Harrison Avenue’s so-called Dead Mans Curve is said to be haunted by a phantom hitchhiker. Those that see him on this stretch of road become filled with an extreme sense of fear, that they can’t explain. No one is known to have ever picked him up, but those that have gotten a good look at him say he is burned, with flesh hanging from his face. Who is he, and why is he here? Is he even real? Well, I’ve made many trips along Harrison Avenue, and never seen him, but he is said to be a man who died in an accident here in 1953.
There have been many accidents along Harrison Avenue here over the years, including several fatalities. The best known of these goes back to 1953. On October 8th of that year, at 8:46 pm, a molasses truck lost control coming down Dead Mans Curve. It failed to make the final curve at the bottom of the hill, bowled over a pole, went through a stone wall and a body shop, and came to rest in the kitchen of a first floor apartment. The driver was conscious, but was trapped in the truck. The propane tank that heats the molasses exploded, and in the end, the entire block burned down. The driver, who burned to death, was the only casualty. So is he now walking along Harrison Avenue, burned and spreading fear? Or is this just a story that grew from that long ago accident?
The picture below is from that October 8th, 1953 accident.