Route 666 – also known as “The Devil’s Highway,” is 193-mile stretch with a pretty spooky reputation. The route’s history goes back to 1926 when it was established as the sixth branch of historic Route 66. Not surprisingly, this stretch of road earned it’s nickname for the triple digit number that it sports (the ‘number of the beast’ according to Revelation 13:18). It’s also got a reputation for being deadly. According to one state trooper – recalling past events on U.S. 666, “Triple 6 is evil. Everyone dies on that highway.”
Due to numerous complaints, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials eventually changed the number set for the route running through Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. The stretch is now known as 491 – running north to south, starting in Gallup, New Mexico (where the old highway numbers can still be found) and ending at U.S. 191 in Monticello, Utah.
The following justifications were presented in the petition to federal officials prior to re-naming the highway in 2003:
WHEREAS, the economy in the area is greatly depressed when compared with many parts of the United States, and the infamy brought by the inopportune naming of the road will only make development in the area more difficult.
This legendary highway ranges in altitude from 2,900 feet to more than 11,000, has over 400 curves in one 60-mile stretch, and edges many steep cliffs (sending numerous travelers careening to their deaths) . It also crosses over Navajo territory, and across a number of mines.
A multitude of unexplained happenings are rumored to have occurred along the route ranging from paranormal activity and ghost sightings, to disappearances and death. There have been reports of faceless hitchhikers, abnormal light bolts, disappearing black sedans, demon dogs, time loss, orbs, UFO’s, and shapeshifters.
There’s even legend of a flaming ‘out-of-control semi’ with a ‘mad driver’ – who the locals believe to be a serial killer. The rig is rumored to be sighted, and then to come barreling directly towards you – down the middle of the highway vanishing right before impact.
Ghost hitchhikers are one of the most commonly-reported sightings, and are rumored not to be friendly. One being a girl (rumored to be in a white nightgown) that supposedly walks along the highway attempting to flag down drivers. Once they stop, she simply vanishes before their eyes. Another girl is rumored to run out into traffic and vanish right before she’s hit by the oncoming vehicle.
Native American locals have a tail of a passenger apparition which suddenly makes it’s presence known in the backseat of vehicles passing through. – These ‘evil’ Medicine Men (shapeshifters or shaman) can also appear suddenly as animals in the highway. – Travelers are advised not to drive alone so that the shapeshifter will not have room to sit.
Many travelers have disappeared and returned days later, or takes significantly longer than expected to arrive at their final destinations – and were completely unable to account for the lost time, nor had any recollection of their travels.
Although the number of accidents and fatalities on Route 666 have been historically and abnormally high, those numbers are said to have dropped drastically since the highway has been renamed.