Zombie Road – Hauntings on the Meramec
As fall comes to our land and temperatures drop and leaves unmask their true colors, previously hidden by that green bully chlorophyll; as thoughts turn to hayrides and pumpkins; as fire becomes a warming friend; as we bring in our bountiful harvest; as we crack out the flannel and those undergarments that have a purpose; as we cool down from summer’s fever, there is but one burning issue on our collective minds.
Frightening, paralyzing, debilitating terror.
Take the kids out to a haunted house so they can wet themselves!
Dress them up as specters in the night!
Accrue thousands of dollars of future psychiatric needs!
But whatever you do, don’t go to Zombie Road.
Or do. We at STLCountyArts aren’t judgy about stuff like that. Just be warned.
Here’s the skinny: Zombie Road might be that place where the guy with the hook for a hand scrapes it across the top of your car while you’re, as Chuck Berry used to say, trying to unfasten that “safety belt.”
Zombie Road might feature an old lady screaming at you from the porch of her dilapidated house. (Though, it is Missouri and that could happen almost anywhere.)
Zombie Road might hold the ghost of a man killed by a train, or Confederate soldier hauntings, or the ectoplasmic residuals of a person who committed suicide from a bridge there. But, curiously, there appear to be no Zombies. Or maybe there are but they just have a poor press agent.
We don’t know!
Here’s what we do know: Zombie Road, or Lawler Ford Road, is about two miles long, winding through a dense valley of oak-wooded hills. It ends near the Meramec River in the Glencoe area where it meets St. Louis County’s decidedly non-haunted (so they say) Al Foster Memorial Trail.
The Rue de Zombie has a long history, starting as a Native American path through the area. As civilization encroached, the path became a road, and was picketed by St. Louis militia supporting the Union as Confederate forces tried to sneak through. Though accurate records fail us, we are told death came to many! Also bringing death: the railroad that pressed through the area, the quarries that drove the necessity of the railroad, and the Meramec River itself!
The road has garnered national attention from paranormal investigators and phantom chasers of all types and is regarded as one of the spookiest places in Missouri , impressive as we also have the Lemp Mansion, Pythian Castle and the hipster hauntings of Cherokee Street! But, aside from haints sporting mustache wax, Zombie Road is listed as one of the “Top 10 Most Haunted Places in Missouri” and has been featured in the paranormal documentary “Children of the Grave.”
Against her vigorous protests, we sent Valerie Tichacek to take photos of the area for your viewing pleasure. From her room at the local “rest home” and the comfort of her arm-strapping garment, she has assured us that “it wasn’t that spooky.” At least that’s what we think she said as it’s very difficult to talk with that “Silence of the Lambs” face mask thing on.
This is normally the part where we tell you how to get there, but our crack law team at Dewey, Cheatem and Howe have advised toward discretion. Look for Glencoe (wink) and Al Foster Trailhead (wink wink) and if you get wet, you’ve gone too far.
Disclaimer: the only presence we know for sure you will encounter is police and park rangers, especially if you venture out past closing time, which is 30 minutes after sunset.
Photos by Valerie Tichacek