Bragg Road – The Ghost Road of Hardin County

“Mysterious ghost lights haunt this isolated road in the heart of the Big Thicket.  A unique part of Hardin County is also one of its most mysterious, fascinating and out-if-way places: The Ghost Road.
The Ghost Road is situated in the heart of the Big Thicket. It begins at a bend on Farm-to-Market Road 787 that is 1.7 miles north of the intersection of FM 787-770, near Saratoga.

Trees growing on both sides offer a natural canopy as drivers travel down the long dirt road.  Its original name is the Bragg Road, named after the town that was in that area at one time. The name Ghost Road was attached in this century after a number of tales that center around a ghostly light that is said to be seen on certain occasions at night.

bragg road

The section of area was just part of the Big Thicket, thick with native and underbrush.  In 1902, Santa Fe Railroad hacked a survey line from Bragg to Saratoga, bought right-of-way and opened the Big Thicket forest with a railroad, and the Saratoga train began its daily trips to Beaumont, carrying people, cattle, oil and logs. When the area’s oil booms and virgin pine gave out, road crews pulled up the rails in 1934, the right-of-way was purchased by the county and the tram road became a county road.

Tales of a ghostly light gathered steam in the 1940’s, ’50s and ’60s as more people traveled to the road.  Explanations on the Ghost Light (or Bragg Light as it was called originally by locals) are varied and descriptive. Some people believe the light is the reflection of car lights while scientists believe it is a gaseous substance. Of course the best explanations are left to the imagination.

One story about the light is that it is a mystical phenomenon that frequents areas where treasure is buried and that Spanish conquistadores are looking fo the golden treasure.

ghroad020Another story is that the light is a little bit of fire never extinguished after another famous historical spot in the county, the Kaiser Burnout, or it could be the ghost of a man shot during the Burnout.
Still another story is about a railroad man who was decapitated in a train wreck when the railroad was still in place. The light is the body of the man looking for his head which was never found. The light could also be the night hunter who got lost in the Big Thicket decades ago. The hunter still wanders, searching for a way out of the Thicket.

A story that really gives you chills, is the one about the husband looking for his bride. The story goes the couple was honeymooning at the Bragg Hotel, which used to be at the end of the road, and by mysterious circumstances the bride was murdered. The light is the groom who continues to search for his bride’s killer.

Whatever the light is, its presence, or the thought of its presence, has been powerful enough to generate enough interest to make sure the Ghost Road remains as it is, an important part of Hardin County history.

To reach the Ghost Road, take U.S. 69 at Kountze to FM 326, from there take the turn onto FM 770 which will take you diretly to Saratoga. Go through Saratoga and at a right on FM 787 turn, the Ghost Road is not far off the beaten path.”

This article contributed by The Silsbee Bee

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12 Comments on “Bragg Road – The Ghost Road of Hardin County, TX”

  1. Back in the early 60’s we would make trips to Bragg Road. We saw the lights many times. It wasn’t scarey, just puzzling.

  2. I have experienced the lights myself my parents had property well my brother has it now in Big Thicket lake estates growing up in the summer we would go look for the lights if it moves thru your car your car won’t start

  3. I’ve been there several times.. there’s more going on out there than just a little ghost light. Although we were followed by that as well. There are many spirits out there, some not so friendly. It’s a lovely drive. They also say if you put flour or baby powder on the trunk of your car and stop on the tracks, ghost children push you over them. You’ll just have to see for yourself 😉

  4. Grew up in Hardin County. As a teenager, fellow classmates and I would load up in the back of a pickup bed and cruise Bragg Rd. I saw this ‘almost’ every time we went. This was also a ‘hot spot’ for hayrides!

  5. Me and my daughter out there on several occasions. One night we went to the end to turn around and we seen a car coming well we looked down at our phone and looked up and just that fast it was gone. We couldn’t believe it there were no side roads or trails to turn on! And another time we recorded where down by the train tracks I said the Indians are coming we’re being invaded by the Indians and when I played it back you can hear a male voice with a country slang say “ they ain’t gonna get us”

  6. I grew up in that area and been down Bragg too many times to count. Tried the baby powder thing too. Thought it was just a bunch of bs stories because the only thing I saw was some cars coming towards Bragg on 787 then lights would disappear when it rounded the curve. Late one night I was looking for my son because he was off on his 4 wheeler and wasn’t home when he was supposed to be. I was standing towards the end where Bragg meets 787 hollering for him because I didn’t want to get my truck muddy going down Bragg. I saw what I thought was my son’s headlights coming towards me. Then they disappeared, I hollered again to quit playing around n to get his butt home. The light came back on n started towards me again. At this time I realized that my son’s 4wheeler had 2 lights and this was only 1 AND I didn’t hear a vehicle of any kind running. Next thing I knew, the light got higher off the ground but still moving closer. I ran to my truck got my phone and thought I was recording it as it went out again, came back on, lowered to the ground, darted to the right and went back out again. I was very disappointed when I realized it didn’t record. The best times to go see things I think is on foggy or slightly rainy nights.

    1. 10-11:20 pm. I went last night and captured the light on camera. This was the second time I had went. The first time I didn’t see anything, but like night I seen the light 4-5 times.

  7. My sister, her husband took my friend and I down Bragg road 1966. It was in January and a foggy night. We went to the road from the thicket, tx side off fm 1293. We didn’t have to wait too long for the light as it rose from the ground just a little ways from our car. Actually it looked like when a car light shines on an aluminum can. But it daced up and down went back and forth. It would go out, then come was like it sat on the hood of the car. It was fun to watch not scary at all. I’ve been back several times, but those times were never like that first time. I plan to take my grandkids down Bragg road soon so hopefully the light will dance for them too.

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