Saturday, April 26, 2014
Devil's Road Revisited
Having established that we could retry the place if we so wished, I turned about and took some more back roads out past Longwood Gardens and checked on Manny Hattens. We were frequent diners upon their high top tables a time ago as well, but then felt their quality slipped and we slipped away. They have also slipped away and are no longer serving, although there is a new restaurant at the location.
This little research on old dining habits complete and with twilight darkening as we came back down Baltimore Pike towards Chadds Ford, I decided to take my wife down the Devil's Road. She had never been there. It now being not quite night, but not light anymore either, it should prove a sufficiently eerie time to introduce her to the legendary "Valley".
Of course, I had never heard of "The Valley" or "Devil's Road" growing up since I lived in the northern environs of Chester County in those more formative years, but I sure heard enough once we moved to this part of Delaware thirty-plus years ago. Apparently if you grew up around here you were expected at some point to take a midnight run to The Valley. The experience was a rite of passage that a lot of people around here shared and talked about. Even my own children made the jaunt to The Valley during their high school years.
So what's the deal? It's an out of the way place full of spooks and legends, our own little Sleepy Hollow with mysterious SUVs and Pickup Trucks instead of a headless horseman, with tales of deformed children, ghostly murdered babies, KKK rallies, Biker terrors and some kind of cult up in the woods. It has eyewitness claims of strangely twisted trees, chases by invisible drivers and skull-like trunks, all flung along an extremely narrow little road called Cossart.
Added to all that history, M. Night Shyamalan filmed his movie, "The Village" along it. The picture at
But this is not a movie review, just a short narrative of taking my wife down Devil's Road for her first time.
I admit, my first time wasn't all that long ago (2011), when I tried to film the excursion only to have my camera fail as I started. I wrote about that dreary day and the Black Pickup, whose driver I couldn't see, that followed me out of the road and then turned back up it, giving truth to the many legends told over the years.
HERE -"Mystery of Devil's Road: A Frank March Mystery. It is a very narrow road, with barely enough room for cars to pass by each other.
There is this defaced tree on the right along the
Now as to the Cult House, the place where the trees shrink away in horror and where claims of deformed children, results of incest, were kept hidden away from the world, itself remains hidden away from the world.
(I would love to hike up into the woods there and see for myself, but I wouldn't go alone and I would go a bit fearful of arrest.)
If the Cult House does indeed exist, I would think it would be in this area pictured on the right. This is maybe halfway along Cossart. It seems the only parcel of land heavy enough with woodland to hide a large house. The other fields and hills don't seem as likely, especially since most have home owners living upon them.
If you drive along Cossart into this stretch you will find a padlocked gate on the same side as all these trees. There are some keep out signs too.
But if you look down to the right of the right photo, near where this junkyard driveway enters off of the road, you can just barely make out the beginning of another drive, one seemingly somewhat overgrown, that disappears into the forest.
Following the direction of this old trail up the hill
through the trees you will find a rather large house.
Could this be the Cult House?
I'm not claiming it is. I'm just speculating based on satellite images of the only area that would be a likely candidate for such a place.
Now people read these Blogs. perhaps someone is familiar with this big house in the woods on the hill. Maybe they can explain if anyone lives here or what the history of this building is. If people want to kill rumors and legends then the best thing to do is shine lights on it, not remove street signs or have people be chased by mysterious vehicles or cut down strange trees. This just adds credibility to the suspicions and attracts more of the curious.
At any rate, now my wife has been down the Devil's Road none the worse for wear…but I'm still curious.