Sapphire Woods aka Devil’s House, Jackson, New Jersey
explored & photographed by: Shady
The Devil’s House… that is what I… errr… affectionately-yet-fearfully dubbed this weathered, abandoned house by the lake, due to a devilish-like visage that showed up in one of the pix taken on my first trip to the spooky ‘ol place. That first time, I didn’t go in- some kind of construction was going on just across the street, lotsa people around. I really didn’t wanna risk creeping inside. I shot some pix from outside instead, and caught what appears to me (and a few other people) to be a creepy face in the window. So creepy was the face, I really didn’t want to go inside. I reallllly, really didn’t… But when I saw that the place was marked for demolition, I knew that I only had a limited amount of time to act *gulp* I could see the flattening bulldozers crushing their way closer & closer to the property daily, so one gray rainy day I bit the bullet and hopped into the Shady Lady to pay the Devil a visit.
All throughout the first floor, there were disturbing things to be found… handprints smearing the walls… a gruesome looking doll… a handbook of psychiatric nursing. I had to check out the window where the face was first-hand; there was a low table alongside it covered with old pictures, a grimy record, and many layers of dust. Outside, I could hear the insistent drumming of the rain against the house like the patter of feet down a dark hallway. I decided to go the whole nine- I had to check out upstairs since I had come this far… me and my damned stupid ideas! I went back to the foot of the stairs leading up into more gloom, and listened for any sound from above. Hearing nothing, I went for it and made my way to the upper floor, with even greater paranoia…
Upstairs was about as shadowy as the floor below, but much smaller in size… the sloping ceilings gave me instant claustrophobia. I found a teeny-tiny bathroom with a roof so low even I barely fit inside… a decrepit bedroom furnished with a stained, sagging matters on cinderblocks, and an attic-like space with a lone, ominous looking chair placed at it’s center. The pounding rain was much louder up here. I began to imagine I heard distant muffled scuffling, and to think about how the rain-sound up here would make a perfect cover, masking any noise from anything creeping up from below…
I decided I’d had enough of being a bad-ass for one day. It was time to go. I thought I heard faint whispers as I hustled to the head of the stairs; I had a bad moment when I looked down the stairway and imagined a cold hand against the small of my back giving a little shove. Eeeek. I hurried down, past tattered curtains that let in a watery light… making sure to stay close to the walls to avoid the collapsing floor. In this better light I could see that the whole room was on the verge of sinking into the basement. I hoisted myself back over the windowsill and into the rain… the cool, clean, refreshing rain… breathing in a deep lung-full to clear the dank and spooky atmosphere that gripped my senses.
And as I jumped into the Shady Lady and began to pull away… I had to take one long, last look at the creepy place. Was it the curtain in the front window moving that I saw, or a trick of the light/the rain/my imagination?? Only the Devil knows.