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Shades Of Death Road, Nj


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#1 valkyriechan

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 03:05 PM

many apologies if this particular place has a thread but i couldn't find it.

my boyfriend has hundreds of ghost stories and last night he piqued my interest about a place he already told me about but i hadn't done any research on it until now. Shades of Death Road in Hope, NJ. what i like about this location is the variety of deaths or improper burials thereby resulting in a broad variety of hauntings. it's almost like looking at artwork, to hear the stories that come out of this place; the spirits are quite creative with their frightening ways.

http://www.weirdnj.com/stories/_roads05.asp

i'm going out on a limb, asking if anyone here has any stories from this place or have ever been there at all. i read that it's a pretty nice hiking spot in the day, but at night, you're sure to be scared away. i'll start us off with the story my bf told me. it's different than any others i have read, and that's the great thing about this place: they're all different.

so he and this girl were just a couple of kids looking for something fun to do at night that doesn't involve drugs or alcohol. she had heard of 'shades of death road' and really wanted to check it out, so she lugged my bf (i didn't know him at the time) just over the PA border into NJ and into the backwoods. they drove along but the girl was not impressed with the spookiness in the car so they parked, i don't know where. they began walking along--it was probably 11 pm-ish. they were bantering on about whatever kids talk about, the only stimulus being the sound of a highway nearby. there was little to no wind. my bf asked her where the nearest highway was but she couldn't remember one being close enough to hear, so they listened closer. they heard three distinct noises, mostly at the same time, coming from the same place quite a distance in front of them: tires screeching, a truck's horn, and what sounded like a truck going over rumble strips. these noises repeated themselves in a slow but steady cadence. he pointed out that it was weird, the same noises over and over again, and as he began talking about them, they kind of fell apart. the car tires screeched here and the truck sounds were there until they heard them coming from all around them and getting closer. they turned around and headed back to the car. by the time they got back in the car, the screeching tires sounded like a blood curdling scream, the rumble strips sounded more like a low, steady growl. they had had enough and went back into town.
on the way, they neared what looked like a six foot wall of fog that came down off a hill, over the road, wound down through a field and further into more woods. they almost you-turned, but figured they'd probably have to drive through it eventually and just wanted off this road. he said it was probably only 12 feet wide, as they only drove through it for a moment. as they drove into it, every hair on their arms and necks visibly stood on end.
they stopped at a convenience store for drinks or something and went to a basket ball court near the woods, about ten minutes by car from shades of death road. there's a field about three football fields long in front of them, ending in a mass of woods. the woods stretched along the left side of the basket ball court, about one football field away to the left, an L shape, according to him. they're chillin on a bench, eating snacks. all of a sudden they hear a scream in the woods, he estimated it to be about 3 football fields length deep. they look at each other and begin discussing it. maybe there was a party in the woods, they figure. then they hear it again, about two minutes later. this time about 2 football fields deep, and with a little more distinguishable sound. he said it sounded like your run of the mill blood curdling scream except it was cut off in the middle... as if, he described, someone was screaming for their life when they're head was cut clean off. one minute later, they hear it again, this time at the edge of the woods. they're freaked, having already been audibly frightened earlier that night. he said "let's NOT investigate, shall we?" and they headed back to the car again. they cross the basketball court, hearing the scream with no denouement in the field. they begin running, now hearing the scream along side of them in the closer part of the woods. as they reach the car, they hear it coming from behind houses that were behind them at first, in front of them now. it's close, and it moves way too quickly. she unlocks the power doors and they jump in. they turn on the car, completely frazzled and, aren't they lucky, SOMETHING had turned on the car radio, volume ALL the way up (this is an older tuner, not digital) and the line from queen's bohemian rhapsody "beelzebub as the the devil put aside for me, for me, for meeeee!!!!" is blaring in their ears. they were SURE that the radio was OFF before they got out, having been listening to it and irritated by it on the previous drive, so they turned it off. and who turns the volume all the way up before turning off the car?
anyway, that was his experience on shades of death road, and how the bohemian rhapsody became the scariest song ever to him. he says he's not going back and he really doesn't want me going (though i do want to, i wouldn't exit the car even if there was a baby on the side of the road) because he'd have to go too to protect me--you know, chivalry and whatnot.
i really hope someone out there has something to share about this place.
thank you.

#2 Lady Sorbus

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 04:47 AM

Creepy how the sounds of a distant highway changed to something more sinister when the sounds appeared to move closer.  Picture 483.gif

#3 Lady Sorbus

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 05:11 AM

I just looked up this road to find out why it's got such a bizarre name. No one seems to know. However, there are a few guesses listed in the Wikipedia article:
  • Some focus on the road's southern half, where the adjoining forest with its aged trees provides much actual shade from the sun on even the brightest days. Highwaymen or other bandits would supposedly lay in wait for victims in these shadows, then often cut their throats after taking their booty, or they would engage in fights to the death among themselves over women.
  • Or, it is said, the local populace would take revenge against these highwaymen by lynching them and leaving the bodies dangling from low-hanging tree branches as a warning to others criminally inclined.
  • In the 1920s and 1930s there were three brutal murders along the road, one a robbery in which a man was hit over the head with a tire jack over some gold coins, a second in which a woman beheaded her husband and buried the head and the body on different sides of the street, and lastly one in which a local resident, Bill Cummins, was shot and buried in a mudpile. It was never solved.
  • The twists and turns of the road have led to suggestions that it has led to an inordinate number of fatal car accidents, and supposedly the reflective guard rails along the road indicate where that has happened. However, the road had earned its name well before automobile use became common in the area.
  • Bear Swamp nearby was known as either Cat Hollow or Cat Swamp, because of packs of vicious wild cats that lived there who frequently and lethally attacked travelers along the road.
  • A final explanation points to the Pequest lowlands and nearby Bear Swamp, used today for sod farming. In 1850, malaria-carrying insects were discovered nesting in a cliff face along the road. They flourished in the nearby wetlands of Bear Swamp, causing annual outbreaks of the disease. The high mortality rates due to the remoteness of the area from effective medical treatment cut a swath through so many families that a street once called merely Shade or Shades Road due to its tree cover took on the name Shades Of Death out of black humor. The problem was so widespread, that in 1884 a state-sponsored project drained the swamps, ending the threat.


#4 Sly-Spectre

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 06:04 AM

Just the name of the road is enough to get my spidy senses tingling....
"Something weird is going on Jess." Simon whispered as they waited to be served. "I overheard Sara and Hector say something about 'getting back at you' in the library this morning."
Jessie thought for a moment, his face expressionless as usual.
"That's just crazy." he said. "I didn't think you even knew where the library was."

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#5 snowturtle

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 09:52 AM

I have been to this road twice. I used to live in Jersey City NJ and my friends and I were HUGE fans of the mag Weird NJ. So every weekend we'd pick a "weird" place to go!

Anyway I didn't have anything paranormal happen but did have some weird experiences on Shades of Death...my friend and I went to explore the road in the middle of the day, right around Halloween. We had taken the day off from work, and found the road on a map of Western NJ. so we decided what the heck. Well, nothing real exciting happened when we first got onto the road, there are some homes, nice ones at that, off to the sides of the road, and a lot of woods, no traffic or cars or pedestrians though. We stopped at a small lake located right on Shades of Death, with a sign that claims the title "GHOST LAKE"...we thought EXCELLENT! we were taking pictures of eachother near the sign when all of a sudden this old black hot rod type car comes flying down the road, pulls into the tiny parking lot where we are parked by the lake, does a doughnut and is spitting gravel everywhere then tore back out onto the road. The driver was wearing a full head rubber clown mask, by the way, which prompted us to freak out a bit, and jump into my friend's car and get the heck out of there....

The second thing that happened was near the end of the road, we noticed this triangle shaped orange colored building back aways off the road. There was a driveway, so my friend turned into it. Upon closer inspection it was a masquarade shop!So she parked and we got out and went to the door. There were about 100 mannequins dressed in everything from feathers, to masks, to cowboy outfits crammed into this tiny display room. All the costumes were very old looking, like from an older era or time period if that makes sense. The weird thing....there wasn't a soul around. I mean we yelled "hello" about 30 times, and no one answered or appeared!!! I started getting nervouse so we bolted after about 10 minutes of wandering through the costumes and mannequins.

At the absolute end of the road there was a great little tavern, the old guys in there are thrilled to tell ghost stories about Shades of Death too. They'll talk for hours! I am sure they are making most of it up on the spot, but it's entertaining never the less.

If you want to check out a truly creepy-I am positive this road is haunted- road in NJ go to Clinton Rd. At night. You will not be disappointed.....

#6 Sly-Spectre

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 10:12 AM

what's up with clinton road?
"Something weird is going on Jess." Simon whispered as they waited to be served. "I overheard Sara and Hector say something about 'getting back at you' in the library this morning."
Jessie thought for a moment, his face expressionless as usual.
"That's just crazy." he said. "I didn't think you even knew where the library was."

-Excerpt from my short story "Stabbed in the Front."

#7 snowturtle

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 11:59 AM

Weird NJ-has a an entire magazine dedicated to this road. There have been all sorts of creepy stories, legends, ghost stories, sightings, you name it. There was some famous serial murderer or hitman from NJ (the Iceman I think?) that dumped his victims on this particular road for many years. That wasn't legend either, I watched a documentary on this guy and he talks about Clinton Rd.! I highly recommend getting a copy of the issue "Clinton Rd." (I think it is still available for purchase on the Weird NJ website).

My experience on the road happened many years ago, my friend and I on another Weird NJ adventure...the road is buried in the woods, trees cling to it forming something of a tunnel, my friend and I went at night, and the road starts off as being dirt....lots of pot holes and ditches off to the sides of the road. This was the middle of summer and we had the windows of our truck down.  It was so dark, it was nearly impossible to see even with the headlights on and a large flashlight! We got to a particular area that was related to some ghost story so we stopped the truck. Within seconds the air turned icy cold, you could see your breath! There was such a heavy feeling too, I have never experienced anything like this. It was if someone was standing on my chest. My friend was experiencing the same thing too.

I have had quite a few paranormal experiences, some terrifying and others easy to shrug off, but that particular feeling on Clinton Rd. was not like anything I ever felt before or since.  I can't even figure out how to explain it other than a heaviness, and a sad-depressed overwhelming feeling. The minute we left the road, the feeling was gone, the air was warm again. It was definitely weird.

#8 Lady Sorbus

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 08:08 AM

But Shades of Death Road and Clinton Road are two different roads, yes?

#9 BowieIsAgod

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 07:52 PM

Yeah, they are two different roads.

There is so much stuff I would love to see in N.J.

There used to be a fantastic site...maybe it shut down 5 or 6 years ago. Anyway, it was www.midnightsociety.com. I don't know if any of you know what that is? It had so many great photos and detailed descriptions of abandoned homes, amusement parks, etc... I really miss it and periodically go and check if maybe it hasn't been revived.

Here are some photos of places on Clinton Rd.

http://www.abandonedbutnotforgotten.com/cl...tle_remains.htm

http://www.abandonedbutnotforgotten.com/cl...oad_furnace.htm

This has some of the cool stuff that midnight society had:

http://www.abandonedbutnotforgotten.com/ne...ey_pictures.htm





#10 Moonsong

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 02:31 AM

A friend of mine has been trying to convince me to go to both Shades of Death and Clinton Rd for some time, now. He's MIA at the moment, but when he returns to the land of the living I might just take him up on that trip, and if I do, I'll post about my experiences, if anything happens.
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#11 Lady Sorbus

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 01:46 PM

QUOTE(BowieIsAgod @ Jan 12 2008, 09:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yeah, they are two different roads.

There is so much stuff I would love to see in N.J.

There used to be a fantastic site...maybe it shut down 5 or 6 years ago. Anyway, it was www.midnightsociety.com. I don't know if any of you know what that is? It had so many great photos and detailed descriptions of abandoned homes, amusement parks, etc... I really miss it and periodically go and check if maybe it hasn't been revived.

Here are some photos of places on Clinton Rd.

http://www.abandonedbutnotforgotten.com/cl...tle_remains.htm

http://www.abandonedbutnotforgotten.com/cl...oad_furnace.htm

This has some of the cool stuff that midnight society had:

http://www.abandonedbutnotforgotten.com/ne...ey_pictures.htm


I joined ABNF's forum. I vaguely recall reading the name Midnight Society somewhere recently. Can't remember where though. There are loads of UE sites out there, but none as big as ABNF.


#12 snowturtle

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 09:27 AM

That link has some nice pictures of Clinton Rd! I have never seen it in the day time!

Both Clinton Rd. and Shades of Death are located in Western NJ, not far from the Delaware Water Gap border for anyone interested. If you get the chance...GO!

#13 MacCionoadha BeanSidhe

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 11:12 AM

There's also Route 55: Indian Curse Road

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