The Shades Of Death road is sometimes referred to locally as ‘Shades’ and is a two-lane rural road, it’s around 7 miles in length and in central Warren County, New Jersey.  The road runs between the Liberty and Independence townships, and the road is subject to various legends and folklore. The local residents have been annoyed enough by street sign theft to grease up the pole, and so should you head that way I’d urge for a little respect about it.

Some say that the focus could be placed on the southern half of the road where the forest gives shade even on the sunniest of days. Due to this it was said bandits would hide and lay in wait for the victims in the shadows, where they could cut their throats. The locals would take revenge on the bandits by lynching them and leaving their bodies hanging to warn off other criminals.

1920-1930’s there were three brutal murders that occurred, one a robbery where a man was hit over the head with a tire jack over gold coins, another where a woman had beheaded her husband and buried the head one side of the street and the body the other. The last one was a local resident, Bill Cummins, who was shot and then buried in a mud-pile but the murder was never solved.

A rumour about how it got its name was ab out the area near Bear Swamp was used for Sod Farming, in 1850 malaria-carrying insects were discovered nearby. They had annual outbreaks of the Bear Swamp and was most likely originally called Shades Road but then a sense of black humour took over and it was named Shades of Death.

On the paranormal level there is Ghost Lake, this is not named on the official maps but was created in the early 20th century, two wealthy local men damned a creek that ran through the narrow valley and the strange vapours given off in the early morning appear to have given it the name. There have been reporting  of ghost sightings and from a deserted old cabin nearby where a victim of the murders were once said to have occurred.

Lenape Lane is a one-lane dead-end street that is unpaved and ends at a farmhouse, half way down there is a wooden structure and Weird New Jersey says that visitors have reported strange local fogs and seeing apparitions when the weather is clear elsewhere. Another legend claims that nocturnal visitors have been followed by a white orb that seems to chase them back out to Shades of Death, anyone that turns around to see it will die.

Another one says that if you go to a bridge there, stop at midnight with high-beams on the car and honk your horn then the ghosts of two children will appear. It seems that his legend may actually be for a bridge nearby on Old Mine Road, and that whilst you cannot get near it by car you can access it by foot.

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