A Haunted Road in Oregon: the Story of Niles Canyon Road

Niles Canyon Road, connecting the cities of Fremont and Sunol in Oregon, is a picturesque route winding through Niles Canyon alongside the Alameda Creek. Despite its natural beauty, the road conceals a chilling history, featuring the enduring urban legend of the Niles Canyon ghost—a young woman dressed in white who haunts the road on a specific night each year. This article explores the mysterious hitchhiker’s legend and her tragic story, delving into encounters and the origin of the eerie tale.

The Legend’s Origins

Dating back to the 1920s, the Niles Canyon ghost legend recounts the tragic story of Lowerey. Returning from a dance, she and her boyfriend had a heated argument while driving along Niles Canyon Road. Losing control, the car crashed into the creek. Lowerey, thrown from the vehicle, survived but was left badly injured. Despite attempting to flag down passing cars, no one stopped to help. Eventually, she bled to death on the roadside.

The legend states that Lowerey’s ghost still roams the road, seeking a ride to San Francisco on the anniversary of her death, February 28th. Dressed in white, holding flowers, and appearing as a beautiful blonde with blue eyes, she vanishes at the bridge, leaving only a wet spot on the seat.

Encounters with the Ghost

Numerous individuals claim to have encountered the Niles Canyon ghost over the years:

  • In 1938, a truck driver named Frank picked up a shivering young woman named Lowerey, who disappeared mysteriously as they approached the bridge.
  • In 1956, a young couple, Bob and Sue, offered a lift to a woman named Lowerey, only realizing her ghostly nature after she recounted a tragic story and vanished from their back seat.
  • In 1974, journalist Mike attempted to document the ghost’s existence but had a terrifying experience when she transformed into a ghastly figure after an intimate moment.

The Explanation

The Niles Canyon ghost legend aligns with the vanishing hitchhiker archetype, a common urban legend involving mysterious passengers disappearing from vehicles. This story, with its specific details, appeals to emotions and reflects societal fears. While fatal accidents on Niles Canyon Road are documented, there’s no conclusive evidence of Lowerey’s existence or her haunting.

The legend’s unique aspects, such as a specific name and date, may have been influenced by various sources, including movies, books, or folklore. Regardless of its origins, the tale serves as a cautionary reminder when driving on Niles Canyon Road.

Whether one believes in the ghost or not, the story underscores the importance of careful and compassionate driving. When on Niles Canyon Road, especially on February 28th, stay vigilant—you never know when the ghost of Lowerey might make an appearance and what she might seek from you.


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