Ghosts of the Prairie



The place known to the local folks as "Hotrod Haven" is actually a stretch of Mitchel Hill Road. During the period between the 1940's and the 1970's, the road was a popular spot for teenagers to test not only their racing skills and their cars... but their bravery as well. Not surprisingly, many of them did not come back from the road alive!

Mitchel Hill Road is a winding and twisting road that, over time, has reportedly claimed the lives of more than 25 people in the area. As a driver travels down the hill, they come out of the curves into a short straightaway that abruptly switches back into a banking left turn. Prior to reaching the turn, cars are able to reach very high speeds... which often result in tragedy!

Around once such tragedy has grown the legend of "Hotrod Haven"...
The legend has it that a young woman and her date were on their way to a dance on the night of September 23, 1950, when they crashed at the bottom of the hill and were killed. Since that time, reports claim that the girl has been seen wandering the roadway and aimlessly strolling the cemetery at the top of the hill. It was here that she was buried, side by side with her young lover. The cemetery at the top of the road is a private burial ground for several local families, most notably the "Mitchel" and "Griffen" families.

Over the years, the ghostly girl has been dubbed both "Sarah" and "Mary" by those who have seen the apparition on the road at night. The young man's name has been forgotten... until now.

Recently, American Ghost Society investigator Keith Age decided to trace the route of the deadly accident that claimed the life of the two teenagers. He decided to do this on September 23, 2000... the 50th anniversary of their reported deaths. He traveled the route to and from the cemetery, finally ending up at the graveyard itself.

"At the time of evening we investigated the area it was already dark", Keith wrote. " When you are on top of the hill you can see for miles and all the sounds and noises that reach you can be very unsettling. From animal noises to vehicles that are several miles away. The cemetery is right on the corner with Mitchel Hill Road on one side and an electrical power station on the other. After taking several photo's of the area we then began searching the stones."

Prior to making the trip, Keith had checked through the records of Jefferson County to see if an accident like the one reported had actually taken place. He was curious to see if the events could be real .... or merely an urban legend. Did the story of the "Vanishing Hitchhiker" of Mitchel Hill Road actually have some basis in fact? To Keith's surprise, there was an accident that had taken place that closely resembled the accident told of in the legend!

On September 23rd, 1946 Roy Clarke and Sarah Mitchel were on their way to a school dance. As they were coming down the hill, Clarke lost control of the car and crashed at the curve. Both  of them were pronounced dead at the scene.

"After several minutes," Keith wrote, " we found their stone.... one single stone marked both of their graves in loving memory... September 23, 1946."

So, is Sarah Mitchel the mysterious ghost of Hotrod Haven?
You be the judge!


Copyright 2000 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved.
Special Thanks to Keith Age ... American Ghost Society Kentucky Representative