Death Curve!

(from Haunted Houses of Harpers Ferry, by Stephen D. Brown. Illustration by Harry Dierken)

Alternate Route 40 curves sharply left, then right, at a place between Boonsboro and Funkstown, Maryland. It is a dangerous series of curves that has led to many accidents. People call it Death Curve.

During a winter many years ago, a man and his dog were returning home late one evening in his horse-drawn carriage. The winding road was slippery and icy, and at an angular turn the man lost control. The carriage skidded across the road into the embankment, throwing the driver to the ground. Frightened by the sound of splintering wood, the horse bolted, dragging the carriage laden with supplies over the man's neck. His head was severed from his body.

Other travellers came across the gory scene and removed the body. The head of the man was never found, nor was the dog. People say Death Curve is haunted.

On a foggy night in the autumn of 1950 a woman came out of her house to empty a bucket of water. She glanced over her shoulder and to her surprise saw a man dressed in a dark suit standing on the porch steps. She put the bucket down and started walking toward the man to ask him what he wanted, then froze. The man was headless. The woman saw the man climb to the second step of the porch, then disappear.

One night in 1965 a man and woman were driving along the old route to their home in Hagerstown. The driver slowed at the sharp bend and switched on the bright headlights. They saw a man walking along the road with his back toward them. Illuminated by the carlights, the traveller on foot suddenly stopped and turned, revealing a decapitated body. As the driver slammed on the brakes the figure vanished.