Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Ghost of Bragg Road - Saratoga Lights

Deep in the Big Thicket area of East Texas lurks a phenomenon that defies explanation. Bragg Road, near the small town of Saratoga, has been given the name “Ghost Road” by the many people who  claim to have seen orbs of light floating in the darkness as they drove down this lonely wooded road. Suzanne and I thought it would be fun to check out this phenomenon for ourselves so we drove on over to Saratoga.

If there was ever a place I felt like I was in the middle of nowhere, Saratoga is it. The forest in the area is so thick and dense with underbrush, I can understand why they call this part of East Texas the Big Thicket! Saratoga does have a little notoriety. Saratoga was named for a famous resort at Saratoga Springs, New York after hopes that a local sulfur laced spring would entice visitors to come for medicinal purposes. Saratoga also boasts that some of the first oil wells in the state were drilled there. Country western music fans may also remember that Saratoga is the birthplace of the legendary George Jones.

In our quest to understand the Bragg Road Lights, as the locals call it, we decided to drive the approximately 8 mile stretch of road first in daylight to get a sense of the lay of the land. The unpaved road was a narrow graded gravel/dirt road surrounded by dense foliage with occasional standing water along the edge of the road. Even during the day the thick forest blocked out the sun in some areas. Along the way, there are signs giving information about the area and the ghost lights. Sadly, vandals have desecrated these signs to the point that they are difficult to read.

With the lay of the land in our rearview mirror, we waited with anticipation for the night sky to appear. Suzanne and I talked about ghosts and other scary things that go bump in the night. One of the stories associated with the Ghost of Bragg Road is that a railroad worker was decapitated in a train wreck back when the road was originally a railway. The ghost would come out and search for his lost head. Another story has a husband looking for his bride after she was murdered at the Bragg Hotel once located at the end of the road. Who knows the true story of the Ghost of Bragg Road? What we did know was that our eyes would be focused on any lights we see in the darkness!

The time came for our drive. It was dark and eerie. We drove a bit and turned our main lights off. Creeping along the road slowly produced no indication of the Ghost Lights. We were expecting the Ghost to jump out in front of us but I guess he decided to sleep in this night. While we were disappointed that we did not see the Bragg Road Ghost, we had fun thinking and talking about this ghost and other ghost stories we had read about as we headed home. One thing is for sure. It can get pitch black out in the Piney Woods at night as you see Texas Thru My Back Door!

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