The Rock House (part 1)

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.


i hope they had permission to

i hope they had permission to be on the property. i knew a relative (supposedly) of the owners of the rock house in college. he mentioned something to the effect that they didn't particularly appreciate people trespassing on that property.

i admit to driving by the rock house in high school, although i don't think we got out. i think we just drove by and looked.

why not contact the owners and print some true information about the property? it could be like a "myth busters" kind of thing.

i'm not critiquing the article. i know it is an entertainment article and designed to draw interest and i'm sure there is value in that. nonetheless, if there are trespassing signs this looks more like a possible confession of illegal activity.

The spirit realm is real, but why go and play around with demonic activity? There is the genuine and the counterfeit.

The Orbs, nothing other than

The Orbs, nothing other than flying insects caught in the flash of a camera but out of the focal point.

Fun story though.

I went out there with a buddy and his new girlfriend one night. He had to go there and remove references to his previous girlfriend who he had proclaimed his love on the wall out there.

We were there no more than maybe 30 minutes when we heard a booming voice "Greenwood Sheriff Dept, y'all come out of there and don't make me come in there and get you!"

And that ended our trip to the Rock House.

History of this house

A few years ago a small booklet with the history of this house was being sold at Greenwood County Library.
I had a copy but don't know where it is now, perhaps you could inquire at the library. Most even relative newcomers to the area have heard of the Rock House. I've been there several times and spent some time there taking pics and just exploring and I must say I've never felt any presence, living or dead, except for my 2 dogs who I would not let out of the car to walk with me after I saw all of the broken glass on the ground around the house. Such a unearthly howling! :-)

Damned shame what has happened to it. If I recall the information correctly it was built by a Kinard after several arsons having to do with the political climate of the times. I believe there was a shooting in Ninety Six that forced several voting rights advocates to go into hiding at this same time. I seem to remember the house was never finished and the owner died while living in one of the other structures on the property.

The spooky tales are much more fun than the real history but not nearly as interesting.

Think maybe the shootings

Think maybe the shootings were related to what happened down in Phoenix? I don't recall major issue in 96.


Yes, there was a connection with the Phoenix riot. This will be covered in part two of this feature, which should be up sometime next week.

Rock House story

I have that booklet. Watch for part two of this feature, which is coming soon and will be a synopsis of the real history. You're right -- it's a great story on its own.