“Generations later, Metro East scary teen lore apparently strong as ever” reporter Pat Gauen proclaims in this latest piece for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. At Mysterious Heartland, we take partial credit for this observation.
Gullibility is a hallmark of youth, of course, along with a love of adventure. Hence, two friends and I once paid a visit to “Goon Road,” a lonely thoroughfare near what is now Fairview Heights City Hall. The “goons” supposedly came out at night. We mustered only daytime courage and found no goons under the midday sun.
I was part of a different crew that did set out in the nighttime to find The Castle, a big Metro East teen draw outside the refinery town of Hartford. It was a secluded, turret-topped, allegedly haunted mansion behind a moat. We reached it by foolishly walking across an active railroad bridge and through unfamiliar woods.
Our explorers were a future Harvard-educated lawyer, a future veterinarian, a future Columbia-educated lawyer (and soap opera actor), a German exchange student we barely knew, and me. All but one of us saw some lights, heard some dogs and fled. (Mr. Harvard had chickened out and stayed with the car.)