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Added by abandonednj. Stanhope, New Jersey. Historic town settled in the 19th century because of its convenient location along a popular coal transport route. Added by pohanica. Hardwick, New Jersey. Added by EricGrundhauser. Related Places. Frithsden, England.

A mysterious bridge built on a sunken Roman road. Added by Fuch Colorado Springs, Colorado. The haunted reputation of these abandoned Colorado train tunnels is probably not helped by the terrifying spiked fence. Added by aimzatron.

Weird NJ: Haunting Tales of Shades of Death Road

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Weird NJ: Haunting Tales of Shades of Death Road

See contest rules for full details. Every weekday we compile our most wondrous stories and deliver them straight to you. Like Atlas Obscura and get our latest and greatest stories in your Facebook feed. We value your privacy Atlas Obscura and our trusted partners use technology such as cookies on our website to personalise ads, support social media features, and analyse our traffic. I Accept. RSS Feed. Find me here:. Stories of murder, tragedy and plague all call this place home. The mystery of the area escalated even more when thousands of polaroids of bound women were found on a nearby hillside.

With a name like 'Shades of Death Road' it is little wonder that this stretch of rural road in New Jersey, US, is quite well documented for strange happenings and unnatural goings on. Travelling for 6.

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It gets a little creepier when one finds out about landmarks close by, including the fairy hole and Ghost Lake. A deserted shack at the end of a dead-end lane rounds out its overall creepy nature. The legends began in the early 's when the settling populace of the area was said to be quite violent legends also state inbred.

Fights would start out amongst families, and at times family members would go missing while out hunting in the wilds. Of course, another family would be blamed for the disappearance, and the old saying 'an eye for an eye' would come into play. Later on highway men and bandits would ply their sinister ways along the darkened, tree choked stretches of the then dirt roadway.

Robberies and hold-ups were not too uncommon, and much of the time the person who had their possessions pilfered would be left with their throat cut on the side of the road.


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Reprisals against these highway men were severe, and the locals would hunt them down and lynch them from one of the trees lining the road. The bodies would be left to rot on the low lying branches, to serve as a reminder to others to take their criminal business elsewhere. Even after so many deaths, this rural route was still known as 'The Shade', due to the constant blocking out of the sun from the trees reaching overhead. This was soon to change. In the 's 'Bear Swamp', located next to the road, began to be a breeding ground for malaria carrying mosquitoes.

Every year the mosquitoes would blow out in plague proportions, causing mass outbreaks of the disease.

Some legends state that doctors, being quite expensive, did not have the want to treat the many 'poor' people living in the area, but would still be seen travelling the road between towns. In an effort to appeal to their compassion, families of those stricken with malaria would place the sick in beds along the roadside, in the hope that a travelling doctor would stop and treat them. If true, it would have presented quite a macabre scene, as those near deaths door would have been seen in their beds, soaked in fever sweat, convulsing or in the stillness of comas.

These outbreaks became so severe that towards the end of the 's the swamps were drained with state sponsored money and labour.


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  8. Although the outbreaks were now much less severe, people could not forget the terror and fear of the years before, and the roadway was renamed 'Shades of Death'. In , archaeologists surveyed a landmark in the area known as the 'Fairy Hole'.

    this road is scarier than clinton road... (shades of death road)

    This small, shallow cave seemed to play host to short stay visits to the Lenape Indians. Arrow heads and pottery shards were all found in the cave, but today it is filled with graffiti and broken beer bottles. Close to the vicinity of the cave are several Indian burial sites. Soon after the survey, a creek that ran near the road was dammed, and a lake was formed, flooding the burial sites.

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    The original name for the lake is forgotten, but that's not a big issue, as that name did not stick for long. In the cooler mornings, thick tendrils of vapour would form on the lakes surface, and slowly creep into the nearby vegetation. Due to this spooky play of mist and fog the lake was renamed Ghost Lake, further adding to the atmosphere of the area.

    An abandoned cabin, that can be seen across the lake from the road, has its share of stories as well, with many believing that the ghosts seen there are the spirits of the lost and murdered congregating. One of the more interesting legends concerns the Native American Spirit guide. This spirit takes the form of a deer that appears to run along the side of cars travelling the road in the twilight hours.

    The deer is said to forewarn the driver that other deer are seeking to cross the road ahead, and if the driver does not slow down the deer will be struck. This can be fatal to both the deer and the occupants of the car. During the 's and 30's the road was the location of a number of murders.

    Whatever you do, don't exit your car on New Jersey's Shades of Death Road

    The first was a robbery, with the victim meeting a grisly end after being savagely beaten with a tyre iron. The second was a man who was shot and left to die on the side of the road. The third murder had a woman kill and decapitate her husband.