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Ghosts of the Pocahontas Parkway

High above the James River, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge was constructed to connect Chesterfield and Henrico counties. Since it's completion in 2002, the local police have been summoned to the toll bridge numerous times for complaints from workers and travelers. But contrary to what you may think, it's not the locals, or even motorists causing the ruckus; it's ghostly spirits!

The first time the police were called to the bridge, it was in response to reports of a ominous figure that darted in and out of traffic. Numerous complaints flooded the office that night, but when officers responded, there was no one to be found. Onlookers claimed that the culprit had simply vanished. A few nights later, they were called to the scene again. This time, a truck driver, who had slowed down to approach the toll, claimed that he saw something strange in the road; three Indians, upright and holding torches, stared straight at him, never wavering as he approached them. As he drove directly in their path, the Indians and their torches disappeared into thin air. There were reports of unexplained beating of drums, howling, and mysterious "mist like" figures wandering around the area. In one instance, two officers responding to a noise complaint were unable to locate the sound of banging drums. Upon returning to the toll office, the lights began to flicker, blinds began to move up and down and the overwhelming sounds of drumming reverberated through the very room they were in! After having their own paranormal experience, the police were no longer skeptics.

As news of the haunting spread throughout the state, ghost hunters, skeptics, and residents flocked to the bridge, hoping to catch a glimpse of a ghost, or hear the howling and chanting in the woods. A writer for the local newspaper was sent to investigate and interview witnesses. Even the state spokeswoman is documented to have said that the noises were real, and she herself claims to have heard them. With the onslaught of onlookers, reports of ghostly sightings and noises began to increase. One woman claimed to have seen smoke coming from the wooded area behind the bridge. But not just any kind of smoke; according to the witness, the smoke came in short, sequenced puffs, much like that of an Indian smoke signal.

With all of the attention the bridge was now drawing, historians determined that the land that the toll bridge was constructed on once belonged to the Powhatan and Arrohatak Indian tribe. Not only did the Indians live in the area, but it was also their hunting and burial ground. A dig was performed, and a lot of Indian artifacts were unearthed, some dating back to 3500 BC. It is a widely accepted belief that all Indian burial grounds are sacred, and must never be altered in any way. Many locals believe that the Indian's final resting places have been desecrated by the construction of the bridge, and that the haunting and ghostly sightings will continue until the land is returned to it's original peaceful state.

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