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We used to own a racetrack in Ohio years ago, but we lived in southeast PA. You had to take the turnpike to get there in any reasonable amount of time, and one of the times my mother, my sister and I were together to go meet my stepdad who was driving separately with a trailer to haul equipment.

We got off at an exit after paying a toll, and go off into a strip mall with a bunch of rinky dink looking buildings. Not dirty, just faded pastel colors, didn't even look like there was a town nearby. They had a diner, though, and we hadn't eaten since we left (four hours before) so we stopped in.

The food sucked, and was completely tasteless. People stared at us the whole time. It wasn't dark like a cave, just not a ton of windows. There were some, enough for ambient light. Like a Denny's if the power went out, that sort of thing. And an unreasonable number of people, we noticed, had bandages on them. The only person who said a word to us was the girl who took our order, who also rang us up at the end.

We decided not eating was better than going back there, so we wrote down the exit in a little journal we'd been keeping in the glove compartment so we knew not to make that mistake again.

A couple hours later we get to the track and my stepdad asks how everything went. We said it was uneventful but told him we'd recorded a real whopper for the journal and not to take the exit we'd marked because it was shitsville.

He gets really excited and we're all kind of wondering why. He's actually said the words before, "I hate eating. It takes too much time and gets in the way of me living my life," so our less than stellar review definitely wasn't a motivating factor.

He tells us he thinks we ate ghost food and that the people in the diner were vampires. He wouldn't stop talking about it for like ten minutes and it was making my sister uncomfortable, so my mom did an about face and tried logicking him away from it.

We argued that the food had no reason to suck, they could have easily killed us, and nobody could recall ever seeing the a movie where the wound, left by whatever bit the person to make them vampires in the first place, still existed on their body. He got less excited and left it alone.

We have the race weekend, it's time to drive all the way back. He asks me if I want to come with him, since he had to drive alone the way there. I say sure. Two hours in, he pulls off. I think it's weird because we at a gigantic fucking breakfast before we left, and I know he's anti-eating. I didn't recognize it at first coming from the other direction, but eventually it occurs to me he's going to the diner's exit. He wants to see it for himself.

He stops to pay the toll, doesn't mention our story, he asks if there's a diner at the exit to make sure he has the right one (you can't see it from the ramp). The guy says there was one, but it burned down.

Holy shit. Okay, so there weren't vampires, but what a fucking coincidence. We just eat there and then right after, in the span of two and a half days, they have a freak accident. This almost intrigues him more than the supernatural bit, and I am one hundred percent on board for checking it out.

We drive over, same humdrum bullshit strip mall, except where we went to eat it's just this charred mess. Not like with holes in it, it wasn't a wooden frame in pieces like a cartoon, you just could seriously tell there was damage. No vehicles, no tape (I'd assume they'd at least test it for being a crime) and they'd cleaned the area around it well.

We go to get back on the turnpike, and these poor toll guys are stuck in a booth hardly bigger than they are, so it's the same dude getting back on (hard to explain, but it's a short ramp, straight road perpendicular to the turnpike, guy's booth, lots of straight, then you can turn into the strip, so you see him again and then fork back).

Anyway, my stepdad's like, I thought you said there was a diner there. Guy says, there was, like I told you, burned down. He asked if they'd figured out yet what caused it, was it a grease fire or what, that kind of thing.

The guy says, "Yet?"

"Yeah, it had to have been in the last two or three days, they didn't investigate it? It wasn't on the news?"

Then the guy says, "Oh, we know what happened. It was on the news when it happened, eight years ago."

It sounds ridiculous, and cliche, and there are tons of stories like it. I know what I saw, it was the same exit, the same distance from the road, same buildings save for the one. I don't expect anyone to ever believe me which is why I don't usually share it. Plus there's no way to prove it because I moved to Florida by the time I was old enough to drive, and I don't have the exit number anymore. It was after Somerset (which I remember because of 9/11) and before Wheeling. But that's almost an hour long difference no matter which way you split it, so even that's no help.

All that I really think happened is that the place burned down like a motherfucker while we were gone and that guy's just an asshole. I don't think it burned down in the past and I don't think that I ate ghost food. But my stomach dropped like crazy and it's still a weird coincidence, especially given how good a job they did cleaning up the site, and how quiet everything was around it. It really did look lost to time.

TL;DR: On a road trip for work, ate gross food at a place that didn't exist by the end of the weekend, we're made to believe we were never there to begin with

EDIT: The racetrack was Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, which we stopped owning circa 2003 so it couldn't have been later than that, minus eight years (if that was true) putting it in the mid-90s. Nothing scary actually happened, it was just a coincidence that was made to look worse by a guy having a little fun with an impressionable kid. Still weird to go through. Someone suggested it may have been the New Stanton exit but I haven't heard back beyond that, and someone else linked to a story uncannily similar to this one that I'm trying to get permission to link here.

SECOND EDIT: The few people that believed the story before probably won't after this: User /u/VirtualVulture has commented to share this story: which was posted no more than three weeks ago. It's over twice as long, but skimming it, it actually hits most of the same notes and in the same order. I mean, the scary part of mine isn't real, so there was never anything to debunk, it was only ever creepy to me, and a long time ago. But what I'm assuming is an invention being so close to the kind of thing that happened to us is nuts (I mean, not even a restaurant, but specifically a diner!) Thanks for sharing...