The Haunted: Clinton Road
This month’s post about a haunting is kind of all over the place. So much so that it sounds like one of those Stefan skits from Saturday Night Live. You know, “this haunted road has everything…creepy cults, a werewolf thing, the KKK, ghostly government workers, pagans, ghost trucks, and even aliens!” But really. It has all of that and more, so let’s not waste anymore time. Let’s explore Clinton Road in New Jersey.
The Ghost Boy
The most well known story about Clinton Road is that of the ghost boy. Now, this boy sounds more like a troll to me, since he is known to reside under a bridge and like shiny things, but that’s just my opinion (please don’t haunt me, Clinton Road Ghost Boy). This spirit is apparently drawn to coins.
The basic legend says that if you throw a coin into the river below the bridge, it will be thrown back by the ghost boy. None of the legends I could find really explain why he throws the coins, or if the tossing is accompanied by any other supernatural phenomena. There are a few local rumors about who the boy could be, but none seem to be backed up by primary sources. Most rumors agree that he was a teen playing some sort of dangerous game on the bridge (racing, playing chicken, etc), though a few less prevalent legends claim the spirit is a young boy who drowned while trying to get a toy from the water. Additionally, some variations on the legend say that throwing a coin into a local lake will lead to it being placed into the road.
The thing about this legend, however, is that there is no singular bridge on Clinton Road that’s pointed to as the bridge. While most people agree that the bridge near Dead Man’s Curve is the correct choice, I haven’t been able to find any source material singling it out. But, I mean, Dead Man’s Curve being involved does add a lot to the lore of it all.
Cross Castle is one of the physical destinations along Clinton Road that is a paranormal hotspot. The castle was constructed in 1905 by Richard Cross, allegedly in an attempt to provide a European-style castle for his family in the states. A fire partially destroyed it in the 20th century and it was never restored – it was fully demolished in 1988, though the building’s foundations remain. It is still a popular tourist and hiking destination.
There are all sorts of strange happenings at the Castle. Visitors to the site have reported experiencing seizures and mysterious bruising that defies explanation. Visitors also report having violent and disturbing visions – the one specific vision I saw mentioned was images of a young boy being slaughtered. People setting out to visit the Castle have heard strange chanting. Another claim is that the Castle is used for covert KKK meetings. Plus, visitors often report seeing Satanic imagery and “scripture” at the castle, so that adds a certain element.
There’s a question mark up there for a reason. There are sightings of UFOs in the original intended sense of the term – something in the sky we can’t identify. Many of these sightings are solitary and self-reported, so take them with a grain of salt. Lights seem to be the most sighted UFOs in the area, which can be bright flashes or colored orbs that can travel at a high rate of speed.
Phantom cars are also a frequently documented phenomena on Clinton Road. One local legend I kept coming across seemed to come about in the late 1980s or early 1990s, and was (again!) based around racing. The legend states that a young woman was driving far too fast in her late-80s Chevy Camaro and collided with a cement divider. She died on impact. The car is still seen driving down the road and passing at a high rate of speed.
Ghost trucks are also a common sighting, though their behavior is far more aggressive that the Camaro Woman. Many people driving late at night on Clinton Road have encountered a large truck (stories vary on whether it is a large pickup or a small trailer truck) driving aggressively behind them. The legends really remind me of the beginning of Jeepers Creepers, if you’ve seen it. Basically, the truck will aggressively tailgate the driver, swerving like they’re going to pass but then don’t. Basically the ghost truck will try to run the driver off the road. I can’t find any documentation of what kind of spirit or any specific person who maybe driving these trucks, so the origins of this legend are unclear.
Annnnnnnd the Satanic Panic is back, as usual. As with any somewhat remote area, rumors of occult practices and rituals fly and take root and turn into urban legends. Along with the so-called Satanic Graffiti at Cross Castle, travelers have reported seeing gatherings of people in dark clothing and/or cloaks. Their presence is not confined to any one area – some people have claimed to see them in the median (?) or the side of the road. Local legends claim that these Satanists come to Clinton Road or the woods surrounding it to conduct rituals…and sacrifices. Of course, I can’t find any solidly documented evidence of these rituals or sacrifice, but…tongues will wag.