that creepy feeling.


Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
i've been bored lately (don't know how....been in five states in seven days, but anyway) and got to thinking: have you ever had one of those 'hair stand up on the back of your neck for no particular reason' feeling while riding? like something creepy was happening around you? i have a couple, both at the same place: splitrock. i used to ride that place alone constantly, but after the second time, i was done.

the first time was around dusk. i stopped by a stream about 1/2 through the ride to rest. nothing new. then i heard a couple of twigs snap. i spent tons of time in the woods so i knew what critters sounded like as they walked through the woods...and this didn't sound like any critter. it was just plain eerie. i stood there for a few minutes trying to get a fix on it (not easy being deaf in one ear) and realized that the woods were completely silent. they're never completely silent. then i the hairs stood up and i had a feeling like i was being watched...and from a couple places, not just from where i thought the sound came from. i suddenly knew i HAD to boogie...i don't know why to this day, but i knew. i don't think i ever pedaled so hard in my life.

the second time, also around dusk. i was riding along and heard a weird throbbing sound not too far off in the distance. i thought it was a plane or motor (folks were always fishing illegally there) and didn't think too much of it, but the more i rode, the more i realized it hadn't changed in pitch, just cadence. i sounded like...drums. so i stopped and listened. it sure as hell sounded like drums, and off a distance to my left on the back side of the lake. it was weird, but even wierder when the suddenly stopped. the woods again got completely silent took on that ominous feeling. i had always heard the stories about the satanists and pagans conducting all kinds of rituals up there b/c it was so desolate and remote (and still is to this day for the most part) but never saw anything. then the hairs went crazy and again, i felt like i had to get the hell out of there. this time i KNOW i never pedaled so hard in my life.

that pretty much ended my solo career in splitrock. anyone else have experiences like that?
01/10/02 Weirded Out On Split Rock Road Bridge road

Dear Mark and Mark:

Boy, am I glad Weird NJ exists! I discovered your magazine a few years ago, and every time I come back to visit, part of my tour includes trying to find the latest issue. I was born in Dover, but now live in Vermont. Nobody up here sells Weird NJ, even though I think half the people in my town (Brattleboro) are NJ natives.

I want to mention a creepy story about the Spilt Rock Reservoir. When I went to Split Rock back in 1991 with a few friends, I felt as if we were in the middle of nowhere, in a place missing from the map, even though we were mere minutes from the Rockaway Mall, Rt. 46, and downtown Denville. We’d heard it was creepy, and that Satanic activity occurred up there (although in the late 80s-early 90s, Satanic activity was rumored to happen everywhere in and around Rockaway Borough).

It was a lovely sunny afternoon when my boyfriend, my best friend Melanie, and two or three friends piled into my car. As we approached the reservoir, we all felt kinda creeped out. The huge bolder that had “STAY OUT-THIS MEANS YOU!” spray-painted on it certainly didn’t help. We got out of the car to look around, and in spite of my aluminum baseball bat, the sunlight, and my companions, I still felt unsafe. We got back in the car, noticing the all-too-quiet quiet, and started driving across the one lane bridge. Halfway across, I got incredibly weirded out, and decided that getting to the other side was a bad idea. My intuition was on red alert. So, since the bridge was narrow, I had to back my car to the side we started from. I hadn’t had my license for long, so I wasn’t proficient in reverse, but I did a damn good job that day. We were all relieved to get the hell out of there.

Keep up the good work! Other than entertainment, your work is important for historical reasons, too. You’re examining state legends, myths, history, geography, and social psychology that everyone, not just academics, can understand and enjoy. It’s true, there’s no place quite like NJ, and your work helps us prove this to people who think their state is better. How they’re mistaken.
- Wendy, in Vermont
both of my experiences were around that time...the early 90's when i was in high school. i'm telling you, WEIRD sh!t went on up there...and probably still does. i've actually ridden up there at night a couple times with a bunch of guys. oddly, i never felt even a little creeped out then...although we did run across a guy and his girlfriend butt nekked in jeep chreokee.
bonefishjake said:
although we did run across a guy and his girlfriend butt nekked in jeep chreokee.

Well it's nice that people other than gays do this stuff in public. I was beginning to lose faith in mankind.
not while actually riding, but...

I was meeting a few guys for a night ride at Clayton Park and they were running late (pre-cellphone era, so I had no idea where they were). Sitting in the pitch-black parking lot, I heard all kinds of freaky noises coming from the farm across the street. I was expecting Leatherface to tap on my window with his chainsaw any minute.:eek:

I damn near killed my buddies when they finally showed up.

I've had a few "I want my Mommy" moments during 2AM laps at Allamuchy, too. You really learn to appreciate company when you're out in those woods at the middle of the night.
Hold on... Especially you Jake. How many times have I ridden here, alone, at nght, with people, hiked with my kid. Hmmmm like maybe hundreds of times. The only time I ever saw people really scared is that time on Halloween when my wife and I hid by the pond off of Hibernia and waited for the Bicycle Tech night ride to come through. I had a chain saw and she had a sickle bar; we jumped out as they passed by - I think there were some soiled chamois. Oh yeah then there was that time I was beating a drum oh wait and then there was the time I was driving a black pickup at night that would just disappear.

I will be glad to take anyone through the hallowed forrests here. I have ridden these trails since the 80's.

I think the whole mystery with Split Rock (official Farny highlands) is the vastness. 45000 acres - basically from Rt 80 to Rt 23.

I cherish that darkness... quiet, only the sound of the trees rustling when you stop. Never knowing or really caring whats behind you. Focused only on the next turn, rock or log; how fast can I go before my body can keep up with my brain or vice-versa.
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Washington Crossing park is very creepy at night, the areas with the pines just freaks me out. Will all of the Revolutionary war fire places still there, it makes it worse.
jake, you're a wuss. i used to walk home at night from the bike shop sometimes. in the pitch blackness, no flashlight because i knew the trail like the back of my hand, occasionally with coyotes running along the trail so near to me that a couple of times i felt a wet nose brush the back of my leg. g-i-r-l-y 'm-a-n'. :D
There is one place in NJ that you will not find me, day or night... and that place is deep in The Pine Barrens. Think of Deliverance. :scared:
the drumming could be the boy scout camp back there.
I used to ride back there alot and it does get creepy at times but that is what makes it fun some times.
Monkey Boy - is that Tom Baker, only the best Doctor Who yet?
the doctor

Monkey Boy - is that Tom Baker, only the best Doctor Who yet?

absolutely. Nice pick up. I used to stay up until the wee hopurs of the night to watch it. It came on rite after the Uncle Floyd Show on an old public access channel.
He has a massively-long scarf and a white boy 'fro! Exterminate!
I've spooked myself out of the woods a half dozen times or so. I've had 3 up close and personal bear situations and I pedaled home like nobody's business all three times when they were over. The other times I was spooked occured on the north side of Allamuchy. I don't go there near dark or when its cold anymore unless I'm with someone. Seems the deeper in you go the more the animals send out a "Get Out" vibe that I can hear loud and clear. It's almost like chill down my spine or like a cold uncomfortable sweat that doesn't get warm. I dunno. Maybe it's cause my mom took me to see The Excorsist when I was 13 at a drive in. I had to pee the entire picture but there was no way in the world I was gonna leave the car. My teeth hurt I had to go so bad. Being spooked is cool. Its so............."Mountain Bike". You think roadies get spooked like that? I don't think so.
The unexplained sounds are sometimes better than more familiar ones. A friend and I were out past dark a year or two ago, pushing to get to the parking lot at Allaire, when the night sky was torn apart by the sounds of dogs. My first impression was that they were fighting, but after a few seconds we realized they were taking down prey, proably a deer. I mentioned this to a few people from that area and was informed they were coyotee seen recently, and trapped by locals. I'll never forget those crys, or the look on my friends face. Oh, yea I shit my pants that night.
Split Rock is also referred to as Wildcat Ridge MTBNJ link here

As with most places, there are good link ups and crappy link ups. Most recent rides have started from the "Bat Cave" parking area on Green Pond Road. The trails to ride on are mostly west and south of Split Rock resevoir. One of the best links includes crossing Green Pond Road and hitting some nice double track above Hibernia out to Snake Hill Road.

I will be starting a new thread soon regarding a traditional Thanksgiving morning ride from Rockaway Valley School in Boonton Township through SR complete with lift service to Split Rock resevoir. This will be our 20th year.

where exactly is this? Where do you park?
Is it rocky??? :getsome:

Jake - if your derailleur freezes what do you do?
i got lost in wawayanda and came out at wildcat ridge or split rock. when i climbed over the pipe line in wawayanda i started to get the someone is watching me feeling and that you better run vibe. waway is a weird place i will never ride there alone again.
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