Ah, summer. For many, this warm season means piling into the family car and heading to a fun and exotic vacation destination. A road that led many to an iconic summer vacation destination during the middle of the twentieth century was the legendary Route 66. Spanning eight states and over 2,400 miles, the Mother Road in its prime was full of kitschy restaurants, museums, attractions, and motels. This two-lane highway was so famous and had such an influence on America’s pop culture that it inspired a song and a television series.
Thanks to the Interstate Highway Act and fewer people who wanted a scenic route to their destination, the attractions along the Mother Road are now few and far inbetween, but that doesn’t stop nostalgia. There has been a resurgence in the love of all things Route 66 since the late 1980s and it is still going strong. It is prominently featured in Disney’s Cars movie, and I turned on my local PBS station on Monday to find Billy Connolly trekking his way across Route 66 on a motorcycle.
With all of the abandoned attractions alongside the Mother Road, of course there are going to be some ghosts lingering in the shadows. Haunted Route 66 by Richard Southall covers all 2,448 miles of this legendary highway and relays some fascinating spooky stories. Swing by the Oatman Hotel in Oatman, Arizona, if you want to catch a glimpse of a spirit who resembles Clark Gable, who spent his first night of wedding bliss with Carole Lombard in the hotel. The Lemp Mansion in St Louis is famously known for its paranormal activity, and who can bypass Resurrection Cemetery near Chicago to see if they catch a glimpse of Mary on her way home after the dance.
If you’re looking for a classic road trip with a paranormal edge, pick up Haunted Route 66 and a road map. I myself have never cruised along this highway, but it is on my list of things to do. Life is short, so I am going to start planning my trip now. Have any of you taken a trip down Route 66?