Local Scary Stories

Even the most normal looking places can be filled with fright.

The world itself is a very peculiar place, and there is no telling what is real and what is myth. Many stories are made up to tell friends, children or parents, but there could be a slight chance that some of those legends are true.

In the late 19th century, there lived a witch by the name of Molly Crenshaw. It is believed that Crenshaw was a freed Jamaican slave who resided somewhere in western St. Charles county. Crenshaw was often called upon by the townsfolk to dispense potions and spells. After an unusually harsh winter and the destruction of all the crops, the townsfolk blamed Crenshaw and her witchcraft. The people of the town were furious and wanted the witch to suffer for it. Crenshaw, however, denied the claims and cast a curse on anyone who touched her. The angry townspeople attacked, dismembered and buried the different pieces of the witch’s body in separate graves, all according to stateofhorror.com.

Though there have been many circumstances of supposed witches living among humans, this story hits strikingly close to home, as one of the alleged graves happens to be in Legacy Park located in Cottleville. Many locals have tried in vain to search for the mysterious grave of Molly Crenshaw, but legend says that those who tried were met with an unkind fate.

“There was a story about two football players who went looking for the grave in the 1950’s,” Francis Howell North English teacher Ron Ochu said according to stateofhorror.com. “They found it and tried to take the tombstone. They met with an untimely end. The sheriff’s deputies found their bodies impaled on the graveyard fence.”

Meghan Voegtlin



Along with the chilling legend of the Crenshaw witch, there is another spooky story that has been going around about the Gates of Hell in Madison County, Illinois. Many of the supposed gates are decommissioned railroad bridges or a certain section of a street. It is said that if one goes through all seven gates in order, gate seven will open a portal to the underworld at midnight, all according to huntersoftheunknown.com.

“I went to one of the gates once,” senior Jacob Ward said. “My car died as I went over the bridge. I turned the key five times before the car randomly started again. I left immediately after and haven’t bothered to go any further.”

Many also believe that the surrounding areas of the gates are just as creepy. Ghost cars on the two lane highways and mutilated animals along the sides of the roads have been reported, showing just how strange the areas are.

“I was riding my bike once on a trail near the gates, and on three separate occasions animals have run out in front of me,” Ward said. “I’ve had two deer and one duck run directly in front of me and stop right in my path in the exact same spot. There is a sign next to the path, and each time [the animals are] right next to the sign.”

These legends may be true, but also very well may be myth created by locals to have a bit of fun while passing time. Either way, these locations are certainly full of mysteries.