The Wrath of the Elmore Rider
Park on a rural bridge in Elmore, Ohio, turn your car off, place your keys on the dash, and honk three times. What’s this a formula for you wonder? According to legend, it’s just what’s needed to summon the headless apparition of a phantom motorcycle rider, known as the Elmore Rider. While this all sounds just a little bit like an urban legend, we at LRS wanted to find out how this legend “came to a head”. Follow LRS, as we dig into the legend of the Elmore Rider, with this portion of LRS Myths, Legends and Tales from the Road...While “ghost hunting” is relatively new in mainstream America, this legend has it’s roots as far back as 1919, and oddly relates to a date, March 21st. While the tale invariably changes depending on who is retelling it, a few facts remain the same. According to the legend, at the dawn of World War I, a young man from Elmore, Ohio was sent to war. He allegedly survived the horrors of war to return home, anxious to see his girlfriend who he had left behind. After his arrival, he purchased a new motorcycle and rode to her house, anxious to see his love. Upon his arrival, he supposedly arrived to surprise his girlfriend, only to find her in the arms of another man. Driven to anger by his grief, he fired up his motorcycle and sped away down the road. Shortly past the unknown woman’s home, lies a bridge crossing a creek as the tale goes. As the young soldier sped away, legend has it that he lost control on the bridge, and wrecked his motorcycle at the base of the road and became entangled in a barbed wire fence, costing him his life, and supposedly, his head.
This legend was made famous, or infamous, on March 21, 1968 by a man named Richard Gill. Gill set out to find “definitive” proof of the infamous “Elmore Rider”. He set out to the bridge with a video camera, a still camera, and a sound recorder. His encounter started by completing the previously mentioned ritual. Upon his completion of the ritual, his friend and he “witnessed” a light coming down the bridge and suddenly vanishing. The camera’s and recorder, did not record any evidence. Gill would conclude the night with his friend standing in the center of the bridge. According to his account, the light proceeded across the bridge and Gill’s friend, vanished with the light! Richard Gill’s account then stated that he found his friend in the ditch, at the base of the bridge, badly bruised, but recalling nothing of his encounter. Following Gill’s “investigation” the Elmore Rider would become a sensation in Elmore, Ohio, even prompting so many visitors to the bridge, that police allegedly closed the site down to prevent a flood of curious people from searching for The Rider.
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, this tale was just too good to pass up looking into. No matter the amount of the truth in the tale, it no doubt makes a great story to tell as we near Halloween. So just remember, when riding your bike, don’t “lose your head”! All jokes aside, ride safe, and be sure to follow LRS on our next portion of Myths, Legends and Tales from the Road...