Sunday, January 13, 2008

Satan Crashed Our Romantic Getaway

Have you ever walked into a place and knew instantly that something was wrong... very wrong? Not by what you saw, but how you felt?

Chris and I have bought and sold many houses over the years, and I know we would sometimes dismiss houses or property because something didn't feel right. Could we feel the previous owners strife and sadness? Maybe their anger?

On the flip side, there are some homes you can walk into and feel the joy and love that a family has imparted into it.

This weekend my husband and I took the second of our Christmas gift vacations. I had booked a weekend at an old poor house that had been renovated and turned into a hotel. It had gardens, and several old buildings turned into little restaurants, vineyards, a movie theater, and a spa. All sprawled over abundant property in a lush surrounding. It sounded like the ultimate romantic getaway.

When we first pulled into the long drive that would lead us up to the hotel my mood sombered. As we stepped out of the car I felt this strange sense of despair fall over me. I tried to ignore it, and decided to not to say a word so as not to ruin my husband's vacation.

We checked in and were lead to our room. Down a long hall we carried our belongings, looking at the elaborate artwork that covered much of the building. The rooms were each named for a person who had lived in the hotel, mostly from the depression era. While the hotel was beautiful, it was eerie and dark. We settled in and went off to explore.

As we went from building to building, I felt almost an evil oppression hang over my head. I couldn't shake it. I wanted to say something, but I figured my husband would think I was weird (well, he does anyway, but this would make it worse). Finally as we sat down to dinner I just had to tell him what I was feeling. He looked me straight in the eye and said, "you too? I've felt it ever since we got here." WHOA, up until now, I just thought I was loosing it, but to have my very level headed husband agree with me confirmed that there was indeed something wrong.

After dinner we meandered through the hotel, looking at the murals painted along the walls. There were faces on the pipes, and eyes on the walls (painted.. not in my head). One of the murals read "SATAN LIVES HERE".

As we walked farther we heard a meeting going on, we peeked in and saw the sign that said NARL (you know, the pro abortion people). They were having a planning meeting, plotting the deaths of babies just down the hall from a mural announcing that Satan lived there... how freaky is that?

Outside in the dark gardens lit by fire were several Wiccan symbols. We went into one of the small stone buildings to get a cup of coffee and were greeted by a room full of gay men, and a large brick fire place that was "jokingly" (we hope) referred to as a place they burned the bodies back when it was a poor house.

As we walked back to our hotel we again explored the old photos of the poor house, and the disturbing paintings on the doors that represented those who lived and died there. As we roamed through the dark corridors... we came upon a door that was painted with a witch. Unlocked we opened up the door and peered into a blocked staircase that led up to the attic. The staircase was crumbling brick and painted in red on the wall was the word HELL.

I didn't sleep well last night. I prayed. I thought about the darkness so thick that I could feel it. I thought about something I rarely consider, EVIL. Spiritual warfare. The realm that we ignore, but does exist. Even typing it here makes me shudder. I know it sounds so weird... but I can't see how a Christian could walk into a place like that and not come away shaken.

To wrap this story up, I need to share with you what we found out about this place as we left. There was a book of the history of the building, and my husband being a huge history buff bought it as we checked out.

On our long drive home we read this book and it all started to make sense. This property and buildings started out as a poor house during the depression era. This was a place where the poor, the sick, and insane were sent against their will to work for food and board. Even children lived with the insane, the sick, and the dying. From a circus lady to a man that was infamous for "exposing" himself, the people who called this place home, led sad and crooked lives.

After this the residence was turned into a place for the sick elderly to come... and die.

Briefly, the final use of the property was for very sick impoverished children. At that point the building was abandoned and it remained vacant for years. Vandals had their way with it, and Satanists used it for rituals for several decades.

When the new owners first bought the building, it was covered in pentagrams, blood, and sacrificed animals were found all over the attic. (This explains the word hell leading up the attic stairs... it was where they did their rituals.) The current owners seem to embrace witchcraft, with art depicting witches throughout the building, tarot cards scattered about, and gardens that revolve around wiccan spirituality.

I had a wake up call this weekend. I learned two very valuable lessons (or reminders). Evil DOES exist, and is alive and well in our communities, and RESEARCH a vacation spot thoroughly before you go!


carrie said...

First of all , what a shock you must have had when you arrived at a place you were going to relax.

Second of all, yes, these beliefs are very real and prevalent today. I can personally attest to that, having been involved in such things.

It's good that you sense these things. I'm still very sensitive to these kinds of things.

K said...

Wow...I have had some interesting vacations, but yours takes the prize. I'm not sure I could have stayed there, your very brave and God was certainly with you. K

Melissa Stover said...

that is freaky. i'm not sure i could have stayed there all night.

Christin said...

Okay, for the record, I just got your comment on my blog. I haven't gotten to finish YOURS yet (I'm in the middle) but I HAD to say that I REALLY WAS reading yours before you commented mine. hee hee

so now you have it. in writing. my proof.

Not that you care. *tease*

...and now on to reading the rest of it...

Christin said...

Honestly, even though the whole place sounds completely horrid, I love that you now KNOW you can trust the feelings that God gives you. Because you won't always have such blatant confirmation, eh?

And this phrase stuck out to me:
"but I can't see how a Christian could walk into a place like that and not come away shaken."

I completely understand. But you know what I'd love to see happen in the Church? that REGARDLESS of where we set our foot...regardless what strongholds are there...that A Christian could walk into a place like that and shake the foundations of Hell. That every IMP within miles would SHAKE in fear. And flee.

THAT is my prayer. ;)

Halfmoon Girl said...

Wow, that is quite the place. Time away with our hubbies is rare I am sorry this past weekend wasn't what you were expecting.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Not a place to relax and enjoy your man. Bummer deal. May God bless your next romantic getaway with peace and pleasure.

But I'll bet it made the chaos of home not look so bad.

Stories like this remind me of how truly sheltered I am.


Emily said...

It's not Edgefield is it? 'Cause if it is...I went there before it was converted w/ a tour guide and my highschool friend to do a report for journalism class. (she had a dad that got us in high places...)
We saw all sorts of creepy things and the tour guide let us take pictures for our report. I felt the evil, as did my good catholic girlfriend Megan. We totally got an A, 'cause the kids were enthralled that we went there....everyone knew it was used for satanic rituals. It was big in my town about how spooky this place was. The pentagram on the floor of one of the rooms had not been painted over. I took a picture of it for my report.

WEIRD, huh? (if indeed it's Edgefield, which is used by the McMennamins brothers now for their pub/hotel)

Spiritual warfare is real and it's an astute believer to 'feel' it. It shows your connection to The Holy Spirit. He's always our comforter.

ConservaChick said...

Yes Emily.. it was. Further confirmation I'm not going crazy! I wish I would have talked to you about it before we went... you could have warned me, and we could have gone elswhere. Someone needs to go reclaim that building for Christ! Any takers?

EEEEMommy said...

Ugh!!! I would not have been able to stay. I have a very accute sensitivity to such things! It is very real!

Melany aka Supermom said...

Oh my goodness. That is so very scary.

CrossView said...

I got chills reading this. It took me back to the times I was in New Orleans and would feel sick and creeped out when I would walk into the voodoo shops.

javamamma said...

Wow, girl. As you felt the darkness, I wonder how all the evil felt as two lights walked into THEIR territory, ya know? I bet you caused a stir in the heavenlies.

While I'm sorry your romance was spoiled, I wonder if something was really taking place in the spiritual realm. Not really a comfort to an in-love couple looking forward to a weekend of se... er, romance. ;)

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

YUCK. And how disappointing for your time away. Was it hard to decide to stay there that night? I second Christin and Javamama... I bet your Light-filled presence made an impact, too.

Chelle said...

What a bummer that your weekend was spoiled! I like what javamamma said...I wonder what THEY felt.?

Robin said...

Its good that your husband also sensed what you did, that you were both on the same page. My husband 7 I have had that happen to us, sensing something we could not put our finger on and then later discovering we BOTH sensed it. Its great you & your husband are a team that way!

MyKidsMom said...

That is so eerie- that you could feel the presence of evil from the start. I remember once hearing a special speaker at church say that walls absorb sound waves, and that researchers have been able to pick up echos of things that happened within a place many years later. I know, sounds a bit strange. But it does make you think.

Gayle said...

That is so freaky. My life doesn't touch stuff like that in a tangible way very often so it just kind of blows me away when I get reminders that's its real stuff that happens.

Bummed your time away was encroached upon by yuk, but very cool to know that your radar is intact.

david mcmahon said...

What a powerful post.

Cape Cod Washashore said...

Ohhh! Scary! I do honestly believe that if you "listen", you can be aware of what may have transpired before you on the place where you stand. There is a house in town that is always up for sale (keeps exchanging hands at a rapid pace). I do know of the house's sorry history, but a friend who didn't looked at the house as a potential buyer -- she said the house felt "dark" and couldn't explain why. (I was not surprised.)

I came here by way of David McMahon's blog and am glad I did!

orneryswife said...

I came from Authorblog-post of the day. What a fascinating experience. Not sure it's one I would have enjoyed, either! Hope you have an opportunity to enjoy a more uplifting locale soon.

Unknown said...

How freaky is that! When I was getting ready to move into my house, we found some plywood with Satanic painting on it in my attic. We cut all those paintings out. I had a friend come over and pray over the house with me. She even anointed it with oil. It definitely helped. I haven't felt freaked out about going in the attic since.

Becky said...

Hi there, and thanks for stopping by my blog. I've really enjoyed yours. Great post, by the way.

Wowzers on the trip, and kudos to you and your hubby for making the best of it and taking the time to pray for those folks. It may have been oppressive, but greater is He that is in You, than he that is in the world...besides, you're under the blood (of Christ), so no worries!

Perhaps the Lord led you there for your lights to shine in that darkness for a particular reason that night...perhaps to draw someone in confusion back to the light. Interesting how all those 'alternative' and 'occult' things were cloistered about in that same area. Misery loves company, doesn't it?

EE said...

Oooh...I'm freaked out, and I don't get freaked out easily!

Anonymous said...

Spooky. I agree with javamamma...If you were shaken, image how the darkness felt-when you walked in and "lit things up". I love that you prayed through the night- had em running probably!