9th Oct, 2019
Haunted houses are something of a classic horror staple. Interestingly, some people propose that this is because our homes represent safety and security in our minds, which it’s why it’s so innately scary for us when those boundaries are violated by ghouls or gremlins. But when you think about it, freaky experiences in our cars are even scarier – after all, you’re in an enclosed space barrelling down the highway at speeds no human was ever naturally supposed to go.
It makes ghostly roads a particularly chilling prospect, and it’s no wonder that so many witnesses to these spooky sights end up prematurely scrapping their cars! Here, we’ve collected five haunted highways you may want to avoid as the clock strikes midnight.
Linking the towns of Stranraer and Gretna, this stretch of road has become infamous as one of the most infamously haunted in the UK. Many sightings have been are made by HGV drivers, who regularly drive late into the night, and their experiences have caused several to quit the job. Hardly surprising, really – these sightings have involved all manner of ghouls, ghosts and creatures.
Some of these are straight out of your nightmares, with silent old women, hulking felines and eyeless phantoms, all of them terrifying drivers unlucky enough to find themselves making the trip. Other sights are a little more mundane, such as an ethereal furniture van. This last one was reported back in 1962, by drivers Derek and Norman. Their experience comprised 30 terrifying minutes of unexplained occurrences, including an unseen force violently rocking their vehicle, mysterious laughter, and a hen flying straight towards the windscreen, only to disappear at the last second.
Still, on the bright side at least we now know why the chicken crossed the road – apparently, it was on a mission to scare the hell out of some Scottish people.
Linking Sheffield to Manchester, the fearsome reputation of the Stockbridge Bypass is twofold; it’s known not only for its high rate of ghostly sightings, but also its high rate of fatal accidents, giving it the name of the Killer Road. Some suspect that the former often factor into the latter – whether or not this is true is up for debate, but there’s certainly no shortage of spirits who are reputed to roam the land around the Stockbridge Bypass.
A mysterious monk who became disillusioned with his faith is said to be buried in an unmarked grave somewhere on the land. Despite being dead, he certainly gets about; people have reported seeing him blankly staring out over valleys, waiting for nothing on the side of the road, or even appearing in the passenger seat next to them!
The ghostly children are another major feature of the Stockbridge Bypass’s chilling lore. In 1988, back when it was under construction, there were reports of children playing in the middle of the site, their laughter drifting through the night. When the eyewitnesses drew closer, the children vanished into thin air. They’re said to be the spirits of children who fell down mine chutes dotted around the area – occasionally, their echoes periodically resume the unfinished childhood games.
There are tales of other ghosts haunting the Stockbridge Bypass, including the more recent shades of those who died in local car crashes. But these two legends remain the most persistent. In the late 1980s, one unlucky pair of security guards supposedly witnessed both sets of shades within a 48-hour period. It was enough to make both of them quit the job within months, and apparently, neither ever set foot on the site again. (Their names are conveniently lost to history, so it’s all unsubstantiated, of course – but isn’t that half the fun with ghost stories?)
If you’d never driven down Platt Lane in Westhoughton, you’d probably think of it as nothing more than a narrow, unassuming road. However, it runs chillingly close to Pretoria Pit, the site of one of the most devastating mining disasters in Britain’s history. On the 21st of December 1910, 900 men and boys arrived for the day shift, and descended into the mines. Unbeknownst to them, gas had been accumulating due to a roof collapse the day before, and at 7:50am there was an explosion. Most of the casualties were not from the explosion itself, but from carbon monoxide poisoning. 344 men and boys died in total.
Today, drivers along that road still report seeing the shades of miners on their way to work. Sometimes they are travelling together, carts in tow and pickaxes in hand, and sometimes they are standing still, eyes silently tracking you from the side of the road. We’ll never hear ‘Hi-Ho’ the same way again.
It was Friday the 19th of November 1965, and a Ford Cortina was driving on Bluebell Hill. The four occupants were young women Gillian Burchett, Judith Lingham, Patricia Ferguson, and Suzanne Browne. It was the eve of Suzanne’s wedding – she was 22 years old, and was due to marry RAF photographer Brian Wetton the next day. Sadly, it wasn’t to be; at some point, the Cortina span out of control, colliding with a Jaguar driven by Harry Backhouse. Patricia died instantly at the site, whereas Judith and Suzanne both died a few days later. Backhouse and Gillian both survived.
This tragic incident is said to be the source of the ghostly ‘bride in white’ who haunts the stretch of A229 in Kent. She’s often erroneously named as Judith Langham, with an A, seemingly due to confusion that arose from the proximity of Judith Lingham’s death with Suzanne’s.
Whoever she is, over 50 sightings have been reported of the Bluebell Bride, always seen still in her white dress, and drivers have interacted with her to varying extents. She shares a tendency with our monk friend above to get very up-close and personal with drivers, but apparently she’s a lot more polite about it, as she waits for an invitation. Given that she often appears late at night, in the wet and the cold, some drivers have given her a lift – only for her to disappear the moment she gets out of the car.
Most commonly though, drivers witness her suddenly crossing the road in front of their vehicles, and ‘collide’ with her. One driver even carried her to the side of the road, wrapping her in a blanket before he went off to fetch help. When he returned, she was gone – leaving only the blanket behind.
We can’t help with paranormal phenomenons here at Scrap Car Network, but we can certainly make it a lot less scary to scrap your car. No more messing about with paperwork or ringing round various scrap yards – just enter your car reg and postcode into our homepage, and we’ll do all the hard work for you. In the meantime, maybe you should have a think about switching that hall light on…