As a young kid growing up in Amherstburg Ontario, one could not help but hear one of the many ghost stories about old Texas Road. Back in the early 90s we had a group of kids who decided to investigate all the rumours and happenings of the local area. One of our first areas to investigate was old Texas road and the Texas Road Grave yard. We actually investigated this area several times over our years at high school. I will do my best to present them in an organised and comprehensible manner. In writing this I have decided that it would be best to split the stories about Texas Rd from the stories about the Texas Rd Graveyard. As they share history and it would quickly get too confusing.
The Texas Road stories are complicated and involve many events mixed throughout the history of the area. These stories focus on a set of areas along the road. (Which makes it hard to organise into a single communication thread.)
It is best to understand that there is a layer of old stories (that take place back in the early days of settling the town of Amherstburg) and a layer of new stories (that take place in recent history)
Texas Road was believed to have started its life as a Wyandotte Indian trail that led to a sacred Indian grave yard on the edge of the River. Later in the 1700s as the British started to settle in the area, it became a road that linked the main river road between Fort Amherstburg and Old Sandwich (West Windsor) to the farm lands in McGregor. It was during this time that the oldest of stories takes place. (In which British soldiers fleeing along Texas Road from the American army that laid siege and burned Fort Amherstburg were betrayed by their Indian allies and slaughtered. Their scalps sold to the Americans who then occupied the area.) (There is some confusion of this history for me because the Indian cemetery is at the end of Middle Side road, which is one concession north of Texas rd.)
Many stories exist today about this road. Including stories of: an Indian massacre resulting in a mass grave, British soldiers being slaughtered by Indians who betrayed them while fleeing the burning of Fort Amherst, Witches being burned at the stake and many stories involving witchcraft and satanic worshiping.
It was the story of the Witches that most intrigued our group.
It was said that after the re-building of the fort (Fort Malden early 1800s) during the uncomfortable occupation of the small town, that the local Indians were gathered and placed into their territories. As new land agreements were acquired the local Indians found themselves with less and less hunting grounds, the local tribes became very hard pressed for survival in their areas. This led them to depending on trades with the local town for some necessities. (many local stories come from these trading times). One of the popular trades was the services of young Indian maidens. (to say it politely) This became a growing problem in the hard times of the town. It is unknown who or how it started. If the wives and the women folk objected to the time and money that was being taken from the town's men, or if the men were accepting services and not paying and/or abusing the Indian maidens. Either way bad blood quickly developed and the Indians would raid the town to claim their justice. This all led to an intervention by the American Law and the church of the time. Several Indian women conducting these "trades" were arrested and convicted of Witchcraft. They were brought to Texas Road and burned at the stake. Their bodies were left up for a while to dissuade any further attempts to "trade".
Whether this story is true or not it inspired several events in later history of the area.
In the early 1900s local groups practising Witchcraft and Satanism chose an isolated area along Texas road to conduct their ceremonies. It has been a hot spot for this types of events ever since. Every couple of generations the events pick up and start to happen again until they become a community problem and are dealt with by the town and the law.
In the late 80s the events started to pick up again. It was said that the original ceremonial area had eroded into the ravine at the end of Texas Road and that some of it still existed and could be seen. Especially the sacrificial alter stone that supposedly still existed in the bottom of the ravine.
This is where we started our investigation; to see if we could find the Alter stone. At this time our group was still only two of us. (Later more friends would join in) This was our second investigation together. (the first being the Cursed tree)
We went in the early afternoon of a Saturday in the summer. (as Police heavily patrolled this area at night.) We parked our car up the road and walked in. We entered the ravine at the old bridge crossing and looked around the area. The bridge had a square cement foundation that was large enough for a person to walk under. It was about 10 ft wide. The area was littered with satanic graffiti and garbage. A lot of old tires, barbed wire and other junk. Nothing very interesting. So we decided to walk further along the ravine.
The ravine was covered in a canopy made from the surrounding trees. It was very pleasant place and felt very old and peaceful. The ravine twisted behind Sutton Creek forest and became wider. About a mile/1.5 miles along we found several large stones that had fallen into the ravine. On the forest ground above were also old stones. They were large round rocks the size of giant pumpkins.
They did look like they formed a rough circle at one time. In the middle was a large flat slab stone half buried in the ravine wall. At first it did not look like much, but there was a cavity behind it that allowed you to see the side of the stone hidden by the dirt. On the stone were several carvings of Pentagrams, and crosses, along with letters and symbols. Many of the carvings were half under dirt. All appeared to have been there for many years. (as they were weathered down) We had found the Alter stone!
We wanted to return later with a camera and take some pictures. But as we left the ravine and emerged from the bridge, we found a police car was waiting for us. He had seen our car down the street and was waiting for us to return. He asked us what we were doing, so we were honest and told him. He told us not to come back or he would arrest us for trespassing next time. (this was our first run in with the police... But far from our last) This held us off for the rest of the summer. But we made plans to return later that fall.
Later that fall we did return. It was on a Saturday morning this time, just before Halloween. We drove to the area and got ready to park the car, but we saw another police car and decided to leave the area. We discovered that there were many cop cars patrolling the area frequently. (most likely because of Halloween and Devil's night) So we left and returned to my friend's house.
We had a party that night with a bunch of our friends and got to talking about the Alter stone. Many of the kids did not believe us that it was still out there or that it existed at all. But a few were interested. It was decided (against my better judgement and a few others) that we would venture out into the forest after dark (when the cops were less likely to see us) and get our pictures of the Alter stone.
It was around midnight when five of us set off in my friend's car with another friend's Kodak instant camera to snap a picture of the alter. (Do you remember shaking the pictures to develop them?...good times!) Well midnight was not a good time. We drove by the bridge area and it was still swarming with cops in the area. They were actually using their spot lights to search the bridge and graveyard nearby. So we peeled off and decided that we would wait. After about 2 hours of driving around we decided to return. The cops were gone, but now it was 2:00am and the area was definitely creepy especially since it was a dark night.
We drove by the bridge again really slowly. As we looked around to see the ravine we all quickly noticed a dark figure standing in the bushes. The figure was cloaked all in black and had a pale green evil face with an extended nose. It was very scary! The driver stopped the car as the figure jumped out in front of the car. Two other figures jumped from the shadows and landed on the trunk and roof of the car. They were screaming and banging on the car. We all screamed, the driver hit the horn and started to drive off. The figure in front jumped on the hood. Then as we sped up the figures all jumped off the car. I could see them behind us in the red glow from the tail lights as they rolled along the road. The one figure was wearing Nike running shoes. (the big white Nike swoosh gave it away) It was just a bunch of misfit kids... Still scared the hell out of us. They were probably the reason the cops were there earlier. With the wits scared out of us we drove home and decided that we would return after Halloween and after all the misfits got their pranks of the season out.
We returned about a week later in November, again at night and again with my friend driving. This time we were partying at his house (we did this often) It was about 2:00am and we all had just returned from one of our first late night drive throughs at Taco Bell. (a new concept at the time) There were five of us again in the car. (four guys and a girl) We passed the graveyard on the way to the bridge area. But there was a cop car sitting at the graveyard. So we passed by and kept going. We decided that we would return later around 3:00am to see if the cop was still there and if he was not we were going to do a drive by drop off.
Two of us guys and the girl would go into the forest. The driver and our scaredy cat friend would stay in the car. (Hopefully if he ever reads this he knows I say it with warm regards as he was a good friend even though he had the constitution of a canary bird, and regardless he followed us through hell and back; even though I am sure it took many years off of him).
My friend would give us 45 minutes to get down the ravine and then drive by again slowly to pick us up. If we missed the first pick up he would return in 20 minutes and try again. If we missed him again he would park out by the old farm house down the road and wait for us to come to him. (Crafty plan, made good sense at the time... Except that it was 3:00am and we were about to enter one of the creepiest forests in the area)
Well, we returned and there was no police to be found, so three of us quickly jumped out of the car and all made a dash for the bridge edge to climb down into the ravine. It was very cool and the night air seemed to pool in the bottom of the ravine. The forest held a slight wisp of fog around the bases of the trees and in some parts the fog actually poured over the edge into the ravine. It was hard to see your footsteps but the moonlight was bright and it was a clear night. We could see our way along the ravine floor and we only had about 1.5 miles to go. The forest was really quiet and it seemed that we were the noisiest things around. Each step sent out crackling leaves echoing through the night forest. Quickly we realized that a mile and a half was easily reached in the daylight but at night with shadows and unsure footings we were going to be real hard pressed to reach the Alter stone and get back to the bridge in 45 minutes So we started to run as well as we could along the ravine floor.
About 10 minutes into the run an explosion of leaves and thrashing happened right in front of me. I jumped to the far side of the ravine to see two yellow eyes dart up the base of a tree. We all had silent heart attacks, but quickly caught our breaths as we realized that it was just a raccoon startled and bolting up a tree. Needless to say we all stopped for a few seconds to catch our breaths and our wits. We thought about turning around, but we really wanted a picture of the Alter stone. So we continued, with the belief that the stones were just shortly ahead.
After about another 10 minutes we figured we were close and started to walk the ravine looking for the large stones. But we could not find them. We continued for another 5 or so minutes then we started to hear footsteps from the forest above us. They were odd, not human like. We all froze still like statues, all of my senses were focussed on my hearing, straining to confirm the next crunching sound of a leaf, trying to pin point where the figure was. A minute passed as we stood motionless and breathless. In the distance about 40 or so feet away a white horse moved in from the shadows. It was peaceful looking but seemed bothered. The horse moved through a cluster of trees and disappeared. It was the Ghost horse that roams the area around the Texas road Grave yard. It moved in the mist very gracefully with just a note of an erie sensation in it's movements. It was very emotional and created a very sureal scene. I had seen this horse as a young child when the Sutton Creek farm had offered horseback riding with trails within Sutton Creek forest. The riding instructor immediately cut back to the barns and ended the trail ride when we all saw it. He was terribly frightened and all the horses were pressed up along the barns away from the trees.
Needless to say we too were now terribly frightened and spent several moments in awe. With all our time spent we no longer had time to look for the stones. We had to turn back and rush back to the bridge to catch our ride out of this spooky forest. Going back was harder than going forward. The fog was setting in thicker towards the bridge and the moonlight was not cutting through the trees like it did earlier. The three of us stayed close together as we rushed down the ravine. After about 20 minutes we realized that we were going to miss our first opportunity for a ride. We had already been about 45 minutes in the forest and we were now rushing along the ravine and did not seem to be more than half the way back. Worse yet with the fog closing in we were quickly losing our sense of distance and direction. The only hope I had was that the ravine only ran in a line and that the walls became steeper the closer we got to the bridge. But the walls were still wide and we were now making worse time in the thickening fog.
We stopped for a brief second to gather and catch our breaths. We realized that we had another 20 minutes to get to the bridge for the second attempt for our pick-up. With plenty of time we moved more cautiously along as to not trip on the branches or obstacles that littered the bottom of the ravine. Soon about ten minutes passed and we were starting to move into the area of the ravine were the walls steepened. The bridge was only about a ¼ mile at the most. But we all stopped frozen once more. This time a large bellow of a creepy laugh echoed through the trees. It was a deep man's voice that rattled through our bones. He laughed again "Ha ha ha ha... We have guests..." We instantly realized that we were not alone in the woods and that in our company was persons who not only were creeping around the forest at night but also were willing to laugh loudly in a very creepy voice to scare us. We were in deep trouble.
I knew they probably knew where we were and most likely knew the forest a lot better than us. So we instantly bolted up the side of the ravine furthest from the voice and took off through the foggy forest. I led the way knowing that there was a farm field full of corn not too far away. (Corn fields are a good place to hide... Except after watching children of the corn)
We could hear several people chasing us. They were not far behind. One of my friends was a young girl who was almost hyper ventilating from fear. I thought about hiding and letting them pass but with her huffing they would surely find us. After a few seconds we came to the corn field. We busted in to the corn and after a few feet I stopped realizing that we had stomped down a large section of corn. Our chasers would immediately see it and follow it into the corn field, So I stopped and directed my friends back out of the field and down the narrow gap between the forest and the corn. We moved slowly and quietly and kept low. This allowed us to catch our breaths and make a break for the road. We stopped briefly as the people chasing us passed through into the corn field. They were far away but we could hear them stomping down the corn looking for us. We continued to move along the tree line towards the road. The road was only about a ¼ mile or so away. But we would have missed our second pick-up and our friend would now be parked near the farm house at the end of the road. This put him about 2 miles up the road on the far end of the corn field. It was going to be a long walk especially walking along the corn field in the soft mud. It clung to our boots like cement blocks.
After a few minutes we heard the people chasing us turn back to the forest, they were shouting that we probably weren't in the corn field at all. Fearing that they would soon pick up our muddy tracks we moved out into the corn field to walk along the rows and cross through them several rows at a time before walking back along with the rows. I wanted to get to the road first so I walked with the rows a lot longer than I did across them. I figured if nothing else we could walk along the road. If a cop came we could tell them about the evil people in the corn and trees.
After about 20 minutes or so we broke the corn field and stood at the edge of a big ditch. Our legs were sore and tired. We used sticks to scrape brick size globs of mud from our boots.
Finding the road was a relief but we were all still very freaked out about the people in the corn field. We had not heard from them in awhile and had no idea where they were. We started walking along the ditch side towards the meeting point with our friend. We were looking for a good point to cross the ditch. We started into the ditch at a spot we thought to be crossable when we saw a set of headlights moving down the road. I looked at the headlights and realized that they were large and square, they were truck headlights and not the headlights of a cop car or our friends car.
The girl in our group thought it a good idea to flag them down, But both us guys through it was a bad idea. We had no idea who they were. Standing on the edge of the ditch we watched as the lights got closer. Then about a half mile down the road they grinded to a stop. (it was a dirt road) the truck stopped in front of the bridge and several people passed through the headlights. I could hear them laughing and quickly realized that it was our pursuers from the woods. We quickly stumbled back up the edge of the ditch and fled into the corn as the truck roared up the road. We all dropped to the ground as the truck slowed by the edge of the corn field. The truck had flood lights and everything and they were looking into the corn field for us. They were drinking and tossing cans of empty beer into the corn field. We stayed still as they passed and then the truck spun its tires and zipped around and raced back to the ditch area.
We quickly got up and ran along the edge of the corn field towards our pick up location. The truck did not return, but we no longer seen the headlights and worried that they may have turned them off so we stayed just in the corn field.
We made it through the corn field and out into the farm yard where we saw our friend parked in his car, on the farmer access drive back in from the road. We ran to the car and banged on the doors. We scared the hell out of them but they let us in and we quickly told them of the other crazy people in the forest. We quickly left the area and did not return that year.
(By the way... It took us a better half of an afternoon to clean the mud out of the car.)
We never did get our picture. The next spring we had bad rains and the whole area flooded really badly. Many of the roads were washed out for almost a week. Construction crews worked on the drainage for the Texas road area and many of the concessions around. They dug out the ravine and completely changed its shape. We returned the following summer in the day. We walked the top edge of the ravine but could not find the Alter stone. But we did find dead animals tied to many of the trees near the bridge. Several days later the paper actually printed that several dead, or near dead animals were found tied to trees and telephone poles along Texas road and one of the other concession roads nearby. It mostly consisted of road kill, but there were a few cats, dogs and even birds. It was very disturbing.
A year after that they closed the road for bridge repairs and never reopened the road.
Over the next couple of years we tried to look around the local area, hope to find where they dumped the rocks and stones but were never able to locate the Alter stone again.
I walked along the old road a couple of years ago. The bridge has not changed too much, but the area is now completely grown over and you cannot see much in the ravine. The forest is now much smaller than I remember. I think the farmers have extended their fields in this area too. The Grave yard now has a fence around it and the Sutton Creek Farm closed up long ago and has been vacant land ever since.
Closing the road did stop the crazy events that happened there. So I am glad to see that the papers have finally stopped printing bad events that happened in that area. I wish I would have got a picture of the Alter stone but it was simply not worth trying it again.