If you’re from the United States, you may well know that Nascar—the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing—is one of the most popular sports. But did you know that the speedway that is named after the sport is allegedly haunted? Here’s the story.
A Brief History Of The Legendary Speedway
The speedway at Charlotte was first built in 1935, and it was the brainchild of a man named William B. Davidson. He initially called the track Williston Speedway, but in 1937 it was renamed in honor of the sport that he loved. Today, the speedway is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. Each year, thousands of fans come together to watch some of the biggest racing stars in the world compete for glory and to raise funds for their favorite charities.
Since its inception, the speedway has only seen seven different winners of the prestigious NASCAR Cup Series championship. But the track has played host to some incredibly memorable races. For example, in 1963 Frank Harvey—a driver for the National Guard—raced his way to victory, earning him much adoration and acclaim from the crowd and the press. Harvey would go on to be named champion that year. Since then, the speedway has only seen five more winners of the title.
Why Do They Say That The Speedway Is Cursed?
While the sport of NASCAR has evolved into a global phenomenon, with fans from all over the world following the action, the story of the Charlotte speedway actually begins in Jamaica. William Davidson’s grandson, Jack, married a woman named Audrey, and they immediately had a son named William. In 1980, William’s godson committed suicide at the age of 38. Since then, the family has been plagued by misfortune, with several other close relatives also taking their own lives.
In 1992, the family decided to leave their home and move to North Carolina, where Jack’s parents had recently passed away. Once there, they changed the surnames of their three children to match those of their late relatives. In addition, they built a life insurance policy specifically for William. He was 42 years old at the time. It was then that the family decided to name their new city residence “Charlotte” in honor of William B. Davidson.
A Spectacular Race Car Built In Davidson’s Name
During the annual auto racing season in North Carolina, fans can see many different cars, some of which are absolutely stunning. If you visit the area, you will no doubt spot at least one or two cars that you have to take a closer look at. One of these cars is Davidson’s 1936 Grand Prize Winner. That particular car stood out because of its beautiful design elements and its incredible speed.
In 1936, American carmaker Ransom Olds wanted to do something special for Davidson, and so he built him a one-of-a-kind race car. It was a sedan—a type of car that is popular today but was considered novel back then—with a steeply raked windshield and huge butterfly doors. Not only was the vehicle unique, but it was also painted in a stunning metallic green. In other words, this was one heck of a nice car.
For years, Davidson drove his car around the track until he was finally given the green light to race it. He quickly became one of the top contenders for the championship, and throughout the rest of his life, he would continue to win races. Unfortunately, he would die from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1948, when he was 54 years old. Since then, his family has been unable to bury him in peace.
The Unsolved Mystery Of The Death Of Davidson’s Grandson
The story of the Charlotte speedway isn’t over yet. In 1994, Davidson’s great-grandson William Harvey Jr. was found dead inside his home. He was 42 years old at the time. The medical examiner determined that Harvey had killed himself. But although their deaths were tragic, Davidson’s family members have always felt that the two tragedies were related. They believe that Harvey’s death was somehow connected to the curse that he supposedly brought upon the speedway. At least five other family members have also taken their own lives since the 1940s.
The deaths of Davidson’s family members have always bothered the man’s great-grandchildren. Now that they’re adults, they want answers and have started their own investigation into the matter. They have hired a private researcher and commissioned a paranormal team to examine the speedway and collect as much data as possible.
Paranormal Activity, Demons, And Vengeful Spirits
The researchers who investigated the speedway determined that it is indeed haunted. In an interview with the Charlotte Observer, the chief investigator said, “It’s been a real ghost story, for sure. We think there is definitely something strange going on there. There have been many times when we couldn’t sleep in our beds at night because of the haunting.”
According to the investigator, there have been many reports of sightings of known paranormal entities. For example, there was the occasional appearance of a poltergeist—a ghost that is often accused of being a mischievous entity that throws things around and makes other noises—at the speedway. One particular spirit that has been sighted there is a man named Jason. Some people have reported seeing a white figure who they believe to be Jason wearing overalls and a mask. Other spirits have been spotted in the trees, some have reportedly knocked on walls, and still others have just walked through the doors and stood there, watching people drive on the track.
The investigator also mentioned “demons,” saying that they have been seen in the form of a hazy black mist flitting around corners and through gates. He added that these demons have “hung around the bathrooms, trying to kill people” and “walked through bars of steel.” One of the more famous sightings of a demon came in 1955, when Charlotte driver Jack Smith saw a misty ghost with horns and a tail flit past his window, as he drove along Trade Street in Jacksonville, North Carolina. The experience was so traumatic that it changed Smith’s life forever. He immediately turned his car around and went back to look for the demon, which he eventually found. But it was too late: the damage had already been done, and he was overcome with fear and guilt.
These are just some of the strange things that have happened at the Charlotte speedway. But instead of thinking of these things as strange or unfortunate—as Davidson’s family does—perhaps they could be seen as evidence of the great evil that lurks within the walls of this iconic structure. And when you think about it, isn’t that exactly what happened to William Davidson?
There’s no question that the Charlotte speedway is an important part of American history. Even those who are not necessarily into cars may know that it stands for something significant. But now that its story has been told, maybe it’s time for the town—and the rest of the world—to move on. One way or the other, life goes on.