May 4, 2012

Paranormal Fridays: Is Highway 666 Haunted?

I used to travel on highway 666 on a fairly regular basis as I went from Salt Lake City, Utah to Albuquerque, New Mexico. 666 was a desolate two lane road in the middle of the isolated desert, with few places to stop for gas or food. I made that drive myself a few times, but never at night for a number of reasons. There have through the years been numerous complaints about the name of highway 666, seeing as it has a connection with the antichrist described in the Book of Revelation. Government officials have since renamed the highway, bowing to the pressure from various western states.

The big question many people have is if highway 666 was or still is haunted. There are claims that a higher proportion of accidents occur on the highway, that more people die on it than other highways in the west and that paranormal activity on and near the highway is common. For several years I have tried to find official, hard data that shows that U.S. 666 had a disproportionate number of fatalities, and I have not been able to find any such data. I do know that the road being only two lanes in most areas with only a painted line between them, has seen its share of very gruesome accidents.

Many people have claimed that they have been driving 666 at night when a semi trailer going the other direction has crossed over the line, heading for a head-on collision. While that might not seem odd, the fact that these people describe the truck as being on fire and disappearing at the last second before impact should seem at least a little strange. Those who have stopped on the side of the road in the night have reported seeing hell hounds with glowing yellow eyes, running in packs.

And then there are the hitchhiker stories. Throughout the years many a driver has reported seeing a young woman in a flowing white robe walking down the side of highway 666 in the middle of the night. If anyone stops to see why the woman is walking on the side of the road, she dematerializes into the night air. Other motorists have claimed that a man hitchhiking on the side of the road has no face.

Ghost lights have been reported by drivers trekking along highway 666 at night. Others have reported seeing floating orbs of light, which people have debated are either spirits or UFOs that are for whatever reason attracted to the road. In many cases people have gone missing on highway 666, only to turn up later and not be able to explain where they have been. Time loss like has commonly been associated with alien abductions, so were those people taken away while traveling 666?

Although not as common as some other rural highways, people have reported skinwalker activity on highway 666. Drivers have seen strange-looking animals running alongside their car that is traveling 55, 65 or even 75 miles per hour. Others have reported something opening their back door, while a few unfortunate drivers have actually seen in their rear-view mirror a skinwalker sitting in their back seat.

So now U.S. 666 is named U.S. 491, but historic markers are still visible as a reminder of the highway's infamous past. Some feel such reminders still bring with them a curse, meaning the strange activity on the highway will not magically cease.

To read an official explanation of how U.S. 666 originally got its name, read about it on the US Department of Transportation's website.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Didn't know about the flaming firetruck. That would be unnerving.

Steven said...

Alex, yes it would. Apparently some people have even swerved onto the shoulder and wrecked their cars because of the truck.