Old Hegewisch Road is that portion of 134th Street that runs from Avenue O to the Indiana border. There isn't a person living in hegewisch who has not been on that road at sometime or another. for years it was just that beat up piece of road that some people would take out past the trailer court and into Hammond to reach Reliable food store. These days, Reliable is just a memory and most people take Old Hegewisch road as a short cut to the gas station or more likely to get to the gambling boats.
The road has been paved for a some time. Today, it is populated with stop signs and relatively brisk traffic, at least during the day. It wasn't always like that Indeed during the days following World war II. Old Hegewisch Road was noting more than a half completed poorly paved WPA works project. What it lacked in curbs, however was made up for in location. It was a short, straight road with an easily measured 1/4 mile run. Old cars were cheap, and easy to work on and plenty of returning GI's had money in their pockets and were looking for a thrill. It wasn't an uncommon site for any given Friday or Saturday night for a half dozen hot rodders to show up after curfew and test there skills against each other on Old Hegewisch Road. There only fear was the coppers and the trains.
As everyone knows, the railroad track marks the border between Illinois and Indiana. back in those early days of hot rodding a white line was quickly painted across the road about an 1/8 of a mile from the tracks. The cars would start their race a little passed what is now Avenue K and race toward the white line. After crossing the white line they would slam on their breaks and hopefully come to a stop before hitting the train tracks. no one worried about hitting a train on the unmarked crossing, they only worried about ruining there suspension on the rough crossing.
Of course, in the event the coppers showed up, the racers would just hop in their cars and dash across the tracks into Indiana, laughing all the way. It was under such circumstance that Hotrod Harry and his girl Stella met his fate. He was set to race his arch rival, Big Nate. when suddenly the familiar whine of the cops siren was heard in the distance. someone had dropped a dime on the racers. According to the legend it was a clear night with a bright full moon. Big Nate and his girl got a jump on Harry but Harry was catching up. Behind them the police siren grew louder. suddenly out of nowhere, a deer jumped in the middle of old Hegewisch Road and Big Nate swerved to miss the deer, cutting straight in front of Harry and sliding off the road, his car rolling over over and over as it left the road. Harry hit his breaks to stop his car but Stella yelled at him to hit the gas and slid over in the seat, grabbing the steering wheel and shoving her foot hard on the gas pedal. Harry fought to get the wheel back from Stella but before he could regain control his car also left the road When he finally came to a stop he found himself and his car stopped about fifty feet off the road but sitting right in the middle of the train tracks, with the lights of an oncoming train bearing down on him. The two were killed instantly.
A year later, Big Nate and several other people came out to mark a memorial for Harry and Stella. As he rode down old Hegewisch Road, several people watched as he came barreling down Old Hegewisch Road at a high speed only to jump out of his car seconds before it ran into a train that happened to be crossing Old Hegewisch Road. Nate claimed that the ghost of Harry and Stella were in his car arguing. Harry was trying to stop the car while Stella was trying to beat the train. It was a miracle that he managed to jump out before the car hit the train. He said that as he lay on the ground Harry and Stella walked away still arguing Harry said "If you would have let me stop we wouldn't have hit the train" and Stella said "If you would have sped up, we would have made it."
Since that fateful night, Stella and Harry have been spotted dozens of times; sometimes by people who just missed an accidents and other times by people who came to the scene of a fatal car accident. The two always walked away arguing about the night they died. It is true that every night hundreds of people cross those tracks without incident, but next time when it is late at night and you hear that distant whistle of train or the whine of siren, it may be a good idea to avoid the tracks crossing Old Hegewisch Road. You never know when Harry and Stella will try to cross over one more time and next time you might be with them.
Stories appearing in Haunted Hegewisch are urban folklore or ghost stories. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, or event present or past are purely coincidental and unintentional. Stories are the property and copyright of www.Hegewisch.Net unless otherwise noted and cannot be used without expressed written consent of the authors.