Anybody from around there on this board who can shed some light on this?
The area where I grew up (Northern Delaware, just below the Pennyslvania border) had the same sort of urban legends, rumors and general teenage superstition that I think every community does. When I was in high school, there was one particularly prevalent story about a mansion located in the woods of the Brandywine Valley.
This house was actually just north of the Pennsylvania border. Everyone called it Cult House.
Now, I'm not sure how this rumor started. I do know that some of my friends' fathers could remember the same story, involving the same location being told when they were in high school.
According to local legend, this mansion is supposedly owned and operated by a "Satanic cult." In some versions, the "cult" is associated with a prominent Delaware family involved in the chemical industry. The window panes are in the shape of inverted crosses. The trees that line the road running along the side of the house grow at a very distinct angle away from the house (in some areas away from their main light source!)
Most interestingly, there is a "guard house" on the grounds, which houses a fleet of red pickup trucks. If you drive past the house too often, one or several of the trucks will come out of the house and chase you away. No matter how close it gets, you will never be able to catch a glimpse of the driver's face.
There is one particular tree along the road that runs past the house which has exposed roots. The roots form the perfect shape of a human skull. It is said that years ago, police found the remains of a sacrificial victim nestled inside the tree. Reports conflict on whether the victim was human or animal. According to the legend, a human sacrifice is performed on the grounds every Halloween.
Well, that's the rumor. Here is my personal experience with "Cult House" (I have been occasionally driving by the place with friends and researching its history for about 7 years now).
The window panes actually are in the shape of inverted crosses. This seems to be not necessarily intentional -- it may just be how those particular panes are shaped. The trees do grow at an extreme angle away from the house (I've never seen trees grow so off-kilter before) -- in some places they do seem to grow away from the main light source. This phenomena stops once you get about 1/4 mile past the house.
There is a guard house and there are red trucks. They have actually followed me before on two occasions.
The first was at night, and the truck's lights were off. (amazing, because there are no streetlights, and the trees allow in no moonlight. I couldn't understand how the driver was able to even stay on the road!) I was behind it at first. The truck pulled over and waited for me to pass. It then pulled out and followed me until I was several miles from the house. I had one passenger in the car, and you can imagine the state we were in. We were scared to death, but REALLY excited!
The next time was also at night, but with a different friend. After we had driven past the guard house several times, we noticed that we were being followed by a red truck. We hadn't seen it even come onto the road. We never saw the driver's face. Again, we were followed until we were several miles from the house, then the truck just pulled over to the side of the road. Again, the headlights were off. I have never seen anyone entering or exiting the main house or the guard house. I know the trucks are housed at the guard house, because at least 5 are usually visible in the driveway.
The "skull tree" does look frighteningly like a human skull. I have never found any newspaper accounts confirming that remains of any kind were found in the tree. I have been able to find absolutely no evidence of sacrificial rites being performed during Halloween or at other times, according to local records.
There are a few other unexplained things about the house. First of all, the road which runs past the house is not on any map that I've ever seen (and believe me, I've looked!) The two roads that "Cult House Road" connects are on the map, but the road itself is missing. It has no visible street sign indicating its name. I believe that it is a public road because it has road signs and is not actually on the property of the house (which sits about 1/4 of a mile back from the road). The county records office can produce no title for a house in that area, matching the description.
The local paper, the News Journal, wanted to run a Halloween feature on the legend, hopefully bringing out the facts and cutting down on some of the traffic on the small rural road.
The city desk editor of the paper (a friend of mine) said that the Journal had obtained a phone number for the house somehow and called to schedule an interview. They explained that they wanted to "debunk" the legend once and for all. She said they were rudely refused by a person who would not even give his name. The journal staff was surprised because they had assumed that the owners would want to stop the rumors.
Lastly, I'd like to give a few of my own impressions of the place. I'm not prepared to say that everything said about the house is true. I can only rely on my own observations. The place definitely has an oppressive air about it.
Several of my friends have been near panic at just being in its vicinity. I know one girl who believed she was in danger of becoming possessed after being near the house. She said the spirit she felt was a female victim of some sort of ritual that had been performed on those grounds. She claimed no previous knowledge of the legends surrounding the house.
Often, I've thought I've seen people moving through the trees near the house. When I look again, they're always gone. I have been chased on a public road by their guards. My friends and I have all seen animals in the woods and on the road that we cannot identify. That may have nothing to do with the house, but it sure contributes to the "weirdness" of the environment.
I don't know how to properly explain it, but once you've turned onto Cult House Road, you feel as if you've entered another dimension. Nothing feels normal. Again, this could all be due to the power of suggestion. Personally, I think there is something going on in the house...I'm just not sure what it is.
More on the House of the unholy here.