The real name for this road is just Greenbriar Road and it runs east of Switzerland, FL. That’s the name of this peaceful little hamlet in St. Johns County.
On Greenbriar Road there is a Spook Light that chases cars. The light looks like the headlight of a motorcycle and according to reports it seems attracted to cars. It usually follows behind a car about 300'. Although the mysterious ball of light never passes a car it has been known to sit attached to the top of a vehicle until reaching a certain point on the road where it vanishes.
In 1987 the light grabbed the interest of several science experts who went there to figure out what it was. In the same year the St. Johns County Sheriff Department also investigated reports about the light. Neither of the investigations could come up with an explanation for the light. It is not an area that would normally produce swamp gas as in other cases involving ghost light phenomenon.
According to folklore, the light is supposed to be the headlight of a motorcyclist. There was a young motorcyclist who was racing on the road one night. He lost control of his bike and was decapitated by a guy wire supporting a telephone pole. (Same old story here.)
Greenbriar Road is mentioned in a couple of books about ghosts, but most of the information is incorrect about this road. One book claimed the road is a dirt road that is 3 miles long and the other book got the entire location wrong. I went there to check out Greenbriar Road and was a little disappointed at what I discovered. Firstly, the road was not in the location as described in other books, nor was it a 3 mile dirt road. It is a fairly heavy traveled asphalt road that is certainly longer than 3 miles. Since I visited the road during the daytime I did not have any encounters with a ball of light although others claim to have encountered the weird phenomenon.
Assorted comments & information gathered through the internet about Greenbriar Road/Ghost Road, Some may be redundant:
Greenbriar Light has been around for who knows how long. It was a wide sand road several years ago and everybody knew about the strange light out there. So we went there to see if we could see it. We did see it but at first thought it was a one eyed car coming down the road. It did not move toward us very fast. We were facing it and it kind of came up about a tenth of a mile in front of our car and just sat there like wavering or hovering over the road. We were facing east and we turned around in the middle of the road still watching the glowing light, and when we started driving toward the west we looked behind us and the light was following our car. Just before we got to the end of Greenbriar Road it disappeared. We turned around and went back to see if we could see the light again and sure enough it popped up way down the road and again came to about a tenth of a mile in front and hovered again. We repeated this four times and each time the light did the same thing. We tried to figure out what it was but we have no idea of what it was. It looked about the size of a basketball and glowed pretty bright, not hazy or faint but a very bright whitish glow.
There is a road in St. Johns County that runs off Road 13 between Fruit Cove and a place called Switzerland that is called Greenbriar Road. There is a ghost light on this road that appears out of nowhere and it will follow your car. I saw this light with my friend Frank who told me about it. It is supposed to be the ghost of a guy that was killed while riding his bike on the road and the light is the headlight of his bike.
Me & 3 other dudes went to Greenbriar Road to check out that light that chases cars. We were sitting there in the dark on the side of the road waiting to see it and after being there about 30 minutes we saw not one but two lights coming at us. It turned out to be a deputy sheriff who stopped and asked us what we were doing sitting there in the dark on the side of the road. We told him we were looking for a ghost light. He thought we were crazy and ordered us to move on. So if you go there beware that the cops will tell you to leave.
A few years ago I went to see Greenbriar Road at night with 3 of my friends. We had heard the stories about that light that people see and we wanted to see it. We drove up and down the road for like 40 minutes trying to see something but never saw anything until we got ready to leave. My friend Tom was driving and he looked in the rear view mirror and said what is that? We looked behind us and there was the headlight of a motorcycle coming up fast. We slowed down a little and thought that the biker would pass us but then just as it got right behind us about a hundred feet the light went out. There was no motorcycle or anything. We turned around and went back but didn’t see anything. I really think we saw a ghost biker of that guy that was killed on his motorcycle on that road.
On the outskirts of Jacksonville there is a town called Switzerland and this is where you find what is known as Ghost Light Road/Greenbriar Road. My boyfriend told me that he had been there a few times as a teen and what supposedly was to happen is that a guy on a motorcycle died drag racing back in the 50’s or 60’s and what you do is drive down the road, park your car and watch your rearview mirror for a single headlight, from his motorcycle, then as it gets closer it disappears then you look straight ahead and see the taillight as it speeds away.
My boyfriend Steven hadn’t been there for years the night we decided to go together and even though the town is a very small one and it took about an hour to get there, he drove right to it. Well, we waited and waited but nothing seemed to happen so we drove all the way home. Once we got home we both felt that something would happen if we went back so we got right back in the car and drove the hour back to the road. This time it felt completely different and didn’t quite look the same as I recalled.
We drove down the road slowly, past the school and the one dirt road that goes off it, and I mentioned to Steven that it was such a clear night, I bet we could see every single star, and right then out of the completely clear sky what seemed like a lightening bolt struck. But it was silent and I looked over and said:
Oh my gawd, I bet I could point right to where that thing struck. And so I pointed, and Steve says:
Oh my gawd Amy there it is.
Right where I was pointing was a red tail light and we became very excited to actually see it and we began to speed up to catch up to it. Well, the road was winding this way and that and I became aware that I could feel the ghost and looked over at a lake right beside the road and just immediately knew to turn around. So I told Steven to stop the car right there and turn us around, he seemed kinda dazed and goes, Oh, yeah. OK Amy.
So we did a 3 point turn in the middle of the dirt road and there was just enough light for me to see the imprint of our tire marks in the dirt and we began heading back. Almost instantly the absolute brightest single white light appeared in all the rear view mirrors and we were overwhelmed with the most terrifying reality that we were being followed and it was gaining on us. I looked at Steven and nervously said:
Geez, don’t you wish we brought someone else along, and right then the lighter flew out of the front console and landed between us, I picked it up and said:
It’s not even hot Steven. That lighter normally had to be yanked free from the console to use.
We both looked at the speedometer and Steven said:
We’re haulin’ oats, Amy! We were going 80 miles per hour and the light is still gaining on us.
We were terrified and felt an absolute evil all around us, and we both wanted to talk about it but later admitted we were too scared at that moment to do anything but focus on getting the heck out of there. Well, it took a good 15 minutes of driving 80 mph down that dirt road before we finally got to the paved part at which point the light disappeared. It was no longer visual but the feeling that it was right there with us didn’t end until the next day.
We sped all the way out to the main road. Heading back to Orange Park, we crossed the Buchman Bridge at which point I yelled to Steven:
Do you hear that?
And he yelled back:
Yea, What is that?
I tried looking in the sky, as what we heard very plainly was about 50 airplanes all at once, and I remember specifically saying it sounded like a war was going on, but there was not a single thing in the sky but stars.
Well, back in Orange Park we went to bed, it was about 5:30 a.m. at this time, Steven and I calculated we were missing about 45 minutes of time and a quarter tank of gas. But I wouldn’t let this experience rest and the next morning I insisted we return to Ghost Light Road. Steven didn’t want to, but agreed. We went down the road again and this time we traveled about 5 miles per hour, checking everything out. About 3 minutes down the road, I saw the dirt marks where we 3 point turned out of there the night before and I said:
What? That can’t be right Steven, there was a lake right there, I remember seeing it when we turned around.
And Steven said I was right, but when we looked over all there was was a 3' wide ditch.
After about 5 minutes, we reached the road’s end, which outletted to a paved road. We were very confused because the night before, the road was very long and winding, but the next day it was straight and only about 5 minutes long going about 5 or 10 miles an hour. The previous night it took 15 minutes doing 80 mph to get off it. Well, we returned home bewildered. About 3 weeks later, we told friends about our crazy experience, and this one girl goes:
Wow, you heard the planes?
I freaked out and said:
She said her friend had done a college paper on the place and very, very few people ever heard the planes.
She said the place was an emergency landing strip for airplanes during a World War, and after it was abandoned, they used to drag race on, it and the place has always been haunted for most of the century. All I know is that it radiates the most awful evil feeling, and if you visit it yourself, you should use caution and try to keep from being tranced out.
Another important thing: about 3 months later I awoke at 3:00 a.m. crying and had a bad dream about the road. I looked over and Steve was already awake and he asked if I wanted to talk about it and I said:
And he said:
I just had a dream about Ghost Light Road.
And I said, Oh My Gawd, I did too.
As it turns out, his dream was he and I going to the road, and my dream was us already there.
He had the first part to the dream and couldn’t remember the rest, I had the second part of the dream but couldn’t remember the first. And all this happened at 3:00 a.m. The precise time we had the weird experience that one night when we were there, and then, for seemingly no reason at all, right then in the middle of the night we could hear motorcycles racing all around the neighborhood.
The old airport rests just to the south of Greenbriar Road. It was considered more of a touch and go airstrip than a real airport for aircraft carrier practice landing. Long story short, war ended, funding ended, nice government landing strip turned into backwoods drag racing/shooting range/anything goes recreational area.
In the 1970's and early 80's a few folks lost their lives in unfortunate racing accidents. This was truly one of the only racing strips that you could cheer on your favorite car. Brooke Shields had some scenes from one of her movies filmed at this location. Now as far as ghosts go, I can tell you from personal experience on that dark road that you would have to be there to experience it. I say experience because to this day I still can't talk my mind into accepting what my own eyes saw on that road one night back in the 1970's when I was a young fellow. I don't believe in ghosts or all that other supernatural stuff, but I can't explain this ball of light that rolled over the hood of the car I was in and passed through the windshield, and then between my driver and me. I've reasoned to myself that it was a ball lightning. Coolest thing I have ever seen.
Word of warning, local cops are total assholes and are waiting to take curious spectators to jail for made up infractions. The original main road has long since been paved and reworked so there really is no real Ghost Light Road anymore. The west of the runway is abutted by a neighborhood, the north by a paved road, the south and east are culled by the most water moccasin infested lowland swamps you will ever see.
It's been about 15 years now, I have been down this road 2 times. Once with my sister and one time with my nephew. At that time the only thing on that road except for a few houses was the school on the left side of the road. It was a dirt road. When I was there with my nephew we found our way into the area where we could see the straffing practice from WWII, can't remember now how we found our way in there. You could see the remains of old barracks and an old tower. It was really neat but sort of creepy.
The second time I was there with my sister it was at dusk and we did see the lights. It did scare us a bit and we peeled out of there back onto San Jose. Since then they have build houses in there with lots of streets and now you cannot find or see where the old entrance to the old airport or air base was. Never heard anything about a mental hospital or motorcycles. The way I found out about Greenbriar Rd. is because a boss of mine where I worked used to play there when he was a young kid with his friends.
Back in the 80's I went out to Greenbrier Rd. because I was told by friends of this light people were seeing. I rode out there from St. Augustine, not expecting anything in particular. I was there for about half an hour and then we decided to leave. As we turned to leave, we saw the light. It was gaining on us pretty rapidly. We did not hear any sounds at all. We were pretty scared and left in a hurry. I heard that there was a military base from WWII over there. You used to be able to go on the grounds, but now because of housing, it is off limits.
It's been awhile since that first time. The second time I went I was talking to a person who lived in the neighborhood and asked her if she ever experienced anything. She said she did not but several people in the area said they have seen things.
I've lived here all my life and I am 50 years old and as far as a ghost light, I've never seen it. They use to drag race out there on the old runways and other things. It was a lot of fun.
Wasn't there an old airport and mental Hospital out there? I just bought a house off Greenbriar Rd. in the colony and have had some really weird stuff happen to us that even the builders can't explain. Does anybody remember where this was. I have lived in Fruitcove my whole life even visited the ghost light and the old airport, but with all the new construction and road changes I can't remember where it was?
I went to this road at night with two friends because I had read about the ghost light. The dirt road was very bumpy so it was hard to go fast. I could see red lights in the distance which were obviously from the tail lights of cars. I thought this must be what people were seeing and calling them ghost lights. Out of nowhere a bright white light came down the road toward my car. It was like a headlight but I didn't hear any noise. I was so stunned I started speeding away. As the light came close to my car it suddenly veered away into the brush and disappeared. It certainly wasn't an optical illusion. We all saw the same thing. I was sorry to hear the road was paved over. I don't know if it was a ghost, but it sure was something.
I went to the famous Ghost Light road, back in 1993 with my hubby. We went to disprove the thing because we we're told of it by a known prevaricator so we enjoyed a nice meal and then went ghost hunting. We were told not only could you see the light but also hear the bike. We traveled the road twice, the first time nothing special other than a long road. We turned around and tried it one more time and sure enough, a single headlight did appear. We also caught the very low level sound of a motorcycle. I figured, like many skeptics that it was an optical illusion from the main road, so unbeliever that I was, I actually got out of the car and stood in the middle of Greenbriar Rd. and dared the light. I figured it would stay far back and disappear as traffic on the main road made the curve. Guess what? The thing got closer and closer as did the sound. It was not on the highway but definitely coming down the road towards us. Finally when it was within yards of running me down, my husband jumped out and grabbed me away. No bike to be seen, certainly no driver, but we saw the light get huge and bright almost on top of us for a moment then it just slowly faded out. Way cool, and turned this skeptic into a believer. Since then, though, the road has been both paved and straightened out and have heard that the ghost light no longer appears.
I lived in Jax for years and have been to this road a few times. It's really very simple to figure out what is going on. Yes, there are lights and they do appear to simply wink out or vanish while you are looking at them. And they do appear as if the are approaching you coming closer and closer. It's merely an illusion and if you will ride all the way down the road you will see why.
Way down at the end of the road there is an oncoming highway that is lined up perfectly with Greenbriar Road. Like straight line perfect. The road heads straight for Greenbriar then makes a turn to the left away from Greenbriar. So the lights that people are seeing are not actually on Greenbriar, they are actually car headlights moving toward Greenbriar from the other highway and when the cars come to the left hand turn and the headlights no longer shine down Greenbriar road they appear to just suddenly wink out. Trust me, if you actually ride down Greenbriar toward the lights when you see them you will see what I mean. You will never reach the lights because they are on a completely different road. It's a very cool illusion but an illusion just the same. As for all the talk about speeding motorcycles and lights coming out of the sky and all, just overactive imaginations and people who want to see something out there. Test me, ride out there on a clear night and you will see the lights. Then ride towards them and you'll see what is really going on.
I grew up right on Ghost Light Rd./Greenbriar Rd, and you used to be able to see it before they paved it. As a teen we used to go walking down it to see the light and it was there.
Great story. All 3 of you saw it as well. Very cool. That is terrific. I hope they didn't build a housing complex there. There is going to be a unexplalned light going back and forth should the residual haunting stay there, very creepy. Would love to expereince that one more myself.
I want to know when you were there, because I went there several times, the road is actually called Greenbrier Road and it's bit long but it sure doesn't take 15 minutes to go down, and it especially wouldn't take even 5 at 80 miles per hour. I have been there during the day too, to see exactly what is around in the way of people, houses and so forth. At the time I went, it was still a dirt road, but right when you turn off of San Jose onto Greenbrier it's paved for a few feet, Then it turns into a dirt road. I have gone at all times of the night from first dusk to 4:00 a.m, to midnight, and I saw the light every single time, but I never felt an evil aura, I believe that is just your fear and nerves getting the best of you, however when you go, if you sit and wait a few minutes you will see a single white light, and the very last time I went we saw it head on, but then turned around because it did appear that it was going very fast, we did about 50 mph leaving and the light was gaining on us. But once we hit the paved road it was like it couldn't follow, You could clearly see the white light disappear and then there it was a single red light going back the other way.
Also, I had my window down and you know at night sound travels and if it was some one playing a trick we would have heard the motor, there was no noise, just us Also now this was 10 years ago, the only thing on the road was a rodeo/stable place, and I never saw a lake. I have looked it up on Google Earth and it appears that the road has been paved and widened, and a housing complex has been built. I hope not. It's October now, and the weather is better. I will just have to drive out there real soon, and when I do, I'll update as to the situation. I hope it's still there, but I doubt it.
Years ago I too went to the road with a few friends. We sat there for over an hour and right before we were about to leave we saw the light. All 4 of us were terrified and turned the car on and left immediately.