Posts Tagged ‘totowa’

Annie’s Road

curvetomidgetville

“We went to the end of the road and met a midget named George. He gave us his phone number!”

“You can often see a flickering light moving around and about the graves.”

“Beware midgets live there, I know because they shot at me.”

“Alongside the road is a guard rail painted red where she died.”

Annie’s Road is haunted by a young girl who died on her way to the prom. On the road there remains to this day a blood red stain marking the spot where she died. Familiar story, eh? That’s one of many explanations for strange things that have happened on or near this winding road in Totowa. Annie’s Road has so many stories intertwined with each other that the hard facts and the rumors & gossip are almost inseparable. Have people died on in car crashes on this road? Yes. as someone murdered near here? Yes. Do dwarfs live here? No! Is there cemetery a cemetery on this road? Yes, two of them. Is the road of the cemetery haunted? That’s for you to judge.

So what’s fact and what is fanciful tale? We’ll try to sort out the myths and gossip from reality in a moment, but first off: a primer for those who don’t already know the tale…

Riverview Drive

This unassuming road winds along the Passaic river in the shadow of a sewage treatment plant to it’s left, followed by Laurel Hill Cemetery. The road has several sharp turns and is not well lit. The turn just before midgetville is particularly harsh and there are numerous recorded accidents and deaths, including one in the late 90’s involving a car full of high school students.

Rumors of ghosts and apparitions have been reported on this road going back as far the colonial days. The main legend concerns Annie, a young woman who lived in the area in the 60’s, not long before Route 80 was built thru the area. She was going to the prom and got into an argument with her boyfriend and left the car to walk to her home on River View Dr. Along the way she was picked up by a bunch of sailors who raped and murdered her. The violent end to her life made her spirit uneasy, and so she began to haunt the local road, even possessing men who traveled along it. The numerous car accidents on this road are attributed to Annie’s ghost. One theory is people swerve to avoid her ghost, or lost control after seeing her. Others think she may have possessed the driver and forced him off the road.

Midgetville

Located just off Annie’s Road is a small cul-de-sac with some very small houses. For years there have been rumors of little enclaves where dwarfs live. John Ringling owned a home in Alpine, and just south of where the GWB is located was a small community where dwarfs allegedly lived. The same rumors followed him to his other home in Morris Plains. Singac & Waldwick also have been rumored to be home to dwarfs. None of these towns holds the mystic that Totowa does.

I visited Annie’s Road and spoke with one of the local residents about the ghost, the accidents and the midnight riders looking to see dwarves. She told me all about the ghost of Annie and all the problems they’ve had with teenagers driving by at 3am looking to see dwarves. The houses were once summer rentals and as such they weren’t designed as large as traditional homes. I

After numerous problems with rowdy and noisy teenagers, the residents began policing the area themselves, calling police on the rowdy teenagers, and sometimes surrounding cars to prevent the teenagers from fleeing. One local resident was run over by a teenage girl trying to get away. “My son was the one who stood in front of her and wouldn’t let her leave after she hit the other gentleman. He suffered a broken leg and there was no way my son was going to let her get away with that.”

I guess that explains this sign…

midgetwarnings

Laurel Hill Cemetery

Laurel Hill Cemetery is 90 acres and is located right off River View Dr. There are some very cool headstone in the cemetery and is well worth visiting and exploring. On a recent trip I saw evidence of vandalism, as numerous headstones had been knocked over, and many cherubs and angels had their heads knocked off….

The Hail Mary Murders

It was 1992, and six high school boys spent their days fixated by Annie’s tale. Believing she was run over by a car and that she now haunted the road, they spent their nights at Norwood Terrace, near the house she supposedly lived in, then they would drive up and down River View Dr, before ending up at the mausoleum where they thought she was buried.

vandyk

Eventually though 5 of the boys felt that they no longer wanted to hang around with the 6th boy, and decided to make him leave. They made several botched attempts to burn his car, but they all failed. Eventually realizing that they couldn’t make him go away, they decided he needed to eliminated. (and all this because they were bored with his company mind you)

They tried to stuff an aerosol can into his gas tank in the hopes of causing an explosion. It didn’t fit. They tried to convince him to be handcuffed to the steering wheel, after which they would stick a flaming rag into the gas tank. He refused. After so many botched attempts to scare him and even eliminate him, some of the boys wondered if he wasn’t protected by Annie herself…

They finally settled on a simpler method, and tragically it worked. One day they all drove out to the HS and parked in back. They all began to recite the Catholic “Hail Mary”, and then one of the boys in back took out an electrical cord and strangled the victim from behind, garrote style. Putting his feet on the headrest, the victim didn’t have a chance, and the other boys continued to recite the Hail Mary, until after nearly 10 minutes, he was dead.

They tried to cover up the crime by outing the body in the trunk and causing an explosion, but it didn’t work. They ditched the car, and predictably, were caught, arrested, and convicted.

Jewish Cemetery

I don’t think anyone else even knows about this one. You can read the whole story on it’s own dedicated page, but basically there is a Jewish cemetery up in the woods near the Waste Treatment Plant, that is owned and operated by a construction company that is located right next door. What do Jews & construction workers have to do with each other?

The Totowa Book of the Dead

Totowa has a population of 10,000 but over 84,000 buried in it’s cemeteries. Laurie Giordano, son the famous electrician buried at Laurel grove cemetery, is currently working on a photographic memoir, “The Totowa Book of the Dead.” Although it will be about the cemeteries in part, it’s about life growing up in Totowa. Excerpts and pictures can be found at the website listed above. I look forward to it. I like the B&W photos she is using, since B&W is so much more moody and expressive then color….

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