Nestled in the heart of the St. Louis’ picturesque wilderness lies the terrifying zombie road, a path that is shrouded in legend and whispered tales that have captivated the imagination of locals and visitors alike for decades. Today, it has become one of the city’s most mysterious and intriguing place, and has grown to become one of the top 10 haunted spot in Missouri.
In this article, we will explore the history of it and get a glimpse into why this trail have become a magnet for those fascinated by the paranormal. Whether you’re a lover of ghost stories, a fan of local legends, or simply intrigued by the mysterious, join us as we uncover the secrets and stories of St. Louis’ Zombie Road.
The History Behind Zombie Road
Before the popularisation of its unnerving name, Zombie Road was known to the locals as Lawler Ford Road. It was originally a Native American trail used by the tribes to travel around the state. This longstanding history adds an ancient and enduring quality to the road.
In the 19th and early 20th century, the road was used as an access route for the Meramec Highlands Quarry. The road was also near the Pacific Railroad tracks and served as a important route for the Glencoe Marble Company which was mining limestone deposits in the area. As such, Zombie Road was once a key part of the area’s industrial infrastructure and growth.
However, with the decline in the usage of the railroad, the road fell into disuse. As the road became overgrown with grass, it became a popular trail among the locals. In 2010, it was repurposed by St. Louis County Parks to become Rock Hollow Trail
With the popularisation of the road as a hiking trail, haunting stories of paranormal sightings and supernatural events began to emerge.
The 2.3 mile trail quickly became the subject of numerous urban legends in St. Louis. The most popular tale is none other than the enigmatic “Zombie” figure. Soon, locals addressed the trail as Zombie Road.
The trail is reputed to be inhabited by the ghosts of Native Americans, Confederate soldiers, industrial laborers, and children. Coincidentally, an area near Zombie Road is said to be the location of one of the largest Native American burial site in the United States.
Hikers have reported feelings of being watched, even if there is no one along the path. There are also numerous reported sightings of an old lady yelling from a distance, only to disappear when approached. Along the two mile path are several cold spots that are said to be inhabited by ghosts of victims who were killed by the moving trains.
One of them is said to be Della Hamilton McCullough, a local judge who was killed in 1876 by a train that is traveling northbound. Her remains were so horrific that it is said that her body could not be found.
And it’s not solely the realm of the undead; whispers also abound of elusive shadow beings, mysterious non-human creatures, and even tales of a giant, killer zombie.
The legend of the killer zombie dates back to the 1950s when a madman supposedly escaped from a nearby psychiatric hospital and took up refuge in a dilapidated cabin along Zombie Road. He preyed upon hikers and teenagers along the trail, murdering them and disposing their bodies along Zombie Road.
He lived the rest of his life along Zombie Road and passed away in the old shack. It is said that even in the afterlife, he continues to haunt the area like a zombie, hence the name Zombie Road. However, there was no written record of a mental asylum in the area.
In a documentary called “Children of the Grave”, the team of paranormal investigators consisting of the Booth Brothers captured photos of what the team called “a shadow nest of children”.
Location of Zombie Road
While it is located in Wildwood, near Highway 109 and Old State Road, Zombie Road can be hard to find.
In fact, if you were to look up Zombie Road, there would be no results found. This is because the place is know named as “Rock Hollow Trail”
To reach the trail head of Rock Hollow Trail from Wildwood, head west out of the city on Manchester Road, then turn south onto Old State Road. Once you turn onto Ridge Road towards Ridge Meadows Elementary School, you will find the trailhead to the left of the school.
Zombie Road runs southbound into Al Foster Trail and Bluff View Trail where it goes parallel along Meramec River. However, you should know that Zombie Road is a hiking and biking trail and is only opened to hikers and cyclists. Vehicles are strictly prohibited from entering the road.
Officials from St. Louis County Park discourages hikers and thrill-seekers from entering Zombie Road during nighttime hours as the place is not lit at night. Visitors caught along the trail at night may be written a ticket for trespassing.