Ghost Road, Bragg Road, Saratoga Light, Saratoga, Texas

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Ghost Road, Bragg Road, Saratoga Light

Have you experienced strange happenings out on Ghost Road?
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"Your Ghost Road Story"
Check out our Vistiors Submitted Stories at the bottom of the page!

Article from: The Beaumont Enterprise, reporter J. Reid

Howard Perkins, a self-proclaimed skeptic doesn't know what flew at his car 40 years ago on Hardin County's "Ghost Road," but he didn't stay to find out. Perkins, director of student publications at Lamar University, has seen a mysterious light three times on a road between Saratoga and Bragg.

The first time, in 1966, a flickering light appeared and slowly began moving toward the car, growing larger as it came near, he said. When the light drew close - Perkins isn't sure how close - he honked the horn, which was suppose to make the light flicker out. Instead, it rushed the car. "About the time that you thought it was going to be right on the car, it was gone," he said.

Dozens, if not hundreds, of people in Southeast Texas have seen the Saratoga Lights, as the unusual illuminations are called. But a group of Hardin County people hopes that $4,400 worth of improvemenets to the eight miles stretch of road where the light appears will draw tourists here as well.

The road will receive four paved areas for cars and park information boards at three stopping spots, said Maxine Johnston, chair of the Big Thicket Association Conservation Committee. One stop will have picnic tables rather than as information board. Each pullover will be long enough to hold a big tourist bus. The road is to narrow for cars to pull over without blocking traffic, Johnston said.

When the road received attention in a Kountze newspaper during the 1950s, many traffic jams happened here, she said. The improvements should be complete by March 2005. Information boards along the road will discuss the roads history, ecology and folklore, Johnston said. National media-National Geographic, an airline magazine and even a textbook have told the story before.

Its not by any means that obscure, Johnston said. Its fairly well-known already. We just need to make it easy and pleasant for people out there.

Information Boards
The stretch of land was first used as a branch of Santa Fe Railroad in 1904. Even before the railroad was laid, there were ghost stories. Perkins, who grew up in Hardin County, heard from a family friend that kids before the turn of the century would go looking for the light together. Rumors spread that a construction foreman murdered several Mexican labors at a nearby spot, Johnston said. Another story described a hunter lost in the Big Thicket unable to find his way out. The common theme among the stories was that there was a light that people could see but not find a source, according to a 1999 article in the Quarterly Journal of Southwest Railroad History. Despite the reputed haunting, the railroad was used for nearly 30 years, until 1933.

When the line was dismantled to leave a dirt path, local people began using the road to travel between Bragg and Saratoga. As more people traveled the road, rumors about the mysterious light increased, accorsing to the railroad history journal. The most popular explanation for the light stems from a decapitated railroad worker. Legend has it that a man who lost his head on the tracks roams at night with a lantern, looking for his lost head. Perkins doesnt think the light comes from the lantern of the headless railroad worker, but hes not venturing another guess. Whetever it is, its frightening.

Another roadside marker will discuss the trees, shrubs and flowers along the road. Perhaps the most unusual plant along the stretch is the carnivorous bladderwort plant. The plant grows in ditches on the side of the road and feeds off tiny aquatic animals. Another unusual plant is the floating heart, which looks like a water lily, with yellow blossoms in late spring and summer, Johnston said.

The $4,400 might also pay for the printing of 10,000 brochures about the road, Johnston said. The brochures will go into the chambers of commerce and in tourist bureaus, such as at the Louisiana border near Orange.

What is it?

Kountze residents Jimmy McKim said he believes that kids in Saratoga would run around with lanterns to cause the lights. They would get a big kick out of this, said McKim, vice chairman of Hardin County Historical Commission. Perkins, who saw the lights three times, said they are not that unusual. When he lived in North Carolina, people said lights appeared in the woods of his town. He never went to explore the lights, although people in the town often talked about them. Several Internet sites credit passing cars for the lights.

Linda Barrett, advertising manager at University Press, saw the lights in the last decade. If I had not seen it with my own two eyes, I would not believe it, she said. Barrett suspects the light is actually some sort of gas that comes up on the road, perhaps from pipelines or natural gas leaking from inside the Earth. Barrett grew up in Port Neches, where people talk about the haunted Sarah Jane Road. Sarah Jane legends differ greatly - ghost stories of a suicide, a forlorn lover and a distressed mother have all been told. I think that the light is more interesting, Barrett said. Its more of a phenomenon, I never felt the creepy feeling on Sarah Jane Road that I felt there.

(Watch video above)..June 2005. Aaron and I were out on Ghost Road approx. 12:30 am. We were about 1/2 mile down the road when we ran into 15 to 20 people hanging out and partying. As we approached closer to them, one guy decided to step out into the road and throw a Roman Candle at our truck. We've had several incidents happen to us out on Ghost Road so I'd suggest to anyone who plans on taking a drive down Ghost Road to have several people with them, the more the better!!!!

S.T.P.S. return visit to Ghostroad June 3 & 4, 2005. We saw the Saratoga Light the night of June 4th.

We had no sooner stopped the car, got out, and there it was, dancing it's little heart out approximately 100 feet in front of us all.

It shot out of the trees from the side of the road in an orange colored orb and zipping back into the trees. With in a matter of seconds, it shot back into the road about 15 foot higher, this time it was a powder blue orb and zipped back into the trees. It came back out once again as a huge bright white orb, hovering over the road and disappeared in thin air.
We all stood there in total awwww and amazement and happening so fast, not one us had time to even take photos or capture video of "The Saratoga Light."
Orbs?? We have all heard different theories on orbs...dust, dirty camera lens, fog be the judge! Photos taken by Sabrina, Aaron and Patrice.

S.T.P.S. returned to Ghostroad on December 5, 2004, at about 3 am in the morning. Aaron and I (Sabrina) were the only 2 on this investigation. We entered the road on the Saratoga end of the road. Every 1/4 mile we would stop to take pictures.

As we got to the last 1/4 mile of Ghostroad we stopped. I asked Aaron if the truck was at a full stop.

Looking over at Aaron in the driver seat, he was looking straight ahead and replied to me "yes the truck is at a complete stop." I asked Aaron "do you see what I am seeing," he replied, "what are you seeing" I replied, "it looks as if the truck is moving forward and the road is stretching out real long in front of the truck," Aaron replied, "it looks as if the truck is moving backwards and the road is stretching out real long." We both experienced "motion sickness" at the same time.

I started taking pictures one right after another, and the first 5 photos below, are the results of the energy that was around us while we were experiencing this strange vision we were having.

Could we have been caught up in a Time Warp or a Vortex or What?? One thing is for sure, it was something neither of us had ever experienced before. It was truly amazing!
Note: I didn't have my camera set to Night Mode when taking these photos. Images were lightened which caused the images to be less pixilated, yet still being able to see the activity.


Submitted Ghost Stories from Ghost Road

Todd Rone Jr., His Story of Ghost Road:
Hello Sabrina, My name is Todd Rone Jr. I just wanted to tell you that I love going and doing paranormal investigations. I just got done reading your article on the Saratoga Light. Me and my buddies have gone up there many of times and seen the light, the first was a really bright flash not even 5 feet in front of the car.

The second experience we were parked for awhile and I noticed something very strange. I looked around outside and I could see through the trees and I could see my friend and my cousin inside the truck as if it were day light ( but as you know Saratoga at night, its pitch black) Well, I looked at the clock and it said 2:43 in the morning and I asked my other friends if they could see me and they said yes. I didn't want to start my engine because I didn't want to ruin the concentration I had on it so I flipped on the windshield wipers and as soon as it made the first wipe it went pitch black and I couldn't see anything.

I had a feeling it was sitting right on top of the truck. The third experience, it came hauling butt to the back of the truck and disappeared. The thing that got me the most is when I read the article and you were talking about the truck being stopped and the road stretching or rolling back. I had the same experience and it sent chills to me knowing now I'm not the only one who experienced it. When I had stopped my truck it was like the road in front of my was being stretched and warped as if everything was being pulled away from the truck, and like you, it was the last 1/4th of the mile.

I didn't bother to ask my friends if they saw what I was seeing because I thought it was just me, but, I lift off the brake and drive 20 or 30 feet and stop again and it would repeat the stretching or rolling back feeling it didn't make me sick but it was just an awesome experience. I will tell you this tho, the last 1/4th of a mile is where I had experienced a lot of sightings and warps, the rest of the road I've never seen anything.

The only thing I don't like about it is, the people that go out there, you have so many people on the road that the entity doesn't want to show to many lights. That's when I made it a point to go out on a school night, that way, the high school kids and all the family's would be at home and not out and about. Me and my cousin and friends love going out there, It's always an adrenaline rush. Ever since it was turned into a tourist spot with paved roads and stuff, I don't find it really worth going out anymore.

Thank you for your time, if you ever come back here let me know. It would be great to learn about your experience on Bragg's Road.


Steve Quinn, His Story of Ghost Road:
Sabrina, My brother and I visited Ghost Road of Hardin County near Saratoga several times in 2006. We did not see the ghost light but we did confirm the magnification phenomenon that haunts this road. We also discovered the possible mystery for the "vortex" phenomenon and on one occasion, experienced "lost time".

Magnification Phenomenon
The magnification phenomenon seems to come and go, increasingly stronger on some nights and decreasingly weaker on others. On one particular night, my brother noticed a small illuminated patch of light in the middle of the road not more than 50 yards away. We were at the first pipeline right-of-way, approximately 1.3 miles from the south entrance, facing south toward Saratoga. The moon was about three-quarters full and to the right (southwest) of our position. I thought it was the moonlight shining down on the road through a gap in the trees. My brother, realizing that there was no gap in the trees large enough to allow light from the moon to enter from its near 45 degree angle, surmised that it was the moonlight shining on the surface of the highway. Had the headlights of an on-coming vehicle been on that highway at the time, we would have sworn it was the ghost light.

Vortex Phenomenon
The vortex phenomenon may be a visual hallucination caused by the hypnotic effect of watching the roadway for the last four to six miles. Traversing a 5-mile stretch of roadway, illuminated only by headlights at 20 miles per hour, would take about 15 minutes. When our eyes see repetitive motion that fatigues our vision, then the opposite effect will occur when it stops or we look away. Archimedes discovered this in 350 BC when he looked at a waterfall and then looked away.

Lost Time Phenomenon
Normally, when we go there, we arrive at dusk and leave about 1:30 AM. On our first visit there together, we arrived about 7:30 PM and left about 3:30 AM. We both assumed that it should be about 1:30, not 3:30. We could not account for the last two hours that we were there. How did it get so late so fast? The clock on the truck radio clearly showed 3:30 and so too, did our watches. However, when I downloaded the video camcorder to my computer using Windows Movie Maker, the last clips jumped from 12:38 AM to 3:17 AM.

Some type of a "time warp" phenomenon may indeed exist there. I think it may be related to the magnification phenomenon. There may be places on this earth where space-time is compressed or overlaps. Steve Quinn

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