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Urban Legends in Sioux Falls: Ghost Joggers, a Corvette and Spook Road

Sioux Falls has some great urban legends:  26th Street Ghost Joggers, the 1970′s Orange Corvette that no one can drive, and Spook Road with a wicked history.  These are the stories I grew up hearing in the Sioux Falls area.  Did you hear them too?

11th & Main Sioux Falls

The Legend:  The Car No One Can Drive.   An Orange 1970′s Corvette was parked for years inside the showroom of the old Car Dealership building downtown on Main and 11th. A young man was driving the Corvette and passed away in a mysterious manner.  Unfortunately his body was not discovered for awhile and and the smell was horrible.  The car was lovingly restored and looked amazing, but the smell could never be removed, so no one could drive it.

Truth:  The only truth that I heard about this car came from a teacher in Brandon, who said it wasn’t true and that many towns across the nation had a similar story about a great car that always seemed to be in storage.

Silver Water Tower in the background of this picture was a part of the optical illusion that launched the ghost joggers urban legend. Photo courtesy of Tom Wingert

The Legend: Two Ghost Joggers appeared to be running on 26th Street across the I-229 Bridge every night.  You can only see them while driving north on your approach to 26th street.  The story often included the story of two students who had passed away while jogging years prior to the ghosts being spotted.

Truth:  This is one of the most bizarre optical illusions you could ever see!  My blood ran cold the first time I saw the ghost joggers, but my logical brother insisted that he drive past it over and over till he could solve the mystery.  It turns out the “Ghosts” were actually a reflection of the old silver water tower on E. 10th street, the one that bore the inscription “In God We Trust.”  The two reflections lined up perfectly with 26th Street and paired with the movement of driving the car, it seemed so real!  Even if the Water tower was still standing, the trees are taller and would block the optical illusion today.

The Legend: Spook Road, a creepy road east of Sioux Falls with a dark canopy of tall trees overhead and and winding curves was the location of stories where unsuspecting teenagers stumbled upon horrifying things.  Stories ranged from Witchcraft and Sorcery to crimes being committed and fear of being hunted down as a witness.

Truth:  This story was passed around time and again, and every time I heard it, the experience always happened to a friend of a friend.  The legend likely encouraged teenagers to drive down spook road, and maybe even stop on a deserted portion of it to prove their fearlessness.  Most likely any mayhem came from the teenagers themselves.  There was a body discovered in that area back in the 80′s, but that was long after the Urban Legend was being shared. Driving down spook road just a few days ago was beautiful and friends who live on the road love it.  I’ll abstain from telling you exactly where it is to keep the traffic flow at a minimum on such a lovely country road.

Other Legends that have been shared on the Facebook page Greetings from Sioux Falls include Washington High School’s original building and the Orpheum Theater.  The stories are from decades ago, so certainly there is no truth to them….right?

If you know anything about these Urban Legends or have other legends from South Dakota, let me know!  I’d love to check them out and share your story.

 

 

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