Gaithersburg’s Ghost: The Headless Ghost of Clopper Mill Road


 In the quiet town of Gaithersburg, Maryland, a chilling tale has been passed down through generations. The story centers around the winding Game Preserve Road, leading to a supposedly haunted railroad overpass. This is the scene of some reported apparitions and strange occurrences that have given birth to the legend of the headless ghost off Clopper Mill Road.

The first written record of an apparition near the railroad bridge on Game Preserve Road in Gaithersburg dates back to March 17, 1876. Citizens of the Clopper’s Mill neighborhood reported a strange scene near the railroad bridge over Big Seneca Creek. Witnesses apparently saw a lantern, hoisted up on a post, suddenly go dark and then a bolt of flame, mirrored across the bridge, shot up in the air. A group of citizens, armed with guns, proceeded to the bridge to solve the inexplicable mystery. Just as the lantern went out, as it had many nights before, the men fired and their shots were answered, though in the moonlit setting the men saw no one else holding a gun.

As the story goes, during the Civil War a soldier was decapitated by a saber in a skirmish around what is now Game Preserve Road. After the fight, his fellow soldiers hastily buried him in an unmarked grave, even though they couldn’t find his head to bury with his body. In generations since, many have told tales about the area surrounding the supposed unmarked grave of the headless man, recalling odd noises and apparitions with glowing eyes.

Some have recalled strange noises and apparitions with glowing eyes. Others have seen the figure of a headless soldier (sometimes on a horse and sometimes without it). Another legend stated that if you drove into the underpass and turned off the engine, you would be unable to restart the car and would hear hands touching your car– these were believed to be the hands of a woman that supposedly killed her baby in the area many years ago.

The Tragic Coincidences- Kind of Scary! 

In May 1973, a railroad brakeman stuck his head out of the train just as another passed by in the opposite direction. A loose boom from the other train struck him in the head, killing him on the spot. In May 1982, another man lost his head while fleeing the police when he tried to hop a car on a train headed south for Washington.

These stories and incidents have contributed to making Clopper Mill Road one of Maryland's most haunted locations. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, there's no denying that this road holds a certain eerie charm that continues to captivate locals and visitors alike. Image Source: Montgomery county word press. 

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