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Scugog Island

From: "Michael Charles Cole" (
Subject: Fw: The Ghost of Scugog Island
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 14:32:55 -0500

Has anybody in your society ever heard of the Ghost of Scugog Island?

Here's as much background as I can give you: (Please feel free to post the following italicized information on your site.)

"Scugog Island is a large island in Lake Scugog-- large enough to contain a number of farms and a couple of villages. You can get there by car: take Ontario Highway #7 east out of North Toronto, Ontario, Canada about 60 km's to the town of Port Perry, Durham Region. Pass through town on #7, across the Lake Scugog Causeway out to the island.

The story behind the ghost, as I have heard from the locals is thus:

On or about Hallowe'en, 1963, a teenage boy about 16 or 17 was riding home from his girlfriend's house one night through a farmer's field. He was riding a motorcycle, generally believed to be a Harley-Davidson "enduro"-style dirt-bike, equipped with both a head-light and tail-light. The rider failed to spot a taut length of barbed-wire, which de-capitated him.... or so the story goes. (I have never been able to substantiate it; this is the local legend)

The ghost appears in a farmer's field on Scugog Island. The field is at the bottom of a dirt road, which ends at a t-intersection at one of the concession roads. Go north on the dirt road about 1000 yards from the t-intersection, turn the car around so that you face south. Cut the motor, turn off all the lights (You'll see the ghost better that way, and it is a courtesy to all the other local ghost hunters). Then, wait.

In the farm field at the bottom of the road, the ghost will appear as the headlight of a motorcycle bouncing over rough terrain. It will be moving towards you, which is to say north and east. Suddenly, the headlight will "seem" to go out, you will see the flash of a red tail-light, and that will be it. The apparition comes and goes in about 60 seconds.

The headlight appears to be pure white, not unlike a standard HMI light. It does not throw a beam, and the purity and quality of the light seems to be unaffected by rain, snow, or fog.

I have attempted to photograph the apparition several times, but have never been quick enough on the draw to catch it. I have seen a photograph, however, published in my hometown paper, the now-defunct Oshawa Times (Thompson Newspaper Chain) in the summer of 1982. The apparition looks like a small, white hole with perfectly clean edges, in the night photograph.

Local authorities have tested every conceivable theory, including shutting down traffic in both directions on Ontario Highway #35 (to the south and east of the site) to stop potential reflections from the lake which may be the cause. None of them have ever even come close to explaining the apparition.

As far as ghost appearances go, you can practically set your watch by this one. It can be seen up to 275 nights a year, generally between the hours of 2300h and 0200h. The apparition can appear anywhere from one to ten times a night (the luckiest I have ever been is four appearances in one night, and I have only been dissappointed on one night). Best time of year: The month directly before Hallowe'en, and the month directly after. (N.B.: on Friday and Saturday nights, the local teenagers go up there for bush parties, so beware of rowdies and skeptical Durham Regional Police patrolmen.)

Getting close to the apparition is difficult. A friend went hunting one night in a 1971 Chevrolet Nova packing a 396cid V-8 racing engine; this car had quarter-mile numbers that would turn the NHRA green with envy. Upon sighting the ghost, he slammed the car into gear. At 140 mph, he still couldn't get close enough to the ghost to get a good look at it. However, one night I was up with a car-load of friends. After about an hour, another car-load of spectators gave up, and left by driving south towards ground zero. When they reached the stop sign at the t-intersection, the ghost appeared right in front of them. Judging by the panic of brake lights, reverse-lights, and the spinning of tires, these people must have gotten a really good look. Unfortuantely, they didn't stick around to answer my questions...

Our ghost-rider doesn't seem to have a name, and the 1963 fatality doesn't seem to have been reported in any of the newspapers of the time. All I know is what me and my friends have seen with our own eyes on any number of occasions.

Michael Charles Cole
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

That's as much as I can tell you. Should any of your members or website visitors know anything else, please contact me by e-mail.


Scugog Island (2)

From: "Jan Mazzulla" (
Subject: Phantom Cyclist on Skugog Island
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999 19:35:49 -0500

This story has become part of Durham's "urban legends". I was teaching a Native Studies course at a Durham Regional highschool recently and our students were given the opportunity to correspond with a group of highschool students on Baffin Island. Part of their assignment was to relate "legends" with which they were familiar. Of a total of 14 students, I had at least 5 retellings of the "Skugog road ghost". Additions to the story which were included in the writings I recieved included an eerie voice and seeing a headless corpse. I hope that you find this information useful or at least marginally interesting.

Scugog Island (3)

From: anonymous
Subject: Ghost Road, Scugog, Ont


I thought I'd share some light on this one; I've been going to ghost road since I was 15 years old (1985) and my sister before that (1980)

I don't know when this guy died, some say 1976, 1963, some say motorcycle, skidoo, who knows.. one thing is certain; he was decapitated.

If you go to this place, and park 300 -1000 feet before the stop sign, shut off yer lights, and flash them a little and wait, you will see a light that shines right at you.. it lasts a little while, flickers and goes out. It does not move. It's a weird light as it doesn't look like a car headlight, but a pale, bright light without the brightness if you know what i mean.

I've been there alone in the middle of a storm and saw it.. if this is a hoax, then someone has put a lot of effort into it over the last 25 years...

this is also a popular party makeout spot..

Scugog Island (4)

Subject: Scugog Island "Ghost"
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 1999 01:26:10 -0500

As I read through the article "Scugug Island Ghost" , dated Dec 24 1998, I could not help but think I had heard this story before. Alas, after some diligent searching, I located a similar, yet different version of the same story. I will attempt to recount it as told in a book entitled "Ontario Ghost Stories" by Barbara H Smith, Lone Pine Publishing 1998 pp 206-208, as best I can. The story goes like this...

A young man riding his motorcycle at excessive speed, lost control of his motorcycle, and was thrown and killed. The apparition now rides the road relentlessly, with great regularity and predictability. The ghost is so predictable, that a team of local college students has both photographed as well as videotaped the specter (she fails to mention, however, who these college students are, what college they attended or where the photographic information is today). The photo and video tape apparently have striking detail; apparently certain physical features of the ghost can be made out. Greg Schuler, Stroud, On,Can

Scugog Island (5)

Subject: Skugog Haunting
Date: Sun, 4 Jul 1999 23:13:06 -0500

I have a Great Great Grandmother who was born on Skugog Island; ADDA ELISA THOMPSON b: 07DEC1858, daughter of AARON and SARAH AMSBURY THOMPSON. Adda married my GG-Grandfather , AARON HAMMER BEALS on 08MAY1878 in either Canada or Tennessee. There is a notation with Adda's statistical data. Born on Skugog Island, Lake Skugog, Ontario, Canada. The Thompson's farm was near the haunted field.

We have always wondered about this cryptic notation until now. If the haunting was noted in the 1850's, then a motorcycle, may be another part of the legend, now it only takes a complete research to find out just how long the haunting has been around.


I was not sure if my initial e-mail went through, as we had some power fluctuations the night I read about Skugog Island. I have a direct ancestor who was born on Skugog Island, there is a notation with our family research that no one was ever able to explain until now.

My ancestor was born in the 1850's, and there is a handwritten notation with the family group sheets, that she was born on "...the island of the "devil" lights." No other mention was ever made, nor has any ever been found as to who made the notation or when the original notation was made, possibly in the late 1800's?

Scugog Island (6)

From: Steve Lalanne (
Subject: Re. The Ghost of Scugog Island

I too have seen the phenomenon on several occasions over the past couple of years. The likeliest explanation? There is a road on the mainland that forms the same "line" with the "haunted" road. Although they are separated by a field (and water? I haven't looked at a map recently), they are parallel and in line with each other. Although I haven't conducted any real investigative work, I imagine that the light is in fact traffic as it moves along the other road.

I do plan to test this hypothesis one day. A trustworthy cohort with a phone would stand at the point where the other road begins, and I'd wait on the haunted road.

I have seen a book on Ontario folklore/ghosts at a Chapters that mentioned the college that carried out a field study, and which took some video footage of a light, but I can't remember its title. A photo from the footage is reproduced in the book--it shows a blob of light that has a vague humanoid form. It's not very convincing, in my opinion, for the reason that it doesn't exhibit proper human proportions. It's more of a blob with "limb-like" bulges, if memory serves.

Steve Lalanne
Whitby, ON

P.S. I have an LS1-powered Camaro SS that may be able to spectre where the Nova failed!

Scugog Island (7)

Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 01:12:38 -0500
From: Kevin Barney (
Subject: Ghost Road - Corrections

1: you keep spelling the island "Skugog" when infact the local maps spell it as "Scugog"

[Note from Obiwan: Actually, I always spell it correctly; it is, however, spelled wrong on several submissions I've included from other people.]

2: Scugog Town Council, located in the community of Port Perry, actually named "ghost road" located off of the 1st consession south of Blue Heron Casino, as "Ghost Road". When they put up the street sign, people took off with it as a souvenier. The town gave up due to the expense of replacing it.

3: The directions are......Hwy #7 east of Toronto to Brooklin, (joins Hwy #12) north to Manchester ,approx 10 miles, turn right at lights. This is now Hwy #7A (#7 continues north for a long time before heading east again) Take Hwy 7A through the community of Port Perry to Island Road or Reg Rd #7. It only goes North. About 3-4 miles turn right ( Asign for Goreski's Marina is pointing the opposite direction) Follow that road until you come to Ghost Road on your right (you should now be facing south and see many other cars.)

From King's Highway 401, take Hwy #12 Brock Street in Whitby (not Brock Road in Pickering) tot Brooklin then follow above directions

OR Follow the signs to Great Blue Heron Charitable Casino!

Scugog Island (8)

From: "Leo Gabourie" (
Subject: Scugog Road
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2000 11:01:54 -0500

I have also been to Ghost road on several occasions. Usually we go and see the light drive back and forth in the field.

On one occasion however, a couple of the people I was with started taunting the ghost. I being I big baby got freaked out and wanted to go. We sat in the car trying to decide what to do. It got really quiet, not even the sounds of crickets. The hood of the car started to glow a green color. And then it was as though a car drove past us, something lit up the sides of the road, yet we were all alone with the lights off. we all split after that to change our pants :)


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