As if driving alone on the road at night wasn’t creepy enough, lone drivers also have to contend with the knowledge that some of Britain’s motorways and bypasses number amongst the country’s most haunted locations. British Paranormal discusses five of its favourite haunted roads from across the UK.
The Evil Monk – The Stocksbridge Bypass (South Yorkshire):
With a history that is as bloody as it is peculiar, the Stocksbridge Bypass has acquired the reputation of being one of the UK’s most significant paranormal hot spots. Before the stretch of road had even been completed it became associated with some spectacular supernatural events, including one occasion during which two policemen claimed to have been harassed by the spirit of a headless monk. The officers stated that the entity miraculously appeared and then disappeared by their side windows.
Blue Bell Hill Ghost – A229 (Kent):
It is said that there are over 50 ghosts associated with the Blue Bell Hill area of Kent. At least 3 of these ghosts haunt a very small stretch of the A229, a major road linking Maidstone with Medway. In 1962, a local man offered a lift to a young female hitch hiker as he drove through the area. She accepted the lift and climbed into the back of his car. Awkward silence turned to terrifying silence when the driver realised the girl had disappeared. A similar incident is alleged to have occurred in 1971. Additionally, countless drivers have reported near-misses or collisions with a vanishing girl, who suddenly runs from the curbside, all the time staring straight at the driver. After these encounters, many drivers went as far as to report the incident to the emergency services, believing they had accidentally struck some poor pedestrian.
The Phantom Car – A3 (Burpham, Surrey):
In December 2002, Surrey Police received a call from a concerned motorist, who believed that she had just witnessed a crash on the A3 near Burpham. The driver reported seeing a car skid off the road and requested emergency assistance. When the police and paramedics arrived, a search ensued. There was no obvious evidence of a crash and no sign of the car. The police were almost ready to conclude their search when one eagle-eyed officer spotted something in the undergrowth. A badly burned out car was sat entangled in a mesh of weeds and vines, almost entirely hidden from view. It had clearly been there for many years. Close-by, officers also found the heavily decomposed remains of the car’s driver.
Ghost Hitch Hiker – A6 (Stockport, Great Manchester):
According to local legend, the ghostly figure of a loan female hitchhiker haunts the town centre of Stockport in Greater Manchester. Scores of motorists traveling on the Wellington Road near Mersey Square have witnessed the apparition. She seems to be attempting to thumb a lift, as she is said to approach the roadside to indicate her intentions. She is described as slim with dark straight her and is said to hold a motorcycle helmet. In one highly publicized encounter in the early 1990s, a man named Harold Smith stopped in a lay-by to offer the young woman a lift, but when he looked back over his shoulder she had vanished from sight.
Hairy Hands – B3212 (Dartmoor, Devon):
The B3212 over Dartmoor is perhaps the most famous haunted road in the entire country. It holds the dubious distinction of being home to “Hairy Hands”, a pair of hideous, disembodied hands that attack motorists as they travel this stretch of road across the moor. The first recorded incident involving Hairy Hands dates from 1921 and resulted in the death of a local doctor, who had been traveling on a motorcycle. Years later an army officer crashed at almost exactly the same spot, but he survived. He went on to tell the local police that he had suddenly been struck by a fearful sense of evil and that shortly after this, a pair of enormous, hairy hands grabbed the steering wheel of his vehicle, causing him to crash. At first the police did not take the account seriously, but then, some weeks later, another motorist experienced a crash at exactly the same location. She too told the police that the accident was caused by a pair of phantom disembodied hands.