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The Phantom City

 

My Sister, Pattie, used to live in South Jersey for many years. This is Pattie's Story.

My husband, Mark, and I were in the habit of taking "coffee rides" (he would have coffee and I would have tea, then take a long drive to drink at our leisure, while enjoying the sights along the way). It was our chance to get away for a little adventure, away from the rigors of reality, of working hard and raising our six children. Later on in the evening, when homework was done and it was almost bedtime, we'd leave the older ones in charge for about an hour or so, so we could wind down.

We alternated with a few different routes to make things interesting, so we didn't fall into the same old pattern. However, we did start gravitating to one particular road (County Rd 539 in Tuckerton), cruising it more often than our other choices. It was a long stretch that went on for several miles with nothing but short, scrubby pines on either side, but it was lonely enough for us to enjoy some peace and quiet, with only an occasional car showing up here and there. We were close to a branch of Maguire Air Force Base, but there were no buildings or anything else around and the surrounding area didn't look active.

On a few occasions, we spotted some very large vultures, who were way over the weight limit for the scraggly branches they sat upon, bending them almost to the ground. It was cool seeing them, as they permeated the dark night with an air of mystery. We wondered if there was impending death nearby, calling our senses to attention, to keep out a watchful eye for anything else that might be out of the ordinary, making our ride more of an adventure.

Then, one night, out of the blue, about halfway through our well traveled road, we noticed a town full of lights, deep into the woods to our left. We looked at each other for some kind of explanation since we both never noticed that before. We thought, how could we not have noticed a whole town! Were we that oblivious to our surroundings? We vowed to each other to be on the alert to look out for it the next time we passed through.

We decided to take our ride a little earlier, while it was still light outside, to see what it looked like during the day. We didn't know the exact location since there were no identifying markers to indicate we were getting close, but we did estimate by how many miles we traveled. We drove slower than usual and paid close attention, but we never saw anything resembling a town along the way. Very strange!

The next time we went during our usual time, being extra vigilant... Still no town! We kept coming back, time and time again, trying to spot our town, to no avail. It eventually became a "quest"...We even wondered if it was a figment of our imagination or something.

We gave up our search and when we least expected it, we saw it again, in the distance, our phantom town lit up with it's many lights! We almost wanted to stop the car and get out, to walk through the woods to see what was really there, but it was too creepy! We didn't want our children to read in the paper of the couple they found in the woods, eaten alive by something they couldn't identify, with the vultures finishing the job! Haha... I know I just got carried away there, but the fact remains... There lies a phantom town, somewhere along our lonely road. Maybe someone knows what it's all about, but we never figured it out.

We saw the town one more time before we moved away from this area.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Lunahenry, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

WiniPu4 (207 posts)
 
4 years ago (2014-02-14)
Hello:
I did find a bunch of military related places, namely The Warren Grove Gunnery Range: a military bomb practice range, and Coyle Field which has a military history. There are also other air strips & military locations in that area.
This being said, I still like the idea of phantom places that appear & disappear. There's a lot to science that remains undiscovered! I like your story & wish you had investigated more; however, with a family depending upon you I certainly understand your apprehension.
Femaelstrom (1 stories) (56 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-06-02)
Oh, that's the town of Brigadoon, NJ. Always wanted to go there as an 'escape'. Heeheehee 😉
meow3 (23 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-04-18)
Very interesting story. I've read several stories similiar to this before, of houses/buildings that people passed by and later on when on the same road, the house or whatever wasn't there--and they were positive it was the same road they'd been on. Another one I read was about a vanishing cemetary; and the author wasn't the only one who saw it, someone else saw it in the same location several years later. I just LOVE stories like this!
Lunahenry (2 stories) (48 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-04-18)
Happy Spirit: Marfa lights run on the same theory. Thanks for your input.
Lunahenry (2 stories) (48 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-04-18)
Good theory. The night was clear and must have been hot, because they had their air conditioner on.
CC (1 posts)
+2
4 years ago (2013-04-17)
I'd be curious to know what the weather conditions were like when this mysterious event occured. Given that it occured in the evening, it sounds to me like it may be a temperature-inversion mirage, causing a neighbouring town/cluster of houses to appear as if it was very close, when normally it would be too far away to see.
demonicsheikh (55 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-04-17)
[at] Lunahenry
I don't have high attitude.
I talk like that sorry.
In soft words I wanted to say that "why didn't you checked the city? Why were you scared by bright lights? Do you still search for that city? Did you tried revisiting after midnight?"
I am just curious to find answers. I don't speak politely. I am sorry.
[at] Badjuju
You have every right to give opinion bro. Peace.
BadJuuJuu (13 stories) (1034 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-04-17)
Don't take him personally. I can't tell if it's a language barrier with this guy, or if he's just rude, but it's best to take whatever he says with a grain of salt and not think too much about it.
Lunahenry (2 stories) (48 posts)
+2
4 years ago (2013-04-17)
demonic: I supplied the rd and town. Isn't that easy enough to look up yourself. What's with the attitude? The story states there were no markers to indicate an exact location. They didn't even know themselves.
demonicsheikh (55 posts)
-2
4 years ago (2013-04-17)
yeah and I meant gps.
Why didn't you enter the town?
Next time enter without hesitation.
Lunahenry (2 stories) (48 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2013-04-16)
demonic: GSP is Garden State Parkway! GPS is Global Position System.
demonicsheikh (55 posts)
-1
5 years ago (2013-04-16)
[at] Lunahenry
Sorry but you are exaggerating because you didn't have any gps. You didn't even enter the town. You didn't knew the exact location.
It can be anything circus,gathering,ceremonies, holiday or festival. Chill out it was nothing.
Lunahenry (2 stories) (48 posts)
 
5 years ago (2013-04-16)
Paul19: Cape May is situated at the southern tip of NJ - The Garden State Parkway turns into Rt 109 at this point.

Toms River is exit 88 on GSP, by Seaside Heights. If you look at a map you would call it central.
paul19 (1 stories) (18 posts)
 
5 years ago (2013-04-16)
BadJuJu and Rook are right it most likely was a training exersise by the air force.

Lunahenry-

You said this is in south jersey is this Cape May? Just curious been there before, nice story, the question of the lights is very interesting.

Good luck on unravaling the mystery. 😁
Hotrod13 (141 posts)
 
5 years ago (2013-04-16)
Lunahenry,
Im sorry. I shouldnt have posted that thing.
But I enjoyed your piece, its unique and intrigueing. Do unravel the mystery and keep us posted.Thanks
Peace
Lunahenry (2 stories) (48 posts)
 
5 years ago (2013-04-16)
hotrod: very funny.

Thank you all for your responses.

The only heavily traveled road nearby would be the Garden State Parkway, which is several miles away.
rookdygin (24 stories) (4319 posts)
+4
5 years ago (2013-04-16)
Interesting experience... Though I think BadJuuJuu may have a point that needs to be ruled out... Armed forces during training exercises, with all their tents and lights, can make a small town seem to appear in the middle of nowhere.

HappySpirit,

I have a question for you... When did they prove that the Marfa Lights were reflected car lights? I've read a lot of research and while that option has been considered it has yet to be the proven reason... Like the Brown Mountain Lights In North Carolina no one has offered solid proof of what either phenomenon truly is. So if you have a link or something that I can read the research for myself that would be wonderful. Thanks in advance.

Respectfully,

Rook
Argette (guest)
 
5 years ago (2013-04-15)
Excellent story and one that gives us something to think about. Love the explanations, too.

Thank you for posting!
WishfulNull (151 posts)
+2
5 years ago (2013-04-15)
I love the idea of the mysterious town that only appears after dark, to those not looking for it! Instead of trying to think of explanations for this one, I think I prefer to just leave the mystery as it stands. Very well written as well - this is going into my faves ❤
valkricry (39 stories) (2730 posts) mod
 
5 years ago (2013-04-15)
Happy Spirit, I was thinking about your suggestion of reflected car lights, which does make a lot of sense, but wouldn't it take quite a few to make it look like a lit up town? I wonder if there is an interstate or something like that nearby.
I think this is one of those experiances that you just have to say, 'well that IS strange."
Lunahenry (2 stories) (48 posts)
 
5 years ago (2013-04-15)
Hi all,
My sister's story inspired me to google that county rd. What I found was about three different large empty blacktops along the road but quite a ways in. I suppose this could have been used by the airforce base for exercises. She does have another strange story regarding that airforce base.
BadJuuJuu (13 stories) (1034 posts)
+3
5 years ago (2013-04-15)
Ok, a couple ideas.
It was near an Air Force base? Could they have been doing training exercises out there?
Also, ever seen an oilfield location at night? Lights everywhere, lots of equipment, from a distance a large location could be mistaken by someone driving by. As you say this was on a county road, and locations are usually out in the country I wonder if maybe that's what they were seeing.
Did they ever go out in bright daylight and check out the area? Not "earlier than usual" but true, bright daylight? It's easier to see things in the daytime than in the evening. Did they research the area, find out if anything was going on out there? It's an interesting story, but may or may not be paranormal.
HappySpirit (186 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2013-04-15)
Great story! Is it possible though that what your sister and brother in law observed were something akin to Marfa lights? Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marfa_lights

Like the Marfa, TX phenomenon, they could possibly have been reflected car lights - the reason they were only observed at certain times being due to atmospheric changes that on occasion created the right conditions to bounce light sources off of clouds and back down to the ground, miles away.

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