A spectral “woman in black” is a common feature in ghost stories, but it’s not often one finds a name attached to it. From the “Kootenai Herald,” November 25, 1893:
Peebles, Ohio, Nov. 22. —The people of Dunkinvllle, a small place six miles south of here, are greatly excited over the actions of a mysterious object in the form of a woman which haunts the vicinity of the iron bridge crossing Brush Creek, and by its sudden appearance strikes terror to the hearts of the belated pedestrians who are chancing that way.This is the only story I’ve found about the Ghost of Dunkinville. As far as I know, Julia Eichel’s disappearance remained a mystery, as well.
The first time the apparition was seen was when two young ladles and their escorts, while returning from church, were passing over the bridge, and saw coming toward them a medium-sized woman robed in black. As the mysterious being neared them the first thing that attracted the attention of the ladies was the appearance of the woman's feet, which were encased in what they thought was a pair of white slippers. There was nothing especially startling in this other than the slippers were rather out of season in such cool weather.
As she passed they looked more closely at the slight form in sombre black, with no wrap to shield her from the cool night air, her long, dark hair in disorder, streaming far below her waist, and a face which bore the stamp of death and shielded by a hand which for whiteness rivaled her countenance. As the ghostly object glided by them, to their astonishment they saw that the woman was barefooted. They were transfixed with horror as the being glided by them without a sound and passed across the bridge and out of sight.
Not one of the party had the nerve to follow and investigate, but hurriedly quit the scene. The mysterious object was seen by Abbott Wesley, who was returning home at a late hour, but his courage failed him and he, too, left the vicinity in haste.
Other residents claim that they have seen the same thing, and the believers in the supernatural connect its appearance with the remarkable mystery which puzzled the neighborhood years ago. Old residents will remember the excitement created over the mysterious disappearance of Julia Eichel, a young girl who was employed as a domestic in the family of Leslie Mangus, a former merchant at Dunkinvllle. One wintry night, when the snow was several inches deep, the young girl bade the family good night and retired to her room. The next morning her shoes and hat were found in her room, but the girl had disappeared as mysteriously as if the earth had swallowed her up. Diligent search failed to find any trace of her, and not a single track could be found in the snow about the house.
From that day to this no trace has ever been found, and the superstitious believe that it is the spirit of this girl which wanders about the spot unable to rest until her body is found. Others say the old graveyard in the vicinity has given up one of its dead, which wanders about frightening travelers.
The same thing was seen a number of times by reliable persons about six years ago and excited much talk at the time, but this is the first time it has been seen lately. The story goes without comment, and those who laugh at superstition may discredit, but those who saw the mysterious object are firm in their convictions that it was a supernatural being, and not the vision of an imaginative mind.