Should you be brave enough to venture to a house or building RUMORED to be haunted…well, the results are on your head, so to speak. After all, you sought it out, made the effort to go and actually walked in. You kind of deserve what you get, right? But when the road that takes you where you need to go is haunted…that’s a WHOLE other story. We’ve looked around and here are a few places we’ve found that you might just want to avoid…or save for an especially dark night, depending on your taste in entertainment.
1. Crawford Road, Yorktown
Notoriously referred to as the most haunted road in Virginia, Crawford Road is home to some undeniably crazy activity…of the paranormal kind, of course. While few deny that it's haunted, the question is, WHY? As legend tells, many years ago, a bride who was rather disenchanted with her groom, hung herself on her wedding day from the overpass that crosses the road. Since her death, countless people have reported seeing a body hanging from the bridge when they approach.
One woman drove under the bridge and swore she saw a woman in a white gown looking down at her. When she looked back after passing through, the woman stepped to the edge and leapt - only to stop and hang mere feet from the ground. The bridge is also reported to be the site of many lynching in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
And to keep the creep factor at a 100% rating, an abandoned building is rumored to sit off to the side of the road not far from the bridge. Those brave enough to venture in on a dark night claim to see red eyes staring from doorways, shadowy apparitions, the sound of whispering and hands on them when no one is there. I think I'll stay in the car, thanks.
2. Colchester Road Overpass (a.k.a. "Bunny Man Bridge), Clifton
I’ve seen several versions of this story over the years, but the one that gets me every time goes a little something like this... In 1904, a recently closed asylum prison in Clifton was transporting inmates to a new facility when one of the transport buses overturned in Fairfax. Most of the passengers were killed, but 10 escaped. All but two were found, Douglas J. Grifon and Marcus Wallster. Soon after, locals began finding the remains of hundred of skinned, half-eaten rabbits hanging from the trees. When Wallster’s body was eventually discovered (with a crude homemade hatchet in hand), hanging at the Fairfax Station Bridge, officials believed they had found their culprit and the dead bunny rampage would stop. But, no such luck.
In the years that followed, dead rabbits appeared periodically, and as legend tells, an unspecified number of bodies have been found hanging at the bridge every Halloween, the approximate time of the crash. Most often, the victims were teenagers looking for a haunt at what is now known as “Bunny Man Bridge.” The last reported incident was in 1987, but if you know more, please let me know – especially if you have proof that this is just an elaborate legend meant to scare weak-kneed wimps like me.
3. Poor House Road Tunnel, Lexington
Once part of a railway system that ran from Lexington to Staunton, the Poor House Road Tunnel cuts neatly through a hill just outside of the town of Lexington. According to locals, the tunnel has long been the site of paranormal activity. Most famously, the ghosts of two little girls are said to whisper to those brave enough to visit the tunnel, urging them to, "Come on, come on." The girls were said to have been playing in the nearby woods when the happened upon a strange man who shot and killed them. To add to the mystery of the tunnel, it is also said to be the site of many lynchings in the 1900s, as well as the site of the rape and murder of an unknown woman. Urban legends…maybe, maybe not. But with enough witnesses, you have to wonder what exactly IS going on in this tunnel?
4. Elbow Road, Chesapeake
Elbow Road in Chesapeake is known for having no street lights and sharp hairpin turns. But what keeps people away from this road is not the tight turns, but rather, the specters said to haunt this country road. One such ghost is a jogger, said to be hit by a car that took one of the turns too fast. Today, he has been witnessed running down the side of the road, only to vanish when the observers get closer. Likewise, the elderly ghost of Mrs. Woble has been known to wander the fields alongside Elbow Road. She was said to be an older woman who was living alone when neighbors found her house full of carnage, but never found her body. With no leads, the case was closed and her house was torn down. Today, she is believed to be looking for the house where she once lived. The fact that her name just so happens to be "Elbow" spelled backwards kind of makes you wonder just how factual the story is. But give me enough witnesses to spooky sightings and I'll believe just about anything.
5. Boissevain Road, Pocahontas
Not much can be found about this particular haunt. But multiple reports claim that the sound of footsteps or shuffling feet can be heard in the fields alongside Boissevain Road in the small town of Pocahontas. With fewer than 400 residents, Pocahontas, located in Tazewell County, may not seem like a place where much happens. But Pochahontas is home to the Pocahontas Cemetery, a Virginia Historic site. The cemetery holds graves more than a century old, including a mass grave of coal miners killed in a mine explosion that occurred in 1884. So really, who's to say that Pocahontas doesn't have a proper ghost or two?
6. The Stone Bridge at Bull Run, Manassas National National Battlefield Park
The Stone Bridge, also known as the Fauquier and Alexandria Turnpike Bridge, played a key role in the Civil War, as its strategic location crossing Bull Run at the Manassas National Battlefield made it valuable to both Union and Confederate Troops. After playing a role in the First Battle of Manassas, the bridge continued to serve the Confederate troops before being destroyed in 1862. Rebuilt in 1884, the Stone Bridge was open to traffic until 1926 when a modern highway bridge was constructed nearby.
Part of the National Park Service since 1959, the bridge now sits at near the entrance of the Manassas National Battlefield Park. Keeping true to its historical origins, it is a frequent stop of ghost hunters and paranormal investigators who claim the shadowy apparitions of Civil War soldiers can be seen crossing back and forth over the its span, accompanied by the sound of ghostly canon fire.
7. Pocahontas Parkway, Route 895, Henrico and Chesterfield Counties
When the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge was completed in 2002, it was intended to serve as a valuable connector between the Henrico and Chesterfield County. What local officials, police and motorists did not expect was spirits. Since the bridge's completion, numerous stories have surfaced of apparitions appearing both alongside the roadway and in the midst of traffic. Onlookers have reported figures darting in and out of traffic, flickering lights, and even, most spookily, the sight of fully-arrayed Native American warriors.
Toll booth workers, as well as construction workers and travelers, have often heard drums and yells that can't be explained. Historians who studied the site after the stories began to surface determined that the bridge was built on ancient hunting and burial grounds belonging to the Powhatan and Arrohatak Indian tribes. The hauntings that have plagued this area are widely believed to be the ancient spirits' way of resisting the disturbance of their sacred ground.
8. Coast Artillery Road at Fort Story, Virginia Beach
Coast Artillery Road is located at Fort Story in Virginia Beach, not far from the site of the Cape Henry Lighthouse. The base was first commissioned during World War I. Today, it serves as an active military installation, used to train troops on amphibious equipment and to practice transferring military cargo from ship to shore.
Like any base, soldiers are required to stand guard, taking turns at post throughout the day and night. On more than one occasion, guards have reported seeing a figure with no identification who simply vanishes into the nearby wetlands. It is speculated that he might be the ghost of a solider who committed suicide on the base a number of years earlier…but I, for one, don't care to find out. (The photo above shows the Cape Henry Lighthouse, located near Coast Artillery Road.)
You don’t have to believe in ghosts to need to sleep with the lights on after reading some of these tales. I won’t judge you…in fact, I’ll be doing the same thing tonight. But regardless of how you feel about the spirit world, there is something creepy about these stories. And we would love to hear some more! Have you had experiences on these roads? Are there any great stories about other Virginia roads that we’ve missed? We would love to hear them, so please share in the comments below!