I-4 can seem like a scary place to drive sometimes, but few places are so spooky that they even have their own legends and nicknames.
Connie Smith sent this question to our Traffic Inbox:
What is the 'Dead Zone' on I-4? I heard some friends talking about it recently. Where is it located, and what happens when you drive over it?
The stuff of legends, the I-4 "Dead Zone" is located in Sanford, just before the St. Johns River Bridge.
The legend traces back to 1887 — according to Charlie Carlson, author of "Weird Florida" — when Sanford was a small Roman Catholic colony called St Joseph's. A German family of four was buried there after perishing of yellow fever.
Shortly after, the colony ceased to exist.
The family's graves went untouched for several years as plowing went on around them, carefully, so as not to disturb the graves.
That is, until 1959, when supposedly Interstate 4 was paved right over and through these graves.
The actual grave site is said to be underneath I-4, in one of the eastbound lanes just before the south end of the St. Johns River Bridge.
Carlson claims that between 1995 and 1997, there were 44 crashes that injured 65 people on this stretch of I-4. Add those numbers together, and you get 109 — the exact age of the graves as of 1996. Coincidence?
While the verdict is still out whether the spirits of disturbed graves have caused several bad accidents on I-4, another rumor is that the spirit energy causes electronic equipment to malfunction and your cell phone to lose reception.
It should be noted as I passed over the "Dead Zone," my cell phone did, in fact, drop from full bars to zero.