The Rock House (part 1)
The Horror In and Around the Rock House
by John Boyanoski
from More Ghosts of Upstate South Carolina
In part one of our two-part look at this Greenwood legend, John Boyanoski recounts strange and unsettling experiences at the fabled Rock House.
Steven Wooten is a skeptic when it comes to the supernatural. He looks for every possible answer when trying to deal with the unexplained, and many times he can find one. Yet, he had an experience at the famed Rock House in Greenwood that even he can’t explain.
I use the word famed when describing the Rock House because there are so many legends attached to the two-story structure just south of the city limits that it is hard to even count them all. It has been the one place that generations of Emerald City residents have whispered and talked about. You probably had a similar place in your own hometown. It was the creepy abandoned building that housed any number of unknown horrors for those brave enough—or at least dared enough—to check out on dark, moonless nights when no one else was around and teens were looking for a little bit of a scare. The events that gave rise to the legends and ghost stories at the Rock House have become muddled over time. Everything from a house fire’s killing an entire family, to a whole family’s being murdered inside the dwelling, to a murder-suicide is said to have occurred on the very spooky piece of property. That has led to generations of people telling stories about strange noises and lights at the house. And despite numerous no trespassing signs located on the road leading to the building, the tales of the macabre bring an untold number of people to its abandoned doorstep each year.
If there is anything true about the building, it is that it is very scary and dread inducing, even during daylight hours. The story goes that the house was built sometime in the early 1800s after several wooden structures built there burned to the ground. While that creepy history would have warned off most homebuilders, the owner decided to one-up nature and build a house made of stone and rock. (It should be noted that when I called the local history museum to get information on the building, the director said he had never heard of the structure or the stories.) The large boulders and rocks that make up the walls have greened over the years, and add to the general creepiness. Two chimneys poke out of where the roof used to be, and the large rectangular windows, long devoid of glass, give the structure the look of a sunken, mournful face with horns coming from its head. Four stone columns support what used to be the front porch. Graffiti covers most of the inside and outside of the walls. In what may have been a misguided attempt to scare people, someone tried to draw an upside-down star, which is often associated with Satanism, but the symbol ended up looking more like the Jewish Star of David affixed in a circle. A grand spiral staircase is said to have once graced the house, but it is long gone. Very heavy woods around the building add to the feeling of foreboding and dread.
That is what Wooten found the first time he and his friends went to the site to explore it and the stories attached to it. He said it was creepy, but he felt nothing out of the ordinary. Wooten went several other times, and being the skeptic that he is, he dismissed the stories associated with the building. There were no ghosts. It was just an old house that sparked silly stories. And when a local rock band asked him to take some promotional photographs for them there, he thought nothing of it. They wanted a creepy place, and he really didn’t mind going back out there on a warm spring night. Driving out there, though, one thing was different. The band members joked around that they hoped something would happen. No one had said that when Wooten had gone out there with friends before.
Continued on next page.