The Search For The Headless Motorcyclist Of Elmore, Ohio
As is often the case when it comes to paranormal folklore, even the simplest tale can have so many variations it’ll leave you wondering which version comes closest to the original legend. The case of the Headless Motorcyclist in Elmore, Ohio is no different.
Even though most re-tellings of this tale stay pretty much the same in terms of observable phenomena and the tragic story which attempts to explain it, there are a number of variations that make exploring the legend next to impossible.
Well, maybe “impossible” is too strong of a word. But, there are definitely plenty of headaches involved.
For those who don’t know the tale, it’s basically the story of a World War I vet who was violently beheaded in a tragic motorcycle accident shortly after returning home from Europe. Now, on the anniversary of his death, every March 21, it is said that you can drive out to the spot where he was killed and summon him from beyond the grave simply by honking your car horn three times and flashing your headlights three times. (Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but there are those who claim this weird little ritual works.)
The problems with this tale – those little variations which provide the biggest headaches – pretty much revolve around the actual location of the bridge where he died.
Much of what I have read concerning this legend all pretty much draw from the 1985 story as published by Beth Scott and Michael Norman in their book, “Haunted Heartland.” This version of the story gives very little clue as to the location of the bridge. In fact, it wasn’t until the rise of the Internet that I began seeing people publishing what they believed was the bridge’s actual location. The problem was, aside from them all being different, they were all either too vague to pinpoint or, in the case of one popular website, didn’t even exist on a map.
Then there are those who claim to have seen the phantom spooklight, but, for whatever reason, refuse to say exactly where they saw it.
For some reason, the bridge where the Headless Motorcyclist is supposed to have died remains one of the biggest “secrets” in northwest Ohio folklore and I just can’t figure out why.
Of all the alleged locations for this bridge I have come across, the one offered by Joe Thielen may just turn out to be the real deal. He places the bridge on Slemmer-Portage Road, between the Turnpike overpass and US Route 20.
Is this the true location? I don’t know. I haven’t been to it yet. And no one else who claims to have seen the spooklight is telling. But, I promise you this: If this is the bridge, I won’t be keeping it a secret like so many others have.
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: Joe Thielen, All Rights Reserved, Used Here With Permission
Encounter With The Elmore Ghost, Ghosts of Ohio
The Elmore Haunted Headless Motorcycleman Bridge, Joe Thielen