The Ghost Road

Have you ever been driving down a dark lonely road late at night and get the creepy feeling that you are being watched? Yeah? Okay great! Glad to know I am not the only chicken here. I can relate!

I worked at a gas station not too long ago for Brookshire’s grocery in East Texas. If you live in Louisiana or Texas, you may have seen the little fuel kiosks set in the Brookshire’s parking lots. It was one of my favorite jobs, but I usually worked the 2nd shift and would end up driving home around ten at night, and on my drives home, I would always get the creeps!

There is nothing more creepy than driving down alone Texas country road late at night. It’s dark and lonely with thick trees and brush that line the road. During the day, it’s a pleasurable drive cruising through the country and taking in the lush East Texas countryside.

Driving down the same country road at night is a totally different story and if you are driving down a dark, desolate road late at night that happens to be in the grand old state of Texas and the feeling that you’re being watched ebbs up on ya, well, you probably are being watched because there is a good chance that Texas road is HAUNTED-because Texas is strange like that.

A loan Texas Road photographed by Jonathan Bottoms

During my research concerning strange happenings in Texas, I came across Old Bragg Road of Harden County. Harden county sets in southeast Texas and is home to the Big thicket National forest.

Old Bragg road, also known as the Ghost Road, is a dirt road located west of the town Saratoga off of HWY 787. It is an old dirt road with a simple marker stating its presence but carries a dark load of history.

The history began in 1902 when the industrial movement was plowing through pristine woodlands. During this time, the Santa Fe railroad blazed through the area, bringing opportunities and more accessible travel. Bragg, now a ghost town, and Saratoga flourished during the early 1900s with the modern convenience of the railroad.

During the mid-1900s, specifically around the time of the 40s and 50s, reports of strange phenomena and sightings started to roll in regarding the area around Bragg. The main reports were of strange lights later named Ghosts Lights for their glowing orb-like appearance. According to the locals of the area, the lights can still be seen from Old Bragg Road.

The reason for the lights is vast and diverse. Some scientists argue that the lights are nothing more than a type of swamp gas, while other scientists reason that the lights are merely reflections of passing vehicle headlights from nearby highways.

Others believe that the supernatural is at play concerning the lights.  

One of the first stories I came across was the lights were beacons marking the unmarked burial places of conquistadores treasure. That maybe be a theory worth testing out!

Another story was that the lights were part of a haunting of a brakeman that was decapitated. It is said that the brakeman roams the area, searching for his missing head.

One story that I came across regarding Old Bragg road ghosts was the cruel story of love and loss. It is an old story of true love that ends with the lovers being separated by a violent death.  

The story goes that a groom brings his beautiful bride to the inn near the north side of Bragg, which was then a busy town. The bride was murdered in her marriage bed by thieves, and now the ghost of the devastated groom searches the area for his dead long gone bride.

A broken hearted groom doomed to search the lonely tracks for is dead bride for all time

Whether the lights are something natural of nature or a supernatural phenomenon, it is safe to say that the happening is quite extraordinary. You never know when you’ll come across something strange while in Texas!

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