Stocksbridge By-Pass The Haunted Road
Its been described as the Killer Road in recent years. Originally part of the aborted M67 Trans Pennine Motorway, it was downgraded to a dual carriageway and then to its present format of a single carriageway with crawler lanes.
Completed in 1989 it lies on the North side of the valley. Bad driving and speeding caused many deaths until a slight redesign with better signage coupled with specs cameras (these measure your average speed over a set distance - no point braking just for them!) stopped the fatalities.
Whilst still not perfect its a vast improvement on the old A616 which went through the centre of Stocksbridge, Deepcar and continued down through Wharncliffe Side and Oughtibridge. At least now the town doesn't suffer so much from heavy goods vehicles.
It also gained notoriety in its early days with a Michael Aspel special (followed by others on various satellite channels) on its alleged haunting's. In fact the story started during the building of the road.
A group of security guards saw a group of children late one night playing just below Pearoyd Bridge. They were curious as the children appeared to be wearing antiquated clothing. When they reached the spot where they had spotted the children they found nothing. The mud on the ground bore no footmarks. The following morning they found that workmen staying in caravans often heard children singing during the night.
The following night they observed a figure on the bridge that looked like a monk. When they drove towards him he vanished. This totally spooked the two blokes who contacted Deepcar Police station. The Police (as might be expected) didn't believe them and joked that they needed a priest rather than a copper. They took him at his word and contacted the local vicar, who himself contacted the Police!
Later two policemen went to investigate. They parked their car so they could see the bridge. They thought they saw something move but on investigating found a tarpaulin blowing. Suddenly it appeared to go cold. Looking round they both saw a body - torso only in the window. Then it vanished. They tried to start the car but at first it didn't start. They drove over towards the construcution area and parked up and informed the nick of their position. At this point a loud crash was felt in the car. No-one was around. As you may guess the two bobbies high tailed it back to Deepcar as fast as possible.
Legend has it that it is the ghost of a disillusioned monk that left Hunshelf Priory and went to work at Underbank Hall. Children are said to have fallen down the numerous pit shafts that litter the North side of the valley.
There have been numerous sightings of children since and the monk even appears inside the cars of people to this day. Whether its true, you can make up your own mind but if you drive late at night on the bypass on your own take care. Its a spooky place!