Spooky sightings: In search of the ‘ghost boy’ of Atco’s Burnt Mill Road
There is an old legend in the Atco section of Waterford Township of a ghost that haunts Burnt Mill Road down where the pavement ends and the first track heads off into the pine trees.
Generations of locals and outsiders have long headed to the area on dark nights to try to catch a glimpse.
“You drive without your headlights on on the road and it would follow you. We tried it a lot as kids. It never worked for us, but I know people who say it worked for them,” says Atco resident John Danner.
Mark Moran of the magazine “Weird New Jersey” has compiled many reports of the ghost. The most common story is that the road is haunted by the ghost of a young boy who was struck and killed by a truck as he chased his basketball into the street.
“The ghost never actually plays basketball. It just dribbles the basketball in sort of a slow, repetitive way,” Moran says.
No one seems to know if a boy was actually killed in the area. But local resident Bill Hurley has his own theory. He says that years ago the sewage plant on the road had moving security lights that sent beams and shadows moving through the woods that looked like ghosts.
“You could fool people the first time you get them down there. You could really fool ‘em,” Hurley says. “You pop a bottle or a bag or something like that and they would all jump out of the car.”
News 12’s Brian Donohue went in search of this ghost. There is a specific set of instructions that one supposedly needs to perform to summon the spirit. But Donohue says that the problem is that there are many different versions of those instructions.
Donohue says that he tried them all, and the closest he came to seeing a ghost was just some Halloween decorations.
Waterford Township police say that there will be a steady stream of people coming to Burnt Mill Road as Halloween gets closer to see the ghost - although its existence remains unconfirmed.