The Haunted Highways: Ghosts of the Open Road


by Tony Harrington

spookyroadThere is something indeterminably creepy about a long, dark, and winding stretch of road in a backwoods town that often sets one’s mind racing. For it is on these very roads that most towns boast the presence of a nightly wanderer.

The stories are typically similar from town to town. It was a dark and stormy night, a young man or woman was on their way home when they lost control of their vehicle and crashed and subsequently died on the very road.

Or, the road houses even darker secrets having been witness to rape and murder most foul.

No matter the circumstances, and there is always a story to go with it, these roads are host to a paranormal phenomenon known simply as “Road Ghosts”.

The phenomenon is exactly as it sounds. The presence of a wandering soul whose mortal frame has long since vanished haunts the road and terrifies passers through. They appear on the sides of the road, sometimes as a hitchhiker or someone in distress. They are known to interact with motorists, sometimes going so far as to climb into the backseat of an offered ride only to mysteriously disappear before their destination is reached.

In some instances, upon the reached destination, the final destination is discovered to be a graveyard where the ghost’s earthly vessel is buried. Or the destination is the home of the deceased’s family who will deliver the shocking news to the concerned motorist that the person they witnessed died years ago on the very road from whence they came.

The stories are wide and varied but there is a common thread running through them, that for some people, suggests life after death.

In Arkansas, there is the legend of Woodson Lateral Road. The stories on this particularly long baseline black top are numerous and range from the ghost light of a felled motorcyclist to the apparition of a female hitchhiker who leaves a souvenir in the back seats of concerned motorists who offer her a ride.

Woodson Lateral has the distinction of having many things working in its favor: the road is creepy, a long stretch that leads into an endless abyss of black during the night. The road is flanked by tall trees that hang over the side of the road creating a canopy-like effect. In addition to this, there is actually a cemetery sitting off of the road and periodically, a pentagram is spray painted on the road, as if the place wasn’t creepy enough.

In addition to spectral visitors, local residents and visitors report seeing a myriad of strange creatures like the giant owl-like figure that stands in the middle of the road and flies at the windshields of oncoming cars only to disappear into thin air as if it had never been.

Others report seeing shadow creatures watching from the side of the road, peering with an intense gaze as if they are waiting for you to stop.

Phantom headlights following travellers traversing the landscape have been reported. Sometimes the headlights get so close that drivers think it is a cop and pull over only to realize that the lights have vanished.

I have personally never been on Woodson Lateral, even though I live in Arkansas. The prospect of stopping my vehicle and walking around a poorly lit, long stretch of road doesn’t seem too appealing. I do not wish to be struck and killed and left to wander the road for all eternity while my ghost laments its passing and terrorizes passers by in the process.

Similar to Woodson Lateral, the Rock-a-Dundee Road in Hampden, Massachusetts boasts many spirits ranging from the ghost of a hatchet wielding mad-woman, to the spirit of a young boy named Jared who was struck and killed by a car upon departing his school bus. 

There are also rumors of the ghosts of ten teens who committed a mass-suicide on the road, though in that particular case, local authorities actually weighed in on the rumors and flat-out deny any such incident occurring.

Still, travelers on Rock-a-Dundee road report seeing some pretty crazy things and feeling a sense of dread as if they are being watched from just beyond the adjacent forest treeline.

Ask residents of West Milford, New Jersey about haunted roads and they will openly discuss the tragedy that befell a small boy on Clinton Road. Their legend claims that said boy was playing by himself on the long road when he fell to his death from a bridge.

As with most legends, this one can’t be substantiated, but it has been around long enough that it is taken at face value.

Because of his untimely and tragic death, his spirit is said to wander Clinton Road accompanied by a myriad of other phenomena including ghost lights and even a red-eyed hell-hound.

The award for sheer terror on an open road though belongs to the ominously named Shades of Death Road in Warren County, New Jersey

This aptly named road is said to be cursed by the spirits of the Lenni-Lenape people who were slaughtered by a tribe of Iroquois Indians. There is a litany of reported sightings of spectral beings wandering the road. Shadow creatures and other cryptozoological abnormalities are known to walk the area, and the presence of phantom lights is almost considered the norm.

That name though, turns out, is very appropriate. Over the many years since the road was cut there have been countless murders, accidents, and horrific deaths that have littered the roadside with mangled corpses. Discarded mutilated bodies have turned up as have the remains of unfortunate souls who have been ravaged by wildcats that are known to roam the area.

No matter your locale, it is a safe bet that there are known roads that harbor dark secrets and ghostly visitors. Share with us in the comments below any experiences you have had on the haunted highways byways of your hometown.

Thank you for stopping by.

About SPIRIT Seekers
Spirit Seekers is a Paranormal Research Team located in Arkansas, dedicated to investigating and documenting the spirit world around us. Our Team is committed to the research, documentation, education, and investigation of ghostly phenomena recorded through EVP, digital, film and video photography. Spirit Seekers consists of professional people who believe there is far more to the world around us than meets the eye. We believe that our spirits enter into another plane of existence upon physical death. For any number of reasons, some have elected to stay here or have been anchored here, unable to move on. We, as a whole, desire the knowledge and understanding of life after death. One of our main goals is to assist those who are experiencing paranormal phenomenon. We will look for authentic evidence of the paranormal and try to determine if the location is haunted. We do not charge a fee for our services. Please feel free to contact us if you need our assistance.

11 Responses to The Haunted Highways: Ghosts of the Open Road

  1. be1bop@aol.com says:

    take me off this fucking shit

    be1bop@aol.com

    • No one on this blog signed you up and we have no way of unsubscribing you.

      You will have to unsubscribe yourself, you can do a google search to find instructions on unsubscribing for email notifications from WordPress.com blogs.

      We suggest you learn how to use the internet and not take your anger at your own incompetence out on other people.

  2. Pingback: How to Unsubscribe From a WordPress.Com Blog | The SPIRIT Seekers

  3. sarah c says:

    LOL! Be1bop is a disrespectful idiot. They shouldn’t even be on the internet. And now that he/she was stupid enough to post their email address to a public forum, we should sign them up for everything we come across so that their email gets flooded with spam.

    Second sign that Be1bop is intellectually developmentally delayed: an AOL.com email address? Really? The year 1996 called, they want their email address back.

    I love trolls. I think this is the same person who started trouble a few months ago. Maybe even Cherry from the dolls post!!

    • To Sarah C. just because a person has an AOL email address, does not make them developmentally delayed. I have an AOL email address, because it is the same address I got when I was in high school/college and it is the one I used to set up all of my financial and school related accounts. It is the account that the schools have always had for my children. I could go and change it, but I would have to go back and change it on virtually everything. Bank, school, church, cheerleading, baseball. It is how companies and businesses have always gotten in touch with me. Dental cleaning reminders, eye doctor appointment reminders, yearly doctor’s visit. It would be a pain to go to every place and give them a new email address. There’s nothing wrong with the one I have always had. It’s easier to just go with it, because even though it is an old email address, it is the address, that I have given to important companies and people, that need to get in touch with me. Same thing as my cell phone. I keep that number, because it is what is listed on everything for my kids. I’m sorry you think that makes a person developmentally delayed. I don’t agree with the rudeness of Be1bop, but you are equally as insulting. Think about how many others read this, before you go off and insult an entire group of people, that may have good reason for having a “developmentally delayed” email address!

  4. linktay says:

    This is SUCH an interesting post! We have a road like these in CT (Downs Road) which is now closed. People report melonheaded creatures and creepy demonic looking children. Thank you for sharing what you know on this topic, loved it!

    • Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment on our blog, as well as sharing information about Downs Road.

      I am not sure if roads can really be haunted or not, but the stories sure are creepy and I am sure for those who experience such strange phenomenon on these roads, it is very real for them!

      Thank you again for stopping by and interacting with us.

  5. Peter Miles says:

    Oh dear Be1bop, that’s more funny than annoying!
    But, to be more on topic. Can roads be haunted? Well I’m not sure if anything/anywhere can be haunted but I certainly know some roads that feel creepy. I know several lanes close to me that when the moon is full and scudding behind the clouds, and you come to a part where the trees meet overhead, and it gets dark, and all you can hear is the wind and the local wildlife scurrying about then. yes, you do catch yourself hurrying up a bit. But, of course, only because you’re keen to get home. No fears, no, no fears at all….

    • Hey Peter! Glad to see you stop by once again. I am not sure if roads can be haunted. I am a skeptic for the most part and tend to believe that creepy roads as you described tend to put people on edge and from there the imagination can take over.

      Thanks for commenting, hope life across the pond is treating you well.

  6. Ryan says:

    Real interesting! Thank you so much!
    Your stories are real creepy.
    I’m also writing about paranormal phenomena . Maybe you want to have a look!

    Have a nice day!
    Ryan

  7. Pingback: Beware of these 10 haunted roads in the U.S. and England | Better Roads

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