Several legends come out of Constitution Drive, like many haunted and creepy roads. This includes psycho albinos, who go ballistic if you adventure too far into where they call home, and who push cars into the river if you get out and leave it unattended. Another legend is the malevolent spirit of a young girl, whose screams echo into the night throughout the woods. However, the most common tale is about the apparition of a man, seen with his two dogs. We shall get into these once we discuss the road itself a bit.
If you’d like additional bonus content, consider Supporting the Patreon for monthly polls, bonus episodes, and behind-the-scenes content! View some other episodes and articles about ghost stories and paranormal entities right here!
In today’s episode, we shall be discussing one of the more prevalent aspects of the Paranormal, a staple of the genre and one that we’ve tackled a few times before. Haunted roads and highways, with the spotlight for today’s episode being that of Constitution Drive, right here in Pennsylvania. Constitution Drive is a long, desolate stretch of wooded, partly unpaved road; which is parallel to both the Lehigh River and railroad tracks. This road is located in Allentown, PA, within Salisbury Township, if you wish to venture there yourself.
The road itself is an unpaved single lane that stretches a little under 3 miles along the Lehigh River. It helps Allentown and Bethlehem and more accurately straddles the Allentown and Salisbury Township line. The road is primarily located in the Lehigh Uplands Preserve. A large swath of heavily wooded and desolate land up on the side of Lehigh Mountain. As stated earlier, there is a local rail line that runs parallel to the road. However, it has since been defunct and no longer in use. The road is along the city and township lines. Which has a historic stone spring built into the mountainside above the road.
Constitution Drive used to be a sort of Lover’s Lane for locals back in the day. However, there is an unsettling feeling now related to the road. We even have a full article breaking it down, which I’ll be referencing for this next segment. The Morning Call, a local newspaper and news organization, actually covered Constitution Drive fairly in-depth during the late ’80s.
On November 6th, 1987, an article was written by Kristen Casler, goes into detail about the darker side of what Constitution Drive has to offer, and they don’t even mention any ghosts or legends just yet. Keep in mind that this next bit of the episode comes from this 1987 article. I did my best to see how things were nowadays, but this was certainly the height of the craziness.
Constitution Drive for years has been the site of indiscriminate trash dumping. The estimates from state officials at the time were nearly 100 tons of abandoned appliances, construction material, and household garbage. On top of this, gunshots, arson, burglary, accounts of rape, and other accidents; forced homeowners and their neighbors to live in fear of not knowing what’s next.
Some prominent characters in relation to these accounts are the Eberhard and their neighbors. This includes some property owners like Bethlehem Steel Corp., Conrail, and KK Kratzer Stone Co. All having been witnesses to or victims of repeated crimes, in some cases possibly in retaliation for protecting their land.
At the time, Salisbury Township Police Chief Charles Durner said the area naturally encourages crime because of its seclusion. However, he adds that the situation is not as bad as residents claim.
Eberhard on the other hand said that there are quiet periods, but that they come in spurts. He kept his own collection of files, logging incidents, newspaper clippings, letters, congressional correspondence, police records, maps, and photographs. Ultimately, saying the crime problem is bigger than Salisbury Township police are willing to acknowledge.
Eberhard’s own home was broken into four times since he moved in, between 1979 and 1987. His records log 35 criminal or suspicious activities, all excluding dumping activity. Stretching from along his road and east onto Cardinal Drive and River Road. Starting from July 1983, till November 1987 when this interview and article occurred.
On March 30, 1986, the Eberhards awoke by shots fired at their home. One .22-caliber bullet penetrated the living room wall and dropped to the floor. A second shot entered through a window, ricocheted off the ceiling, and embedded itself in the opposite wall. Police made no arrests, and Eberhard began sleeping with a shotgun as a safety precaution.
Eberhard and his neighbor, Ismael Rodriguez, said they have reported gunshots in the area several times.
Arson is also a huge issue for the area. Eberhard recorded fires at KK Kratzer Stone Co. on three separate dates, Sept. 23, 1984, May 3, 1986, and June 28, 1986. He also logged arsons at the historical fountain that serves as the Allentown-Salisbury Township boundary on again; three dates May 12, 1986, June 28, 1986, and July 9, 1987. A fire started by vandals on Dec. 20, 1986, destroyed a railroad car on the tracks just off Constitution Drive.
However, Eberhard says his records in no way reflect the numerous small fires started every year.
On two separate occurrences, women report being sexually assaulted in the dense woods. According to Morning Call articles, these took place on Oct. 23, 1978, and Oct. 3, 1986. Two dozen Morning Call articles dating back to the mid-1970s, also support neighborhood complaints with reported thefts, burglaries, vandalism, and further arson.
Despite the ongoing criminal situation, police just were not able to properly monitor the secluded road. The township’s police force was rather small and stretched very thin. Additionally, much of the road along with most of the reports came from the Salisbury Township side of things. Meaning that Allentown patrols would not be in that area.
At this peak time, about three arrests for illegal dumping in the area per month. Several more citations are handed out for trespassing on the Bethlehem Steel property. Ultimately the area was just not the highest priority for patrols.
But the complaints from those living in the area began to spread. In fact, residents living up the hill, in populated areas, began to feel the brunt of the vandalism and crime. Bethlehem Steel’s property is littered with four-wheel-drive trails, from people who venture out during the weekend. According to a Morning Call article, a 21-year-old man was killed when he was thrown from his all-terrain vehicle in April 1985 on one of these backwood paths.
In addition to being fed up with the trash, broken beer bottles, and unregistered all-terrain vehicles riding around; Philadelphians know that pain. There were also continued reports of gunshots, poaching, and vehicles burned and overturned off the roadway.
Ismael Rodriguez reported his mailbox was shot through with a rifle, about a year back, and the bullet just missed his home by about five feet. Joseph Zongora, who owns the property that includes Eberhard’s lot, has made similar reports of theft and arson. His truck was stolen on Feb 24, 1984, and found overturned in Eberhard’s front yard.
Stephen Baize has lived on Cardinal Drive for 61 years, Cardinal Drive is basically the second half of Constitution Drive, same road, different sections. Baize says the events that plague Constitution Drive didn’t surface out of the blue. Recounting how a woman was found beaten and thrown off the edge of the road about 20 years ago. His wife even found a projectile shot through their roof several years back.
Residents and property owners have put in a lot of effort to try and fix these issues. Neighborhood patrols organized trash pickups, and attorney consultations marked the beginnings of the restoration effort. Neighbors contacted their legislators, and several residents attended township supervisors’ meetings from 1985-1987 demanding increased protection and police patrols.
Increased patrols following the initial meeting complaints brought in about 100 trespassing and dumping arrests in three months, according to the Salisbury Township Police Chief. Eberhard maintained those figures to prove the police presence will either frighten troublemakers away or haul them away in squad cars.
However, this was not something that could feasibly be done long term. The only permanent solution is to close the road to the public. James Dolan, a state Department of Environmental Resources waste management specialist, said a joint effort by Allentown and Salisbury Township to close the road is in the works. These discussions and plans were being thought up back in 1987, so what’s going on today?
So, when it comes to finding out what happened to the restoration efforts, I’m a bit lost. There are not really any articles or news coverage that I could find past this article we discussed. There was one published a month prior, in October of 1987, however, it mentions much of the same. As for Constitution Drive today, people do still have properties there. A few of them are on the market with Zillow, for a rather cheap price actually.
The road does still have that creepy factor to it, especially at night. Recent coverage from WFMZ News, a local Allentown station, mention four people receiving tickets for illegal dumping. The story takes place on a separate road, more inside the city proper. However, it’s still about ten minutes or so from Constitution Drive and is practiced across the river from it. Furthermore, it would not be a surprise to find more reports such as this. You are still able to visit the road, but be aware that the police patrol quite frequently. You may be pulled over if they believe you don’t belong there, or you’re acting suspiciously.
Now, what about the ghosts and local legends of Constitution Drive? As mentioned at the opening of the episode, there are a few major accounts of strange or paranormal happenings.
First, I want to talk about this supposed Albino wildmen community out in the woods. I am going to be very frank and very upfront, I find most if not all of these stories incredibly stupid. You hear stories like this all over the place, when we talked about Clinton Road, that place had them, other locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware have them. It seems as if, in an area secluded in the woods, then there also has to be a violent albino population nearby.
It’s such a tired trope you will find with many of these roads. Take Constitution Drive for an example, the road is not far from the population. The road is remote, but remember it practically borders the Lehigh River. While on the other hand, is the city of Allentown. We are not miles away from any sort of civilization, we are just in a spot that happens to have more trees.
Of course, too, the home these supposed albinos inhabit is actually occupied by a completely normal old man. He is very friendly from all accounts to visitors, despite the various “Attack Dog” signs on his property. The myth seems to have started many years ago by radio DJs, to create some sort of hype for the area and seems to stretch as far back as the Prohibition era. Although that side of the story is a bit hard to nail down with sources.
The agreed-upon legend relating to this male spirit is that a train ran him over. This accident would severe his leg, however like many local legends, there are variations to what happens next. Most stories have him walking the dogs near the tracks when he was hit by a train. With some accounts, the man laid on the isolated road for two days before eventually dying from blood loss. His two dogs never left and died alongside him. In another version, both the man and his dogs, die instantly. There are also a few accounts that say the man was a worker on the very railway itself.
Nowadays, people agree that the man’s spirit is still walking the road with his dogs. The dogs’ eyes are often seen glowing a crimson color. After it snows, people have reported seeing the tracks of two dogs, but only one single footprint trial of the person walking with them. Some eerier stories claim that the man never died with any dogs, but is still accompanied by them after death. These accounts also claim that the group wanders the road, leaving a long trail of blood as they move.
As mentioned earlier, there is at least one other spirit that seems to haunt Constitution Drive. Being that of a young girl, who only appears as an apparition, never making a sound. One of the strange phenomena of the road involves the phantom screaming of this young girl. Various EVPs of this young girl’s spirit are out there, all along the road backing up claims of paranormal activity. However, some say this legend arose from the street’s previously mentioned crime rate. That or people are misinterpreting the calls of turkey vultures.
Finally, we have another rather prominent occurrence along the road, this time being a mysterious whistling. Reports say that it comes from every direction, and has no explanation. It starts and stops at random. Witnesses describe it as melodic and calming, yet deeply disturbing since they are oftentimes out there alone or in small groups. There are some EVP recordings and photographs taken at the location by Paranormal Investigators and amateur ghost hunters.
I’ll be sharing a few of those over on Patreon for you all to look over. A possible explanation could be the clanging of freight cars hitting against each other in the rail yard across the river; This could sound odd or distorted if you’re some distance away.
Constitution Drive is a strange and eerie stretch of road, which happens to have a long history of violence and negativity. It is no surprise that stories of spirits and other oddities have joined the mix.
EP 51 – Constitution Drive | Legends & Crimes. Produced by Shane Cummings; Audio Editing & Research by Shane Cummings.
Intro & Outro music “Creepy Regrets” by AnMo.
#CommissionsEarned As an Amazon Associate, we (Realm of Unknown) earn from qualified purchases.