Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blood Point Road

An ominous sounding name for a road. When you hear the legend you will understand why FEARnet has named it one of the nation’s 10 scariest roads in its “Streets of Fear” online video and On Demand series.

Arthur Blood and his family settled in the area just south of Cherry Valley in the 1830's. The road was named for the Blood farm which was at the road's farthest point. The Blood family formed a friendship with a neighbor, a strange and solitary woman who some claimed was a witch. One night, Arthur murdered his wife and children and then took his own life. Of course, frightened residents claimed he had been under the spell of the witch.

Since that fateful incident, the legend of Blood Point Road has grown. A demon dog was seen shortly after the Blood murders. This may have been the Blood's family dog gone wild but still attached to the farm, waiting for the family to return. It sounds logical but doesn't explain current sightings of a huge, fearsome dog that leaps out to bark and rage at vehicles to this day.

There is a tiny rural cemetery near where the old Blood farm stood. Strange sightings are whispered of and local teenagers frequent the graveyard late at night hoping for a ghostly glimpse of the old witch they call Beulah. (Sadly, they do great damage to the grave stones in their quest for thrills.)

A high bridge spans a railroad track about a mile west of the old Blood farm. The bridge is old but does not date back to the time of the Blood family massacre. Many years ago, people say a school bus somehow lost control and veered off the bridge. None of the children survived. From that day to this, reports of stalled cars, phantom children and the sound of screams can sometimes be heard.

I drove the length of Blood Point Road last weekend on one of the few sunny, warm days we've had this fall. It's hard to imagine a ghostly presence on a lovely autumn day but as our local newspaper pointed out, at night rural roads are very dark and anything could be lurking in the hedgerows or among the tall corn stalks. Just before crossing the bridge, several cars were pulled off the road and parents and children stood at the bridge rail peering down at the long drop to the tracks. Graffiti in blood red was scribbled across the road surface. I made a u-turn at the cemetery and slowed down to watch several people wandering among the headstones. Many of them were probably like myself, just trying to understand how the many old legends originated.

As I pointed the car back toward home, I was startled by the manic barking of a dog. I slowed the car again and watched a huge white dog (Great Pyrenees) snarl and lung at the fence. Behind the dog, an old barn stood back from the road and to the right I could just make out a dark colored house so overgrown with brush and trees it was barely visible.

Ah, the stuff of ghost stories.

Happy Halloween everyone.

The house below is on Mulford Road in Monroe Center. I've never heard any rumors about it but it certainly looks ghostly in the dim light. I like the poem about old houses retaining memories within their wood and plaster. Not a sinister thought...rather comforting that the past is still remembered.

I stand before a darkened doorway
Stairs before me rise.
Windows flanking on either side
Like square, accusing eyes.

No one dwells in this house now.
The walls are bare and cold.
The people who used to live here,
Have long moved and grown old.

Although no one has died within,
There lives an inhuman host.
Memories and dreams that linger on,
Have since become it's ghost.

Echoes of children's laughter,
The very essence of life.
Peal down the hallways,
Piercing the silence like a knife

While you're here, you feel it.
Nothing ever dies.
The wood that creaks beneath your feet,
Are the house's tired sighs.

A house like this can't be replaced.
New is not necessarily good.
The energy of the people who have come and gone
Lived on in the rotting wood.
~ Lorna May

Friday, October 16, 2009


Do you ever wonder where clouds come from?

They are manufactured right here in Byron, Illinois.
Today only one of the cloudmakers is online so look for partly cloudy skies.

Click on the skywatch icon to view skies all over the world.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Gray drip-wet dawn Leafless tree in solitude ~ Don Sax

The dull gray skies go on and on. Saturday morning the birdbath was iced over and later in the afternoon snow swirled briefly before turning over to rain.

Summer ends but the crisp, clear days of autumn do not follow. Instead we have bone chilling damp and weepy skies. No lovely red and gold leaves to ease the way from summer's bright colors into winter's dreary browns. I wonder, will the leaves change this year or will they simply fall from the trees still green.

I said goodbye to my garden during a brief spell of sunshine. I was sad to see a monarch butterfly and a red admiral there. They won't survive this hard freeze. The monarch waited too long to leave home and journey south.

The annuals are gone now. The perennials are tough, they will hold on through a few more freezes, then they too will give up hoping summer will return.

I know the year is dying,
Soon the summer will be dead.
I can trace it in the flying
Of the black crows overhead;
I can hear it in the rustle
Of the dead leaves as I pass,
And the south wind's plaintive sighing
Through the dry and withered grass.
~ Mortimer Crane Brown

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Olde English Faire

Departing from my usual garden related topics.

Last weekend Stronghold hosted a renaissance faire. I snapped some photos of the revelers.

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro' the field the road runs by
To many-tower'd Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.
~ Tennyson