Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The devil's route?

Route 666 in Forest is a beautiful road during the day, but some area teens say it's a different story at night.

There are many connotations associated with the three digits 666.

People may think of the devil, demons and the gates of hell. Some of those associations are thought to be true about Elkton Farm Road (Virginia 666) in Forest, also called Route 666.

The road, which runs parallel to railroad tracks, is rumored to be haunted by old Norfolk Southern workers who helped build the railroad.

A ghost is also believed to haunt the second out of three bridges on the road. It is said that a young girl committed suicide on that bridge and ever since then, people have reported hearing screams from underneath the bridge.

Garret Waterman, 19, who graduated from Brookville High School, likes going out on the road with his friends for fun, especially at night. Waterman and his friends have had some close encounters, though.

"One night me and my buddies were driving down Route 666 and we saw a green glowing light in the woods. We decided to follow the light and turned off on a dirt road. We followed the light until it led us to the railroad tracks. We stopped and looked both ways and didn't see anything, and then out of nowhere a train was speeding by right in front of us. My car was shaking. We were about three feet from death," Waterman recalled.

Route 666 can be the most beautiful road in the daytime, Waterman said, but at night things turn eerie.

The train incident isn't the only experience Waterman has encountered. He and his friends once parked on the bridge and, after leaving the car, one of his friends asked, "What if we see the ghost?" All of a sudden the group of friends heard violent screams coming from underneath the bridge, Waterman said.

Waterman also said that Elkton Farm Road is always much cooler than the rest of the town. A coincidence? Paranormal investigators claim a change in temperature almost always indicates paranormal activity.

When members of The Edge took a drive down the heavily wooded Route 666 (in broad daylight), nothing unusual happened. The road begins just off U.S. 221 near Jefferson Forest High School and comes out a few miles later on Virginia 622.

On this particular sunny day, a lone jogger was running on the mostly gravel road and several cars came from both directions. Many houses, new and old, are also scattered along the road.

While some area teens swap horror stories about the road, some locals who have lived in the area for most of their lives say they have never heard of any stories about Route 666.

Richard Brooks, 60, who lives just a few miles off of where the road ends at Virginia 622, has lived in the area his entire life and has never heard of a girl committing suicide on the bridge. He's also taken many Sunday drives down the road and said he never witnessed anything strange.

When asked about the rumors, officials with the Bedford County sheriff's office said they didn't have any history of the road and couldn't comment on any crimes that may have taken place there.

Waterman and his friends, meanwhile, seem to enjoy getting spooked.

"We're playing with the devil. We're doing stuff we know we shouldn't be doing but we're so curious," said Waterman.

Weather Journal

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