North Carolina is full of haunted history. But ghosts aren’t strictly limited to ‘haunted houses’ or estates. Some haunt the places they died, like an alley, a highway, or a bridge. Some aren’t ghosts, but possibly demon dogs straight from Hell. Either way, North Carolina’s spirits roam all around the state. Looking for a fright? Drive down these seven haunted roads.
1. Heartbeat Bridge, Whiteville
Several years ago, an innocent young girl was murdered here. In a gruesome turn of events, her heart was said to have been cut from her body and thrown off the bridge by her killer. Today, the heartbeat persists. Even those not easily spooked find much discomfort here. As you approach the bridge, you'll begin to hear the sound of a beating heart in your ears. You might think it is just your own, until the sound becomes excruciatingly loud. Several sources claim they were forced to leave the bridge due to the torment of sound.
2. Gravity Hill, Richfield
While some non-believers say Gravity Hill is simply an illusion, others adamantly defend the legend and the tragic story of Gravity Hill. It's said that one night on Richfield Road, a young mother and her child were driving and her car stalled. As she got out and attempted to push the car up the hill, a truck came along, hit, and instantly killed both mother and child. Today, put your car in neutral at the bottom, and you will be pushed up the hill. Also, if you put baby powder on your hood, you will see handprints when you get to the top.
3. Helen's Bridge, Asheville
Located at Beaucatcher Mountain in Asheville, Helen's Bridge is rooted in legend and unexplainable occurrences. After her daughter died in a fire, the inconsolable and grief-stricken Helen hung herself from the bridge. She is said to be seen in a long gown asking the whereabouts of her child. The strangest part is that there are multiple reports of car trouble at the bridge. Maybe it's a battery dying on the bridge, or days after....people who have experienced Helen's bridge have found looming car issues during or soon after their visit. It's not just Helen, but strange and dark apparitions cited around the area. The high volume of paranormal activity around this bridge fuels much of the legend. People have described seeing monster-like figures lurking behind the dense brush. Even slaps, punches, and scratches have been reported. What is really going on here?
4. The Demon Dog of Valle Crucis
All ghosts aside, Valle Crucis is home to something extra terrifying. A ‘demon dog’ that chases after your car and keeps up no matter how fast you drive. Legend says if you drive past St. John's Episcopal Church, located high up in Valle Crucis, the dog will leap from behind a gravestone and chase your car. People have reported seeing the demon dog, and in demon dog fashion, it has large glowing eyes and yellow teeth.
5. Lydia's Bridge, Jamestown
Everyone knows the story of the phantom hitchhiker named Lydia Jones. What gets extra spooky, is the poor young girl who died in the 1920's, on the way to her prom, might not be named Lydia after all. Sources claim the infamous ghost who tries to hitch a ride could be named Annie L. Jackson. Either way, drive past Lydia's Bridge on a dark, rainy night, and you might find yourself giving a ride to someone from the afterlife.
6. Payne Road (Edwards Road) Rural Hall
Growing up near Rural Hall, I've had personal experiences with Payne Road. It was tradition to drive down the spooky, dark road on an October night. Nearly every version you hear about the legend of the infamous 'Edward Payne' is somewhat different. From sacrificing slaves in a satanic ritual, murdering his daughter for falling in love with a slave then murdering his whole family, or murdering his wife and baby girl....either way, there is something extremely eerie about Payne Road (actually Edward's Road) and I don't suggest you drive down it by yourself.
7. Chicken Alley, Asheville
Chicken Alley is a small, narrow alley in downtown Asheville. But late at night, you might see a strange, dark apparition lurking there. The ghost is said to be Dr. Jamie Smith, a physician in Asheville, who was stabbed in the heart after accidentally walking into a bar brawl at Broadway's Tavern. Spotted for over 100 years, the doctor stays true to his style. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat, with a long, black coat. You can even hear the tip of his cane tapping against the street.
Do you have any ghost stories, or know of anymore haunted roads in North Carolina? Tell us in the comments!