As Halloween approaches, occurrences of paranormal activity, spooky haunts, and urban legends awaken. Haunted houses seem to take the limelight this time of year. But a nighttime drive can take you down roads that lead to some frightful encounters. From ghostly sightings, to mysterious moving bulbs of light, we’ve gathered the top five most chilling and bizarre stories of the supernatural on America’s highways and back roads.
5. Prospector’s Road- Georgetown, California
The legend of Prospector’s Road involves only a single ghost—a murder victim from the California Gold Rush era. During this time, bragging about riches was not acceptable. It is said gold miners would kill fellow diggers who were too ostentatious about their findings. But why does a place with just one ghost occurrence make the list of scariest haunted roads? Because this ghost speaks—reportedly appearing out of the bushes and whispering, “Get off my claim.”
4. The Devil’s Promenade near Hornet, Missouri
The Devils Promenade is the local name for a small, rural road in Oklahoma where a mysterious light has been appearing during the night. It is referred to as the Hornet Spook Light because most people who see the light are headed east, to Missouri. The mystical floating, moving ball of light of varying colors and sizes has been regularly sighted in the area for over a hundred years. Popular legend explains the light as the ghost of two Native American lovers looking for each other. Some scientists explain the phenomenon as geologic activity due to the regular occurrence of earthquakes.
3. Route 2A- Haynesville, Maine
Route 2A passes through the Haynesville Woods. It is a genuinely dangerous road, due to slick and snowy conditions in the winter. Many fatalities have occurred here over the years. And, it is said, the spirits of the dead have not left the area. Some stories involve a young woman who approaches vehicles and begs for help, then immediately vanishes. Others tell of a ghostly little girl walking along the side of the road alone.
2. Clinton Road- West Milford, New Jersey
The legends of Clinton Road range from organized crime groups dumping bodies in the woods, to bizarre supernatural pickup trucks that suddenly appear out of nowhere. The most famous story from this road is of a little boy who drowned in the rapids below a bridge. Supposedly, if visitors toss a coin into the water, the boy’s ghost will throw the coin back.
1. Highway 666 (Now U.S. Route 491)
This road, nicknamed the Devil’s Highway, passes through Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. It has been renamed, presumably because of negative satanic associations with the old number, 666. Numerology aside, all sorts of legends have sprung up concerning the highway, from the “hounds of hell” that shred the tires of moving vehicles, to the haunted red semi-truck occupied by an evil spirit. But whether you believe in such things or not, it’s best to be cautious especially at night when some people speed through the long, rural stretches of the road with few turns. Drunk driving is also very common, as are animal crossings. Due to these conditions and the high fatality rate in the New Mexico portion, ghostly sightings and spooky activity are said to be high.
Are these roads really haunted? Or is it all just misguided folklore?
If you have experienced a ghostly sighting or a spooky occurrence across one of America’s highways, share your story below. We would love to hear from you!