The Happy Die Young

Sometimes when everything seems to be going well, life has a way changing dramatically in a moments notice. In today’s post, I talk about two people who were out celebrating when their lives were tragically cut short. Was it the happiness that they felt just before they died that has kept their spirit tied to where they died or is the suddenness of their death that has left them tethered to the spot?


In Atco, New Jersey off of Burnt Mill Road and down by the Pine Barrens is the spot where a well known ghost story or urban legend takes place. According to the local legend on Christmas night, there was a small boy outside his house playing with a basketball he had received earlier that day as a Christmas present. Still learning how to dribble it, the ball rolled away from him and down his driveway, into the road. The little boy chased the ball into the street. Unfortunately, this action took him into the pathway of a speeding drunk driver that hit the child. The driver didn’t stop to check on the kid and continued driving at a high rate of speed. The driver soon came to the road’s dead end which forced him to turn around. The driver had to pass by the child’s body as it drove past the scene of the accident. Again the driver didn’t stop. Another legend is almost the same except instead of a drunk driver, it was a worker leaving the sewage treatment center near the dead end who sped down the dark street. 

Many people go down this road to try and see the ghost of the little boy with his basketball. There are a few different ways that are suppose to trigger the ghost to come out. The most popular version is to go down the street in the middle of the night. You drive all the way down to the dead end before turning around and driving back slowly to wear there is a crack in the pavement going all the way across the road. Stop your car just before the crack. Then honk your horn three times and flash your headlights three times. Doing this ritual is suppose to have the spirit of the child appear on the side of the road with his basketball. The child will walk in slow motion across the road, slowly bouncing his ball until he reaches the middle of the road and disappears. 

Another way to trigger the spirit is similar to the previous ritual but instead of honking and flashing your headlights, you are suppose to turn your car off. You then exit the vehicle and place your keys on the roof of your car before walking about twenty feet away. In this version, the spirit is should look like an orange light slowly bouncing across the street before fading away. 

While this does seem like a likely ghost story that could have happened. According to most of my research into this story, it appears to just be an urban legend. According to local police departments, no kids have been killed on that street by being hit by a car. But that doesn’t stop people from performing the rituals mentioned above. People have claimed to have seen the ghost including a youtuber named Clawboss. You can see his video of when he went looking for the Atco Ghost here. Let him know Paranormal Housewife sent you his way. Also check out his other videos. I really enjoy his channel.

If this is just an urban legend, what do you think people are seeing when they drive down this road at night? 


About two hours away from the Atco Ghost I just wrote about is another ghost that supposedly wanders the road near where she died on what is now Riverview Road in Totowa, New Jersey. There are two versions of how the person died. The first version says that back in the 1960s, a couple was driving home down the road when they began arguing. Somehow during the argument, the husband opened the passenger door and shoved his wife, Annie, out the door. Somehow Annie survived falling from a moving vehicle and started to walk home along the side of the road. A distracted truck driver accidentally hit her while she walked and dragged her body several feet before realizing what had happened. This unfortunately killed poor Annie. 

The other version I have heard (and honestly sounds more realistic to me) tells a different story. In this version, Annie is a young woman who is walking home from her high school prom. As she was walking by Laurel Grove Cemetery, a truck came speeding around the curve and hit her. As in the previous version, Annie is dragged behind the truck several feet before being left in the middle of the road. 

This stretch of road has many claims of paranormal activity associated with Annie. This one section of road seems to have no cell service despite which cell provider you may have. Cameras also seem to have trouble working in this area whether it be your cell phone’s camera, a regular camera, or a dash cam. They either won’t work at all until you’re out of the area or they will pick up weird lights that weren’t visible to the naked eye. Red paint appears on the road and along the guard rail where she was killed around the anniversary of her death. Some says it appears on it’s own while others say that it’s her father doing it to make people remember Annie. People have said that have seen her trying to hitchhike at night but disappears before they pull up beside her. She is said to be wearing a long white dress that is floating out around her feet. Other people have said to have seen her walking through the cemetery’s headstones looking like a real person except that she is glowing and casting a light on the headstones she passes by before dimming and fading away. There are also people that say that they just see a ball of light that floats through the cemetery slowly. 

Which version of Annie’s story do you think is the correct version? Do you think either is real or is this just another urban legend? Let me know in the comments below what you think. With my research I wasn’t able to find a case of a woman named Annie being hit by a car on this road but that could also be because it happened so long. 

Come back Friday for my next post about paranormal happenings in New Jersey. Any guesses on what the topic might be? I promise it will be dark and creepy. 

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