The forests of the United States definitely don’t hold a candle to Japan’s Suicide Forest, but we have some doozies here! After reading this list, if you live in any of the states on it, you might think twice about taking that shortcut through the country.
This is part 2 of 5 of a series full of ghost stories, from haunted bridges to houses, and forests to amusement parks. One from each state, from Alabama to Wyoming, for that ghost-hunting road trip you know you want to take one day!
States covered in this part are Florida, Hawaii, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and Utah.
Florida – Round Cypress Head
Location: St. John’s River in Seminole County
There’s an area around St. John’s River that’s said to be haunted, by either a demon or a witch who can change into a wild bobtail cat at will. Locals have claimed that fisherman have gone missing when venturing into the area; it’s only accessibly by boat due to the terrain. Moaning from the trees, trees that bend, and horrible smells coming from the trees have all been reported. The area used to be used to bootleggers, and broken bottles and jars have been found there. Some say the witch/demon story was made up by bootleggers to keep people away from their stash.
Hawaii – Haunted Banyan Tree
Location: at the start of Manoa Falls Trail
According to Hawaiian legend, banyan trees hold lost spirits, and are relatively peaceful. But the tree at the start of the trail is said to be in the path of the Night Marchers, spirit warriors who march from one unseen battle to the next. Their path never changes, and they chant and play drums as they march. The apparitions of the warriors have been reportedly seen around this tree, marching to the sound of an unseen drum. A big part of this legend is that if you ever hear or see these warriors, shut the hell up and get down on the ground. If you look at them, you’ll die. If they see you or hear you make a sound, you’ll die. Your only hope is to play dead, or pray that one of your dead relatives is marching with the Night Watchers.
Missouri – Zombie Road
Zombie Road is one of those roads where, if you drive on it, it affects you on a deeper level than just being scared by spooks. Of course, there are reports of apparitions, ghosts that yell at people passing by, and a ghost of a young boy who was believed to have fell into the bluffs along a river nearby. But if you were to drive down the old road, it’s said that you’ll start noticing unusual things. The road is said to never look the same way twice during a trip to and from somewhere. Or, you would get this claustrophobic feeling during the trip, or that the trip would never end for you, with you driving on forever. Maybe it’s the depressing look of the old abandoned road, or maybe it’s the spirits of the road letting you know how they feel.
Nebraska – Seven Sisters Road
Location: Otoe County
The inspiration for this list, Seven Sisters Road (Road L, legally) is in Otoe County. Over a century ago, a man lived with his family, which consisted of him and his seven sisters. For whatever reason or reasons, he went nuts one night. Leading each sister out to a separate hill surrounding the home along the road, he hung them one by one from a tree on each hill until they were dead.
What can you expect if you go there? The usual – wailing from the hills, car trouble, apparitions, to name a few.
New Mexico – Devil’s Highway
Location: 70 mile section, NW corner of state
Originally Highway 666, and renamed US 491 in 2003, the stretch of this highway in New Mexico still is referred to as the Devil’s Highway, and for good reason. From Monticello, Utah to Gallup, New Mexico, what was the government, or whoever named the highway, thinking when they assigned it that number?
Quite a bit of freaky phenomena is experienced on the road. A black sedan has been known to stalk drivers, especially at night. Nicknamed Satan’s Sedan, it will either fly past them as they pull over, no doubt trying not to crap their pants, or it will just disappear into the night. Hounds of hell that can run as fast as you can drive have been seen, and of course, many spirits have been sighted along the highway. Perhaps the craziest legend is the the evil semi truck. One version says it’s on fire, and the other says it simply drives like, well, like a possessed, out of control, evil semi truck, aiming for their vehicles as they’re stranded on the side of the road with flat tires or overheated engines.
North Carolina – Devil’s Tramping Ground
Location: near Harper’s Crossroads area in Bear Creek
A haunted patch of ground that decided long ago it wouldn’t let any vegetation grow, Devil’s Tramping Ground is exactly what it sounds like. The legend goes that this is where the devil himself comes to earth. All his tramping has made it so nothing can grow in the small area. A popular place for campers, as you can see where they campfires have been, it’s also a not so popular place for dogs, who will yip and howl and refuse to go near it. Yeah, that’s usually a good sign that you shouldn’t camp there. Especially with all the reports of the satanic rituals that have taken place there, and the shadows that hang out in the tree line, watching you like shadows do.
Oregon – Croisan Creek Road
Croisan Creek Road is said to be haunted by the ghosts of a couple children who have been killed there over the years. A little girl was killed by a speeding car, and her ghost has been spotted chasing a ball onto the road on Friday nights. There’s also a boy who can be seen standing at the side of the road, and wags a finger at cars as they speed by. He has disappeared by the time the drivers look in their rear-view mirror. Moral of the story? Speed kills, and apparently on this road, it attracts ghosts.
Texas – Texas Killing Fields
Location: I-45 between Houston & Galveston
Dubbed the Highway of Hell, this stretch of interstate is the site of over 30 murders of young women since 1970. The Killing Fields is an area just off the highway, a 25-acre field where bodies of four of the women have been found. While not actually haunted by any ghosts, the general feel of the area is enough to haunt you, knowing how much evil has taken place, and how many lives have come to an end there.
Utah – American Fork Canyon
Location: Wasatch Mountains
This place is a combination of many different types of hauntings, and overall creepiness. It’s the site of many deadly car accidents over the years, where drivers will go over the edges. Ghost hitchhikers have been seen, there’s a cemetery in the canyon where apparitions have been sighted. Long story short, go anywhere you want here, and you’ll probably see some sort of spirit. And if that doesn’t work, legend has it that you drive around in three circles in the Tibble Fork parking lot, a hearse with red lights will appear and chase you around. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure the only car with red lights you’re probably going to see if you drive around in circles in a public parking lot isn’t going to be a hearse.
Want to read more haunted tales from other states?