We’ve got a little piece of everything this episode. A ghost boy under bridges, Hellhounds, and Extraterrestrial lights chasing cars, haunted castles, and occult activity. Clinton Road stands as the most haunted road within New Jersey. Possibly even within the country, so make sure you’re buckled up for this episode’s journey into the Realm of Unknown. After that, if you have your own story, or wish to suggest a topic for future discussion, contact us.
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Clinton Road is a notorious road located in Northern New Jersey, in West Milford, within Passaic County. Running for roughly 10 miles, or 16 kilometers for any and all international listeners out there.
The road itself and the area around it has gained more and more infamously over the years; as stories and legends of strange occurrences and odd sightings throughout the region. For instance, spirits, strange creatures in the woods, gatherings of witches, and occult-based practices. Additionally, reports of meetings for local Ku Klux Klan chapters. It is also an area in which people believe that professional killers may dispose of bodies. Dumping them in the surrounding woods.
There aren’t that many houses along the road and much of the surrounding region is public woodlands. Up until fairly recently, much of the road has not been kept; as it was not part of New Jersey’s route system. Fun fact, Clinton Road is also notorious for having the country’s longest-lasting traffic light wait. At the intersection where Route 23 meets Clinton. A weird little addition, but it basically adds to the road’s dark nature.
Up and down Clinton Road, urban legends and odd sightings of all different sorts, reportings by nearby residences or drivers along the road. So from here on we’re gonna go over some of the most famous or highly reported sightings in the region; along with reading off some stories that people have reported. I want to integrate some more personal reports into these stories, so bear with me while I attempt something different.
According to the legends, one of the bridges over Clinton Brook, right near Dead Man’s Curve. Holding attachment to one of Clinton Road’s most famous legends, the spirit of a young boy who drowned. As it goes, if you toss a coin into the reservoir below, at midnight it will supposedly be returned by the ghost of a boy who had drowned while swimming in the water below. Though some stories have the boy falling in while sitting on the edge of the bridge. In some reports, an apparition has actually physical; and in others, the ghost pushes whoever tossed the quarter into the water. Some people see this as malicious, others see the boy potentially trying to save them from some form of danger.
“My friends and I decided to find out for ourselves what is true and what is not. We went to the bridge and threw a quarter off. Not but a minute later you hear the bloop as if you dropped the quarter in again. The water-filled with ripples and a child’s reflection appeared. I flew back to the car. That scared all of us.” – Dina, West Milford
Besides the ghost boy, other ghosts and spirits have sightings across the road. A spectral Camaro has reportedly being driven by a young woman who supposedly died after a crash in 1988. The legend goes that the mere mention of this particular ghost. While driving along the road yourself will be a sort of trigger, causing the Camaro to manifest. Another story comes in the form of a ghostly pair, allegedly involving two Park Rangers who had died back in 1938. Others have claimed to see people oddly dressed, out and about during strange hours. These encounters are jarring, as these apparent spirits. Or even oddball individuals, are simply staring at those who see them, and do not speak. Some only a single person sees, disappearing without a trace before anyone else could ever notice them.
The next major sight to see along Clinton Road is with the Druidic Temple. A stone structure, just east of the road south of the reservoir, where the Penny Bridge is. It is said to be the site where local Druids would practice their rituals and ceremonies. The building itself is actually an iron smelter built back in 1826; and later it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, given the name, Clinton Furnace, in 1976. The Druid Temple is currently fenced off by the Newark water department. Preventing any entrance and essentially keep people safe. The building is not in great shape by any means, there is a lot of structural damage. Unfortunately due to the stories around this building, fences are put up to deter exploring. Preventing dumb behavior and people getting hurt.
Interestingly enough, there was actually a Castle that stood not far from Clinton Road, 1905 Richard J. Cross purchases some of the lands and constructed a grand gothic-looking Castle for himself and his family. They called the Bearfort, but most of the locals referred to it as Cross Castle. Richard however died in 1917 and later on fire would take down most of the structure; as of today, there are but a few stone remnants of what once stood. Hikers, explorers, and allegedly Satanic worshippers would venture out to see these foundation walls across the last century.
Stories surrounding Cross castle for the most part retain to the living. Stories from hikers or drivers, who spot both Satanic rituals and apparent KKK meeting on the Castle ground, late into the night. Satanic symbols and graffiti have also been discovered in parts of the castle that was believed to be inaccessible; and by this, I mean literally no one should be able to get to some of these locations. During a meeting at Hoot Paranormal, this location, in particular, was clear. They had to remove a wall in order to gain access. Once they did is when they discovered the symbols. So clearly, someone was able to get in there. Either through some back secret entrance or by somehow getting past a stone wall into a sealed room.
There are even some stories and legends of an albino clan or tribe of primitive people still living out in the woods. Some think that these stories may involve some form of supernatural creature. From what is found, people see these as physical people and seem to be a story throughout New Jersey.
“One time, when a bunch of us climbed up the walls, we did see something. We were up there and saw two white figures. They were about 100 yards away from our friends on the ground. Couldn’t see them from their vantage point. They came to within 100 yards of the group and then disappeared into the woods. When we got back to terra firma, we told them about it and that’s when the stories started coming; there was instantly talk about an albino village in the woods.” – Brian R.
Some have reported seeing all-white figures deeper into the woods after climbing some of the remaining stones of the Castle. Others report hearing chanting, similar to ritual practice, but with no one visibly nearby; the sounds of chains rattling and dragging have also been a part of these reports. A sense of unease and discomfort seems to be unanimous. Things get worse as people even have stories and reports where people start having seizures. Having bruises appear on their bodies afterward or having strange, disturbing visions while visiting the location. Many people will firmly be stating to just keep driving at night past the Castle grounds. Don’t stop, just keep driving.
Speaking of driving, according to the Travel Channel show Most Terrifying Places in America 2, phantom vehicles also have reports up and along Clinton Road. Similar to the Camaro stated earlier, the show states others such as ghostly pickup trucks and even disembodied headlights not attached to any vehicle. Supposedly appearing from nowhere in the middle of the night and chasing drivers to the end of the road, before disappearing.
The weirdest factor that comes of the Road, is sightings of strange creatures and animals not native to the region. Now black bears and even some poisonous snakes call this environment home. Even Coyotes are beginning to have some sightings up this north. But things only get stranger when people start spotting bizarre and unearthly creatures. Several people have spotted a large grey and white wolf, with bright crimson red eyes. Wolfs are no longer native to New Jersey, not even Pennsylvania has native wolves. The few that are there are all within enclosures. This may possibly be a hybrid canine, known as a Coywolf. An animal that is a mix between coyotes and wolves. With mainly coyote-based traits, but about twice the size of an average coyote.
Hellhounds and Black Dogs are among some of these creatures. One sighting involving a Hellhound chasing down a car full of passengers. The car was apparently going at least 60 mph, the canine kept pace until the car turns off the road. Eventually pulled over by a cop, once this happened the supposed Hellhound simply disappeared. Other odd animals involve monkeys, primates, and unidentifiable hybrid animals that lurk about in the woods.
Now, there may actually be an explanation for most of the sightings; and it may not be all that supernatural in origin. A lot of these animals may be survivors of a nearby attraction, Jungle Habitat, which closed down back in 1976. Some of these surviving animals may have lasted longer by cross-breeding either with themselves or native species, in the case of the canines.
Even aliens have involvement with Clinton Road. Now in this case most of the reports come from eyewitness reports from drivers, who are more often than not the only car on the road. A lot of the stories people have, involve others being in the car with them during the encounter.
“We were at Clinton Road one night. As we went further along, we began to spot lights in the sky. Hundreds of them, along either side of the woods – blue ones, red ones, white ones. We got so freaked out and began to speed off. As we went 75 mph on this 35 mph road. The lights would keep pace with us. If we stopped in the middle of the road, they would halt and stay there on each side. Until suddenly, they vanished.” – Jay Radicals
In an additional little side note and sort of a true-crime angle to Clinton Road, back in May of 1983; a human body was found in the woods not too far from the road. The story goes that a cyclist going down the road, who discovers the body. After investigating a vulture feasting at a spot in the nearby trees.
After an autopsy, it was determined that the man had died of foul play, and discovering something rather puzzling. Ice crystals had actually formed in the blood vessels near his heart. His interior organs also had decayed at a rate far slower than that of his skin. Pathologists soon concluded that someone had frozen his body after death in an attempt to mislead investigators. Hoping to make them believe that this man died at a later time than he actually did. The man was later someone with ties to the Mafia activities of nearby Rockland County, New York. The investigation ultimately led to the 1986 arrest of “The Iceman” aka Richard Kuklinski. A New Jersey native involved in Rockland organized crime, who confessed to being the killer.
Kuklinski was charged on six counts of murder but during some interviews. Claiming to have murdered anywhere from 100 to 250 men between 1948 to 1986. Although these numbers are in high debate. He was put to prison for six, but no one knows for sure how many lives Kuklinski is responsible for taking.
On that sour note, we shall be wrapping up our little venture into the history and stories surrounding Clinton Road; one of the most haunted locations in NJ. In some way one of the most bizarre and unsettling roads in the country. There are probably a few things extra, but honestly, there was a whole lot. Many chalks up as simply being local stories and rumors that people just sort of spread around. All relating to what we discussed, but I just didn’t trust the legitimacy of all the stories all too much.
Episode 3 – Clinton Road the Most Haunted Road in New Jersey. Produced by Shane Cummings; Audio Editing & Research by Shane Cummings. Intro & Outro music “Creepy Regrets” by AnMo.
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