Monday, October 13, 2014

Spooky Stories, 2014

Every single year since 2005, I've always done a series of posts during the month of October to celebrate Halloween. I love to share spooky stories with all of you, and this year, I'd like to share some freaky ones from my hometown of St. Louis.

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ZOMBIE ROAD

Old bridge on Zombie Rd.
Here in Western St. Louis County, there's a road with quite a number of urban legends surrounding it. For as long as I can remember, this 2.3 mile stretch of country road in the middle of suburbia has always been a source of tales of the supernatural.

Also, cops hate it. Teenagers often go there seeking a thrill and end up making a ruckus.

The legends include stories of Native American ghosts haunting the road, Confederate soldiers' spirits making spectral appearances, and there's the one about the angry ghosts from the insane asylum that used to be there.

Lawler Ford Road, or "Zombie Road" as it's affectionately called by the locals, does have some real
history, however. It served as a path over the Meramec River for the Osage Indians. When settlers came to the area, the dirt road was often a site of intense fighting between the natives and the pioneers. A train went through the area, and a local woman was killed by being struck by the train back in 1876.

The Meramec River itself is known to be quite dangerous because of the deadly undertows that pull people down. Every year, there's at least one or two drownings that occur in the small river.

Zombie Road is deep set between high ridges, giving the area a really ominous feeling. It's also naturally cooler there because of its geography. Huge trees serve as a canopy over the road, blocking out any light from the night sky.

If you're ever in town, let's go!
I always scoffed at all the urban legends surrounding Zombie Road. But a few years ago, I was at a close friend's gathering, and a guy that I consider family started talking about his recent trip to Zombie Rd. My friend is a good ten years younger than me, so that would put him at around 17 years old at the time. Prime age for these stupid teenage stunts.

But his story was quite chilling. He and four of his friends, who he professes were not drunk, decided to go ghosthunting on Zombie Road. They drove a Jeep Cherokee, and they maneuvered through the dark, winding path. They had to go slow since it was so dark and pretty trecherous.

Something banged the side of the car next to my friend who was seated in the rear. They all jumped, but got a laugh out of it. It could have been a pine cone or branch falling from a tree or something. Another loud thump struck the other rear passenger side, followed by more blows against the SUV's body.

That's when everyone panicked, but and they all screamed at the driver to back up and get out of there. But all hell broke loose at that point. It sounded like their car was being attacked by at least ten people kicking and slamming all sides of the vehicle, but there was no one and nothing visible hitting it. The driver did his best to hit reverse and maneuver out of there without going over the cliffs, and they hardly spoke until they hit a McDonald's nearby.

All of them were shaken up by the experience.

Old ironclad in the Meramec off Zombie Rd.
So at the party, I asked if my friend would take us out there now to see if the same thing would happen to us, and his face totally blanched. He shook his head and gave me a firm, "Hell no."

Zombie Road might be mostly urban legend, but there's been A LOT of local and regional paranormal investigation teams who have scoured the area with their high tech equipment. I poo-poo on pictures of orbs, as I believe they are just insects or dust showing up on film.

However, once in awhile, I'll come across some evidence that maybe there is something strange about Zombie Road. And to this day, my friend professes that his experience was the truth. And no matter how many beers I give him, he refuses to return to Zombie Road.

23 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Whatever happened, he believes it was real.
No idea if I signed up for the newsletter or not, so I'll do it now. Sorry if I'm doing it twice!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm glad I read this during the day when it's light outside. And I'm not in a car out on the road, any road. Eeek! :)

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm the only one up in my house, so even though it's light outside, I felt a little creeped out.

Julie Flanders said...

I love these kinds of stories!! The pic at the top scared the heck out of me all by itself LOL.

Jay Noel said...

Alex: Seeing the real fear in his eyes, I'm convinced it was authentic. The dude was really scared.

Madeline: I know! I read this at night. Not a great idea.

Diane: I was creeped out just thinking about terrified my friend was as he recounted his story.

Julie: Me too. I love scary stories. But yeah, those old-time Halloween costumes FREAK me out.

Christine Rains said...

That was an awesome scary tale. I would dare the road with you.

Pat Hatt said...

Not sure I'd want to go back there either, especially after getting back the mechanic bill lol

Jay Noel said...

Christine: I was actually joking with him when I suggested a few of us leave the party and check it out (we were only 20 min away from Zombie Rd), but the sincerity of his fear caught me off guard.

Patt: The driver was freaking out, convinced that he had 100 dents in his Cherokee. But nope, not a ding or even a scratch.

D.G. Hudson said...

There may be forces at work that we don't understand or our minds collectively can imagine these things. Perhaps these are portals into other dimensions and they want us to stay out. . .fun to think about but I don't think I'll test my theory. . .I'll be writing a Ghost Story on the 27th of the month about a house with haunted vibes. Hope you'll drop by.

Lexa Cain said...

Oh! How creepy! I love supernatural tales. Thanks a lot, Jay! :)

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I believe your friend. I had a freaky experience by myself and with a friend. These things happen and unfortunately my experiences weren't in lonely places but where you should feel safe. Spirits exist and not all are nice.

Carol Kilgore said...

I've had a frightening ghostly encounter, so I can totally relate to your friend not wanting to return.

cleemckenzie said...

I guess it's trying to live up to its name. I'll pass on visiting.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I think I'll pass on visiting, or if I do, I'll just pray my way over that road . . . I grew up in a spooky old house so I know that generally works. (I used to think a painting my mom had was haunted . . . it came with the house.)

G. B. Miller said...

I'll take a crack at your newsletter, since I'm always willing to expand my horizons. I live next door to a mountain, so at night in the fall and winter, it can get seriously creepy in there and on the road that runs next to it.

Father Nature's Corner

Crystal Collier said...

Ooh! Chilling. I love it.

David P. King said...

Wait, Zombie Road? That's a little close to home with my Undead Road title. Still, that was a really cool story. Sometimes I wish there were more urban legends like that near my place. :)

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I'd go to Zombie Road. You should take me.

Mark Noce said...

Just signed up for your mailing list:)

Stephanie Faris said...

Ooh, I'm going to have to track down Zombie Road the next time I go through St. Louis. Maybe not at night, though!!!

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

"I poo-poo on pictures of orbs" - that make me giggle! Thanks for that.

I say 21 is hopeful, 7 (that's mine), 7 is sad.

Mr. Shife said...

I'm gonna pass on Zombie Road. Thanks for the warning so I can avoid it when I am back visiting family in St. Louis. Speaking of St. Louis, I still can't believe we lost to the Giants again. Have a good weekend, Jay.

Carrie Butler said...

"And no matter how many beers I give him, he refuses to return to Zombie Road."

Hah! I love it.

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