The sleepy town of Elmore in Northern Ohio boasts a population of 1410 and reportedly one ghost. Since the middle of the 20th century people have reported seeing a strange light approaching the Mud Creek Bridge at great speed then suddenly disappearing. Could these lights be a residual haunting by a motorcyclist who met his untimely death on the bridge?
The legend goes that before the start of World War I a young man and woman fell in love in Elmore. The man was conscripted to fight in the army but the woman promised to wait for him to return. While fighting he often thought of his lover back home and thoughts of her helped him get through the horrific events of the war. When he returned home from the war he bought himself a brand new motorcycle to celebrate and rode it all the way to his lovers house cutting the engine as he approached so he could surprise her. He snuck into the house and hugged her from behind. Once the woman realised who was hugging her her face contorted in horror. She was told her lover had been killed in combat and she had since accepted a proposal from another man.
The man was devastated and barely gave the woman a chance to explain before storming out of the house. He jumped on his bike and took off at great speed careening around the roads in his rage. When he reached the Muddy Creek Bridge he lost control of his bike and crashed, being decapitated in the process. Police officers rushed to the scene and found the body of the man but were unable to find his head. Local folklore is that the motorcyclist can be summoned by parking on the bridge, honking your horn three times and flashing your lights three times.
Elmore has become famous for this tale and many local residents claim to have seen a headless motorcyclist speeding onto the bridge only to disappear before exiting the other side. Even more people claim to have seen a bright orb of light approaching the bridge at great speed before disappearing.
An internet user named Mary Ann claims that her and a group of friends spotted the Elmore Rider in the late 1960s. One of the group decided to hide in a ditch on the side of the road about a quarter of a mile from the bridge. The rest of the group parked on the bridge and completed the ritual with the horn and the lights. They suddenly saw a bright light coming at them from down the road and were stunned. The light reached the car and it was filled with a bright light which then disappeared once it had passed through them. One member of the group jumped out of the car to see if they could see a prankster running from the scene but saw only darkness. The boy hiding in the ditch claimed he didn’t see anything at all.
Perhaps these sightings could be caused by a residual haunting by an individual who passed on the bridge. There is a theory that events that cause extreme emotions are able to imprint themselves onto the environment and repeat themselves at random intervals. Ball lightning could also be a potential cause of the orbs of light but the chance of this occurring often in a single location is remote. Perhaps all of the witnesses are simply mistaken. We may never know for sure but the legend of the Elmore Rider will live on.