Witness: Tara Fletcher
Location: Sanger, California
Date of Encounter: August 2004
My ghostly encounter happened last year. One day my cousins told me about a road that was believed to be haunted. It was located in Sanger, California — a small rural town about twenty miles from where I lived. The name of the road was Channel Road but was dubbed "Snake Road" by the locals because it is very windy, with many sharp twists and turns. It also runs alongside a river. Legend has it that a young mother and her two daughters perished there. The mother apparently failed to negotiate one of the sharp turns and careened off the roadway late one night. She was thrown from the car and died almost instantly. Her daughters meanwhile were trapped in the vehicle which ended up in the river. Unable to escape, they eventually drowned. Their bodies found in the car about a mile downstream from where their mother died. Since that time many people have said they have seen the young mother walking along the road and the riverbank looking for her daughters.
I'll admit I was a little intrigued but also very skeptical. After much pleading and begging by my cousins, my friend and I said we would drive them down it. We got a map of Sanger and located Channel Road. We set off for it about 9:00 p.m. We followed the directions to a "T" but were unable to locate it. A few reasons being that it was in the "sticks." Almost the whole entire area was a mass of trees, weeds, overgrown bushes, and trash. You couldn't even tell what street you were on because a lot of the signs were buried somewhere in the overgrown bushes. After about an hour of driving, low on gas, and frustrated about not being able to find the road, we decided to head home. It was at that point that I realized I had no idea where I was. I figured that since I lived south of Sanger that I would take a road that went in that direction. I turned onto the first street that I came upon. The name of it was obscured by the bushes, but hey, it was going south. We were on the road for approximately two minutes when my cousin, who had fallen asleep in the back, suddenly woke up. She started whimpering at first saying she was scared and wanted to go home. A few moments later she began yelling and screaming for us to hurry up and get out of where we were. I assured her that's what we were trying to do, but there was no calming her down. I sped up and was going probably about 65 mph on this dark country road. Up ahead about fifty yards in front of us I saw this small patch of fog, I say fog, my friend says it was an apparition. I slowed down as I came closer to it, but as I got closer to it it began to evaporate. By the time I came up on it I was probably going about 15 mph. By the time I reached it it had gone. I passed the area where it was and was about to speed up when I noticed a faded sign that said, "Dangerous Curves Ahead," a sign that I probably would not have seen if I had continued at the rate of speed I was going. In the back of my mind I thought, Could this be Snake Road? But quickly dismissed the thought because the road so far had been pretty straight. But the sign didn't lie. About 1/4 mile up ahead I suddenly came upon a series of sharp, twisting turns. I would drive about 20 or 30 yards and have to make a sharp turn right, then another 20 or 30 yards and suddenly have to turn left and so on. This went on for about three miles when the road finally straightened out. I drove about another two miles then noticed some blinking red lights up ahead. As I got closer I saw that it was a stop sign. Upon coming closer to it I told my friend to look and see if the street name was visible and maybe we could have some idea where we were. I'll never forget the look on her face when we got close enough for her to see the sign. All the color seemed to have drained from her face. She said… you guessed it… the road was Channel Road. We took off as fast as we could. And my cousin, the one who freaked out as soon as we got on the road, calmed down as soon as we turned off of it. I am skeptical no more. I do believe wholeheartedly that the apparition we saw was that of the young mother. And I do not believe she was there to scare us but quite the contrary. I do believe she saved our lives. Because had she not appeared before us I would not have slowed down but would have continued at the high rate of speed that I was going. I would have missed the faded sign and would have come upon the dangerous curves at breakneck speed. And may have suffered the same fate as this young woman and her two daughters.
As a Post Script — this past January my grandparents were looking to buy another house. They narrowed it down to two houses, one of them being on Channel Road. One of the pictures the realtor showed them was a side view of the riverfront home, and in it, about approximately 5 yards from the house you can see a sign that says, "Dangerous Curves Ahead." We advised them that if they purchase the house we will never ever visit them.