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Ghost Road
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

Ghost Road Legend
Investigation And Conclusion Introduction

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 'ghostlight'.


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.

Animal Reactions
Observations in an attempt to gauge a pet dog's reaction to the ghostlight and location in general remain inconclusive.

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 only.

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'.

The Legend
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 time.

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 explained above.

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.

Thank you!

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 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 Tennessee.
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 until now.
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" ( To: Subject: Skugog Haunting Date: Sun, 4 Jul 1999 23:13:06 -0500

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