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As Halloween approaches, Virginia’s crisp fall weather brings harvest festivals, pumpkin patches, and bonfires. Many revelers venture into the countryside, driving along peaceful backroads cloaked in colorful fall foliage. But when planning your return road trip after dark, beware of strange sightings. Virginia has numerous haunted roads, but three stand out as the creepiest.

Where are these roads? How can you avoid (or find) them? And what happens if you find yourself on one after dark?

Crawford Road, Yorktown, Virginia

Crawford Road in Yorktown, Virginia, lies near the Yorktown battlefields. It’s infamous for its Revolutionary and Civil War ghost sightings. However, the dense woods surrounding Crawford Road hide other chilling secrets.

The scenic route from Newport News to Yorktown takes you down Crawford Road and its beautifully wooded landscape. Along the way, you’ll encounter a graffiti-covered bridge passing underneath Historical Tour Road. Reports from that bridge include sightings of hanging bodies, stalled car engines when passing underneath, and multiple car accidents over the years. One of the hanging bodies is said to be the ghost of a reluctant bride who hung herself from the bridge after escaping her wedding. 

Messick Road, Poquoson, Virginia

Haunted roads: A foggy road lined with trees
File photo of a foggy road | Planet One Images/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

To the southeast of Yorktown, just outside Poquoson, Virginia, you’ll find Messick Road. According to legend, Dorothy Pauls Messick died in the marshes surrounding her home. “Dolly Mammy” had asked her daughters for help bringing the cattle home before a storm, but they refused. Wrapped in a cloak, the angry and desperate mom marched into the oncoming storm to retrieve the livestock. 

The next day, a search party found her body buried in the mud with only a leg sticking out. After Dolly’s death, her daughters reported strange occurrences in the house at night, ranging from knocking sounds, waking with their hair braided together, and their bed levitating off the ground. While some say the haunting ended when the last daughter died, drivers still report seeing a woman carrying a lantern in the marsh along Messick Road. 

Pocahontas Parkway, Henrico County, Virginia

The Pocahontas Parkway, located just outside Richmond, Virginia, opened in May 2002. During construction, crews encountered Native American artifacts, some as old as 6,000 years. 

Some theorize the disruption of sacred lands has led to sightings of torch-holding apparitions in the woods along the parkway. Others report hearing drum beats, chanting, and hollering above the winds on stormy nights. Richmond Ghosts says the toll plaza stands on ancient Native American burial grounds. 

Thanks to Virginia’s history of Native American occupation, Colonialism, and Revolutionary and Civil War sites, it’s not surprising this state has so many reports of hauntings. But it’s best to experience these historical places during the day and avoid driving by them at night. That is unless you’re a fan of the paranormal.