top of page

Terror On Route 78

Melanie, CA, USA
February 2005

Okay, so this is not a ghost story, but it sure is scary.

This incident occurred in 1979 on Route 78 from Gettysburg, PA, to Rahway, New Jersey.

I was 19 at the time, heading home from visiting my then-husband's relatives in Gettysburg. We had stayed rather late and it takes several hours to get home. Most of the trip was spent on Route 78 through miles of farmlands, towns, and wooded areas. Since it was so late, there were very few other cars on the road. We went for miles without seeing another car.

About an hour from home, I noticed a light in the side rear view mirror. At first I thought it was a motorcycle in the distance. It was a small, single light following the road. It took me a few minutes to realize why it bothered me. It was diamond-shaped, and it was pale blue in color.

My husband noticed it also. He also noted that it was catching up to us. Now, my ex had quite the "lead foot" and had been cruising at about 70 MPH when we noticed the light. For some reason, we got real nervous about it catching up with us, so he sped up a little. The light was still gaining on us. It was a couple of miles back, but we got spooked. He accelerated up to 80 MPH and the light was still gaining.

Now, I should stop to mention here that we had borrowed my older brother's 302 Mustang for our trip as our car needed work that week. This car could move.

Anyway, my ex, a normally calm individual, was beginning to panic. We were in the middle of nowhere, forest all around, speeding faster and faster. I suggested we take the next exit, but we whizzed by doing over 100MPH. The light was still gaining. I gently reminded him that Route 78 dead-ends in the Watchung Mountain Woodland Area and we'd better slow down if we didn't want to splat against the barrier at the end of the line.

Just before the barrier, there is a sharp turn onto the reservation road. He decelerated rapidly, but we still took the turn too fast and left a lot of rubber fishtailing on the road. A last look over my shoulder and the light was still getting closer. I could not discern any vehicle shape, just the blue light getting ever closer. I have never been so terrified in my life. My ex drove like a madman around hairpin turns with nasty 10 foot drop-offs into creeks and ravines. I couldn't see anything behind us. The woods were black as pitch. About half-way through the woods he took a sharp turn on a flat area near a picnic clearing and rammed the rear end of the car back into some bushes. He turned off the lights and we crouched down and locked the doors. We waited probably about 15 minutes, but you know it felt a hack of a lot longer.

Nothing happened. Nothing came. So he turned on the lights and we continued on home without further incident.

Questions linger, though. At the point I'd last seen the light, there were no other exits. The only place to go was the road we took into the woodland area. Where did it go? What WAS it? How could it still be gaining steadily when we were exceeding 100MPH? I still get shivers a quarter of a century later.

Melanie, CA, USA
00:00 / 01:04
bottom of page