The Cannibal Albinos Of Ghost Mountain

The Nest Let me explain my strange Internet journey yesterday.

We were thinking about ordering pizza from a place closer to the new house to try it out. I figured, okay, lemme look online right quick, see if I can’t cobble together some reviews, the menu, whatever.

I stumbled upon a thread in a Topix forum which started off as a topic devoted to, yes, Frank’s Trattoria, but eventually devolved into a discussion of how another local pizza joint has fallen from grace. It was interesting because the thread talked about how some waitress had dropped pizza on the floor but still served it to the customer, and then a guy popped into the thread that I think was the owner masquerading as somebody else and he was kissing his own ass up and down…

Anyway. Point being, I started taking a look at this local Quakertown forum, and hot diggity fuck, it is very active. People left and right talking about which local politician is a child molester, why the police chief is suspended, why a local bar owner tried to punch out some EMTs — all kinds of crazy rumor and madness, like a watercooler for insane motherfuckers.

Oh, but then, then came this thread:

Sasquatch Sighting. (Yep, there’s a photo.)

This is getting good.

I mean, it’s nonsense, of course. That doesn’t look like a goddamn sasquatch. But it makes for an interesting read of all the people who rise to the sasquatch’s defense, as if he wouldn’t rip off their arms and drop hot steaming yeti-apples into the gushing stumpholes.

Finally, I came upon a thread of other local legends: Ghost Mountain.

Fuck yes! Ghost Mountain? What? Apparently, a local “mountain” (not a mountain) is home to a number of fascinating legends, the best being that some wild pack of cannibal albinos lives in some glass house up on Haycock Mountain where they keep a collection of surgical tools. That’s some vivid shit right there. Where I grew up, our house sat at the base of another local “mountain” — Buckingham Mountain (still not a mountain), and that spot alone is pregnant with local myth. For instance:

It’s a gravity hill.

It’s got a “Devil church” where you can “race the Devil for your life” (what a fun game!) — this legend, you ask me, comes from deep, deep racism, because it’s assumed that a “black church” is a church black with Satan’s heart when really, it’s an African-American church (and a site of the Underground Railroad). My grandmother is buried there, as are half my father’s ashes. And my uncle’s a caretaker.

It’s got a hermit.

It has lost gold.

It’s not far from Hansel Road, too, where the glowing ghost of a headless boy would come out if you yelled out the magic words, “Fritz, come out and play!”

And hell, our house was haunted and had all kinds of goofy shit going on.

All this stuff is awesome fodder for anybody looking to write horror or supernatural craziness.

You click on that Ghost Mountain link, you get people talking about where the Lassie dog is buried, about basements full of blood and evil Injun spirits and haunted bridges and — well, the list keeps on going.

So, I have to ask: what are your local legends? C’mon. Cough ‘em up. I know you have some. I wasn’t going to ask this now, as it seems like such a classic Halloween topic, but you know what? Summer is when we kids did all our scary exploring. No school, warm nights, easy to go out and summon ghosts with magical words. Summer is the perfect time to talk about this.

You have your mission.

Talk to me.

Local legends.

3… 2… 1…

Go.

32 comments

  • I don’t know whether to smack you or kiss you.

    I think I’ll smack you.

    I’m now skipping around the internet like crazy. I knew a few things about this region, but there’s a literal shitload of bizarre out there that I’d never heard.

    I’ll be back later, when I can yank myself away.

    • @Julie:

      Yeah, don’t think you’ll get away with not coming back with a full report, missy.

      Because this place has been too quiet this weekend. I NEED YOUR COMMENT LOVE.

      Or I wither, like an unwatered plant.

      – c.

  • Back home in West Virginia there were local legends about a guy who brought a chainsaw to a bar fight, but that’s probably not what you’re looking for.

    … You know, I’m sad to say that I don’t really know any of the legends for the place I’m living now. New Hampshire’s probably full of them, but I don’t know any! Looks like I’ll be following Julie’s example. (To the Googlemobile!)

  • You don’t want me to start on the local legends. They are myriad, from the ghost in the photo taken during the construction of the Anglican Cathedral to the supposedly bottomless lake the executed were tossed into after they were taken down from the gallows.

    First transatlantic wireless signal? Happened here back in 1914, about a 20 minute drive from where I live.

    Every summer, there’s a Haunted Hike, where tour guides take you around to local places, and tell you of the ghost stories behind them. And we’re North America’s oldest city; we have them by the metric shitloads.

    There’s a reason St. John’s is tagged City of Legends, and not City of Boring Stuff. :P

  • There’s a place called the Murder Hole up on the Yorkshire Moors near me, where hunters used to drive aurochs down into a deep shaft to kill them. The hole was used that way so long, there’s no rock left in it, just a hotchpotch of animal bones…and some human ones suggesting ritualistic cannibalism.

    On which theme, a ways further up the road is the Cave of Sawney Bean which I visited a couple of years ago. I climbed over the barbed wire and ignored the DANGER signs to take a photo http://twitpic.com/1n0imf

    You know the way some churches and graveyards have an atmosphere that wraps around you like a chill dead hand from beyond the grave? Well, trespassing away, while the wind howled and the slate sea lashed the rocks and some unknown evil lurked beyond the wall was the creepiest feeling I’ve ever had. Except for the time I sold my soul to an African witchdoctor and for a handful of magic beans (I still owe him a goat).

    Inside that cave, a long long time ago, lived Sawney, the patriarch of an incestuous clan of Scottish cannibals. For over a quarter of a century, the Bean family picked off lonely tourists traversing the narrow roads of the Ayrshire Coast. His 46 sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters survived on the pickled and salted human flesh of over 1000 victims, throwing unwanted appendages into the sea. Locals grew terrified of the limb flotsam washing up in their deserted villages. Finally King, James IV and a posse of 400 men and bloodhounds located the cave from the stench of rotting flesh. Inside the cave, dried human limbs were slung from the roof and heads sat pickling in vats. The Beans were caught and taken in chains via Edinburgh to Leith, where the men had their hands and legs hacked off and bled to death. The womenfolk watched, before being burned alive.

  • http://www.secstate.state.nc.us/kidspg/ship.htm

    The Ship of Fire is something that some of my friends growing up had claimed to have seen. It’s a cool story, but it’s total bullshit since all of the Palatine ships that came to the New World in 1710 went to New York. New Bern was founded by Swiss Protestants but not Palatines. Legends that lack plausibility kinda suck.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27s_Tramping_Ground

    The Devil’s Tramping Ground isn’t far from where I live now. I remember being fascinated by this story as a kid because as of yet there is still not a good explanation for why that circle of ground has no growth on it. Not that I believe it’s supernatural in origin, but it could be an excellent plot element.

  • I live in one of the towns in the Bridgewater Triangle. All sorts of fun things apparently happen around here, including UFO sightings, some kind of bigfoot thing, thunderbirds, and our very own phantom hitchhiker.

    I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything weird myself, but that didn’t stop me from using the Hockomock Swamp, which is right at the center of the triangle, as my setting for last year’s #cthalloween shenanigans on Twitter. (And now I have to wonder if H.P. Lovecraft ever heard any of the stories from around here, since Providence, RI, isn’t very far at all…)

    • @Lauren:

      “Phantom Dogs: In 1976 an Abington resident reported seeing a large phantom dog with red eyes was seen killing two ponies. The witness, the ponies’ owner, said the beast ripped their throats and was almost as big as the ponies themselves. Responding to the incident, Abington Police officer Frank Curran[13] engaged the suspected animal, fired his weapon with no effect.”

      That’s creepy as shit.

      – c.

  • Burlington ct
    At the site of the old Tory Prison, many have reported seeing the haunting apparition of a British soldier who is eternally wrapped in chains. Other visitors and locals have heard the eerie, unexplained sounds moaning and other strange noises in the night.

    Litchfield County, Thomaston, Connecticut

    At the St. Thomas Church, many have reported the basement to be haunted by a priest who formerly preached there. Some have seen orbs in the basement and others have heard footsteps going up or down the stairs when there was no other living person who could’ve been responsible for these sounds. Others claim to have seen tables and chairs moved by some unseen force and still more have reported feeling a presence around them.

    These are within driving distance of me. There are a few more but I doubt if your going to want to hear about the ghost of a crack whore who was run under a bus. Waterbury has its fair share of weird urban legend crap.

  • I’ve got nothing terribly exciting. Just a few silly things about the old alma mater, and some cutesy things about town.

    On the same quad at UNC Chapel Hill (goooooooooo Heels!), there’s a statue of an alumni that died fighting for the Confederacy. We call him Silent Sam. The story goes that his rifle will fire if a virgin walks by. Of course, he’s never fired. Thus the “Silent” Sam moniker.

    About 50 yards away is a really tired old poplar tree. Right beneath it is the world’s most uncomfortable stone bench. If a couple kisses under it on their first date then they’re destined to get married and blah blah blah.

    Belief is that if you drink from the Old Well on the first day of classes in the fall, you’ll have a 4.0 for the year. Unfortunately, it’s Duke tradition to come on campus and pee in said well. Fucking Dookies.

    Of course, there is the legend of Gimghoul Castle (http://www.carrboro.com/gimghoulcastle.html), but it turns out the be a fraternity of ridiculously wealthy men, their sons, and their little clubhouse. Pretty building but not nearly as nefarious as people make it out to be.

    Then there’s University Massage, which is reported to be more of a bordello than a massage parlor. Truth is, it’s a massage parlor where you get rubbed down by a naked co-ed in need of extra cash and can tack a hand job on to the end for an additional 30 bucks.

    For being the South, this place is really colorless with its legends.

  • First, damn you for distracting me from my real writing, which I was oh. so. hard. at. work. on.

    I live in Lynchburg, which, despite the name, isn’t like it sounds.

    It’s much, much worse.

    We have a wonderful screaming statue (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/96359/haunted_sweet_briar_college_and_the.html) at a local college (Sweet Briar) where I used to go to swim in the lake on campus, despite my terror of the wail of the dead girl’s monument.

    There was also the weird little building that was a sorority meeting house at a different college, the roof of which forms the stage for a dell concert amphitheater type thing. It used to be painted black inside with pentagrams and stuff, and it was rumored that they were witches and performed sacrifices in there. I lived two blocks away and was over there all the time, and it still freaks me out a little. It was Randolph-Macon Women’s College.

    Beyond that, we have “Spooky Jesus and the Wobbling Apostles,” which, while not a real legend, is one among my friends. We used to sneak out late at night and steal my friend’s grandmother’s car, an old Chevy Nova, and we had a little routine: Mr. Donut (we were too hick to have Dunkin’ Donuts), then the graveyard, then climbing the Allied Arts building to have a look see at our own imminent demise that we (mostly) avoided somehow.

    Anyhoo, there was this rectangular garden at the cemetary with Jesus at the head and the apostles arranged around it. Jesus had these hollowed out eyes and if you stood up on his stand, put your hands into his outstretched ones, and looked into his eyes, it seriously looked like he was staring back at you, even though it was, of course, always pitch black when we did this. One night, it was really windy and we swore the apostles were all wobbling back and forth, thus: SJatWA. It would make a great name for a band, don’t you think?

    I wonder if kids nowadays have heard our story. That would be awesome if we started our own legend. I could quit writing!

    Whatever.

  • I’m going to be late to the party on this one because… well, 9 hours of day job followed by 500 word writing assignment for a class I just started, then a list of hot upcoming titles for Wii & DS (along with features & benefits) due for the day job tomorrow. But I promise to squeeze in a little something about two of our local legends, since this is one of my specialty areas. Look for it tonight, right before I collapse. This will be fun!

  • Jersey Devil (obviously), along with everything else in Weird NJ.

    About 12 years ago in my UE days, I was following a myth around York County about the “13 Gates to Hell.” It was supposed to be a bunch of burnt-out churches that a person could visit, and if you mixed some ashes together from each of the locations (mixed with a little hoodoo and blood of course), you could open a gate to hell.

    The first location I found actually was a church at one point. Good start! The second location took me down a desolate, and unkept dirt road deep in the woods. Half way down the road, I came across a rusted metal fence labelled KEEP OUT, so I got out of my car and jumped the fence.

    I followed the trail for another fifteen minutes on foot until I reached a clearing and another fence, this one much newer and much taller.

    Turns out, I was inside the first security perimeter of York County Prison, and the dirt path was an old, unused maintenance road for the lawn crew.

    Good times.

  • Not far from my house is the most haunted place in Indianapolis, so they say.

    If you travel down East Washington you’ll hit old Arlington street. This historic neighborhood has the Legend cafe, a great pizza place whose name I forgot, and the local plasma center. It also has Masonic Lodge #666.

    Rumors about that old lodge have been around forever and have nearly a hundred different versions. Some believe that the old monument is haunted by the Devil who was drawn to the place where his number is present. Others believe the Masons in the lodge trafficked in spirits and engaged in dark ceremonies. Still others think that it’s the negative energy associated with thep lace that has given it power.

    Of course that’s just bull, right? How can an old fraternity lodge be scary?

    Some famous residents and patrons of the Mason lodge include:
    D.C. Stephenson, Grand Imperial Dragon of the KKK.
    Ed Gein supposedly lived near the lodge before returning home to Wisconsin where he committed his murders.
    Ghostly figures look down from the narrow windows of the lodge at night to observe people.
    An old tree in the parking lot near the lodge will sway in any direction when the wind blows except towards the lodge; indeed, the tree appears to be growing in the opposite direction.

    That help?

  • ooh, ooh! Our barn was haunted! It was a hundred-year-old huge Amish-built barn (yep, grew up in PA) and it was the perfect place for a ghost. Huge open hay mow, first floor like a cave.

    Apparently the son of a former owner shot himself in the barn late on a Wednesday night, and ever after haunted the place. There were footsteps, mysterious hands, mysterious happenings like a horse turned around in her stall and the tie-rope fastened around her leg. Dogs wouldn’t go in on Wednesdays, and the cats lived on the porch, not in the barn, no matter what the weather.

    We had a lot of animals and my dad worked odd shifts so he couldn’t always be there, but after a while my mom wouldn’t go in the barn without company on Wednesdays. She’d get friends to come over, but after a while they wouldn’t come on Wednesdays any more and she’d have to get someone else.

    I heard footsteps once, but it could have been my brother. The thing with the dogs, though, and the cats, and the friends who stopped coming–and stopped laughing at my mom about it–those things I witnessed.

  • “Phantom Dogs: In 1976 an Abington resident reported seeing a large phantom dog with red eyes was seen killing two ponies. The witness, the ponies’ owner, said the beast ripped their throats and was almost as big as the ponies themselves. Responding to the incident, Abington Police officer Frank Curran[13] engaged the suspected animal, fired his weapon with no effect.”

    That’s creepy as shit.

    You know, I read that, and realized that “Officer Curran” sounded familiar to me. I grew up in Abington, so I was thinking that maybe he was the safety officer who came around to the schools. I called my parents, who still live there, to see if they remembered him, and if they’d heard the stories.

    Turns out, they didn’t move in until 1977. HOWEVER. The woman who lived in the house next door to us was Officer Curran’s sister.

    And my dad still bumps into Officer Curran himself at the supermarket from time to time. So, next time he sees him, he’s going to ask about the Phatom Dog of Doom.

  • not quite on a par with sasqi…sasqu…satsoo…big hairy dude. But i come from a region of England called the black country. It got that name after the industrial revolution, because most of the coalmining and factories grew out of the region. The smoke stacks would blot out the stars at night, and the area was literally ‘black.’ (actually much of tolkein’s vision of the Orks and Goblins slaving away in pits was based on this)

    So annnyway. One of the other things that happens when you have coalmines and such is that gasses escape, and spurts of flame will ocasionally erupt up to the surface. At with it being so dark at night, these spurts of flame would scare the bejeesus out of the locals, who thought it was Satan walking the streets.

    So there are a LOT of streets named after the devil back home, because he used to walk them at night.

  • Aww, you took all the good local legends Chuck. lol.

    I grew up in a 200 yr old farmhouse. Shortly after we moved in, Mom swore she could catch whiffs of lilacs and cigars when Dad was on the road and my sisters and I were tucked into bed. We had a priest come in and bless every corner of the house, but even 10 years later she could still get the scent every now and again.

    There was a stairway up to the attic, which had been renovated into bedrooms for us girls… most of it anyway. There was one small area that was kept as storage. It was always so dusty in there and filled with cobwebs. There was one bulb that didn’t quite reach the corners. The small, latched door was at your back when you went up the stairs. Until the day my parents moved out (when I was in my 20s), I couldn’t go up those stairs without a light on, even in the middle of the day. I got the screaming creepy-crawlies every time and sprinted up those stairs. I always felt like there was something staring at me, its fingertips just brushing the back of my neck.

  • As I said I would be, I’m extremely late to the party. I took two of the most well-known local legends from my town and wrote them up in a blog post all nice and tidy. By the way, I’m no longer hosted on “that blogging service” and have moved over to wordpress and a much friendlier hosting/blogging situation. You don’t have to give blood to leave a comment anymore.

    My stories are here: http://geekcentricity.com/2010/07/local-legends.html
    Thanks for asking!

  • I live in a neighborhood off of hansell road, and have been to buckingham mountain to see the old church, and to hunt for the shrine made for the girl who was skinned there in the 70s. I have not yet seen anything on hansell road honestly, but once in the park, probably 2:30 in the afternoon on a cloudy day, I heard the most horrid noises coming from the woods. I sounded like a cat fight or something, and the noises were absolutely horrendous, and it couldn’t have been foxes since they only mate at night. I still have the videos I recorded on my phone of the noises.

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