This beauty is less than a mile from my house (as the crow flies). All through this part of western North Carolina you find swinging bridges joining neighbors from county to county, remote to a little less remote. This particular swinging bridge allowed neighbors on the west side of the river access to the east side of the river and the train siding.
You see, before it become a Methodist parsonage, this house on the rock was the station agent's home and the station itself. But there's an old tale around these parts that I imagine happened right here.
A young couple, newly married, made their way to the mountains. They found a fine flat rock to be the foundation for their new home. In that rock was a hole, the perfect spot to set the fire place, for the ashes could be swept away. The neighbors came and raised the walls, adding a tight roof, and a glorious front porch. The newlyweds were in their home just as the first snow began to fall. The husband, a stout fine lad, banked up the fire and they took to their wedding bed.
In the night, the wife woke and heard the oddest sounds. Scrapings and slidings, but it was dark and her new husband slept soundly, not waking when she tugged on his sleeve. The wife, scared witless, lay awake until dawn broke the windows. At first light, her scream was heard for miles around. For, you see, that hole was a copperhead den and in the night with the warmth of the coals, they came to life, their venom striking the husband dead.
John Ehle writes about this story in his novel, The Land Breakers, but I've heard it from other sources and my hunch is it's a tale as old as these hills themselves. I've made good use of it, telling it round bonfires to my children's friends, then dragging them down here in the light of day to show them "The Snake House."
Do you like telling scary stories round a campfire?
And as a note - This Saturday I'm attending a SCBWI master workshop with Cheryl Klein and won't be responding until Sunday - Just know I love your comments!