An eerie road that edges the Mucklands in Great Meadows, New Jersey is named Shades of Death Road. It is an old road of the Township that most likely has existed since the Revolutionary times. This road begins at Hope Road and it comes to an end in Allamuchy. The disturbing name has long fascinated visitors to this part of the United States. Well over one hundred years ago, a traveling peddler and his horse were mysteriously slain on the road and since that incident, the road has been known as Shades of Death Road. The road has long been associated with many a tragic and mysterious death.
There were several vicious murders and frequent wildcat attacks were commonplace during this time in the road’s tragic history. In addition, many Indians died of malaria before the Mucklands were drained. this contributed to a large number of deaths of both the young and the old. Delaware Indians, local to the area, were killed in battles with the Iroquois tribe. Such battles were common occurrences and contributed to the tales of mystery and reports of the hauntings over the years. Additional folklore relates that a colony of squatters living on the roadway kept to themselves and created their own lawless society. It is reported that deaths were frequent as a result from fighting over women. The squatters were aggressive and remained problematic in the area for a long time. It’s not hard to imagine how they intimidated anyone walking along the road and took advantage of the isolation and darkness to rob or murder.
Other accounts of murder talk about the road being originally known as Shades due to the low hanging trees forming a canopy over it. Throughout the history of the area, many murders occurred and most remained unresolved. This caused the locals to add a sinister twist to the name. Visitors to the area state that the road is secluded and dark.
There have been several reports of paranormal activity on this winding road. The activity is likely due to the stories pertaining to dumped bodies of plague victims in the nearby Ghost Lake. Or, the activity could be attributed to the spirit of a murdered child who asks motorists for rides. There are also claims of people being chased by a ghost vehicle and also reports from people who find themselves mysteriously lost on the road. Are these accounts all true? One fact is that reports of unexplained activity has been reported for many, many years on Shades of Death Road.
Fact or Fiction?
Whatever paranormal road trip you decide to take, it is recommended that you investigate the local folklore for some of the best haunts many of these roads have to offer. It is said that many legends are based on facts and, if one digs deep enough, many historical origins can be uncovered.
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