By: Ezekiel Kincaid
The Tetromet Chronicles is one of my forthcoming books from Stitched Smile Publications. It is a collection of shorts which center around an evil entity called the Tetromet. The stories were inspired by an urban legend I grew up with. In this article, I am going to share with you the portion of my book which talks about this urban legend and how it has influenced these stories and me as a horror author. I hope you enjoy.
For most writers, myself included, stories begin with one simple idea or moment of inspiration. Then they evolve into a grand universe. My Tetromet stories are no different. I grew up in the small town of Central, Louisiana, which is on the outskirts of Baton Rouge. I am also one of those privileged folks who got to grow up in the best decade ever–the 1980’s. What made this decade so fascinating in the world of horror was the obsession with urban legends and Satanism.
As a kid who was raised in church, I remember this well. I heard people go on and on about the dangers of 80’s rock ‘n roll (Anyone out there remember the documentary Hell’s Bells? No? Okay, never mind). I’m not here to bash church or rock ‘n roll, because both have played positive influences in my life. My point is, the topics of Satanism and Satanic cults were all the buzz in the 80’s.
I can’t help but remember a radio show my mom used to let me and my brother listen to after she picked us up from school. The name of it was “Talk Back” and Bob Larson was the host. He would debate Satanists and cast demons out of people right there on the radio show. I remember one show with clarity. A Satanic cult abducted the daughter of one of its members and planned on sacrificing her to the devil on Halloween. Yes, I know, trope, trope, trope, and more trope.. Since then, Bob has been proved a fake, but as a young kid it sure seemed real to me! I even went and saw him in person when he came to a church in Baton Rouge during the late 80s! I’m not questioning the sincerity or reality of Bob Larson’s faith, I’m just pressing the point about Satanism being the buzzword in the 80’s.. It was in the movies, on the radio, in the music, and talked about in churches and barber shops. Such bombardment couldn’t help but have an influence on my mind as a horror writer.
Now, back to the urban legends…
In Central, there’s a haunted road. It goes by the name Frenchtown and was known for its ferocious curves. Toward the end of the wooded road, it opened up a little, and ahead of you would appear a bridge. This bridge was a once functional railroad trestle. The foreboding, rusty structure would glare down at you, covered in satanic graffiti. Near this bridge was where most of the paranormal activity had been reported. But it’s not just about the bridge. Rumors of a Satanic cult in the woods near the bridge, along with a witch who lived in the last house on the left (yes, Wes Craven would be proud) are the prominent legends which once swirled around this trestle. It was said that if you crossed under the bridge, the cult members would kidnap you and drag you back to their lair. In the forest behind the bridge was where the rituals took place. Some have even reported seeing dead cats hanging from underneath the trestle.
With new construction, and the addition of a BREC park, Frenchtown road has changed somewhat, but still retains its curvy, wood laden scenery. During the height of Satanic rumors, graffiti not only tattooed the bridge, but the road before the bridge. People recall such words as “Go back now” and other symbols from Satanism and witchcraft being spray painted on the road. Having been out there myself in the 80’s, 90’s, and even early 2000’s, I can attest that this part of the legend is true. Town folks also said there used to be “Welcome to the Gates of Hell” spray painted across the side of the bridge. The road was indeed marked, and as you can see from the pictures below, so was the bridge. Over the years, well-meaning people have spray painted over most of the markings in an attempt to exercise the place of its demons. If you go today, you can still catch a glimpse of these symbols when you view the bridge up close.
Check out the pictures I took below:
On this beam you can make out “Portel [SIC] to hell”. “Portel” is written diagonally, and “to hell” vertically.
This is the side of the trestle where it used to read “Welcome to the Gates of Hell” You can still make out he word “OF” to the right and also a faint “H”.
Now, let’s move on to the good stuff, shall we? I want to talk about the types of paranormal phenomenon and strange encounters people have reported happening at the end of Frenchtown Road. My personal favorite is the one about the school bus getting hit by the train which used to run across the bridge when the tracks were operational. Don’t ask me how in the world a school bus got up there–its urban legend so facts and physical improbabilities don’t matter! I’m just telling the story. So yeah, a school bus got hit by a train and killed all the kids. If you turn your car lights off under the bridge for a few seconds, then flip them back on, bloody hand prints are supposed to appear on the windshield.
In continuing with the theme of vehicles, the most reported phenomenon was if you turned your vehicle off under the bridge, it wouldn’t start again. One person relayed to me the story of how he and a few of his buddies took some girls out to the bridge one night in the early 90’s. They wanted to give them a good scare, so they told the story about turning off the car engine and it not cranking again. They killed the engine. When the guy tried to start his car, the engine wouldn’t turn! The dudes panicked, in a macho way of course, without letting the girls see the fear in their eyes. After fifteen minutes of unadulterated terror, a bright light appeared in the distance. It was a spotlight, and it was headed toward them at a rapid pace. The angst in their heart escalated as the phenomenon continued. As the light grew closer, they realized it was just a hunter coming to help them. He had heard them trying to start the car.
Another man also told a similar “no start” story. His took place in the late 80’s. Instead of the bridge, he had the nerve to pull his car into the witch’s driveway. After killing the engine, he went to start the car and back out, but the engine wouldn’t crank! Still another person reported their car dying, and then someone coming out of the woods and burying an axe into it. I could go on with multiple accounts similar to these, but you get the idea.
Other reports include people seeing dead chickens hanging in the woods near the bridge, owls flying into windshields, dead cows, upside down crosses with burn marks in the field, stones in the shape of a pentagram under the bridge with burnt animals in them (I witnessed this myself), and car radios flashing 666. I’ve also heard from several people who said they have been chased away by vehicles, a crazy cat lady, and a creepy bald guy in a trench coat.
In my research, I’ve discovered Frenchtown Road has had reports of all types of different phenomenon and urban legends associated with it besides devil worship and cars that won’t start. Below is a detailed list of what I found through conversations, social media posts, and local articles.
- People laying on the bridge smoking weed. They hear something banging on the bridge piling below them. They go down to check it out and nothing is there.
- A man hung himself from a tree. People have reported seeing his ghost.
- Many reports of people hearing chanting coming from the field and woods.
- People seeing “watchers” staring at them on either side of the road.
- Another legend was about a man who murdered people and dismembered them. The body parts were found buried in the woods at the end of Frenchtown road.
- Reports of seeing people involved in casting spells, performing rituals, reading Satanic bibles, and carrying black crosses.
- Legend of a little girl who was run over by a train on the railroad trestle. Now, whenever a train comes, you can hear her scream.
- One person swears they got pushed into a huge hole that wasn’t there a few minutes earlier.
- A group of friends reported that they were all standing in the field, when one of their cars, which was off and locked, started flashing its lights.
- Some groups that have gone out there reported hearing the train, the screams of the little girl, and seeing the train lights… but no train would ever come.
- Demonic animals have also been spotted. One was said to have yellow eyes, boney, distorted skin, and was growling.
- There is a noticeable change in the air when you get close to the track. It cools off (I’ve experienced this one myself).
- At the last house on the left, red lights flash in the window.
- Lights in the woods have supposedly chased after people.
- Dead body found in the water.
- One person reported something jumping in the back of a truck. The passengers turned around to look and nothing was there.
- Radio goes off when getting to bridge, then comes back on when leaving.
As one can see, there are quite a number of reported eerie happenings. However, the most popular was of a Satanic cult and witch. This is the theme I went with in my Tetromet shorts. If you will bear with me a moment longer, I want to tell you a little bit about the Tetromet series.
First, it’s more than just stories about a Satanic cult at the end of Frenchtown Road. The stories span a time frame of around 200 years, and each one is different. Some are atmospheric, some are gritty, and others are twisted. They are listed in chronological order, but there are major gaps in the storylines of each. Why? Because just about every one of these stories will be developed into a novel, so don’t expect answers right away nor all the pieces to fit. This is not the point of the collection. The point is to introduce you, the reader, to the main characters of the series and the driving story lines. When the books come out, all the dots will be connected, I promise.
I hope you have enjoyed this little piece of history. I can’t wait to get this book in the hands of my readers!
About Author Ezekiel Kincaid
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