WILDWOOD, Mo. – Lawler-Ford Road near the border of Wildwood and Ellisville was once an abandoned gravel road. It is now a paved bike path and the subject of several television shows about haunted places. It even started trending on Google Search again.
Urban legends of the road involve a zombie-like homicidal man, wandering the woods, and killing lovers. Spirits of dead children and strange lights are among the scary stories bringing people to the trail.
“They spotted a whole bunch of ghosts. When you take pictures, you can see orbs in it,” said Tiffany Klingerman.
A history of the road posted to the Paranormal Guide website says Native Americans first used it as a path. A ferry took people across the Meramec River in the 19th century.
A railroad was built along the river in the 1850s. The paranormal guide says that a woman was struck and killed by a train in 1876. You can read more about the strange encounters here.
Police patrol the Rock Hollow Trail near Halloween because people come to look for a scare. A St. Louis Magazine article describes a trip to the path that can be hard to find. That’s because it isn’t what the many websites about haunted places describe. It looks like a normal bike path.
In 2011, several people looking for spirits found fines of $177. They were trespassing on Zombie Road.
“Before, it was all gravel roads and looked scary. Like everyone else said, it’s a bike path,” said Drew McClure.
“If you think walking down a bike path at night is worth $177 then I would recommend it. Other than that, no,” said Blake Fincannon.
“Don’t go down Zombie Road because you will get fined and you will get caught,” said Tiffany Klingerman.
The sign at the trailhead says no trespassing from a half-hour after dusk to dawn. Fines are now listed at $1,000.