There is something somewhat alluring about the open road. It symbolises freedom, hope and a journey of life but despite all of its hope filled surface there has always been an undeniable dark side to its urban mythology.
It is in the darkness of night when few people are around that an ordinary highway can suddenly become a very scary place, removed from the safety and comfort of our everyday reality. In most cases our suspicions and fears about these roads are nothing more than a creation of our overactive imaginations. There are however plenty of roads all over the world that have such sinister reputations it is impossible not to wonder if the horror stories told about them are indeed the work of fact rather than fiction. Most sane people will tell you they do not believe in such tales of haunted roads yet even those people will consciously avoid travelling them at night.
1 – The A75
The A75 is a fifteen-mile long stretch of road in Scotland. The road is commonly known as Annan Road and has for many decades been regarded as one of the most haunted roads in the world. The early 1950’s gave birth to a continued string of reports about strange apparitions on the road frightening motorists. One of the most disturbing of reports is that of two brothers whose late night journey along the road quickly became the stuff nightmares are made of.
After a vacation Derek and Norman, aged 22 and 24, were travelling home and expecting a quite uneventful journey. As they travelled along the A75 at around the midnight their car was the only car on the road. The horror story for the brothers began when out of nowhere and without warning a large white bird flew directly towards the windshield. Derek who was driving, made an attempt to maneuver around it, but it seemed as there was no time to swerve and it seemed inevitable that the bird would smash into the windshield. Things instantly began to get weird when just before the bird was about to collide with the car it seemed to just disappear into thin air. As the bird disappeared it was quickly replaced by the random appearance of a hysterical old woman who rushed at the car, a similarly manic old man, and then a variety of animals. Just like the bird, everything that seemed to appear in front of the car disappeared just before the moment of impact and Derek never struck any of them with the car. Other than what the two brothers saw there was no evidence to support any claims as to what had just happened.
Adding to the horror of the whole experience the two brothers suddenly began to feel the temperature drop to very low levels. The sound of laughing and mocking voices were heard from the back seat and Derek began to feel he was no longer in control of the vehicle which began to shake violently. When Derek managed to get the car to stop the brothers climbed out of the car and the phenomena ceased and only began again when the two resumed driving down the road. The terrifying ordeal lasted until the brothers finally reached the town of Annan.
Ever since the scary report from the two brothers there have been countless tales of similar experiences, although none have ever claimed to match the intensity of what the Ferguson brothers went through. Countless motorists have reported seeing strange old men or women that appear from nowhere in the middle of the road only to disappear just before colliding with the car. Local residents continue to tell horrific tales about the road and go out of their way to avoid driving down it at night.
2 – Clinton Road
New Jersey’s Clinton Road is a lonely, ten-mile stretch of pavement surrounded by many acres of thick and unwelcoming woods, without a single living soul nearby. For a long time the road has been associated with many urban legends that indicate the road might be home to something truly bizarre and strange.
Clinton Road has long been a popular spot for young teenagers looking for some late night thrills as it has plenty on offer for anyone seeking a good old fashioned scare. There are many stories about KKK meetings and satanic rituals being performed in the woods that surround the road and even some reports to suggest that cults will trap people with makeshift road blocks. Once people are captured these cults are rumoured to murder the poor people that they capture late at night.
Local residents claim that a young boy haunts a small bridge near an especially dangerous curve on the road. During the 1970’s stories of a mysterious black pickup truck began to emerge. According to many of these stories a black pickup truck would chase drivers off the road at breakneck speeds while it flashed its headlights in a threatening manner. There have also been many claims from drivers who have reported bizarre encounters with strange dogs that have glowing eyes and seem to pursue vehicles along the road. Not only that there have been dozens of reports from drivers who have claimed to hear faint and strange voices in the woods and seen unexplained lights hovering above a nearby reservoir.
If all of this alleged paranormal phenomena is not enough to scare drivers from driving the road at night it is also worth considering that the road is also well known for another reason. Notorious mafia hitman Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski is known to have used Clinton Road as a dumping ground for the bodies of his many victims. Kuklinski said he used the road due to the fact it was deeply isolated and also sits right on the state line of New York and New Jersey.
3 – Ghost Road
The Ghost Road was originally known as Bragg Road and is a small thoroughfare in rural Texas. The road has earned the name “The Ghost Road” due to the many reports of bizarre phenomena that have been witnessed by travellers over the decades.
Ghost Road is a narrow dirt road which is flanked on both sides by tall trees which make it an unsettling route for drivers, especially those brave or stupid enough to venture down the path at night. It is at night that the sheer loneliness of the road can easily feed those with a nervous imagination. Rough terrain and difficult driving conditions are not the main reason that Ghost Road has become so famous and feared over the years. Since the 1940’s there have been reports from people who claim to have seen ‘ghost lights’ ahead of them on the road. Many of these reports have been dismissed by sceptics as the reflection from headlights on some form of illuminated gas. To this very day there is no one who has managed to substantially prove that the lights are the result of anything quite so mundane. As always there are plenty of ghost enthusiasts who are more than willing to propose their own super-natural explanations.
The Ghost Road is very thin and also very isolated because when it was originally built it was not intended to be a road at all. Originally it was designed and made to be the home of railway tracks but due to economic reasons the rails were removed and the path was converted to a common road. There are many stories of a brakeman who once worked on the railway lines, until he was decapitated in a horrific train crash. It is said that ghostly lights appear on the road and are actually generated from this gas lamp as the area where he met his unfortunate demise. No one is able to prove or disprove these tales but the road regularly attracts curious pilgrims who wish to see the ghost lights for themselves.
4 – Buckout Road
One America’s most enduring ghost stories came from Westchester County, New York and is Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. This classic work of literature may well be a sly comedy that processes little consideration of the supernatural but this alone does not say the area of Westchester is completely without its haunting. Westchester County is also the home of Buckout Road which, although not as famous as Sleepy Hollow, definitely has more than its fair share of terrifying legends.
In one particular tale a house once sat somewhere along Buckout Road which was home to a set of bizarre inhabitants. It is said that if you were to ever park your car outside of this house and honk your home several times, a clan of flesh-eating albinos would come out and attack your vehicle. As you can imagine there were plenty of people who put this story to the test over the years and as a result there are plenty of conflicting results. The house has recently burnt down and this urban legend is now relegated to the history books.
Other legends about the road have had people claim to witness apparitions of the Leatherman. It is claimed the Leatherman was a mysterious hermit who occupied a secret cave during the nineteenth century. Plenty of motorists claim to have seen his figure wandering the area late at night.
Yet another tale claims the road was once a popular spot for the practice of witchcraft. To this day there are people who have travelled the road and claimed to see the evil spirits of witches wandering in the woods.
The most frightening of all tales about this road is that of Albert Fish. Albert Fish was a severely deranged serial killer. It was his cannibalistic nature that loosely inspired the character of Hannibal Lecter, the villain made famous in the movie, Silence of the Lambs. The home that Albert Fish owned is located on Buckout Road and is the place that he would take his victims. Travellers can still pass by his former home today.