*On Sundays, college students may show their college ID and receive a discounted admission price.
Hot chocolate and refreshments will be available for purchase. All proceeds will benefit the Hatfield Volunteer Fire Dept.
For further assistance or directions, please call 606-237-0015 or visit our Facebook page Hatfield Haunted Trails. Please BEWARE workers preparing the haunted trails and manor have felt the presence of eyes, movement in the home and around the farm…and some very strange noises as if they are trying to keep us out … so come prepared…this is one haunted trail tour you have never experienced and will NEVER forget..bring a buddy and come see what you have missed!