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Trans-Mountain Road – Franklin Mountains, El Paso

I distinctly remember the first time I heard about the 'Ghost Monk' of Trans-Mountain Road (State Highway 375). I was in 4th grade, it was Halloween, and my really-cool teacher had come to school that day dressed up as the Grim Reaper and toting a satchel filled with spooky materials to read to us in honor of the day––she even turned most of the lights out and read to us in the eerie-dark classroom. It was quite memorable! She told us many creepy tales that day, but the one about the Monk was the one that made the most of an impression on me.

She started out by reading an old newspaper piece about a man who had had a car accident while driving down Trans-Mountain Road late one night; the man survived the wreck.

He claimed it was caused when he had swerved to avoid a strange figure which had suddenly stepped into the path of his headlights––a figure that looked remarkably like an ambling old monk leading a donkey by a rope. He even stated that it seemed like the phantom figure had paused and looked right into his eyes a moment before he swerved. Of course, official word was that the man had been overtired and had hallucinated or fallen asleep at the wheel and imagined seeing the monk. But the odd thing was, he hadn't been the first to witness the spectral monk wandering the lonely bends of the Trans-Mountain Road late at night––and he would not be the last.

Over many years the legend of a Ghost Monk haunting the twisting and isolated mountainous road has been well-known in this area. Countless people have claimed to see him, and it's not unusual for some Trans-Mountain's late night car accidents to be attributed to the phantom's appearance. Descriptions note a haggard and grizzled old man dressed in a rough monk's robe sashed with a worn rope. Sometimes he is seen leading a donkey, sometimes not. He is rumored to haunt the road in the dead of night, either standing or walking at the road's edge, or sometimes walking directly across the road itself. When I was a teenager we spent many a spooky night traveling the inky darkness up and down Trans-Mountain, half-hoping and half-dreading a glimpse of him. We never did encounter him, but heard of many others who said they did. –Shady

Monk and His Donkey Walk

Dear Weird Texas:
You should come by my town of El Paso and check out Trans-Mountain Road. It’s always been said the road is severely haunted, and because of this it is very dangerous. There are dozens of accidents on the road every year. In fact, one of my childhood friends was in a minor accident on this road while driving with her mother years ago. She still swears that it all happened because they saw the famous ghost that walks along this road––a man dressed in a monk’s outfit accompanied by a donkey. Many, many people say that the distraction of seeing this specter is what leads to them crashing their cars.

Also, on Ascension Boulevard, there is a man’s ghost that walks around near the Mountain View High School. Keep your eyes peeled for him––I’ve heard he shows up in your rear view mirror after you drive in the area without your lights on. There’s lots of macabre rumors about this area, about bodies being buried near the road and such. Maybe the ghost has something to do with that. –Wendy Ramos

Weird Texas


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