JT's Zombie Road Website



This is the site that Greg Myers, Director of Missouri Paranormal Research, called, "A major part of the inspiration of us researching that area and doing our first permissible night time investigation back in 2005."

"Oh My God!!!, they're all over the place!!!"

("This isn't a Haunting...It's an INVASION!!!!!")

-"Children of the Grave" SCI FI CHANNEL DOCUMENTARY/DVD


INTRO TO UPCOMING BOOK :
I cannot recall the exact moment when I first heard the term “Zombie Road” but I do know it was around 1984 or so when I was in early High School…I believe I first heard the phrase while on one of my frequent visits to "6 Flags Over Mid-America" (Now called "Six Flags St. Louis"), the St. Louis amusement park, which is actually located in Eureka, MO, which is in south western St. Louis County….At that time, my buddies and I had season passes to the park and went there often. It was on one of these occasions that someone at the park first mentioned the words, “Zombie Road”…

For some reason, that phrase struck a chord with me right away, creeped me out & sent a shiver up my spine…

From that moment on, I was obsessed…

The basic tale was of some nearby haunted road that was off either Highway 109 or Old State Road…Roads we took to get to the amusement park…

There were a lot of creepy looking side roads off 109 & Old State that we thought MIGHT be the fabled Zombie Road, but we were never sure…

I remember one late foggy dark night, when we were driving home from 6 Flags on Hwy 109, and my friend who was driving suddenly shut off the headlights and said something like, “Zombie Road!! Zombie Road!!!!”

I about lost it!!!!!!!!!!!!

For literally years, I was obsessed with where this road was and I even wrote a lame short story about it. I was not the first to do that as I later found a similar Zombie Road short story to the one I wrote.

It was probably around 1989 when I talking with one of my friends and he told me exactly where Zombie Road was and that its real name was “Lawler-Ford Rd”….He had been there and done the whole driving on the road in the dark of night scary thing…

I drove by there a couple days later…It was NOT off 109 OR Old State Rd, as I had always heard, but both ends were ALMOST off those roads! Plus, it sure looked creepy…Could my friend be right about this being the fabled Zombie Road???

Over a decade passed and the Internet took over the world, I created the first ever Zombie Road website, and I researched Zombie Road…I was about the only one but there were a couple others and guess what? They were also maintaining that Lawler-Ford Rd. was Zombie Road!!!

So, in 2003, I went there & filmed my field investigations. I went in Broad Daylight in the middle of Summer to minimize any scariness. Nevertheless, I was scared out of my mind…From the camera not wanting to work, to what looked like body bags and cars on the road to creepy sounds and voices, etc. I about lost it…Lots of it was explainable scares like deer and turkeys..But I was still freaked out…

After that I got invitations from Paranormal investigators like Greg Meyers to investigate the road Halloween 2005, for some reason I didn’t go with him but this eventually led to the Sci Fi Channel highly acclaimed “Children of the Grave” 2007 documentary…Also, Ghost Writer Troy Taylor wrote a great chapter on Zombie Road in a book called “Out Past the Campfire Light: Hauntings, Horrors & Unsolved Mysteries of The Great Outdoors” which credited me in the bibliography. It also had one of my Zombie Road photos which was accidentally credited to another ZR buff, Joe Inneman.

Then they turned the trail into a biking path called Rock Hollow Trail…Not as scary because in the day you just run into runners and cyclists,,,But the park still closes at dark…And if you dare to walk on what was and to some still is Zombie Road after dusk, you will get a $200 fine, $1000 if it happens to be Halloween…

BTW, in recent years of research, I have become convinced that the Castle Wood and Meramec River area there are AS haunted if not MORE than just Zombie Road. Gangsters like Al Capone were involved with the Castlewood clubhouses during Prohibition...And people die all the time in Castlewood Park: fall off cliffs, hit by trains, a man was killed a few years ago there during that summer storm that knocked half a million St. Louisans out of power when a 74 mph wind uprooted a tree and hit him on the back of his head!(I kid you NOT) not to mention the COUNTLESS drownings in the Meramec River (such as the numerous 2011 & 2012 drownings & the 5 kids a few years ago)...The Indians didn't call it the "River of Death" for nothing!

All of this had me thinking, a full scale book was in order...I was thinking I'd call it something like "The Ghosts of Zombie Road, Castle Wood & the River of Death"...

After all, "not only is The Bogey Man real, but The Bogey Man, with children, is Real, as well..."

UPDATE 7/18/10 I walked on what is now known as "Rock Hollow Trail" and took some pix:

Rock Hollow Trail

UPDATE 4/21/10 Lawler Ford Road is being turned into a bike trail from Ridge Rd. to Foster Trail. See link for pictures and details:

"Rock Hollow Trail"

UPDATE 3/27/10 FOR THE FIRST TIME IN NEARLY 7 YEARS, I RETURNED TO ZOMBIE ROAD TODAY. THERE ARE SIGNS SAYING "NO TRESPASSING, FINES UP TO $1000". THEY ARE DOING SOME TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION. I NOTICED THEY ADDED ROCKS ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE ROAD. I TOOK A BUNCH OF PHOTOS FROM THIS SHORT NATURE TRIAL THAT IS RIGHT NEXT TO ZOMBIE ROAD. CHECK OUT MY NEW PIX:

Zombie Road New Pix: March 27, 2010

UPDATE 7/19/08: I finally watched the "Children of the Grave" documentary & I absolutely loved it! The only things I'm confused about is what are they considering the "main entrance" vs the "rear entrance"? Also, I'm still not sure what they mean by an old mental institution...Are they talking about the LaSalle Institute or something else? If anyone knows, please email me.

UPDATE 7/6/08: This is the first update I've done to this site in literally YEARS...When I started this page there were only a few references to Zombie Road on the entire internet but in recent years, the legend of Zombie Road has EXPLODED in popularity, probably due in large part to this "Children of the Grave" documentary that was on the SciFi Channel...I have yet to see this but I understand it talks a lot about a supposed nearby mental institution with an escaped inmate nicknamed "Zombie"...This sounds kinda bogus & cheesy to me & I've never heard this before but it should be pretty easy to either verify or dismiss...Does anyone know if there ever was such an asylum with an escaped inmate nicknamed "Zombie"? Are they talking about that creepy monastery or whatever it is called LaSalle Institute, which I always heard used to be an insane asylum but never was sure if that was true or urban legend? lol

One last update thing, I have a video I took on my 2003 field investigation of Zombie Road. This is part 1 and 2 of that video. I wish I left out the cheesy music & altered voice gimmicks. lol

Urban folk legends abound on Lawler-Ford Road. Better known as "Zombie Road", this eerie road has been around for about 150 years since it started as a horse and carriage road (& some theorize could have been an American Indian path even before that).

The road is located in Wildwood (formerly Ellisville and Glencoe) in West St. Louis County, MO. To get there, take Manchester Rd. West to Old State Rd. S (left), go 1 mile and turn left on Ridge Rd. Turn immediately right into the parking lot at Ridge Meadows Elementary School. Walk 20 feet to the left of the school and you are standing on Zombie Road. The Lawler Ford sign is no longer there. (see map)

The road is about 2 miles long through a valley of forest hills and dead ends near the Meramec River in the Glencoe area where Old State Rd. meets Hwy 109. This is where there used to be a regular railroad track and now has a mini railroad ride for kids. This is the so-called "beach area" where they say "all the shit goes down". There are dilapidated and flooded out houses and shacks in this area.

The main folk legend is that the road is haunted by a man killed by a train in the 1970's. (My research found that a woman named Della Hamilton was killed by a railroad car in the 1870's, 1876 to be specific) Another tale involves a boy who fell off the river bluffs and was left to rot by his friends. There's a similar tale of a Parkway West High School student who was left to die by his buddies in the 1970's after an OD can-sniffing incident...Other tales involve an old woman with a gun in a house near the end of the road who yells at passersby. I've also heard the ghosts may be that of Native Americans. Adding to all this is that modern-day witches and devil worshipers hang out in the area!

"Everyone who has been to Zombie Road knows the feelings there."

-Ghosthunter 79

"That whole road will give ya the creeps. Constant feeling of being watched or even like someone is walking right behind you."

-Shadowgal17

"I just felt that sour feeling again in the pit of my stomach, and I felt that we shouldn't be there- that something just gross, happened on the earth. Something inside me said, 'You're not supposed to be here'..."

-Nicole, 1987

"You go down there sometimes and it's fine, it feels like there's no problem there...But when you go back other times it seems like a force is pushing you out, you don't want to be there."

-Paranormal researcher/Zombie Road buff Joe Immethum

"The man who was killed was actually my best friend. It wasn't lightening that hit the tree but a 74 mph wind gust that uprooted it and hit him in the back of his head. His name was Kent Cross. There's also a civil war POW camp near Sherman, MO that feels creepy. Its located near the Kaes House in a cavern. "

"I read about the tale of the Parkway West student and wanted to confirm that to the best of my knowledge, that it is true. When I was at West (graduated in 1972) their was an announcement one day from the Principal's office that called for a moment of silence or something to that effect. I think there were 4 kids involved, and one or two died. Apparently they were partying down at the bottom of Zombie Road, inhaling PAM, the cooking spray. It coated their lungs and they suffocated. Not sure that they were left to die as the tale states, but perhaps someone had to go for help."

-Dark Star, 2/21/11

"I have a friend who went down Zombie Road in the past heat of our 95 to 100 degree days of late and said parts of the trail were actually cold! It is very creepy and, yes, the strange things are real."

-Dan Meyer, 7/28/08

"I would like to share my personal experience with Zombie Road.

Last night me and five of my friends told me about it and I had never heard of it before but I decided to go anyway. Once we got there, we all partnered up walked past all the trees and passed the gate. One of our friends saw something move and we ran back to the car.

After we regrouped....we tried for a second time. So again we went on the dark path down the road. This time we went a little further but my other friend wanted to be brave and explore the path alone so he went deeper and deeper into the forest until he was out of our sight. Every now and then we would inch down the road to make sure he was ok. While the 5 of us were standing there, we started hearing voices but just convinced ourselves that it was somebody in their yard talking or just trying to scare us. As we continued looking into the dark shadows waiting for our friend...we started to see a black figure and we called his name and told him to hurry up and come on then he started running. Once he reunited with the group, the dark figure of a person was still standing down the path which was the same one that we thought was our brave friend. We looked at each other and ran once again to the car.

10 minutes passed and we decided to make the third time a charm and try to do it again just to see if what we saw was real. So before we even got to the gate I saw a white trash bag in the shape of a person lying on the right and I thought to myself that it wasn't there the first two times we went in there but I just blew it off so I wouldn't scare anybody. So I looked at my friend behind me to see if anybody saw the same thing I saw and her eyes got big realizing that I saw it too. She shook her head frantically basically telling me not to say anything.

We continued down the path, this time going deeper into the woods than the other two times. Once again our adventurous friend decided to wander off and explore the forest. And again we waited for him because everybody saw the same thing but just didn't want to say anything until we got back to the safety of the car. We called to him to come back because it was an eerie feeling of a presence or someone watching us so we all turned around and all at the same time we all saw this white shadow that looked like the "plastic bag" in the shape of a woman standing at the entrance where we had to exit. All 6 of us stood there scared to death....

It was only for a second or two but at the time it seemed like forever. We all darted for the car and sped off into the night discussing our experience in the car.

It may sound crazy but I PROMISE you this is true."

-Danielle, 2008

"The road makes you feel 'isolated' or 'chokes your senses', its absolutely true. It makes you feel like the rest of the world is gone and its just you and that road for eternity..."

-Ariakas7708

"Hello. My name is Emylee Bishop Sturk.

My husband and I have lived in Missouri for 13 years now. When we first moved here, we lived in an old farmhouse just off of Hwy 109 and Old Manchester. I had never heard of "Zombie Road" until this year (just two days ago actually) and I started doing some research which led me to your page.

I was extremely interested in this road because it was so close to where our first house was. I have a long history of living in homes with a "presence", but this house was especially haunted.

From the day we moved in, we heard strange sounds and things were happening that just couldn't be explained. Our daughter was just born when we moved there and the "presence" only really scared me once...that is before we decided to move. Whatever was there enjoyed us being there. For the most part. The house had been newly renovated, with only the kitchen and the bathroom being gutted and replaced. From day one, we would hear a strange sound that came from underneath the hardwood floors that would begin in my daughter's room, come through the wall and halfway through the large living room. My husband and I investigated, only to find a sub floor with no piping or air ducts in the unfinished basement where the sound would occur. My husband does not like anything that scares him, so he quickly dismissed the sound, calling it "the midget throwing golf balls", which was basically what it sounded like. It would start out slow and quickly gain speed as it came through the house. It would happen many times a day, with no rhyme or reason as to when it was coming. Every person that entered that house would hear it.

Not long after moving in, we began getting critters of all sorts. At first, it didn't mean much to me because it was an old farmhouse, but over time it became clear that this was more action than even a tent in the woods would see. First came the mice. Many, many mice. We got a cat who quickly resolved that issue. Next, we were invaded by birds. I really do hate birds, and I had never seen them enter a house as they did. I had the windows opened and they had no screens, but even still, for that many birds to enter a structure just seemed downright strange and like a scene straight from Alfred Hitchcock. I had to have a friend come over and help me scare them away. After that, there were the seed ticks. I noticed them when I was making our bed and as I carried the sheets to the basement, I could hear the crunching sounds under my feet as I stepped on thousands of them. I quickly took my daughter outside and called an exterminator. Finally, as I was walking through the living room one day I felt something drop on my head. I placed my hand on my head and found a ladybug in my hair. No one is afraid of ladybugs, right? As I went to place it outside, I noticed another one drop onto my head. As I went to grab that one, I tilted my head upward and saw the entire living room ceiling was a sea of ladybugs at least 5 or 10 deep. They were everywhere. You could not see the ceiling because of them. Again, I rushed my daughter outside and began killing them all with bug spray. The entire time I was murdering them I was thinking, "It's bad luck to kill a ladybug. It's bad luck to kill a ladybug." Nevertheless, I did. I had no choice. As I cleaned up the mess, I walked to the basement (which had one of those open-backed staircases). As I did, something reached through and grabbed my ankle, almost causing me to fall down the entire staircase and hit the concrete floor below. I was suddenly terrified.

I spoke to my husband, who thought that either a) I was exaggerating or b) I was losing my mind. Regardless, he decided that it was best if we moved. I began to pack up our belongings and it was at that point that things got really scary. I would hear deep, growling voices. I couldn't make out what they were saying, but I knew they were angry. I would feel sudden bursts of ice cold air that would give me chills. At the time, I was watching my nephew who had not started school yet. I tried to ignore these things as I packed.

I collect shot glasses and had them stacked on the oversized counter in the big country kitchen after washing them and was starting to pack them. My daughter (who was now two) and my nephew were at the kitchen table eating lunch. A shot glass began to shake. I turned to look at my nephew to see if he saw it and seeing how wide his eyes were, I knew he had. That shot glass shook for a moment and then flew across the counter, halfway across the kitchen and smashed on the floor, shattering into a million tiny pieces. If you know anything about shot glasses, the glass is very thick on them and they are very hard to break. My nephew cried as I frantically packed the last box, loaded the kids up and drove to our new house.

I didn't mention it to my husband.

The power was scheduled to be turned off that day and he had had a particularly long day at work. When he came home, it was dark and the power had been cut to the old house. He had to go back to get the last of our belongings and when he returned, there was a look in his eyes that I had never seen before. He was white as a sheet. I asked what had happened and all he could say was, "I believe you."

It's been 12 years since we lived in that house and he still won't talk about what happened to him that last night. He gets edgy and nervous if you even mention it to him.

Anyway, I just thought you might be interested in this experience, as the house was less than a mile from the entrance to "Zombie Road". Imagine my surprise learning of this road after 12 years of being gone from that house."

-Emylee Bishop Sturk, Oct. 2012

IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT ZOMBIE ROAD, PLEASE EMAIL ME AT: johntrower@sbcglobal.net


Zombie Road Related Links:

The Zombie Road Facebook Page : ZR Gets Hip!
Two drown in Meramec River at Castlewood State Park : 2 More Bite The Dust
My Field Investigations on Zombie Road: Includes a lot of photos I took of Zombie Road
Children of the Grave: Fall 2007 Sci Fi Channel Highly Acclaimed Documentary
Zombie Road: The True Story of One of Missouri's Most Haunted Places
Troy Taylor's Book Site: Has a Zombie Road Chapter with pic and bibliography by me
Paranormal News: Troy Taylor site partly about Zombie Road
Missouri Haunted Places: Includes Zombie Road
Wabash, Frisco & Pacific Rail Road: Located in the area
U of MO Article about Zombie: Hauntings in the Midwest
Castlewood - Triangle of DEATH!!: St. Louis Biking Community
Castlewood State Park: A Missouri State Park
Haunted America Tours: The Road Where Urban Legends Are Actually Real
Zombie Road My Space Page:Who knew a road could have a page? lol
Riverfront Times Article on Zombie Road What is scarier than a liberal Zombie? lol
Castlewood Crazy Mental Health Cult Center: Some Crazy Shit lol



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