Weird Wednesday: Shades Of Death Road - Regional News - Western New Jersey Story - WFMZ Allentown
#1 Oct 21, 2010
I grew up there and from what I was told as folklore was the Lanape Indians had a settlement there and around Ghost Lake. They contracted yellow fever. The whole settlement died as a result. Also there is supposed to be a tree that was used for hanging back there. Not exactly sure which one it was. Supposedly there is a picture someone took with a shadowy ghost figure hanging in the tree. Never heard the gangster theory though.
#2 Oct 21, 2010
Your reporter did not do much research on this road. Shades of Death was a term given to the road that surrounded the mucklands of the pequest valley. Over 10,000 years ago this area was a pleistocene lake, the glacier melted in this valley leaving behind a prime habitat for mosquitos. Settlers living along the shores of this area were prone to get malaria thus the story goes shades of death road. This name stuck on the area since the 1850's and later when the lake was dredged the Shades of Death continued to mark the history of the road.
#3 Oct 21, 2010
That pretty much sums it up. Henry Beck's "Tales and Towns of Northern New Jersey" covers this pretty well. Apparently the whole Great Meadows area may have once been called The Shades of Death for this reason, until most of the swamp was drained and turned into profitable farmland. Beyond the malaria, the area was rumored to be the haunt of wildcats and bandits early in its history, which is said to have added to its bad reputation. Ghost Lake is manmade and dates to the later half of the 20th century.
I used to live on Shades of Death and I never saw anything supernatural. I saw plenty of kids looking for a scare and once some people in black robes with candles by the lake, but ghosts? Never.
#4 Oct 22, 2010
While serving in Vietnam in 1965, I was a penpal to a girl that lived on Shades of Death Road. Funny, I never saw this road mentioned again until today. Small world.
#5 Jan 14, 2012
Rick, what do you know about the strange photos found alongside Shades of Death in the 90's??
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