Ax Murder Hollow

Somewhere in the back country of Pennsylvania there is a secret and mysterious legend of Ax Murder Hollow and it all begins with Susan and Ned.

Susan and Ned drove through a wooded empty section of the highway. Lightning flashed and thunder roared, and the sky went dark as it began to rain. It was a torrential downpour.

Susan suggested they find a place to stop. When Ned nodded in agreement, he stepped on the brake to slow. Suddenly the car began it slide on the slick pavement. The car plunged off the road and slid to a halt at the bottom of an incline.

Pale and shaken, Ned quickly turned to check on Susan but she was unhurt. He told her to stay put as he went to check on the damage. Susan watched from behind a rain streaked windshield and saw his blurry figure in the headlights.

Ned jumped back into the car, soaked to the bone. He told her that the car wasn’t damaged but stuck deep in the mud. He instructed Susan to stay in the car, lock the doors and turn the headlights off until he got back with help.

Susan followed Ned’s instructions and sank deep into the front seat and shivered. For you see, Ned and Susan had broken down at Ax Murder Hollow. This was a place where a man had once taken an ax and hacked his wife to death in a jealous rage over an alleged affair.

Outside the car, Susan heard a shriek, a loud thump and a strange gurgling noise, but she couldn’t see anything in the darkness. Susan was frightened and sank back into the seat, she sat in silence for a while and then she heard another noise. It was soft and sounded like something being blown by the wind.

Suddenly the car was illuminated by a bright light. Susan heard an official sounding voice and it told her to get out of the car. She thought Ned must have found a police officer, so she unlocked the door and stepped out of the car. But as her eyes adjusted to the bright light, she saw it.

Hanging by his feet from the tree next to the car was Ned’s dead body. His throat had been cut so deeply that he was nearly decapitated. The wind swung his corpse back and forth so that it thumped against the tree.

Thud…

Thud…

Thud…

Susan screamed and ran toward the voice and light. As she drew close, she realized the light was not coming from a flashlight. Standing there was a glowing figure of a man with a smile on his face and a large, solid, ax in his hands.

The last thing she saw was the glint of the ax blade in the eerie, incandescent light.

[Editor’s Note] It seems this story is a local legend from the Erie, Pennsylvania region. Probably made popular by local DJs who would tell the story on their Halloween broadcasts. The plot of land referenced by the legend has since been developed. If you’d like to research the legend more, start here.

An Introduction to Camping

First Time for Everything

There’s always a first time for everything and that includes camping. Whether you’re an adult or a young person your first camping trip might feel a little overwhelming. There appears to be a lot of tasks and tools to be considered before trekking into the great out of doors.

I remember my first “camping” trip quite well. I was about 12 and my folks agreed to let my younger brother and I take our tipi inspired tent in the backyard and sleep outside by ourselves. I’m pretty sure we had a couple of flashlights, some books, a canteen of water and some sleeping bags.

Early Camping by Marcia Wright

We were just kids who did what seemed fun; we didn’t put to much thought into our actions. As a new camper you should do the same. To many times new campers get bogged down in trying to plan for every eventuality and “needing” — read wanting — to buy all the coolest gadgets. But that makes camping a chore; chores are not fun!

The instinct to prepare for every eventuality while away from home is a good thing, it helps keep you safe. But new campers need to remind themselves that they simply don’t know what those events will be, they have no experience to dictate for what they should prepare. The key is keep it simple and build on your experience as you go.

  1. Choose your first camping location close to home. If the camp fire just won’t start in the morning you can always just drive home for breakfast, and that’s OK.
  2. Choose simple things for meals. Bring charcoal, bread for toast and sausage links to cook in the camp ground’s provided grill. Do you really expect trying to make pan biscuits and gravy over a wood fire will be “fun” on your first trip? Probably not.
  3. Keep your plans simple. There may be a lake for swimming, trails for hiking, lots of dead trees for gathering firewood, but you’re not going to get to all of those in one day. You will just get frustrated if you try to plan every detail of the day out. Instead, formulate in your mind what tasks will be essential (see below) for providing a safe and happy camp site and make those must do’s happen. Then just let the fun stuff happen as they may.