Yesterday, Sunday, April 27, 2008, Jim actually had a day off when I did (usually he has just every other Sunday off, so this was a treat!), so we decided to head off on one of our "Weird Pennsylvania" trips. You can find the book here, but I will warn you, it becomes addictive.
Jim decided to surprise me as to where we were going, but I eventually figured it out. Devil's Road and the Cult House.
Here's Jim patiently waiting because I forgot my camera and made him turn around to get it!
There is this road in Chadds Ford just north of the Delaware border. It is windy and twisty. I don't even know if two cars could even pass on the road. The road is actually called Cossart Road, however, there isn't a street sign.
We found it without much trouble, amazingly. It was probably because there wasn't a street sign. At first, it looks like your ordinary, run-of-the-mill road with a couple of houses and lots of trees. But then you see all the "no stopping or standing" signs, which we were looking for. Then there was the spray paint from vandals. We knew we found it.
We went during the day, but it was still creepy. The road is narrow and windy. Jim was driving, thankfully, I was freaked out as it was without having to worry about staying on the road.
I kept my eyes on the trees. There are trees that oddly all grow away from the road. As the story goes there is a massive stone house up in the woods, "Cult House," and the trees grow away from the house. We found the trees. We didn't see the house. Frankly, I am a chicken. Plus, it is heavily patroled and there are signs everywhere for no trepassing and no stopping and there isn't anywhere to pull over anyway. We didn't see the house. We saw a house, but I am sure it wasn't the Cult House.
By the way, the trees were in the movie "The Village."
There are all sorts of legands about Cult house that we read about on our way there (once Jim let me know where we were going.) One is that one person found a pile of dead animals slit from throat to genitals and completely gutted. According to the story, these dead animals were also hanging from the gate. (We didn't see any dead animals nor did we see the gate.) The locals state that a lot of trapping goes on in the area and that explains the story.
Others state that Satanic rituals occur in the house.
One story that was repeated was that people were chased off Devil's Road by black SUVs (one story states red pickups.) This was the weirdest part of our trip. When we were at the end of Devil's road we passed a black SUV. We made a joke about it. We decided to turn around and go down Devil's Road to get back out to the main road. Partly because our first trip was uneventful and we weren't sure about what we saw, partly because our directions to the next destination were from the other end of the road.
We turned around and started driving and....the black SUV AGAIN! I was freaked out. We made a turn off of Devil's road and there are some houses and a few had black SUV's parked at them. I was very freaked out, however, I think I have the explanation for the SUV stories. There are neighborhood watch signs all over the place, and there has been a lot of vandalism on the road. I think the neighbors just keep an eye on things and probably don't like strangers driving down the road. We weren't chased or anything, but it was weird that the SUV passed us twice. I don't think the driver could have gotten anywhere except the end of the road to turn around.
On the way out, we think we found skull tree. The picture I have of it is from the other side of the tree than the picture in the "Weird Pennsylvania" book; however I am pretty sure that it is it. It is filled in with cement now. Let me tell you, I was completely freaked out taking the photo. Jim stopped the car and actually backed up....we had just passed the black SUV again, so I hurriedly snapped the shot.
Erosion has exposed the roots of Skull Tree and it looks like either a skull, or skeletal fingers of a hand clawing at the earth. The photo I took doesn't really like like either, but I still think it is the right tree but from a different angle. The story is that once a baby was left as a sacrafice there. Apparently, dolls used to be left there as well, but now it is filled in with concrete.
By the way, we didn't take any other photos of Devil's Road. I can't explain it, but it was just too spooky.
More about Devil's Road and Skull Tree here.
Next Stop: Tunnels of Downingtown
There are twin tunnels on Valley Creek Road in Downingtown, PA. (actully, there are three tunnels! I didn't even realize it until I was surfing the web.) The tunnels have vertical shafts allowing in the air and light. There are many stories about the shafts, most of which involve hangings. One story goes that in the late 1800's or early 1900's a woman was run out of town for having a baby out of wedlock. She hung herself at the top of the shaft while holding the baby. The baby fell to its death in the tunnel. Legand has it that at night you can hear the baby crying. (We were there during the day, but we stopped and listened....we didn't hear the baby.)
There are other stories of people hanging themselves there, too. Jim was just doing some internet research and found a story that they actually found a female torso in a suitcase in the other tunnel (there are 2, one you can drive through and one that you can't.) The mystery has never been solved.
We drove through the tunnel twice, too. It was creepy. Here is a link to a video about the tunnels. The dude's voice freaks me out.
Our final destination wasn't on the iternary, and we didn't really think it was "weird" when we decided to stop. However it turned out to feel like we were in another time and place.
This quirky little place is along Route 30 in Lancaster. If you are going East on 30, it is just past the outlets on the left hand side.
I had been to Jennie's Diner before, but I kind of forgot about it's kitschy-ness. The last time I was there was on 9-11 and my burger had a American flag toothpick in it.
The food is inexpensive and gigantic. I ordered chicken parm. and I think I will still be eating it 3 days from now.
I wish I would have taken a photo of the inside, beause it was just too good for words. The cups were those red plastic ones....you know the ones... The waitresses openly yelled at the cooks. There is an actually "Jennie" who runs the place! And, the best part....the little juke boxes at each table!
I highly recommend Jennie's Diner to anyone driving by. It's cheap, it's good and it is like going back in time!