New Jersey June 21, 2017
The Place In New Jersey That Sounds Terrifying But You’ll Actually Love
New Jersey has some lovely places with lovely names – Cape May, Stone Harbor, Spring Lake, to name a few. We also have some lovely places with names that are a bit strange, and even spooky. Only in New Jersey can you drive down Shades Of Death Road, get off at Jenny Jump State Forest and head to Ghost Lake for boating and fishing. While this may sound like a perilous journey, it’s actually quite spectacular.
Shades Of Death Road sounds a little spooky, and it is, but it's also scenic, secluded and serene.
The road is a 7-mile stretch through Warren County, with an interesting past. How did the road get its name? I'll start with the legends. Some speculate the seclusion of the area made it a popular spot for highway robberies. Others say that many Native Americans were drowned in nearby Ghost Lake and their spirits still walk the street. A third theory is that a malaria outbreak in the area which killed hundreds led to the road traveling through the town being given the foreboding name.
Other possibilities include roaming wildcats in the former swampland mauling travelers along this path, the danger of the dark and winding road, and frequent lynchings of criminals on the trees surrounding the street. However, it's just as likely that the road got its name thanks to the trees that line it, creating constant shade.
Shades Of Death Road runs alongside Jenny Jump State Forest, offering access at several points.
Jenny Jump State Forest is home to the striking 1,112-foot high, 6-mile wide Jenny Jump Mountain Ridge. The park offers a wide variety of hiking trails, glacial remnants, picnicking, playgrounds, camping and an astronomy observatory. From April-October, public viewing sessions are held on Saturdays from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m., weather permitting. The park is a picturesque place, offering spectacular views of the Delaware Water Gap from the elevated Summit Trail.
How did the area get its name? Local legend states that the area was inhabited by both the Minsi (Wolf) tribe of the Lenni Lenape and European Settlers. While conflicts were rare, the two groups tended to avoid each other. A young girl was picking berries in a field with her father when she saw the tribe approaching. Her father yelled to her, "Jenny, Jump," and she did...straight off the mountain ridge. Of course, it could also be that the name is an anglicized version of the Lenape name for the area.
Jenny Jump State Forest is home to the sparkling Ghost Lake.
The lake offers opportunities for both boating and fishing. Several spooky stories surround it and some say that it is haunted. Visitors report frequent fog, despite the weather and seeing spirits arise from the mist. While the lake likely got its name from the vapor shimmering over the surface on cooler days, some claim that horrific murders took place in the area - keep your eye out for an abandoned cabin when you visit. There's also a small cave near the lake, now called the Fairy Hole, which is believed to be on sacred ground. The cave is not open to the public but is an interesting site as archaeologists found Native American artifacts in it when they surveyed the cave back in 1918.
Enjoy a rural New Jersey escape, and don’t worry a bit about the spooky names…Unless you’re into that sort of thing. For a few scary stories and some alleged paranormal activity caught on film,