Do you believe in the paranormal? A simple question, but one that continues to play on the psyche of many people. While there is no definite answer, it would be a significant societal announcement if it was ever determined either way.
In fact, 88 per cent of Australians believe that some form of paranormal phenomenon exists, reported a study from Syfy Supernatural in 2014.
If you're interested in things that go bump in the night, Route 66 is almost the perfect place to visit as it has locations etched with unique histories, experiences and stories. If only roads could talk! So, where are the most haunted locations along Route 66?
KiMo Theater (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Built in 1927 for the silent movie rage of the 20s, the KiMo Theater is regarded as one of the most haunted locations along Route 66. In 1951, a boiler in the basement of the theater exploded, killing a six-year-old boy who was standing in the lobby area – right underneath the basement.
Since this time, the theatre has experienced a number of tragedies and accidents including a major fire in 1963. The small boy has been spotted playing on the lobby staircase and is known to play tricks on staff and guests such as turning off switches during performances. Legend has it that if candy is left on a water pipe, the boy behaves himself.
Lawler Ford Road (Wildwood, St. Louis)
When a road has the nickname 'Zombie Road', you know that some paranormal things have happened there. Originally built as an access road between the Meramec River and a nearby railroad back in the 1860s and then abandoned, Lawler Ford Road turned into a hangout for teenagers during the 1950s. It was during this time, paranormal activity began.
Whether this is a result of the road's imposing bush canopy or actual activity, people have told stories of figures walking amongst the trees, the apparition of a woman who was supposedly hit by a train in the 1870s and a body that fell from the bluff along the river. Certainly a creepy location to check out nonetheless!
Hotel Monte Vista (Flagstaff, Arizona)
As hotels are frequented by such an array of different people, they are often some of the most 'haunted' locations around the world. Built in 1926 to support the growing tourism industry in Flagstaff, the Hotel Monte Vista is proud of its ghostly reputation with a page on its website dedicated to ghost stories urging guests to ask employees around the building to share their stories.
The most haunted place in the hotel is room 305. Rumour has it that the room was rented long-term by an elderly woman who would sit by the window in a rocking chair. To this present day, this woman is seen in the rocking chair or it moving on its own. Those sleeping in the room also report knocking from the closet – not the best place to spend the night!
Coleman Theater (Miami, Oklahoma)
Opened in 1929 as a first-class vaudeville theater, the Coleman Theater was one of the hotspots during the glory years of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Although the theater was renovated into a movie theater several years later, there are thought to be several spirits that still haunt the halls of Coleman.
Many people see ghosts on the side of the stage as those 'ready to go onstage'. However, one of the more creepier tales from this location comes in the smell of bay rum cologne. Worn by one of the original projectionists, the odour has be smelt lingering back stage.
The Spook Light (Quapaw, Oklahoma)
For the last stop on our ghost tour, we take you to spot known as 'Devil's Promenade' – on the border of Missouri and Oklahoma. Ever since the 1830s, there have been sighting and reports of a single ball of light floating above the ground. While the colour of the ball ranges from white to orange, red and blue, most people agree that seeing it is very creepy indeed.
As for an explanation, some blame atmospheric gases or headlights from a nearby road. However, it could be the spirits of two young Native Americans who are still looking for each other to this day. Stop along Oklahoma East 50 Road for your best chance of seeing the light for yourself, if you dare!
If you're interested in getting amongst the history (and paranormal activity) of Route 66, feel free to get in touch today – we'll be happy to find the best tour for you!