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The Haunting of Woodmen's Circle (Sherman,TX)

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Lovecrafty Donating Member (367 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-04 01:28 AM
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The Haunting of Woodmen's Circle (Sherman,TX)
Every town has them: Creepy old houses that every kid dared you to go in back when you were twelve. There is such a place in Sherman, Texas at the corner of Hwy 52 and Hwy 1417 that is almost certainly the most disturbing place I've ever been to in all my life: Woodmen's Circle Manor...

It was built in the mid-20's by the Woodmen's Insurance Company, originally intended to house women and orphans. It was a very impressive building for the day, complete with elevators and dumb waters to service all floors with hot meals from a huge central kitchen. This is an old postcard with an artist rendering on the front:

Of course this illustration is deceptive...the building is delapitated to the extreme today, yet retains somehow it's original granduer. Upon approaching the abandoned manor you catch yourself looking into the rows of boarded windows, peering through the cracks into the shadows behind. From within the manor you can hear the occasional BANG! of some unhinged door slapping in the wind...which was blowing heavily under an overcast sky the evening I went. Rain was coming and the approaching storm seemed almost hellishly perfect considering the house I was about to enter! Keep in mind also that I am ALONE..except for my Basset Hound Jack, who was leading in front of me, but sniffing around normally and appeared calm. I trusted my dog's intuition for this trip over ANY of my friends I shit you not!

Anyway, to cut to the chase I entered the manor through a broken Greenhouse, or I suppose you'd call it the "Conservatory" since by this time I was feeling like this was Mr.Boddy's Home in CLUE! Jack ran off down a long hallway that stretched off into darkness, with intermitent light breaks in front of the windows. The overcast clouds offered little light, so I had to use a flashlight I brought. At this point I also pulled out my snubnose .38 and had a sudden feeling of being Fox Mulder. I followed the hallway in the direction Jack went and passed an entrance into the main dining hall, a huge open ring that reminded me of a skating arena! There was a fireplace on one end of the room you could literally stand inside. It was here I first noticed this low a generator running in some distant part of the house. Jack had returned and was walking beside me, but didn't appear agitated. I kept watching his ears to see when they raised slightly, or when he cocked his head slightly...signs he's got something. Nothing. So far...

The entire west wing of the home consists entirely of bedrooms...rows and rows of identical single room dorms with a shared bathroom for every pair. Some of the rooms still had children's wallpaper, with old looking rabbits and goats from an long ago era. I began to notice the hum again, this time more beneath my feet, by clearly something mechanical. It was also about this time I started thinking about "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and that red generator running outside Leatherface's home...

(Stop It! Your freaking yourself out!)

I began to get REAL attached to my dog...and my gun! I wished I had brought a bigger flashlight also because the cheap one I had was nearly useless. It provided enough light to keep from banging into walls or falling down staircases, but it left to many shadows that seemed to flicker and move as I passed the light through the manor. I was doing more to creep myself out than the reality of the situation, and Jack had so far remained calm and, more importantly, close-by. I decided to check out the basement, which I was told by some friends was particularly unsettling. I made my way down the main stairwell and eventually into the pitch black darkness of the subterranean level. It was here I found my noise...

There were ground windows all around the edges of the dirt floor basement. The glass had been broken out of them long ago and now allowed wind to blow through the basement. This wind created a howling effect that filled the whole basement, rising in pitch with the wind. Sometimes the pitch would drop to a booming roar and THAT was the noise I kept hearing walking through the manor. No ghosts. No boogeymen. I made my way back outside through the Greenhouse and back to my car, Jack following behind with that dopey grin and soulfull eyes that Bassets have, and drove away convinced that there were no ghosts that dwelled in Woodmen's Circle...

Going back next weekend with the digital camera..will post picturs of the interior here at the DU lounge!
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-04 01:34 AM
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1. Neat creepy place
I'm starting to edit maps in Doom3; this sounds like a great scenario for a deathmatch map. Thanks for the inspiration!
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sasquatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-04 01:43 AM
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2. Neat, I've always liked to investigate a Haunted area
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