Elli Chew, CFNN Reporter

Located in Saxapahaw, North Carolina, Payne Road is supposedly the most haunted road in the state. After painstaking research CFNN found three local legends circulating about the road and its haunting.

Abandoned house near Payne Road.

The first legend concerns Edward Payne, owner of a very large plantation. Payne is said to have found out that his daughter became pregnant by one of the plantation workers and flew into a rage, killing the worker. Payne then allegedly took up the practice of devil worship, practicing strange, arcane rituals. Unfortunately, he did not stop there. Payne eventually set the entire plantation to flames, killing everyone on the property. Legend has it that ghosts of the former inhabitants roam the boundaries of the old plantation on moonless nights.

The second legend tied to the road concerns a young man who drove down Payne Road late one night and never made it out. 

The young man was apparently unable to make out one of the sharp curves of the road. He crashed his car next to the ruins of a chapel where Edward Payne supposedly practiced his devil worship. 

The young man’s car caught fire, and he was forced to die a slow and painful death as bystanders refused to do anything to help him. One ghost story says that if you were to drive down the road late at night and pass that curve, you can see the headlights of an old Ford following you then disappearing without a trace.

The third and final legend of Payne Road is another very commonly heard, but no one can tell when it occurred. According to local legend, some time in the late 19th Century, a man lived in a farmhouse with his family. The man and his wife often engaged in serious arguments and fights. One night, the man decided that their children were the root of all their problems. 

“Haunted” bridge on Payne Road.

After one particularly violent altercation, the man tied his wife to a chair in the living room, then went upstairs to massacre their children. As the story continues, the wife was able to free herself from her restraints and stop her husband, saving her infant child. She took the child and attempted to escape, but was eventually caught by her husband at the bridge. Supposedly he decapitated her on the spot. No one knows what happened to the baby. 

The legend ends with the man committing suicide by hanging himself from a tree. It is said that if you go to the road and whisper “Dixie,”  a woman’s ghost will appear and approach your car while holding her head.

The mystery surrounding Payne Road and its three local legends, all fairly gruesome, make this a must visit for amateur ghost hunters. Apparently, it is considered the most haunted road in the state. What do you think?