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The Devil's Curve
I recently found myself winding down the ice infused, snow shadowed, drift dealt roads guarded by gigantic plow banks towering feet above our mystery machine. The intrepid investigators for this Illinois adventure are Chad Lewis of The Haunted Road Guide to Illinois, and Kevin Lee Nelson winter driver extraordinaire.
This day starts not long after the sun first shows. With thoughts from the day before still swirling through our minds. Dusty historic structures from the 1800s, 'haunted' locations by the dozens, psychic free response experiments of clairvoyance, and a brush with a serial killer haunt us as we wake. We are off to create another day of adventure, bent on making it better than the previous.
With a few legends already
behind us we make a stop at a classic Midwestern cemetery.
Surrounded on all sides by farm fields minus the one that buts up
against a quiet country road. Mr. Lewis expertly guides us down
the narrow cemetery roads to the reported resting place of a woman who
had more than a few issues. I won't bring you down with details,
so let's suffice to say it includes a hatchet, her seven kids and a
suicide. Piling out of the vehicle and into knee deep snow.
The air is crisp, and the blowing snow has drifted feet high. The
colder temps and stronger wind have created a new dimension to the
normal winding through the grave markers. At times walking right
over markers on the hardened snow. Taking two steps on top,
usually causes your third to sink in, shoving icy granular snow up your
pant leg and down your boot as you lift it out. No bother minding
to it now, as it will only happen again in three steps. Winter
legend tripping is not for the faint of spirit. Speaking of
purported spirits, we are nearing the final location of an entire
family taken by terribly dark tragedy.
It was a poppers burial for the entire family, including the father who met the end by his own grief stricken hands only days later. The unmarked graves were only reported to be two holes in the local graveyard.
Heard around the country as this article from The New York Times reads (courtesy of Chad Lewis)
That's two divided by eight for those following along. We loitered about hoping something or someone would give us a sign of their approval or disapproval of our presence. We left shortly after out of respect for a funeral that was getting 'set up', and attendees were sure to be following soon.
Not to far down the road we arrive at the morbid scene of the crime. The locals have aptly nicknamed the area Devil's Curve. On this cold, snow covered day, one could see Devil's Curve, approaching us as we moved down the road. An unassuming 90* angled corner on a country road. Flat farm fields on all sides offer lengthy vistas reminding you of how alone you're today, and how much more alone you would have been over 100 years earlier in 1905.
Chad jumps from the vehicle as soon as it slows. Onto the icy road, hatchet in hand, I'm quick to follow into the dry winter day. We walk out into the fields, feeling alive with a few deep breaths of the brisk February air as it burns the lungs. A figure of a woman wearing white flowing garments is reported to be seen walking this very area. The people who shared stories with us speculated that the woman was the spirit of the guilt ridden mother walking between her once home to her new un-resting place. We pause as long as our patients allows.
Continuing our exploration we find an old fence line, half hidden by snow. Silently standing, we take in the scenery. One could easily imagine a woman's disembodied shriek cutting through the eerie snow filled fields just as it might have if the mother had a temporary reprieve from her psychotic break or religious state of mind, allowing her to realize even for a moment what she had done. The moment passes for us without anything but the wind whipping up icy snow crystals, that pelt us in our exposed skin. A letter was discovered that points to the mothers premeditated efforts. Thanks to Chad's investigative journalist skills we were able to read the mothers final words at scene of her crime:
This is to say goodbye to you. Some give their souls for others, and I will do this for my children. God bless them! They will all die happy in the arms of Jesus. I will meet them there, and some day you will join us too.”
The bits and pieces of ground visible in between the drifted snow piles restricts us from any luck of finding foundations of structures past. Most likely the wooden home, especially after being set fire, would not have anything remaining today, though as explorers we must at least look. A quick experiment or two with the hatchet, back to the vehicle and down the road to wherever it takes us.
search for answers, or at least a meaning to life experiences they can...well
live with, people I often interact with look for connections. What if in reality
there are none. Connections that is. Don't get me wrong a romantic view can
bring solace, and a sense of control, giving history to the noises you hear in
the dark makes living with just the thought of them easier for many. What if
these events are simply a natural part of our environment? Whether it is
connected to events that happened in the area once upon a time, or the
connection is truly outside of our minds current ability to connect. Perhaps
time will allow the human race a greater understanding of science, of
consciousness, of our environment on a Universe scope.
At the very least these connections of otherwise unexplainable and seemingly detached events can make a gripping story to tell around the fall camp fire.
Until next time, remember, adventures come to the adventuresome!
Noah Voss (Bio)
But wait there's more!
More than a dozen Legend Trippers Journal entries! Follow the Legend Trippers on such adventures as:
Unexplained Gravity Hills in Pennsylvania
The Mystery of the Michigan Paulding Lights Solved
Lake Monsters of the Mississippi River
Satanic Murderous Murmurs Investigated in the Bridgewater Triangle of Massachusetts
Werewolves in Wisconsin
The Lost Port of Ulao discovered on Lake Michigan
Looking for the Lost in the Bennington Black Hole of Vermont
Phantom Baby's Screams in the night at Cry Baby Bridge of Illinois
West Virginia's Mothman Sightings
and many, many more!
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