Halloween Legends: Clinton Road

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Originally published Oct. 2011. 

Clinton Road is located within West Milford, New Jersey. The desolate road stretches approximately ten miles long and snakes through the northern parts of New Jersey littered with dense forests and vegetation. The road is simple in nature—a two lane highway that is fairly undeveloped and receives little to no upkeep from the state. Parts are still unpaved and there is little to no traffic along the road; there are few homes and even fewer businesses and attractions. As the early hours of the evening approach the road it is almost completely isolated.

As you approach the intersection of Clinton Road and Route 23 the light is notorious for being the longest traffic light in the United States. If you are unlucky enough to be stopped by the red light you are forced to wait up to an agonizing five minutes until it turns green. In the meantime motorists are inclined to stare down the infamous Clinton Road. I have had the misfortune of being stopped at this light and more often than not at night.  My eyes are always drawn down the long, dark road that causes my imagination to run wild with fright. The eerie stories and rumors have turned this road into a living legend, one that does not go unrecognized.

It is entirely possible that this road is like any other. Although if you were to ask the local residents the rumors and legends revolving around this stretch of road the answers may yield some bone chilling effects. The collection of bizarre and paranormal events has continued to baffle even the most skeptical of local residents, including myself.

A few miles past the initial light you will come across a small bridge on what is appropriately called Dead Man’s Curve. The stone bridge is small in stature and overlooks a tranquil brook near a reservoir. Legend has it that a young boy was playing near the bridge, fell in and died instantly on impact from the sharp rocks below. Consequently, his ghost is said to haunt the spot. It is said that if you throw a coin into the brook he will throw it back to you seconds later. I have never experienced such instances and cannot confirm that I believe in such happenings but I will say that the surrounding area by the bridge is unnaturally quiet and I felt uncomfortable and scared when I was there.

With every legend, especially one claimed to be plagued with paranormal sightings, there is going to be exaggerations. What is particularly disturbing about this stretch of land is that it is rich in a dark and unsettling history. The Road has documented instances where bodies have been hidden in the dense, unpopulated woods and found later by police and officials.

One famous case is that of Richard Kulinski, more commonly known as the “Ice Man.” He had claimed to have killed over a hundred people but was merely convicted for the murder of five individuals. He kept his victims’ bodies in the freezer of his basement and allegedly would discard of them in the forest. A bicyclist traveling along Clinton Road had discovered the body in the near woods which led to his 1986 arrest. Rumors stir that the deep forests along Clinton Road have long since been a dumping ground for human bodies.

Further along the road is an abandoned site named Cross Castle. There have been many claims that this establishment is home to members of the Ku Klux Klan, Satanists and other worshipers of the dark arts who have used the grounds for meetings and sacrifices for years. The castle was built in 1905 by a man named Richard Cross. It was eventually destroyed by a rapid fire in later years. Because of the reports of disturbing and particularly violent visions, bruises and seizures that people report to experience, the castle was deemed an attractive nuisance in 1988.

Multiple people have claimed that a pick-up truck will flicker its lights on and off and follow you until you leave the road. Some people suggest that this is simply there way of keeping you off their sacred land. Others suggest that the pick-up trick is actually an apparition that appears to chase you off the road then will disappear into the dark of the night.


Whether or not Clinton Road is home to supernatural sightings or anything of a demonic nature is something that I cannot confirm or deny. The actual events that people have experienced vary in degree and nature which makes this area so popular to discuss. It is my personal opinion that as long as people experience these unnerving events the legends of Clinton Road will not likely die soon.

 

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