“The shadows fall upon the road, and so the ghostly figures glow. You scream and steer with fear and fright. The spirits freeze in your headlights! You push the pedal down all the way…if only you’d known about the haunted highway! MUAHAHAHA!”
If the Halloween season is your favorite time of the year, we don’t blame you! After all, what’s not to love about candy, pumpkin spice, and spine-chilling apparitions? This year, get your paranormal fix by taking a ride on the spooky side. Follow along as we recount the urban legends and eyewitness accounts behind some of the most haunted roads in America!
Archer Avenue in Justice, Illinois
Photo attribution: By MrHarman at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18595013
Archer Avenue is unliving proof that ghosts and spirits can attach themselves to roadways! While navigating down Archer, some drivers have reported a variety of ghostly apparitions. Common sightings include a riderless carriage pulled by a group of possessed horses, phantom monks chanting in Latin, and an undead bride and groom whom death could not part.
However, no story about the haunting of Archer Avenue is complete without Resurrection Mary. Legend has it she was a Polish immigrant who died in a gruesome car wreck after a night of dancing.
Multiple witnesses report seeing a ghostly figure levitate through the chained gates of Resurrection Cemetery. Some motorists say they’ve picked up a blonde hitchhiker on Archer Avenue, only to see her vanish as they pass the graveyard’s entrance.
Chet’s Melody Lounge even pours a Bloody Mary for their neighborhood ghost each Sunday, according to Chicago Reader. The same publication details the spine-chilling story of a local man’s flirtatious dance with Resurrection Mary.
Dead Man’s Curve in Clermont County, Ohio
If this dangerous road’s nickname isn’t enough to make you reroute, keep reading. Dead Man’s Curve is officially known as Interstate Curve. The tight 90-degree angle turn has a crash rate two to three times greater than the regional average, reports the Ohio Department of Transportation. Now that’s the kind of road that’ll make you wish you had comprehensive and collision coverage. Yikes.
According to Creepy Cincinnati, only days after the curved road opened, a sedan carrying six teens was hit by a car going over 100 MPH. Only one of the teenagers survived. Ever since, motorists have reported being chased down by a speeding vehicle, while other sightings include a driverless car resembling the one the teens were in. However, the creepiest apparition reported along Dead Man’s Curve is that of a faceless hitchhiker — possibly waiting for his ride to the afterlife.
The I-4 Dead Zone Between Tampa and Daytona Beach, Florida
Construction crews found an old gravesite when they first broke ground for the infamous I-4 highway in 1959, writes TripSavvy. The origin of the bodies is unconfirmed, but the most common theory is that they belonged to European settlers who died of yellow fever in 1886. The road workers allegedly paid no mind to the cadavers — removing their grave markers and dumping dirt on top of the tombs.
Around the same time as crews were breaking ground, a tropical storm took an unexpected turn towards Florida’s Atlantic Coast. As reported by the Sun Sentinel, the storm became Hurricane Donna, which pummeled the Sunshine State with 13-ft surges and 150 MPH winds for 17 days. Creepily, the eye of the hurricane settled right above the former gravesite. Today, the natural disaster is remembered for its supernatural strength with the moniker “Deadly Donna.”
However, I-4’s malignant streak had just begun. In 1965, a semi-truck unexplainedly crashed on the highway’s opening day just a few hundred yards away from the gravesite. The wreck claimed several lives. Today, motorists report seeing ghostly figures, experiencing distorted radio transmissions, and even driving through smoke-like fogs.
Nash Road near Columbus, Mississippi
Only in Your State says Nash Road is one of the South’s creepiest destinations. A three-legged lady allegedly haunts it. Local ghost stories say that motorists who want to see her should visit the roadway at night, turn their headlights off, and honk three times. After doing this, the ghostly lady will (supposedly) knock on the side of the car—using her three legs to race spooked drivers to the end of the road.
The backstory behind the apparition’s extra limb is murky at best. Some locals say she took it off her dead lover. Others claim she’s a grieving mother whose daughter went missing—and the only part of her that was ever recovered was (you guessed it) a disembodied leg.
No matter where she got the extra appendage, one thing’s for sure—if a three-legged ghost chases you down the road, let’s hope your car doesn’t experience any spooky malfunctions.
Bunny Man Bridge Between Clifton and Fairfax Station, Virginia
Photo attribution: Secretsqurl (talk) (Uploads), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Several different tales surround the Bunny Man of Fairfax County, but all of them are ultra-creepy. And all of them include a killer in a rabbit suit. Some people will tell you if you say his name three times, those will be your final words. The Bunny Man will appear and, well, gulp. Other versions of the story say the Bunny Man is the ghost of someone who escaped from a nearby asylum (despite no nearby asylums), and he throws axes, hatchets, or chainsaws at people passing by the bridge.
It seems the stories become even more embellished and exaggerated (or new versions pop up) every year, but they stem from real-life incidents. In the 1970s, an Air Force Academy Cadet named Robert Bennett (and his soon-to-be-wife) parked his car in a field near his uncle’s house. Before exiting the vehicle, a screaming man threw a hatchet through the window, telling the young lovebirds they were trespassing. When he went to talk to the police, Bennett claimed the man was wearing a rabbit suit. Just a couple of weeks later, another man (or the same man) in a bunny suit was seen chopping away at a post on an unfinished house before being chased off by a security guard.
Helen’s Bridge in Asheville, North Carolina
Photo attribution: Molly Hare on Flickr (Creative Commons) https://www.flickr.com/photos/24324903@N03/2430338240
Constructed in 1909, Helen’s Bridge provides access to the Zealandia Mansion, and that’s where this creepy tale begins, according to Atlas Obscura. Legend has it a woman named Helen and her beloved daughter called this land home until one fateful day when a fire broke out. Helen’s sweet daughter died in the blaze, and Helen, filled with grief, took her own life at the bridge.
Decades later, visitors claim Helen’s distraught spirit still haunts the bridge. Some who have called out her name claim their car will not start when they try to leave. So, if you’re determined to see Helen, make sure to bring jumper cables or have roadside assistance at the ready.
Get Ready for Your Haunted Road Trip
If you’re road-tripping down America’s haunted roads, make sure to pack a flashlight, jumper cables, healthy snacks, and maybe an extra pair of undergarments! And don’t let yourself get spooked by scary car insurance rates. Cast out expensive auto insurance and get a free quote online, over the phone, or at your local Direct Auto.
Did we forget your local haunt? Share it with the Direct Auto community in a comment below!