Port Perry, Ontario
One of the best known haunts of
Ontario, Scugog Island's Ghost Road, just outside
the quaint village of Port Perry, has been the
sight of many interesting phenomena and many legends.
The legend goes that in or around
1968, a young man was testing the limits of a
motorcycle on an old concession road on Scugog
Island. He was on a straightaway pushing the engine
as fast as he could. The road is not too long
and he soon realized he was running out of road
and heading far too fast for the spot where the
road meets with the 9th Concession. About 100
meters from the south end near a large tree, he
lost control, plowed into a field, caught himself
on an old rusty barbed-wire fence and was decapitated.
Of course, we've also heard that
he simply banged his head on a rock still located
on the road and met his end that way. It is this
story that goes along with the report of the large
round white light heading down the road that when
it passes you, turns into a small red light. There
are also occasional reports of the sounds of a
motorcycle to accompany the light.
The light, as examined by several
Toronto ghosts researchers, actually does exist
but does not, as stated, travel down the road.
It appears above the road and only if facing south.
The image has been caught on film but the pictures
belay the fact that the light ain't much to look
at. It appears as if it was a small plane some
miles in the distance but hovering.
Even more intriguing is several
people who have investigated the haunting have
not been able to find any reports of the death
of the motorcyclist in any of the local newspapers
of the approximate time of the accident. This
has been added to by one group we work closely
with getting threatening e-mails from a person
related to this possibly non-existent motorcyclist
threatening his return to "haunt" the researchers
delving into the lights on ghost road should they
not stop. Luckily, this threat went unabated and
the researchers did some excellent work.
The image of the "ghost light" was
been studied and it's origins, for all intents
and purposes, found. Following is a report by
ParaResearchers of Ontario who looked into the
Ghost Road story.
Para-Researchers of Ontario www.pararesearchers.org
Ghost Road Legend
Investigation And Conclusion
This paper is a summary of our
observations and research in regards to the 'ghostlight'
and various other 'strange' phenomena occurring
on Scugog Island, Ontario between the period of
April 2000 to July 2001. It also contains our
conclusions in regards to the same. Please note
that the use of the terms 'spooklight', ghostlight,
'lights' throughout denote the same phenomena.
Appearance - Behaviour
The light displays witnessed by us include amber,
white, and red lights. They appear spherical in
shape, and the larger amber and white lights are
approximately the size of a basketball at approximately
a * km distance from the field. The smaller red
light, referred to in the legend of Ghost Road
as the tail light appears as * the size of the
larger lights at the same distance.
From the 1/2 km and 1/4 km points
on 'Ghost road' the 'ghostlight' appears as one
solid light with the naked eye as well as through
optical devices such as telescopes, binoculars,
etc. Occasionally it appears as if more than one
light is merging together to result in a larger
light that pulses. The luminosity, frequency of,
and duration of the lights vary considerably between
each separate observation.
Location and apparent path of the
lights seem to follow a set pattern with the occasional
variance, such as the light traveling further,
and making an erratic movement not normally sighted.
The red light usually follows directly behind
the larger white and amber lights and has been
observed on several occasions independent of these
other lights. We have observed the light phenomena
during different weather and visibility conditions
such as fog, snowstorms, rain, severe thunderstorms,
cloudy and clear sky conditions without any apparent
bearing on the display of lights. With the possible
exception to the above statement being the increase
and frequency of light displays during intense
electrical activity overhead and increased humidity.
We have observed a light exit the field, race
up the road, in an apparent attraction to the
location of an impending lightning strike.
This observation was made with both
the naked eye and while using binoculars. We have
deemed this a separate event from the 'ghostlight'
and speculate that this may have in fact been
ball lightning. Differing phases of the moon do
not have an effect on the appearance, behavior
of the lights either. We have observed both a
slow fading out of, and a quick wink out with
the eventual disappearance of the lights. The
light phenomenon has been observed from the *
km mark on Ghost Road (Mississaugas Lane), and
the * km mark. Attempts to view the light from
the crossroads of Pine Point Road and Ghost Road
have been unsuccessful.
On October 3rd, 2000 we carried
out an experiment which involved splitting up
with two observers stationed at the * km mark,
which is higher in elevation and two others positioned
at the stop sign and flush with the field. Signaling
with their high beams from the * km mark while
the light phenomena was occurring in their perspective,
the two observers at the south end had no visual
on the lights'.This included with and without
binoculars and from the vantage point of the roof
of a mid-sized car, which gave a clear view of
the surroundings.This is due to the fact that
you are removed from the line of sight at this
position. We have been informed that observations
of the lights can be made from a specific spot
on Pine Point Road slightly west of the stop sign
on a slight rise in the road. However, we have
not made any observations from this point. I also
wish to note that this particular location is
dangerous to park in due to the lack of visibility
of vehicles traveling westward on Pine Point Rd.
Attempts at viewing the phenomena at a closer
range were successful on July 24th, 2001.
These observations were made from
within the field located to the south, nearby
the lake, approx. 2km south of the intersection
at Pine Point. The 'ghostlight' appeared as one
solid light at this location. However, this observation
gave us an idea as to the exact location of origin,
which was found later that evening. Past eyewitness
reports include the light passing within 6 ft.
of one individual and in front of several others,
whom appear to be credible, as well as the light
displaying some form of possible intelligence
by following a witness at a close range. These
reports are to be considered as separate events
from the phenomena commonly referred to as the
No sounds are connected with the display of lights.
We feel that sounds such as a motorcycle revving,
native drumbeats etc occasionally mentioned by
other witnesses are the simple, and wholly understandable
misidentification of the natural sound made by
pheasants, which we have heard frequently during
our observations on 'Ghost Road'. The sounds of
horses galloping within nearby fields may also
result in this type of misidentification.
Observations in an attempt to gauge a pet dog's
reaction to the ghostlight and location in general
The time frame for the first appearance of the
light phenomena varies considerably depending
on the source of information. The earliest date
recorded so far comes from a notation contained
within the diary of an early resident of Scugog
Island, which refers to ghostlights occurring
on Devil's Light Island, which dates to the late
1800's. This notation has been confirmed by e-mail
correspondence with the present owner of the diary
and may is attached at the end of this story.
This reference to ghostlights implies
a possible connection to some of the light phenomena
reported at the Ghost Road location. However,
our efforts to find any supporting documents,
which contain similar references from the same
time period with the generous help of Frank and
Joan Young of the Scugog Historical Museum and
the librarians of the Toronto reference library
did not yield any corroborating information. This
in conjunction with the fact that there would
be no living witnesses from that time period leaves
the possibility of 'ghostlights' occurring on
the island during the 19th century as speculative
The latest possible date in regards
to first reports of the light phenomena is 1979.
This date was obtained by a newspaper clipping
of an article featured in the Port Perry Star
on the mystery lights that we were able to locate
at the Port Perry Public Library. We were able
to learn that the area long before becoming an
Island was the scene of tribal warfare between
Mohawks and Ojibwa tribes. It was also the location
of a well-traveled Native footpath. There have
been many artefacts, including Native remains
unearthed in the immediate region. Recent visits
to the location in the company of two 'sensitives'
of Native ancestry (whom we work with and consult
often) suggest that this may have some bearing
on the reports of possible paranormal events other
than the 'ghostlight'.
We feel that the legend/s surrounding the ghostlights
on Ghost Road is simply that, an urban legend.
Similar stories accompany the display of spooklights
worldwide and suggest a common folklore/myth.
In July 1983 Cathy Robb a journalist with the
Port Perry Star interviewed retired O.P.P officer
Harold Hockins who had policed Scugog Island since
1954. He was able to confirm with her that no
motorcycle accidents or otherwise that resulted
in a fatality had occurred in the vicinity of
Ghost Road during that time period. There are
no police records, hospital records, obituaries,
nor news clippings that would support the legend
as an actual historical event.
Reflecting Car Headlights Hypothesis
We had been informed that the Canadian television
program W5 ran an episode on the light phenomena
of Ghost Road several years ago and that one theory
suggested by the program as a possible explanation
for the phenomena was reflecting car headlights
from the Shirley Road and the West Quarter Line.
This proved to be false - our email correspondence
with W5 resulted in a denial of this segment being
fimed nor aired. We have conducted various experiments,
detailed in the diary of our visits, involving
car headlights, from the highest elevation of
the W. Quarter Line, the intersection of Hwy 7A
and the W. Quarter Line 4 km to the south, and
Ma Browns Road, located 2km. to the south. These
experiments involving both high and low beams,
and brake lights failed to reproduce the light
phenomena seen from Ghost Road during all attempts,
with the exception of our last experiment. The
monitoring of traffic on these roads by us also
proved inconclusive, but is irrelevant at this
Earth Lights & Earth Quake Lights
We feel that this unsupported (by our experiments)
hypothesis may be relevant to reports of light
phenomena other than the consistent 'ghostlight'
due to Scugog Island's close proximity to an active
geologic fault line and geophysical makeup.
We have seen hoaxes attempted on Ghost Road and
within the field on two separate occasions involving
the use of flashlights. These along with our own
flashlight failed to reproduce the light display.
However, this could potentially account for some
reports made by those who make one time visits
to the road and are unsure of exactly what the
'ghostlight' appears like.
Other Strange Phenomena Occurring
On Ghost Road
Cars being pulled backwards and forwards have
been reported on Ghost Road.å Compass readings
and the use of an emf detector taken at various
locations on the road and the edge of the field
including underneath the Poltergeist tree have
shown nothing out of the norm.
However, the vicinity of most of
these occurrences was identified as a 'ley line'
by our colleagues who are 'sensitives' and whom
were not privy to this information beforehand.
A sighting of a possible "being" of
some sorts on 'Ghost Road' was made by one of
our members, which defies a proper explanation
at this point in time. Our member was the sole
witness and factors of misidentification, heightened
anxiety due to the circumstances cannot be ruled
out. However, it is interesting to note that a
young woman, whom we interviewed on the road a
couple of weeks later, was able to corroborate
many of the details of our member's sighting without
prior knowledge of the event.
A part of the legend of 'Ghost Road'
involves the large infamous rock located on the
southeast corner of the road. Legend states that
if you sit on the rock, you will be thrown off
by unseen hands and/or become violently ill. We
have personally tested this out on numerous occasions
without incident. Our two 'sensitives' also stated
they received no 'feelings' from the rock either
- and further stated they felt "it's just a rock."
We have researched and observed the ghostlights
of Ghost Road and other various strange reports
for a period of fifteen months at the time of
this writing. Our failure to reproduce the 'spooklight's
during controlled experiments on ALL, but our
last visit had led us to believe that factors
other than reflecting car headlights were in fact
the true origin of the 'mystery lights'. We also
had believed that all credible reports of anomalous
light phenomena shared the same origin and cause
with the consistent reports of 'ghoslights' and
that other phenomena would also be associated.
Similar unusual experiences are
associated with occurrences of 'ghostlights' and
their various names throughout the world.This
is not the case and these should have been treated
separately. However, our experiments conducted
on July 24th 2001 and detailed here proves that
the 'ghostlight' enigma is indeed solvable if
not the other more unusual reports at this time.
Vehicle lights travelling downhill at a specific
location on the W. Quarter line and refracting
over the moist air above Lake Scugog are viewed
as the 'ghoslights' from the 1/4 km and 1/2 km
marks on 'Ghost Road'.
Differing traffic conditions at
this specific location of the W. Q line and weather
conditions contribute to the differences in appearance
of the 'ghostlights'. Example: High beams would
be used more often on the W. Q. line during storm
conditions. Any reports received of 'ghostlights'
witnessed at the interesection of Mississauga's
and Pine Point or physically on the 'Ghost road'
itself are not attributed to the above and therefore
should be treated as separate events as already
We have received many reports of
possible paranormal activity on the 'Ghost Road'
including those made by our own members. The location
is famed for it's known 'party' atmosphere, and
coupled with the increased anxiety of individuals
on the road due to the popular legend; we believe
a large percentage of these reports occur due
to these and other natural reasons. It is also
our opinion that a smaller percentage may in fact
have a genuine preternatural origin, but for obvious
reasoning this is pure speculation on our part.
This was our first group investigation
and a valuable learning experience for all of
us. We would like to give a special thank you
to all of those who have contacted us via this
website, through emails and talked with us on
Ghost Road and shared their experiences. We also
wish to thank those fellow investigators who shared
their expertise with us, and those friends who
accompanied us to the location. And perhaps most
importantly the town of Port Perry and residents
of Scugog Island.
ParaResearchers of Ontario
Over the past decade or more, numerous
people have made their way to Port Perry, then
on to Ghost Road (now Mississauga Trail) to try
and solve the mystery of the "headless rider
of Ghost Road."
Some of those who have written or
filmed the famed locations include a crew from
CTVs acclaimed current affairs program W5; The
Ottawa Citizen; The Port Perry Star; and students
from local colleges. The internet is full of stories
about Ghost Road which can easily be found by
simply searching for: "ghost road port perry
or ghost road scugog island"
One of the strangest, and to date
unexplained stories was forwarded by Evelynne
Ritter, who wrote to email@example.com telling
about her great great grandmother who was born
on Scugog (Skugog) Island. Her story goes as follows:
I have a Great Great Grandmother
who was born on Skugog Island; ADDA ELISA THOMPSON
b: 07 DEC 1858, daughter of AARON and SARAH AMSBURY
THOMPSON. Adda married my GG-Grandfather , AARON
HAMMER BEALS on 08 MAY 1878 in either Canada or
There is a notation with Adda's statistical data.
Born on Skugog Island, Lake Skugog, Ontario, Canada.
The Thompson's farm was near the haunted field.
We have always wondered about this cryptic notation
If the haunting was noted in the 1850's, then
a motorcycle, may be another part of the legend,
now it only takes a complete research to find
out just how long the haunting has been around.
I have a direct ancestor who was born on Skugog
Island, there is a notation with our family research
that no one was ever able to explain until now.
My ancestor was born in the 1850's, and there
is a handwritten notation with the family group
sheets, that she was born on "...the island of
the "devil" lights." No other mention was ever
made, nor has any ever been found as to who made
the notation or when the original notation was
made, possibly in the late 1800's?
From: "Evelynne Ritter" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To: email@example.com Subject: Skugog Haunting
Date: Sun, 4 Jul 1999 23:13:06 -0500