Monday, December 29, 2008

#173: Stull and the Devil House

I finally got Stull written and posted and as I finished the story I realized that it wasn't exactly my best story and could've stood a good rewriting. In writing the story, I took the legends from two places in my area where ghosts were said to roam. Stull and the Devil House.

Some of you may have heard of Stull, Kansas as it has the distinction of being one of the seven gateways to Hell. I first heard about Stull from a math teacher I had who lived in the Stull area. I didn't know about the devil legends or it being haunted until the Spring of 2001 when I met my best friend Randy. We went, along with Joey, several times and walked around the cemetery and in and around the old church. We would park about a quarter mile from the Stull intersection and walk to the cemetery, crawl under the gate (or hop over the fence) and look around. There were many legends surrounding Stull and unfortunately I ruined all the fun of ghost hunting with looking into the history and learning what's true and what's really a myth. I had learned that the townspeople originally considered preserving the old church but what it would cost to fix it up just wasn't worth it so they allowed it to stand unused since the 1920s looking out over the cemetery.

I learned what I could about Stull, completely debunking any legend about witches and devils there were and honored the research and history with an entry on Wikipedia which I have been proud of but which has been vandalized numerous times. I got into an argument with a guy about another cemetery just south of Stull which he claimed to be older than Stull Cemetery. It's all there on Wikipedia and on the talk page.

Since the old church was torn down in 2002, there has really been no reason to visit the cemetery except to just drive by. One of the first times Randy and I went during the day, we took his mom's minivan and was followed out of town (five miles to the highway) by someone in a red Geo Tracker who flashed their lights at us the whole way. It was really creepy and they rode our butt the whole way. I was able to obtain a brick from the old church which I proudly keep on my back porch and have a strange respect for it.

Randy and I have tried to go back but we can't bring ourselves to crawl under or hop over the fence. I guess that part of our lives are over as we reached adulthood. I just wish we would've done it all when I enjoyed taking pictures.

The Devil House

The Devil House once stood at the corner of 93rd & Paulen Roads south of Topeka. It was a massive stone house that was completely surrounded by woods on all sides. I can't remember how we heard about the house but we made the trek to the old house and parked in front. Randy and I got out to explore but we didn't go in the house, just around the land where we found an old foundation which we figured was for a once-massive barn that no longer stood. The story behind the Devil House was simple. One night, an overprotective parent's daughter snuck out and rode to Topeka where she was beaten and raped and eventually gave birth to a child, her mother took the baby and drowned it in a nearby pond or creek and the girl went mad, killing her mother and father. She then rode off on a white mare and was never seen or heard again.

While exploring the grounds, Randy and I came upon a pond near the house which, along with the barn foundation, went along with the legend. When we were at the house at night we heard horses neighing, which probably came from a nearby horse farm but still it was a lot creepier and scarier than any other place we had went to. We got into the house by going through the dirt cellar and climbing through a hole in the floor. While the house was riddled with holes and Satanic messages, we saw no immediate sign of supposed devil worshippers anyplace. When Randy moved and I didn't have a car, the house was torn down and new one built in it's place. We never got any closure from the Devil House like we did with Stull.

I supposed that the house was a product of the former town of Richland which was demolished to make way for Clinton Lake but I know now that Richland was several miles away so that destroys that thoery. Maybe someday we can finish exploring the legend but right now, only the trees now what really happened. And for some reason, they ain't talking...