The Ghost on Highway 281

The Ghost on Highway 281

In this article we will be taking a look at the story behind the now famous ghost on highway 281 – Lackey.

Numerous reports have described a unkempt hitchhiker, in light-blue shirt and tan or light brown trousers walking the stretch of road at night. His neck bares a deep cut and one side of his shirt is covered in blood…he also carries a long knife.

Lackey Starts Slashing!

Nobody really knows why, but, a man named ‘Lackey’, from Johnson City, decided to pick up his knife and go to town on his relatives (the exact date is unknown – but it’s safe to say it was over a century ago!).

He managed to carve his way through several relatives before he was eventually caught by the law. He was then taken to the then County Seat, Blanco, where he was put in the jail.

Highway 281

Lackey obviously had a bee in his bonnet with his relatives – but unfortunately for him, most of the locals got on fine with them…


One night something on the order of a dozen or so of these locals, dressed themselves up in masks, and took a wagon down to the local jail.

They broke into the building and pointed their guns at the head jailer – they wanted the key to Lackey’s cell.

He handed it over.

The dragged Lackey, kicking and screaming, to the wagon, then carted him off North.

The Execution

Halfway between Blanco and Johnson City, the ‘posse’ pulled over the wagon and positioned it under a nearby tree. They then stood Lackey up, on the tailgate of the wagon, put the noose around his neck, and asked him if he had any last words.

He did…

“If you’ll turn me loose and give me a knife, I’ll go back to Johnson City and finish what I started, and after that I don’t care what you do to me.”

Yep – the man DEFINITELY had BIG problems with his relatives!

Anyway, they didn’t cut him loose.

The wagon pulled off and Lackey was left hanging off the tree…but this particular rope was much too thin for this sort of execution.

As he struggled, hanging there, the thin rope cut into his neck and he eventually bled out – not the most pleasant way to go.

The Execution

His body was eventually found by the sheriff the following day – one side of his shirt was completely covered in blood that had spouted from his neck.

The remaining relatives, that he didn’t manage to get at, decided that they wanted nothing to do with his body…so he was buried in an unmarked pauper’s grave.

The Ghost on Highway 281

Over the years, there have been numerous reports of Lackey’s ghost trying to scam a lift back towards Johnson City. Certain truck drivers refuse to travel that stretch of road at night…

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject we have covered here, please leave them in the comment section below.

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