There are some people who truly believe in the presence of ghosts and paranormal activity, while others remain skeptical, thinking that ghost stories are only for the gullible and unrealistic. Legends of ghosts and hauntings have been told for many years to scare people around campfires and during the scariest night of the year, Halloween. But with the spooky October holiday behind us, one has to wonder: Is there any truth behind these haunted tales? Whatever you believe, New Jersey is home to many locations that have been labeled as haunted, due to local legends or firsthand experiences from people who have traveled there. Below you’ll find some local “haunted roads” that are included in Weird N.J., a travel guide for strange and scary destinations in New Jersey.
- Clinton Road – West Milford, New Jersey
On Clinton Road there’s a bend called Dead Man’s Curve, which is apparently so dangerous that many people have died there. Some people say that the ghosts of people who have died there linger and if you flash your headlights at nighttime, you’ll be able to see them.
If you’re on Clinton Road at midnight, stop at the bridge by Dead Man’s Curve and throw pennies into the river, if you’re brave enough. One legend claims that a young boy’s ghost will throw pennies back at you.
- Split Rock Road – Hibernia, New Jersey
According to legend, if you are travelling down the one-lane bridge on Split Rock Road at nighttime, gangs of people will block you in, trapping your car on the bridge. Another urban legend claims that ghosts of people who have died from drowning in the water beneath remain there and haunt the bridge.
The bridge at Split Rock Road also has been known by some as a spot where people have committed suicide, jumping off the bridge into the jagged waterfall. Their ghosts continue to haunt the bridge and anyone who passes through.
- Essex Road – Neptune, New Jersey
It has been told that the wooded area surrounding the spooky Essex Road in Neptune is home to ghosts, Satan worshippers, and bands of albinos. Visible, creepy features of this “haunted” New Jersey road are the body outlines on the pavement marking the cadavers of people who died there, as well as satanic symbols drawn along the road.
As legend has it, in the 1800s, a family of albino people lived in the woods along Essex Road. People would travel there to get a peek at them, and supposedly the albino family grew tired of being a freak show attraction and started to murder anyone who came into their territory.
- Mt. Misery Road – Pemberton, New Jersey
Mount Misery is a Methodist Retreat in the center of the forest complete with wooden pews, a large cross, and a podium—an area which is known as the Altar in the Woods. Mount Misery is also home to a “government building” which has been rumored by some to have once been an insane asylum.
One urban legend surrounding Mount Misery is that there is a road that is really just one giant circle. The legend says that its purpose is to confuse outsiders and take them round and round the circle until they run out of gas, leaving them helpless in the woods.
- Indian Curse Road – Deptford, New Jersey
In the spring of 1983, the NJ Department of Transportation went to work building an add-on to Route 55 in a field in Deptford. Two months after construction began, road workers started dying mysteriously. Family members of the workers who weren’t even at the construction site inexplicably began getting sick and dying too.
Apparently, the construction site was positioned on top of an ancient Indian burial ground, and it was believed that because of this, the project and anyone involved were cursed. People think that had the road construction been positioned just a few miles away, these mysterious deaths may have never occurred.
No one can really say for sure if the 5 roads mentioned are actually haunted; all we have to rely on are accounts from people who have been brave enough to travel them or legends that have been passed down for years. Whether you believe in ghost stories or not, the spooky tales of these local haunted roads could make any skeptic wonder—what if?