Running out of candy for trick or treaters isn’t the only thing scary about Halloween. Imagine driving on one of the scariest highways in the U.S. Or are you aware which ones they are? If not, learn more — and beware.
Highways with the scariest road conditions must lead our list, since they can truly be life-threateningly frightful. Here are some of the most white-knuckle-worthy:
Million Dollar Highway in Colorado: On a 25-mile stretch of Highway 550 between tourist stops Silverton and Ouray you rise 11,000 feet above sea level as you wind along cliff drop-offs through the San Juan Mountain’s Red Mountain Pass. Shoulders? Guardrails? Those are for sissies — and don’t exist here.
Highway 2 in Montana: Statistics show that rural driving is more dangerous than city driving. You might think otherwise, since there’s so little rural traffic, but that openness seems to spur many drivers to speed and drive recklessly. The wide plains of Montana’s Highway 2 invite many speedsters, and if they’re in a crash, it can take over an hour for an ambulance to arrive and take them to a hospital in the nation’s seventh least populous state.
Highway 17 in South Carolina: This lovely Beaufort County road is lined with trees, but its narrow lanes take rollercoaster-style ups and downs, as well as sharp turns on blind curves. Deer darting on the roads also can put you on a collision course with calamity.
Interstate 10 in Arizona: Coast-to-coast I-10, which also connects Houston and San Antonio, has a desolate 150-mile stretch from Phoenix to Arizona’s western border with California that’s not for dawdling. For one thing, it’s in a desert, and for another, it’s had dozen of crash fatalities per year.
James Dalton Highway in Alaska: The surrounding mountains are beautiful, but the road is peppered with potholes and is subject to high winds flinging debris at your vehicle. Temperatures aren’t inviting either: as low as minus-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Imagine running out of gas or having engine failure in a remote spot in those conditions. In fact, rental car agencies won’t allow you to drive their vehicles on this highway.
Scary driving conditions are the only roadway frights. Haunted highways show that roads can be as supernaturally scary as creaky houses. They include:
Clinton Road in New Jersey: This isn’t a Trump supporter’s nightmare, but rather a road in Passaic County, NJ, known for a “dead man’s curve” and a “Ghost Boy Bridge.” Other rumored apparitions include witches, ghosts and Druidic ceremonies, and roadside ruins of Cross Castle are said to have been the site of Satanic and KKK activities. (There’s a difference?)
Shades of Death Road in New Jersey: Jersey again? And the name is scary in itself. This Warren County, NJ, two-laner has seven scary miles of horrific history. Low-hanging branches of trees lining the road are believed to have been used for lynchings, and other murders have happened with alarming regularity. Nearby Ghost Lake is reportedly a supernatural site, while nearby Bear Swamp hosts packs of wild cats — which is why it’s also called Cat Swamp.
Chicago’s Archer Avenue: This road between St. James-Sag Church and Resurrection Cemetery winds among other cemeteries and is said to be haunted by ghostly monks, the “Gray Baby,” phantom horse riders and “Resurrection Mary,” who tries to hitchhike along the road where she was hit and killed more than eight decades ago.
Mona Lisa Drive in New Orleans: This road through New Orleans City Park is rife with legends about Mona, the daughter of a rich man who had a tragic romance with a sailor with whom she’d walk through the park. Mona is believed to haunt young lovers riding on Mona Lisa Drive or, even worse, parking for to smooch. What was that scratching at the car windows?
Haynesville Woods (Route 2A), in Maine: Route 2A is known as a death trap for drivers — especially in harsh Maine winters — and even inspired a song by Dick Curless called A Tombstone Every Mile. One legend concerns a woman beseeching drivers to stop and help after an accident — but disappearing and leaving a deep chill. Also sighted has been the ghost of a small girl who was struck by an 18-wheeler while walking along the road.
There — scared enough to stay home on Halloween? If not, consider how scary driving can be even in the best conditions. Now lock your doors — except for trick or treaters.