The Headless Motorcyclist Of Elmore, Ohio
In the quiet northwest Ohio town of Elmore, just after the final shot of World War I, it is said that a lone motorcyclist entered the world of ghostly folklore in a blaze of fury and anguish.
As the story goes, it is said this young man returned home from the frontlines only to find himself betrayed by the love of his life.
It was the thought of seeing her again, of knowing she was back in Elmore waiting for him, that kept him alive in the European trenches where he was constantly surrounded by death and horror.
Upon his arrival back home, his only desire was to see her again; hold her again. He bought a brand-new motorcycle and raced to her house, hoping to surprise her. But, when he rolled up to her front door, he received a shock for which nothing could have prepared him.
She had not waited for him. While he was gone, she had moved on in life with another man.
The news was more than he could handle. The young man gunned the motorcycle’s engine, spraying a fan of dirt and stone as he swung back toward the road.
He roared off in the night, his fists gripped tightly, teeth clenched in anger, and the wind driving the tears of pain past his cheeks.
The moon bobbed spritely amongst the treetops as his motorcycle bounced jarringly through the gravel, every bump and groove putting his balance to the test.
He pushed the cycle to its limits, the dim headlamp barely piercing the night in front of him. Trees, crops, and empty pastures sped past, silent witnesses to the tragedy playing out in the moon-bathed countryside.
The turn came up ahead, much more quickly than he had remembered. The motorcycle lurched as he rushed the brake. The front tire slid, pulling him at an angle across the bridge. He found traction and swung the forks to right himself. Off balance, the cycle tumbled over the side and to the river below.
In the light of the new day, the authorities found the ravaged motorcycle and the body of its rider. Though, what they didn’t find was much, much worse.
The headlamp of the motorcycle was never found. Neither was the rider’s head, somehow severed clean in the accident.
Now, it is said that every March 21st, those who are daring enough can summon the mysterious Headless Motorcyclist of Elmore from beyond the grave.
According to the legend, if you go to the spot of his death and you honk your car horn three times and flash your headlights three times, a glowing ball of unearthly light will appear from around the deadly bend and rocket down the lane towards the bridge. Then, as it reaches the halfway mark on the bridge, it will vanish as suddenly as it appeared.
A man by the name of Richard Gill, with the aid of an unidentified friend, came face to face with the Headless Motorcyclist in 1968 and, amazingly, were able to document his annual flight from the grave on film. Others have since claimed to see him as well.
If you can find the bridge that appears to be the eternal home to this doomed soul, maybe you, too, can witness the spectacle of the Headless Motorcyclist.
The exact location of the bridge seems to be in dispute as multiple re-tellings of this legend routinely differ as to where the Headless Motorcyclist can be summoned. Of those who claim to have seen the phantom light, for some reason, they are keeping the “true location” a secret.
Cover Photo credit: Mark Wright (Spectral Travels), (c) 2014, All Rights Reserved, Used Here With Permission
“Haunted Heartland,” by Beth Scott and Michael Norman, Warner Books, (c) 1985