Riverdale Road stretches along the picturesque, hilly farmland between Thornton and Brighton, making for a seemingly pleasant country drive by light of day. But according to Colorado legend, those who traverse the road after nightfall are sure to encounter something dark and evil.
From evidence of satanic cult worship, to a wandering lady in white, or the eerie feeling of being watched though no one is there, local lore is filled with paranormal experiences on Riverdale Road. But of all the stories detailing haunted activity there, reports of a ghost vehicle, or phantom headlights, are perhaps the most commonly reported. The tale describes a truck with a revving engine that tailgates drivers late at night, trying to run them off the banks of the road’s sharp curves.
One detailed account of the ghoulish truck comes from Krystal Leandra, a paranormal investigator and former contestant on The Travel Channel’s Paranormal Challenge. Leandra explained that she was the only car driving on Riverdale Road when a truck suddenly appeared behind her. At first, Leandra assumed it was a local teen playing a joke on her and her two friends. But as the vehicle neared dangerously closer and its headlights blinding, Leandra’s friends alerted her that something was seriously wrong: not only was the truck missing a license plate, but it was also missing a driver. The sightings by Leandra’s friends confirmed to her that she was indeed being followed by the ghost truck many locals had claimed to encounter. The vehicle eventually turned around and headed in the opposite direction, while its taillights disappeared in the darkness far too suddenly for comfort.
Another haunted truck encounter is detailed by a woman who goes by the online alias Princess Spooky. She went to Riverdale Road with her boyfriend to see what eerie experiences the duo might find. Princess Spooky explains that she, too, was dangerously followed by a pair of bright headlights that appeared suddenly, and when her boyfriend pulled off to let the follower pass, the vehicle had vanished. The couple left the road feeling that something was lingering in their back seat, watching them. The encounter reportedly plagued Princess Spooky with nightmares and headaches for weeks, and the experience was so unnerving that she fiercely warned others to stay far away from Riverdale Road.
Such tales may be too tall for some to take seriously. However, there’s one piece of Riverdale’s history that is undeniably mysterious: Riverdale Road is home to one of Adams County’s most unexplained cold cases. On Dec. 23, 1987, 18-year old Heiderose Ursula McGuire left her job at the Circle K convenience store in Denver and was never seen again. Heiderose’s car was found in a ditch alongside Riverdale Road several days later, and on Valentine’s Day, her body was recovered in the snow nearby. The case remains unsolved to this day, but many claim that Heiderose’s spirit still roams the area.
Despite the number of tragic events and unexplained experiences having occurred on Riverdale Road, it has grown safer over the years. The gravel path with limited visibility has since been transformed into a paved road, and increased suburban developments offer the comfort of civilization in the distance. Those still unconvinced of Riverdale Road’s hauntings may have to take the night drive for themselves, but only at their own risk.