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Ghost of The Highway Man

The highway known as Blood Alley, and the lantern-carrying ghost lost in time

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Tragically, highway deaths occur daily all around the U.S. There seem to be some sections of roadway, however, that see a far higher number of fatal accidents than others, thereby earning reputations as "death roads." Along with that notoriety sometimes come legends of ghosts and phantoms that linger by the roadside at the point of their demise. Frances and family members might have seen one of these spectres on an Arizona highway known as "Blood Alley." This is Frances' story. (Some names have been changed to protect identities.)

The Arizona Repbulic newspaper has written articles pertaining to a highway that the locals call "Blood Alley." There is another published article about the tragic death of a family of six along this highway. I am not sure of the year that this happened, but I believe it was around 1992-1993, either in August or September.

Blood Alley is a desolate, narrow, two-lane highway that runs from Wickenburg, through Wikiup, and down into Kingman, Arizona. It is a winding, hilly road filled with blind curves and almost no road shoulder room. Due to the hills, there are dead zones where cell phones don't work, and there is no radio reception except static. Oftentimes, you can travel the entire length of this road without ever seeing another vehicle.

A HISTORY OF TRAGEDY

The entire length of this highway is dotted with small white crosses. Some crosses are spaced at different intervals, some are a series of crosses, and in some spots a cluster of crosses that marks where an entire vehicle of people have died tragically.

There is one particular spot that is marked by six white crosses. A family of six, traveling in a station wagon with a hitched trailer, was moving from California to Arizona. Along the way, a rear tire blew and the father pulled his vehicle as far off the road as he could. He got out and set flares in front and back of the vehicle to warn other drivers. The father had just jacked up the car and had stepped behind the trailer to retrieve something. That's when he was plowed into by a pickup truck. The pickup hit with such force that it pushed the trailer into the back of the station wagon, killing the four children sitting in the back, all the way to the front where the wife was sitting, who was also killed. The car then caught on fire. The youngest child was only six months old. The driver of the pickup sustained severe injuries, but survived. Every time I have passed this spot, I've always said a little prayer for the family that died there.

THE TRIP HOME

Members of my family and I have travelled this road often on our way to Las Vegas and back home. On one such trip in 1992 or 1993, we had a strange experience that we've come to call "The Highway Man."

My husband Sam and I, along with my brother and sister-in-law, were coming back from a family reunion in Las Vegas. As usual with our family reunions, we delayed in leaving because it was so hard to say goodbye. We finally left Vegas late at night for our return trip home. Since our pickup was having engine problems, we decided that we would drive ahead, with my brother following behind us. That way, if our pickup had problems, we could catch a ride with my brother and his wife and not be stranded out in the middle of nowhere in the dead of night.

It was between two and three in the morning, the air was chilly, the moon was out and the stars were shining brightly. I had just commented to my husband how bright the stars were without the glare of city lights. The moon was just bright enough to illuminate the landscape and the many white crosses. Up ahead, the road began a gentle bank to the right. I turned around to see if my brother was still behind us, and estimated that he was a little more than half a mile behind us.

AN EERIE LIGHT, A TALL STRANGER

When I turned to face front, I noticed a small white light ahead. It reminded me of a flashlight. I said to my husband, "Do you see that light up there? Looks like a flashlight, doesn't it?"

"Yeah," he said. "Looks kind of like a flashlight."

"God, I hope it's not an accident or someone stranded," I said. "How awful. Slow down, Sam, in case we need to help someone."

My husband began to slow down. As we got closer to the light, we saw that it looked more like a kerosine lantern - the kind you use for camping.

"That doesn't look like a flashlight. Looks more like a lantern," my husband commented.

"Yeah. Isn't that strange? Why would anyone be out here camping?" I wondered aloud. "And so close to the road? That doesn't make sense. Could someone be out there camping and walked to the road? Maybe their flashlight went out and they had to use a lantern."

Just as we came abreast of the light, a man stepped out of the shadows. I could make out that he was a little over six feet tall, dressed in a black duster, jeans and cowboy boots. He had on a black cowboy hat that was pulled down low, concealing his face. He held the lantern in front of him, just above his head. From the glow of the lantern, I could see an old-time black Harley parked behind him and off to his right side. I remember him taking one step forward and as we passed him, he took one step back, disappearing into the shadows. The light went out.

"Holy cats! Did you see that? Did you see that?" I shouted. I had turned around and was facing the back of the pickup. "I don't see the light! Where's the light? Oh my God! Where did he go?"

Next page: What her brother saw

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