Wisconsin’s Most Haunted: The Jay Road Jogger

Spectral cats and a jogger whose remains were lost in the swamp roam this bleak stretch of road in Washington County.

“One would be hard-pressed to find a more haunted looking place,” Wisconsin author and paranormal researcher J. Nathan Couch writes in his book Washington County Paranormal. “Even during summer at midday, this area seems a likely haunt for earthbound spirits.”

Jay Road is a bleak drive that stretches from the small town of Boltonville in Washington County to the waters of Lake Michigan. Thickly lined with trees and stagnant swamp, it’s no wonder this desolate road is home to two chilling Wisconsin legends.

Spectral Cats

The first story is about a woman who lived alone on Jay Road with her cats. According to legend, teenagers from town used to harass the woman, eventually escalating to the point of setting fire to her home. The house burned to the ground, and her beloved cats were lost in the blaze.

Unwitting travelers have reported seeing the apparitions of burning cats running along the side of the road.

Boltonville residents don’t seem to recall a house ever actually burning down, Couch notes. During his research, however, he uncovered a former resident of Jay Road who had discovered the burned out foundation of an old house on the property they rented. Along with other apparitions, they would often encounter cats in their home that weren’t really there.

Swamp where the body of the Jay Road Jogger was lost
Swamp along the edge of Jay Road

Jay Road Jogger

The second, and more well-known legend of Jay Road, is a tragic accident that, true or not, has been haunting the area for decades. According to the story, a woman was out jogging along the road when she was struck by a drunk driver. The force sent her careening into the swamp, where her body sank into the muck…and was never recovered.

On certain nights, with the fog from the swamp rolling over the road, people have reported seeing the woman still jogging down the road. When their headlights hit her, she casts a glance back at the car, and then vanishes. Looking back in their rearview mirror for a trace of the jogger, the legend says, she has startled many drivers by appearing in the backseat.

Find Jay Road

Have you had an unusual experience on Jay Road? Share your story in the comments below!


10 Comments

  1. Barbara Dolge July 5, 2018 Reply

    Never heard those stories and I lived there for years.

  2. kathy krieser July 5, 2018 Reply

    While driving down Jay road a few years ago, a school bus pulled out in front of my daughters van. She took the shoulder as far as she could to keep from hitting the bus. One of the bridges was directly in our path…and we felt her van being lifted back on the road and put behind the bus. Weirdist thing i ever experienced.

  3. It’s a good place to forage for watercress. Never saw any burning cats or joggers.

  4. Where is this place

  5. When I was in high school a friend of mine took me down the road and told me the story of the jogger.
    I didn’t believe him.
    As we passed the swamp he looked in his rear view mirror and told me to turn around.
    As I did we saw the whole swamp illuminated and then go dark again.
    We were the only ones on the road.
    We stopped and waited to see anything more but nothing was moving.
    It was a very chilly experience

  6. I have witnessed the jogger put it was during the day early morning I moved to the middle of the road to go around her and the guy in the truck behind me asked why I moved over …..he never saw her

  7. Cody Faul July 6, 2018 Reply

    It was a Friday night back in 2006/2007 I’m not sure all I know is that I was a senior in highschool. We knew the road was “haunted.” Late into the night 4 others and myself decided to have a little fun and freak ourselves out. No matter what you believe the road is very eerie no doubt about that. Driving down the road we definitely let it get in our heads. Finally!!!!! we came up to a stop sign turned right (south) back towards West Bend. I was actually relieved it was over. Thinking back I can remember right after turning I started to sweat real bad. At the time I figured it was just from being nervous but then I got three jolts of shivers, the type you literally have to shake off. We were now coming up to Camp Awana and the driver said let’s pull over and go into the camp. The four passengers including myself all shouted no immediately. Just to play on our fears for his own satisfaction he slowed down to 5mph and pulled onto the shoulder right befor the Camp. Out of nowhere there she was in front of the vehicle. It was a dimley glowing figure that looked to be wearing a trench coat with a hood pulled only half way up with the very back of the hood coming to a point. Also there was a yellow lab sitting next to her which looked 100% real. Here’s some interesting thoughts that crossed my mind after we sped off and I was able to process what had just happened. 1) We all saw her 2) Even though it was faceless we all referred to it as a female 3) all five of us instantly had tears rolling down our cheeks, it’s like we felt the sadness this figure was This figure was emmiting. 4) the dog, more about that shortly. The next Monday we are telling the story at school and a good friend of mine is begging me to take him there. I agreed but only in day light. As we drive along I’m narrating the drive from last Friday. We get to the camp and I slow down and pull off to the side. Right as I do in the same exact spot a yellow lab walks out of the woods. Not once did it lift its head and it had such a ratty coat of fur covered in dried up mud clumps. I made a believer out of him after that. I could not believe this happened again!! Well almost but it was good enough proof for him and it also reassured me that what we saw Friday actually happend.

  8. We lived on Lake 12 when we were first married and never saw anything on Jay Road. Definitely a very eerie vibe going through the swamp though, especially at night.

  9. We grew up 4 miles from here. There was a house that was in the swamp that burnt down. My father always called that Ghost woods. We have seen the image of a person walking in the late 60’s that scared the bejesus out of us. We used to drive down that road on dark nights. Scary place back then.

  10. Where on jay road is this

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