by Taylor Leonard
Implemented in part to prepare for the possibility of a third world war, the United States Interstate Highway System is a sprawling network of tens of thousands of miles of concrete and asphalt connecting the nation’s major cities. For the most part, the strangest and most unsettling things drivers are likely to encounter on the U.S. Interstate are tourist traps and bad motor vehicle accidents. However, certain stretches of American highways are known for eerie, paranormal, and sometimes sinister activity which to this day remain unsolved and unexplained:
The I-4 “Dead Zone”
A stretch of Interstate 4 outside of Orlando, Florida is rumored to be haunted. The ghosts are said to be those of a family of German immigrants who died of yellow fever in 1886. The family burial plot was near the St. John’s River, a spot which would eventually be paved over to make way for I-4. High rates of fatal accidents along this stretch of highway have earned it the nickname “Dead Zone.” Efforts are currently underway to mark the family’s burial spot, with many hoping the act will help to reduce road related fatalities on I-4.
The I-45 Killer(s)
Since the 1970s over 30 bodies have been recovered in and around a small section of land close to Interstate 45, several miles north of Houston, Texas. Many of these bodies were those of murdered young women, leading investigators to believe an unidentified serial killer remains at large. The proximity to the interstate and relative remoteness of the “Texas Killing Fields” has police convinced the murderer makes frequent use of the freeway. Fortunately, it’s been nearly a decade since the last body was discovered near I-45. However, the overwhelming majority of the murders remain unsolved.
The I-90 Bigfoot Sightings
Stretching from Boston to Seattle, Interstate 90 runs across the majority of northern U.S. states. I-90 has the distinction of being the freeway with the most alleged Bigfoot sightings reported by motorists. In 2014 two hunters driving home on I-90 in Washington claimed to have had a near collision with a large, hairy biped crossing the road. In 2013 a woman driving eastbound on I-90 near Lake Erie claims to have spotted a Bigfoot walking approximately 100 yards from the freeway. A year earlier, a woman driving with her husband on I-90 in Wisconsin was startled to see what she alleges was a nine to 10 foot tall biped covered in dark fur standing by the side of the road. In 2008 a motorist on I-90 in Montana called 911 to report seeing a Bigfoot walking toward fly fishers in the distance. These alleged encounters on the freeway are joined by several other reports of Bigfoot encounters in the woods and mountains near Interstate 90 going back to the 1960s.
The I-70 Killer
Between April 8th and May 7th 1992 six store clerks were shot to death in broad daylight across the Midwestern states of Indiana, Missouri, and Kansas. Each incident occurred only a few miles away from Interstate 70. Ballistics evidence conclusively determined the murders were the act of a single shooter, but investigators were never able to zero in on a suspect. A similar unsolved killing spree in Texas several later is believed to be the work of the same individual, according to lead detectives in the I-70 Killer case, however Texas police disagree with this hypothesis. To this day, the identity of the I-70 Killer remains a mystery.
Built to meet the needs of an automobile loving nation, the U.S. Interstate Highway System is an underappreciated asset of American life. Along its many miles of road, strange and unsettling things have happened from time to time. Several stretches are now synonymous with paranormal activity – and in some cases, pure evil.