We’re all fascinated with spirits, and roads have always been some of ghosts’ and goblins’ favorite haunts. They have their own brand of spooks, with seemingly every backwater town having its own Dead Man’s Curve.
Myths and legends tell of restless spirits unable to leave these darkened roads as a tragic result of wild driving and brutal crashes. Here are six American roads where you might encounter odd, unexplained events during your Halloween motorcycle tour.
Prospectors Road—Garden Valley, CA
In California’s Gold Country, off SR 49 and a half mile off Marshall Rd, there’s a little used three-mile side route called Prospector’s Rd. These two narrow lanes of rough pavement snake through to Garden Valley.
Legend has it that a loudmouth miner, having struck gold, got liquored up one night and started bragging about his claim. As happened far too often in the heady times of the gold rush, the old prospector turned up dead, most likely murdered by greedy claim jumpers.
Ever since, travelers and drivers have claimed seeing a tall, transparent bearded ghost wearing threadbare work clothes. Sometimes he’s hovering, other times he storms through the grass leaving no trace.
More than once he’s been heard to whisper ominously, “Get off my claim.” The spirit has evidently entered local homes and wreaked havoc by moving objects around and locking or opening doors.
There have been several unexplained occasions of tall grass parting as though someone were passing through it. Naturally, this only makes you want to go there and take a slow ride along that road in the dark—but beware of the old prospector if you do.
Dead Man’s Curve—Clermont County, OH
Appropriately named to give riders and drivers the spooks, this section of road in Clermont County, OH, has a rather nasty story behind it. Originally part of the Ohio Turnpike, it was a simple two-lane road until it was straightened and widened to four lanes in 1968, pretty much usurping the Dead Man’s Curve nomenclature.
A month later, however, there was a horrific accident. An Impala carrying five people was hit by a green motorcycle rider traveling at an estimated 100 mph. There was only one survivor.
Soon after, a ghastly hitchhiker began appearing on the road. The odd thing is, the ghost appears in the short window between 1:20 and 1:40 a.m.—the estimated time of the accident.
Those that have caught the apparition in their headlights all report a faceless entity. There’s also been several reports of an ominous motorcyclist chasing drivers down the road.
For ghost chasers willing to brave an outing to find the faceless hitchhiker, Dead Man’s Curve is located east of Cincinnati on the road between Amelia and Bethel, in the village of Bantam in Clermont County, where SR 222 meets SR 125. Happy hunting.
Stagecoach Road—Marshall, TX
Located northeast of Marshall, TX, is a creepy place ripe with rumors of ghosts. This narrow red dirt road, literally pushed down some 12 feet into the surrounding terrain by iron-rimmed wagon wheels in the 1800s, was a main thoroughfare between Marshall and Shreveport.
Add to the mix a thick forest of tall oak trees that kill the sunlight and you’ve got a recipe for a classic spooky road. The canopy of trees creates a tunnel to further bolster its haunting atmosphere.
Uncomfortable to traverse even in good weather, Stagecoach Rd was impassable when wet. The road’s history is rich with tales of bandits and outlaws holding up passing coaches.
The most prominent spirit on the road is a woman in a long white dress who crosses the road indiscriminately. More recently, a woman drove through and later found a child’s handprint on the car.
Whether it’s haunted by the ghosts of past robberies and murders on the wagon trail or modern paranormal activity (or both), Stagecoach Rd has earned its reputation as the scariest road in Texas.
Satan’s Tunnel—Hawk Point, MO
Hawk Point is a small rural town in Missouri with a population of 700. On a piece of private property by a road winding through corn fields is a cave plagued by the supernatural.
The remoteness of this dark cave—and the fact that one must trespass to visit it—has given the site an ominous reputation. Like any good mystery, the secretive nature of the place and its owners gave rise to rumors of devil worshipers carrying out sadistic rituals on the property.
Over time, the tales of sacrificial rites grew into legend and the tunnel acquired the perfectly appropriate name Satan’s Tunnel. The most popular story is of a man who went exploring to find the source of horrific sounds emanating from the area.
He was subsequently hit by a train while crossing the railroad tracks and the townsfolk found his mangled body in the tunnel. This poor man’s spirit is reported to be the the tunnel’s primary haunter. Some who have dared to trespass claim to hear a chilling whistle of a train coming from the tunnel.
Other macabre incidents at the include a homeless man found dead in the tunnel, his face frozen in shock. The police tape cordoning off the crime scene is still there—the police reportedly being too scared to remove it. And at a nearby house, there have been sightings of a ghostly red-clad lady sitting in a rocking chair.
Shades of Death Road—Warren County, NJ
Shades of Death Rd run north-south between the Liberty and Independence Townships in Warren County, NJ. Although it’s only 6.7 miles long, it has a healthy collection of ghost stories and tales of paranormal activity associated with it.
The road is believed to have gotten its name from the unusual number of car crashes caused by its winding path. In fact, long before the invention of the automobile, Shades of Death Rd was a favorite among bandits and outlaws to rob stagecoaches and wagons, often resulting in murders.
There are tales of the local populace taking the law into their own hands and lynching the highway bandits, leaving their bodies hung in the trees as warning to other would-be robbers. It’s the spirits of those strung-up outlaws that give the most credence to the spooky folklore.
In the 1920s and ‘30s, there were several brutal murders swelled the numbers of the road’s ghastly residents. There are also gruesome stories about packs of vicious feral cats who attack travelers.
Blood Alley—US 93, AZ
This infamous section of US 93 in Arizona, running between Kingman and Wickenburg, didn’t earn its eerie nickname from accidents caused by ghosts and paranormal activity. Rather, things went other way around.
Labeled as the most dangerous highway in America due to the number of accidents, the curving, undulating Blood Alley tends to catch drivers unawares. Many misjudge their speed and the curves, resulting in a high number of tragic fatalities.
With a name like Blood Alley, it was only natural that rumors of apparitions and wraiths would soon follow. Drivers report all kinds of unexplained visions, usually at night.
The fact that the highway passes by a number of ghost towns only serves to fuel the folklore. Perhaps most scary of the reported sightings is a ghost bus, transporting spirits left behind by any of the gruesome accidents from the annals of US 93.