Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Legend of Snake Road

Located in eastern Fresno County is the small farming community of Sanger. South of this small town is a street called Channel Road. Due to it's windy nature it has been nicknamed "Snake Road".

Legend has it that one night a woman was driving down Snake Road with her two young daughters, when she took one of the many curves of the road too fast and drove off the road and wound up crashing her car into the nearby Kings River. Unfortunately she was unable to unbuckle her seat belt and drowned at the site of the accident. Her children were able get free of the car, but the drowned a mile downstream. There have been reports of a woman crying and dressed in white walking down the windy road calling out to her lost children and if anyone approaches her she asks them if they have seen her children.

I had first heard of this story back in 2000, so one night several friends and I went to investigate the road for ourselves. Upon arriving at the road, we found it's nickname held true as the road was curved so much that the fastest we could go at a safe speed was 25 mph. We drove the road twice, hoping we would get lucky and actually see the woman, but we didn't see anything. Not sure what to do next, we decided to investigate a wooded part of the road at one of the curves hoping this could have been the location of the accident.

We entered the wooded area armed with flashlights, cameras, a camcorder, and an EMF detector. For those who don't know an EMF meter detects changes in the electromagnetic field. There is a theory that ghosts can effect this field in some manner and the detector can show this. We were about twenty feet from the road, completely surrounded by trees when we started hearing footsteps behind us. They would follow us as we were walking but stop when we did. We called out to see if anyone was there, but got no answer. We continued to walk and the footsteps would continue. At this point we saw a strange light flashing in the distance and the EMF meter went off, signaling something was disrupting the magnetic field. We started snapping pictures, but all we got were the typical dust orbs.

At this point we weren't sure who or what was following us. We had come across a sign that said "Y2K Trail" with an arrow pointing towards an opening. So we weren't sure if it was some survivalist nut following us or the lady in white. We felt it was best we get out of there and proceeded to go back to our car. And to cap off a strange night, right at that moment a car sped by us at a fast pace and nearly drove off the road. Needless to say we got the hell out of there.

For several years I believed the story of Snake Road. That was until I came across a piece of Mexican folklore about a lady in white, or La Llorana. The story of her is similar to the one I heard about Snake Road. But this time the woman drowns her children and then distraught drowns herself. She can be seen walking the area where she drowned her children, crying and searching for her children. If anyone approaches the woman she proceeds to drown them as well.

Apparently this story is common throughout the southwest of America and even the Fresno area has another story similar to the Snake Road one. This time it's located on the San Joaquin River on the near the bridge for Hwy. 99. So now we have the same ghost haunting two locations. From what I read about La Llorona is that people would tell the story to prevent their children from going near bodies of water, presumably to keep them from entering the water and drowning.

But what was the strange light I saw that night? And what about the footsteps that were following us? Was it nothing more than some survivalist following us? Or was this story of the lady in white actually true? I may never know.

25 comments:

Chris Hangsleben said...

Sick! Keep em coming. And next time you go ghost hunting, take me with you! I love stuff like this!

Michael said...

I don't investigate anymore, long story. So I just do the blog now.

But if you are interested in ghost hunting, I can pass on a link to a meetup group that does stuff. Also, the person that runs the group I used to be with, they teach an introduction class to ghost hunting at the Fresno Adult School.

Chris said...

Hello my name is Chris Diaz and i live in sanger. Iv been down that road hundreds of times and never seen or herd a damn thing. Another reason why they call it sanke road is cuz theirs always dead snakes from cars running them over. My sis has seen a car drive past them once when she was smoking with her frieds and said the car faded away befor it got out of view and they freaked out and took off. Befor you say anything she has smoked enough to know what shes seen and know its not a hallucination.

Robert said...

I have heard this legend since I was a child in the 1070's. My friends and family swear that many of them have seen the ghost as well. I also discounted some of the stories due to the legend of La Larrona as well. I had my own River related 'footstep incident near the Reedley Cemetery about twenty years ago which abruptly ended a make-out session between classes! Still cant answer what it was though, it was about 2pm and overcast. Couldn't see anything.

Robert said...

oops, i meant the 1970's! Looks like I'm an immortal the other way :)I was thinking about how it kinda makes sense that Rivers and other waterways almost are expected to be haunted, I mean, Avocado lake has had multiple deaths.

Supernova said...

I keep hearing another legend of snake road where you drive there and at exactly 12:00 midnight you beep your horn and get chased down snake road by a mack truck. the story has it that the truck crashed and the teenagers drove by honking and laughing at him and thats why he chases you... still have yet to find if its true

Lisa said...

I too have heard the story about "Snake Road" since I was about 8yrs old. And have driven on that street 3 times to see if its true or not. But everytime I go there seems to be a sheriff always out there parked. Dont know why so I never stop due to him harrasing me. But am truely interested in the paranormal. I would love the info about intro to ghost hunting class. I know there is a teacher who teaches at some college in fresno county that does do investigations with his class and would love to be apart of it. If anyone can pass on any helpful info that would be much appreciated. My email is lillmb1@yahoo.com. And put in subject line ghosts fresno county so I know your ligit.

carmen said...

i live in the fresno county area and i know the legend is true because i personally have been down that road and have always felt a heavy presence more so at night
margaret munoz

Lee n Kim said...

Its a hmong lady that died. She looks about 40 years old. She doesn't speak english thats why she doesnt speak to you. She usually approaches you when your alone in the car or the only one awake. You'll be driving and your head lights will flash on the first curve. If you slow down she'll approach you. If you stop she'll go through the car and ask you with a sad tone "have you seen my kids?". She'll ask you over and over again till you drive away, and she'll walk to the cliff still searching around. She means no harm to anyone. I have seen her twice. I have the ability to see ghosts. They must choose to let you see or hear them first, unless they don't realize you are there.

Michael said...

@Lee N Kim: I just have to ask this as there is a bit of a discrepancy in your version of the story. You say it's a Hmong lady and that she doesn't speak English yet you then go on to say that she says "have you seen my kids?". So I'm not sure which part of the story is incorrect.

Also you mention that she walks to a cliff. Channel Road (i.e Snake Road) is located east of Sanger which is in Fresno County and is all farmland. There are no cliffs in the vicinity of the road. Could you be confusing this with another story? As this is the first time I've ever heard of it being a Hmong woman. Most agree that this is a version of the Mexican folktale of La Llorna.

The Hunter said...

Hey, michael. How are you? We're researching old snake road and came across your experience. Very interesting. We're investigating there tomorrow night (7/18/11). Care to join us? Let me know. You can get a hold of me on my website. I hope to hear from you soon.

~Rudy
G.H.O.S.T.S

Michael said...

Rudy I'd love to go but I already have plans for tomorrow night. Good luck with your investigation and e-mail me if you guys get anything.

Also shoot me an e-mail about the school house in Madera County. Lived there most of my life and haven't heard anything about it so I'm curious what the story is behind it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hey, michael. We didn't get to investigate the road after all. I was called in to work. Hopefully we'll be able to go there on my day off this fri. Let me know if you're free. As far as the schoolhouse, i would be more than willing to show you our findings. I don't know much about the history other than it was built for the waves of settler's that were coming to cali during the mid to late 1800's. If you want to check it out, let me know. Its EXTREMELY active with the paranormal. Give me a call when you're free. 559.803.0351.

Heidi said...

Hi there! I'm also curious about the old Berenda schoolhouse off 99. I will be doing a paranormal investigation there soon, but can't find anything on it as to why it might be haunted. If you have any info to share I'd be most grateful!

(sorry forgot to include my email the first time)

Michael said...

Heidi I don't have any information about the old school house in Berenda. I've tried contacting the group several times asking about the history of the place but have never received an answer. I knew a group that went there and asked them what the history was, but they didn't know either. They were just told that there were EVP's and shadowy figures there. I can look into it more if you want, shoot me an e-mail at weirdfresno@gmail.com.

Anonymous said...

Snake road is one creepy road at night ive experience wierd stuff happening to me n my gf idk wat i was thinking but i took my gf n i there i decide to stop my car on the side of the road n we have a little love handle after we were done i saw two hand prints on my windshield n i ask my gf " did u put ur hand there?" she said no n i wipe it with a towel but it wouldnt come off we both got the chill n i went out to wipe it n the hand prints were gone so it was from the outside it wasnt from the inside so we took of fast its something i would not want to experience again ever

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me please how to get there from Walmart in Sanger to channel street. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I would like to know when these stories started. I am 56yrs. I have heard of so many , since I was a very young girl. so you looking at the time of the 5o's. these stories started. and I had never heard of a woman driving a car with her kids. I was told the kkk use to gather out there. and that was still in the 60's. uummm!

Anonymous said...

My brother's were coming home from a fishing trip at pine flat (from pine flat to Dinuba.)
They stayed at the lake with some friends and drove down around 2am. When they got home they said there was woman in a white gown standing on the side of the road (around avocado lake by a golf course?). They did not think it was a ghost, they truly thought it was some weird lady in a white gown standing out there, but after reading all this and seeing the “snake road” video on youtube I cant help but think that he saw the ghost of that woman?!?!?! Could it be that she appears in other places other than snake road? I showed all these findings to my bother’s and it freaked them out!

Anonymous said...

The river witch by the Herndon Bridge and Hwy 99 is True !

Actually my experience has been about a mile or 2 north of the bridge location followeing up the river on the madera side .Back in 1980 i was their fishing for catfish with several friends . We caught a lot of small ones that night. anyways our lanterns ran out of gas early and this fog bank rolled in on us, very strange .the frogs were not croaking and the crickets stopped chirping, it was a dead silence .While i admit we had some beers that night (brought a case of budweiser for the 3 of us) and we were all football players in high school , we were not stumbling drunk and the beer ran out at about 11.00pm, we started fishing at 8.00pm and the fog bank came rolling in at around 2.00am . We were on an island out put in the middle of the river as we had to be in shorts to cross over to it with our stuff . The fog would occasionally break enough were we could see the other side as we had a flashlights with us . We all looked and heard a voice, a womens voice .At fist i said your hearing things , but them i heard it myself. It was saying, help me,I cant find them .i thought it was some other friends playing a joke on us or something . But my friend who was a mexican said Look , pointed and thier was this person similiar to what fog looked like but lighter in dencity , floating on top of the water .while the fog es rolling down river, this was moveing up river against the current .the mexican friend yelled lorona or somethign like that and we said what is that ? He said its the river witch and for us to get away form the water . We said river witch, what the hell is that ? After that he was in the middle of the island about 10 feet off from the bank and said you better get away form the river, screaming at us . I looked again , the person thing flaoting on the water looked at us , it looked like a really old women ,like an old native indian women , she had this headscarf over her head partially .Anyways, we left our rods in the water and walked up to our friend and hung out and he kind of told us the story of the river witch .He said this is the first time i ever seen it and said so am i . We would normally cross back across the river with flashlights but that early morning we decided to stay to day break and cross when it was day light.

Crystal Garcia said...

I just got back from snake road in sanger ca and me and my friend just decided to take a drive , time was 1:18 am and as we got toward the end of the road about a quarter mile we heard a lady scream , it sounded far .I always wanted to hear or see the lady in white but after what I just heard ow hell nah im koo...

Crystal Garcia said...

I believe it.me and my friend decided to take a ride down snake road tonight, it was around 1:18am and we were towards the end of the road about a quarter mile , when we decided to roll are windows down and when we did we heard a lady scream .it sounded far away .I always wanted to hear or see the lady in white but after what I just heard ..im glad I just heard her &didn't see her., that was to to scarey. But I may go back again .This time with a camera.

Anonymous said...

my name is crystal, me and a friend though we would take a ride down snake road just for the hell of it.we were about a quarter mile away when we decided to roll are windows down and then we heard a scream .it sounded distance like if it was far away .i always wanted to see or here the lady in white.And now that i heard that ,ow hell no i really dont want to see her now..but i do belive even more that she is real..never again..maybe later on...

Anonymous said...

I've been hearing the storys my whole life but hve never seen or heard her but everytime i go out there i always get weird erry negative vibes so i never go out there alone

Anonymous said...

I lived on garfield and herdon or 99hwy bridge 4 6yrs and i tell yea there is this house that's haunted out there .if u go and make a right follow herdon road pass the 76 gas station go straight on ,and u will go on the side of the river that orchard there is haunted.but i warn you it might attach it self to you if you go out there at night!one night me and friends went out there and it was in my house for a whole summer .