|This month Minnie is exploring the alphabet by digging out the unusual, often unexplained and alternative way of thinking. Stories of creatures, places and mysteries that have been passed down to us through centuries tease our imagination, live in our dreams and dare us to explore the impossible. Join Minnie each day as she discovers something unusual in the alphabet.|
|"Ain't no speed limit on the highway of death"|
Highway of Death or Highway to Hell is a term usually associated with war, but the Highway of Death that I am going to refer to is a stretch of road on which there have been so many accidents and fatalities that they end up being attributed to a curse or other paranormal activity. Sometimes, the truth is actually stranger than fiction and a good example of this concerns the construction of a highway section between Bremen and Bremerhaven, Germany in 1929.
|Highway by Harm van den Dorpel. Not the stretch referred to, just like the picture.|
This section was a completely straight area of flat roadway, on the side of which was a small stone kilometer marker known as kilometer marker 239. During the first 12 months of the roadway's existence over 100 cars crashed near the jinxed marker. On one very clear dry day in September 1930 a total of 9 separate cars left the road right next to the accursed marker. The survivors told the police that when they reached the marker, they felt a "thrill" in their stomachs as if they had topped a hill at great speed. Then their cars were seized by some great force, which pulled them off the road.
A local water dowser, Carl Wehrs, thought that the force might be a powerful magnetic current generated by an underground stream. To test his theory, he took a steel divining rod and slowly walked toward marker 239. When he was about opposite the marker and about 12 feet from it, the rod suddenly flew out of his hands to the other side of the road and Wehrs was spun halfway around in his tracks.
Satisfied that his theory was right, Wehrs buried a box full of small copper pieces at the base of the stone marker. While the box was buried there, no accidents occurred. The box was dug up and the first three cars that passed the marker were wrecked. The box was quickly reburied and since then, the accidents at marker 239 have stopped. True story or not, definitely interesting.