CLINTON ROAD, NEW JERSEY – HIGHWAY OF HIGH STRANGENESS
Posted September 14, 2015on:
What is it about New Jersey? It seems to have more than it’s fair share of oddness to it, and a 10 mile desolate stretch of road has more weird tales than you can shake a stick at. Situated 55 miles north-west of New York City, Clinton Road was named after an earlier settlement there, which has long since gone. It’s a sparsely populated area, but apparently this isn’t unusual in this region. In fact, some locals have pointed out there are even more lonely stretches of road than this, and yet they don’t have the sinister reputation which Clinton Road has. Even so, it has few houses along it, and is lined with public woodland, which is all bound to enhance it’s creepy reputation.
The highway has become associated with ghostly apparitions, UFO sightings, weather anomalies, strange animals, and dark rumours of Satanic and Klu Klux Klan activity. It has also got a reputation for being a dumping-ground for the Mafia when disposing of their victims. The rumours about the area don’t seem to be anything new. In 1905 it was reported that it wasn’t advisable to stray there after dark, because of “bands of robbers, and counterfeiters, to say nothing of the witches that held their nightly dances”.
The most famous ghost is that of the drowned boy. He was alleged to have fallen from a bridge here, and if you throw coins into the river he will throw them back at you. People also claim the road is frequented by wolf-like hell hounds, and a strange creature like a large bat. There is also the legend of a phantom black truck, which appears late at night, and vanishes into the side of the road. The sharpest bend in the road is at Dead Man’s Curve, where people have felt panic-stricken and loathe to go on. Some have reported feeling as though they were being pushed.
A prominent building in the area at one time was Cross Castle, a substantial stone house, built by Richard Cross in 1905 to house his family. Cross died in 1917, and the family sold the house 2 years later to the state of Newark. I’m not sure what it was used for after that, but the house fell steadily into decay and disrepair, and in the 1970s it was reputedly used for Satanic activity. A press cutting from that time showed the walls daubed in graffiti, which turned out to be excerpts from Anton La Vey’s Satanic Bible. In 1988 the remains of the building were gutted by fire, and very little of the house remains, apart from it’s foundations and it’s grim reputation.
As if Satanists and Mafiosi on the prowl wasn’t unnerving enough, the road is also said to be a haunt of the Klu Klux Klan, and some drivers have reported being followed by cars with their headlights turned off. Others claim to have seen disembodied floating headlights. There are also reports of people seeing oddly-dressed people in the area, who appear and disappear at random. Or could it just that the loneliness of the road simply preys on people’s imaginations? Makes them see everything, even other cars and people, in a sinister light? One local police chief was quoted in a news report as saying that something about the road “makes the imagination go nuts”.
Locals have said there is nothing strange about the road at all, and the only odd thing about it are the thrill-seeking teenagers who trundle up and down it, hoping to see something spooky. On one chat-forum I saw someone write that the road has been re-paved in recent years, which makes it look slightly less disreputable. This case definitely seems to divide people. From those who say it’s just a road, to others who swear that they’ve had frightening experiences here.
With all these reports of paranormal and crime associations, it’s nice to see on Wikipedia that it also has the dubious honour of having America’s longest traffic-light wait (5 minutes)!