Said by some to be the most haunted place in Ohio, Dead Mans Curve does seem to have a dark history. This allegedly haunted stretch of road is between Amelia and Bethel in the village of Bantam in Clermont County, where Route 222 meets route 125. Urban Legend says that this stretch of road is haunted by a faceless hitchhiker. He is said to roam this area late at night, usually between 1:20 and 1:40 AM, hitching a ride, sometimes appearing in the middle of the road where unsuspecting drivers hit him, only to jump and chase your car afterwards. People report seeing this strange man on the side of the road, others tell of their car being pelted with rocks from someone unseen. Those who have gotten close enough to him to get a good look all report the same thing, theres no sign of a face at all, just blackness!
The road itself does have a reputation for being dangerous. After all, it’s not called Dead Man’s Curve for nothing. However, oddly, theres not even much of a curve at Dead Man’s Curve, at least not anymore. That stretch of road was originally part of the Ohio Turnpike, built in 1831. The original road was designed in a way that it curved sharply at the top of a hill, causing many horses and carriages to slip or roll over and down the hillside,in turn, causing many deaths. It was a two lane highway until 1968 when it was straightened and widened to four lanes. There was said to have been a celebratory ribbon cutting commemorating the end of Dead Man’s Curve. However, this turned out to be a bit premature.
A month later, there was a huge accident at the intersection. An Impala with 5 teenagers inside was hit by a green Roadrunner, said to have been traveling at 100 mph. Only one person survived the wreck .By most accounts, it was after this accident that the faceless hitchhiker started to appear. There have also been reports of a green roadrunner chasing drivers down this stretch of road from time to time since then. Since that accident, it’s said that over 70 people have been killed at that intersection. We haven’t verified this number yet, but we do know there have been numerous accidents there. Considering the road is pretty much a flat, straight run, this fact does seem a bit weird. I’m not sure why the time from 1:20 to 1:40 is when ole’ faceless likes to cause trouble, but I guess it might have something to do with the time of the accident.
I asked the Ohio state patrol about this, and what they say doesn’t exactly match up to what urban legend says (go figure). Here’s their response to my question (from late 2009).
The SR 222/Bantam Rd intersection is located at the 10.35 milepost of SR 125. There have been 25 reported crashes reported on SR 125 between mileposts 10 & 11 since the begining of 2008. Eighteen (18) in 2008 and seven (7) thus far in 2009. The only incident, during that time period between 1:20 & 1:40 AM, occured on 10/18/2008. the sheriff investigated (report 08-10-27) a vehicle striking a deer.
So if you decide to go looking for the faceless hitchhiker, be careful and drive safe, but looks like you should be o.k. Maybe, just maybe, somebody should just pick the guy up and give him a lift, how long are we gonna make him wait out there? Sheesh!
Dead Mans Curve is located east of Cincinnati in Clermont County. Take I-471 South to I-275 East. Take the 125 exit, and follow it until it intersects at 222 & Bantam.