Home > Unexplained Mysteries - The Legend of Morrow Road
Unexplained Mysteries - The Legend of Morrow Road
Source : http://www.morrowroad.com/legend.htm
The story goes that a mother and child went missing from their home on this road sometime in the late 1800's. The little boy disappeared into thin air and shortly after, the mother also vanished. It is believed she died a terrifying death while searching for her son. Locals say the ghostly figure of a mother can still be seen wandering old Morrow Road to this day.
Morrow Road is a small road in southeast Michigan stretching from Clay Twp to Cottreville. (Locals say Algonac to Marine City--the closest cities). Recently the southern half was paved, but prior it was a narrow dirt road and before that an old cow path. Sometime in the late 1800s a mother had a child and they lived on Morrow Road. Shortly after they went missing, most believe the child disappeared first. The frantic mother searched and searched and never found the boy.
Legend says the middle-aged woman died searching for her child. What is even more disturbing is that many people claim that the woman haunts Morrow Road as a ghost in eternal search for her child till this very day.
What makes the legend interesting is that there are many versions of how this story came to be. What happened to the child? What happened to the woman? How did they disappear? Why do people claim to see orbs in the woods at night? Has anyone really seen the woman with bloody hands wandering down the road? Is there a monster in the woods? Is there any validity from those who claim to hear a baby crying near the south bridge?
Unsolved Mysteries apparently believed it to be interesting enough, as they did a mini-feature of the legend in the early 90's. Detroit's Channel 4 News covered the story as well not long after.
There have been many claims to sightings of a ghost and/or a baby or child at night. Many teenagers have pranked fellow drive-by's as well by using the legend to scare their girlfriends or simply have some fun at night. They stage elements from the variations of the legend: from the hanging a dummy woman's body from a tree to lighting a fire on the bridge to see her face in the flames. Clay Township police can confirm this.
But one thing is for sure: Morrow Road is one of Michigan's oldest legends-- and like a true legend, it cannot be proven...nor disproved.
The Legend of Morrow Road, one of Michigan's oldest legends, spans back to the late 1800s and is primarily about a ghost that haunts the road to this day looking for her lost child.
Morrow Road is a southeast Michigan rural road that until recently was entirely a dirt road. The 2.5 mile road's southern portion rests in Clay Twp (on the outskirts of Algonac) and
northern portion rests in Cottrellville Twp (on the outskirts of Marine City). The entire road is a straightaway and has very few citizens living on it. Recently more citizens have moved into its southern half. The road began as a cow path in the 19th century and later became a narrow dirt road, which was eventually widened. The road also has two creeks that run under it, one on its north end and one near its center-point, just south of where the only other fully intersecting road is. Hence, there used to be two small, simple-railed
bridges. Both of these were tore down and converted into culverts. As with most backroads, Morrow Road started out with no electricity running to it and had one two-story house. An old house was tore down recently, although it may not have been the original house.
In the late 1800s a woman supposedly with the initials "I.C." apparently died a tragic death searching for her child boy. Many believe that the death was so tragic that her ghost spirit remains haunting the road to this day, still searching in an eternal frustration for that impossible to achieve answer of what happened to the boy.
What makes the legend more interesting and startling is the different beliefs of what exactly happened to the mother & child. Research shows there are about ten theories as to how this occurred and each has slight variations. Nearly every version of the legend has these common denominators: A middle-aged woman died in her nightgown searching for her child, and that her spirit remains as a vengeful ghost to this day-- still searching for the young boy. Here's where the versions alter: (See if you've heard any of these :)
Many believe the boy was kidnapped and that the mother searched in desperation, and died searching.
Some believed the boy drowned when the mother took her eyes off him for a moment. This version is a rare version where she apparently did find the boy face down in a nearby creek. In despair, the mother hung herself.
Some believe that the two-story house they lived in was burglarized and that they were murdered.
Some believe that when the mother last saw the child not too far away from a fire...and then he was never seen again. The mother searched for the boy around the fire, fearing for the worse. Never finding the child's remains, she died searching for the boy...some believe she even died in a fire herself. (This is why you see her face in a fire if a fire is lit near the bridge--explained below).
Others believe in an entirely opposite type of death: That they both froze to death. The boy wandered out of the home, the mother unaware. When the mother realized he was gone, she searched frantically for the boy during an unprecedented winter storm, and froze to death in her unsuccessful search.
Still others believe in a simple theory: That the boy was murdered, which led to the mother to search for the boy near the bridge they lived near. The murderer (motive unknown, possibly rape) waited for the woman to search near the bridge and kidnapped and murdered her.
Early versions of the legend actually didn't involve a mother! This radically different (and unpopular today) theory involved a monster that ate babies/children! It was called "The Morrow Road Monster" by locals, and was a popular theory in the 1950s. There is no evidence to support this theory.*
Contrasting, a hugely popular theory involved local Natives. Some believe that local Natives savagely attacked the mother while she was searching for her missing child. Some believe she haunts the road to this day because a nearby Indian burial ground may have been near the death site of the mother. There is no evidence to support this theory,* but local Natives of the time included Algonquin, Huron and Erie.
Finally, one of the most popular theories was that the mother had the child out of wedlock. Simply not wanting the baby, she went to the bridge and left the boy under the bridge--abandoning him. Feeling shame and remorse on her way back home, she decided she couldn't go through with it and upon arriving at the bridge the baby was gone. This was the beginning of years of searching, until she finally gave up. Upon her early death, many believed she was cursed for her actions and her eternal punishment is to haunt the road
searching for the lost child.
A startling fact is how many people claim to have seen the woman, heard the child, or witnessed other paranormal occurrences on or near the road. These include many witnesses to seeing the ghostly woman herself, always wearing a light blue nightgown (believed by many to be the outfit she wore on her death) searching with bloody hands for the child. Many claimed she has morbidly asked or screamed "Where's my baby?" as driver's drove past. Others claim she has slammed her mysteriously bloody hands on their car window in addition.
Many locals have claimed "if you start a fire on the road where the southern bridge was, you will see her face in the flames." (That is illegal by-the-way, so don't try it). This supports the theory that something tragic happened to her and/or the child on or near the bridge and their lives ended in flames. Currently this element to the legend hasn't had an eye-witness account in many years.
Many believe that if you honk your car-horn three times on the bridge you will hear the baby cry.
Also, many claim to have vehicle trouble when driving down the road. There are more eyewitness claims to seeing "orbs" on the road and in the woods than any of the above.
Many other people also state the orbs went as far as to chase their vehicle. Most claim the orbs were light green, but some say they've seen them red, purple and light blue, all in small, varying sizes.
Naturally, local police have had many "false claims," that turned out to be young adults playing pranks. All accounts are claimed to have been seen or heard only at nighttime. Channel 4 Local News with Carmen Harlan did a news report near turn of the century on the legend, and the TV Show "Unsolved Mysteries" had a filler-feature on an episode, watering down the legend to be a filler between the episode's two major features.
Paranormal research has been done many times, always with interesting results. The legend has been all over the Internet and an independent feature film based entirely on the legend is in the works. For more information on the film and legend, visit www.morrowroad.com.