Monday, January 29, 2007

Voodoo Village




I’ve noticed recently that a lot of people are Googling for Voodoo Village, and far be it from me not to give you what you want. I’ve decided to tell you everything I know about it. Unfortunately, that’s virtually nothing, because I was never there (until the summer of 2007, or was it 2008?).

I first heard of it back in high school: fleeting and enigmatic tales of a dead-end street where shrunken heads sat atop poles or hung in windows, and cauldrons boiled in the yards. Some of the braver, and often less intelligent boys would brag they’d been there, or were going. Supposedly, it was an unpaved road where tires would sink into mud up to a car’s door handles, and the occupants would be trapped. The trick was to get in, see, and get out without being caught by the village people. As the story went, their escape was often blocked by a school bus that would mysteriously appear across the road when none had been there just a moment ago. It was a fun story, but for all I knew, it was urban legend. I’ve asked various people over the years if it really existed, and they have assured me it did, but couldn’t quite pinpoint where it was located. They’d have to take me there, they‘d say, but it’s one of those things that just never happened, so I was still unconvinced.

Enter Bob, Memphomaniac of Bob’s Point of Skew. He's lived in Memphis all his life, so I was sure if anyone knew the truth, he would, and would be willing to share it. He got right back to me with a wealth of information. Yes, Voodoo Village really existed, and yes, it really was as freaky as the tales. He provided the address and a map to the location. It was here, but I've deleted it. I've been thinking about this, and I never should have posted it. If someone posted the address to my house so a bunch of people could drive by and gawk, I wouldn't be very happy about it. No matter how much of a tourist attraction it may be, I was wrong to do it.

As you can (no longer) see, Voodoo Village was located on a dead-end cul de sac in the southwest part of Memphis, and there are few close neighbors, even now. Memphis, like most other cities, has grown exponentially since Bob and I were in high school, so you can imagine how remote it must have been in the ‘60’s when local people discovered its existence. I’m actually a little surprised that the village was not very far from where I now live. Voodoo Village acquired its name from the various art and religious symbols displayed there. According to sightseers and journalists who wrote about it, a man named Wash Harris, who claimed to be part African American, part Native American, enclosed his house and three others with chain link fence and formed a compound. The entrance to the street was secured with a heavy iron gate. It was often reported that on the first drive past the village, the gate would be closed, but by the time the driver of a vehicle reached a place to turn around and come back to gawk again, the gate would be as open as an invitation. A few foolish people who accepted the invitation learned that by the time they reached the end of the cul de sac and attempted to make their way out, the gate was closed once again, or years later, blocked by some other means. Once in a while those other means consisted of a large tow truck, or school bus parked across the road.

Besides the houses, inside the compound was a homemade temple covered with crosses, hearts and sunbursts, and filled with small lights, candles, and voodoo dolls; an eight-foot candle; a giant figure with outstretched arms often described as a thunderbird with horns; something with a huge propeller; fans, spindles, spinners; stars and crescent moons perched on poles (not shrunken heads as legend had it); a set of wheels connected by a crosscut saw; painted stumps, towering crosses; African Pygmy masks, and a statue of Jesus holding a Bible with a dagger through it, as well as through his hand. According to what few neighbors were nearby, the Villagers burned bonfires and chanted in tongues on the occasion of full moons, and the eyes of Jesus glowed while blood dripped from the dagger. All of this was accompanied by a half a dozen junk cars. Had they belonged to unwary curiosity seekers foolish enough to take pictures? Many people who encountered Harris, or one of his “family,” were warned not to stay long, get too close, or take any pictures, and the warnings were issued with enough force to be taken seriously. At least one person escaped with photos, however, and you should be able to see them here. They don't show much, so don't get too excited.

Wash Harris denied having anything to do with the dark arts, but would never explain what any of the symbols meant. He said it was his secret, and if he gave that away, what would he have left? But he did claim that they all had meaning and were symbols of God (not being very specific about which god to whom he referred). He called his place St. Paul’s Spiritual Temple. He was said to have been in his 80’s in the 80’s, so chances are he’s deceased by now. In any case, the village and all its artifacts are reported to be gone. I think in the spring, I may drive over there and take all the pictures I want. There’s bound to be a few ghosts lurking about the place. Maybe I can capture a picture of one of them.


August 24, 2007 UPDATE:

A Ms. Gibson wrote to tell me she visited Voodoo Village. I asked her permission to share them with you. Here's the first:

I just came across your post and wanted to share my recent trip to Voodoo Village.

After talking about it with my friends, I decided to mapquest the road (name deleted). Turns out it's only about 20 miles from where I live.

I went there recently, and as far as I know, everything, or the majority of it, is still there. There is no gate across the road, at least, not when I drove in. I saw the colored posts, weird statues (I don't remember seeing the figure with outstretched arms or the creepy Jesus, but I was too busy watching the exit to look closer), and the huge candle. I did see the propeller thing ... any idea of what it is or what it's for? The temple with the sunbursts and other symbols is the thing that creeped me out the most, kind of like a twisted kid's cartoon. I'll be honest, I was a little scared when I was turning around in the cul de sac that I would see the bus parked across the road, but nothing happened. It actually felt abandoned.

The whole thing made me think of a twisted Libertyland. (Southern Writer's note: Libertyland was our local theme park, gone now.)

I thought this was interesting and wrote back. Ms. Gibson's second e-mail said:

Haha! I had my boyfriend drive both times. I definitely wouldn't go alone, even in the daytime. I don't think it's abandoned, but it was later in the afternoon (around 5 or 5:30) when I went the first time, so maybe they just weren't out. And the last time I went, another car turned in before me, but I don't know where they went ... they just vanished into one of those dark, overgrown driveways. Creepy. I went again at night, around 9 or so. Even creepier, especially this one cross statue with what looked like a basket attached to it ... Stuff like that alone fuels rumors about sacrifices. One funny thing that happened was that as I drove down the road, a rabbit ran across in the distance, then ran right back. Of course, my imagination went into overdrive, haha. I thought it was running from something, you know, the usual person with a huge knife and carrying a skull, waiting in the dark. Hehe

I wish the pictures were still up, so that others could see what we're talking about. I didn't even think to bring my camera, which might've been a good thing. Maybe that's why my trips were so 'uneventful' ... hm. But if I ever do get pictures, I'll send them to you.

(Southern Writer's note: I had no idea the pictures I'd linked to had been removed from the Internet. That sux. Sorry to see it, but I hope Ms. Gibson doesn't risk her life to get more. Taking pictures is one thing the Villagers seem to get really upset about.)


Special thanks to Ms. Gibson for allowing me to share her experience with you.

This guy used to have a couple pictures posted, but they seem to be gone. Here's one someone has on Flickr.


NOW THAT WE'VE HAD OUR FUN,  y'all please leave these poor people alone. What was true 30 years ago may not be true today. The folks who live in Voodoo Village seem like perfectly nice, ordinary people.  I'll tell you right now, if you came snooping around my house in the middle of the night you would be met with a shotgun, and how could you expect anything different? Before you drive down their street, stop and ask yourself how would you like it if people were driving down YOUR street, just to ogle YOU? They have pets and children just like everyone else, and don't need the extra traffic endangering them. Just let them be. Go read about 2012 instead. It's a whole lot scarier.

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49 comments:

  1. Me always loved strange places and iffin there be a place that were said to be haunted, you bet your bippy Me would be the first throught he door. Cemeteries, old temples and sites of the unusual might just be some of the more interestin places to go. Voodoo Villiage seems like a great place for a day trip.
    STOMP.

    P.S. There be a haunted mountain close to where me lives..and it's real.

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  2. Great post!

    Truly the stuff great road trips are made of. If you ever do any follow-up I'd certainly love to hear more.

    Wondering how many who read this are going to start to formulate stories around this.

    Eric

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  3. A little world within a world. Great post, SW!

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  4. Why wait for spring. The ground is probably a little muddy now. You never know, the car might sink up to the doors.

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  5. Sounds like a fascinating place, one I'd love to poke around in. Thanks for the glimpse into it.

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  6. Oooh, Scary, you're a monster after my own heart. Tell us about the mountain. And some other places, too, if you want. Most of us here like ghosts.

    Hey Eric, that's a good idea. It might make a good story. If I get over there, I'll definitely blog about it.

    Thanks, Jason.

    That's not nice, Steve. Are you saying you want me to get caught in Voodoo Village? I'll remember that.

    SJ, I wish you could go with me when I go. And Romulus, too. I'll need someone to hold the camera, and someone to hold my hand!

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  7. Wash Harris is probably dead, but he had a son and very likely more children. They might still object to photos - and your link suggests their objection might involve something sharp.

    I'd suggest a drive-by first then take pictures on the way back. If the gate's open, they're still in business.

    Ghosts don't worry me, but watch out for the living!

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  8. I agree with Romulus Crowe; the living are the menace.

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  9. No way would I want you to get stuck there. Just a little weird humor. Stay safe.

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  10. Rom and Little Bird, they say it's all gone now. If I go by there, and it's not gone, I'll keep going, and I won't go back without a half dozen big guys packing heat.

    Thanks, Steve. I hoped you didn't mean it the way it sounded, but I had to give you a little grief about it.

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  11. Wow, it has been a hunnerd years since I have even THOUGHT about Voodoo Village. OMG.

    I will bet ya my brother could tell us some tales... he was a cop in Memphis during the VV days :)

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  12. I'd love to hear them. Why don't you ask him for us?

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  13. interesting - these are the things stories are made of - lol This is similar to a calendar a friend gave me for Christmas - The Haunted Realm - supposedly all these haunted places in England, Scotland and a few others over there. She suggested we do a story a month - based on our calendar images. Her calendar is femme fatales (supposedly all covers from books) - so she is writing the femme fatale stories and I'm writing ghost stories (my January picture if of Minster Lovell Hall in England and the story is that at the wedding party, the guests were all celebrating Lovell's marriage - they were dancing, playing parlor games, et cetera - so they play hide and seek; bride goes to hide but no one can find her; Lovell dies of a broken heart; years later a servant finds an old trunk in the attic, opens it and there are the remains of a female in a wedding gown. Apparently she climbed in the trunk and it locked on her and she was lost forever. So they say Lovell's ghost haunts the house looking for his bride.)

    I like your postings - you have some interesting things going on here - E :)

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  14. Cool, Val.

    See? You just did it again. You wrote another "column" that would be perfect in a daily newspaper or ezine. I'm telling you, you have a tremendous gift for this. You can write everything - from human interest to ghostly to a review of a bookstore - and one damn fine novel, too. Keep it up. We love it!

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  15. Thanks, Elysabeth. That sounds like a good story and a great way to inspire the muse. I have this very nice Bylines planner Aaron gave me for Christmas, but I don't even have a new 2007 wall calendar yet. Can you believe that? Last years had old vegetable labels. You think I could find a story in there? You should visit Romulus Crowe's blog (check my sidebar for his addy) because he's a real ghost hunter (a professor who teaches parapsychology or something like that), and he lives over there. He's probably been to the places you'll be writing about. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you come back again soon.

    Aaron, too much credit, dude. You say everything I write is good, and the truth is, it's just not. I visit some of these other people's blogs, and see what they write, and then pound my head on my desk because I know I will never be that good. But thanks. Maybe if you say it enough, some agent or editor will start believing it!

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  16. Anonymous6:18 PM

    after reading your website I went to the village today and saw it. Was sureal but not to mind boggling.my kids wanted to make a secound round and we did it definetly looks weird but nothing happened while we were there.google earthed the location and the bus is still there. Sorry it was uneventfull but we saw it and are now more interested than ever. I am also very interested masonic syblemism and saw that it was promient there and now we are fans that want to learn more.

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  17. Wow, Anon@6:18. You're brave to take your kids there! Glad nothing happened to you. I've never thought to look at the place with a satellite. Think I'll do that now. Thanks for the suggestion and for the report!

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  18. anisaaa0123@yahoo.com11:07 AM

    Yeah, I went just last night and was googling about it to learn more.
    Here's my (not very exciting) experience:
    We arrived at maybe 11 pm or a bit after. The street that takes you to the cove was almost scarier than Voodoo Village itself. So we drove in and parked at the church and one of my friends wanted to get out and walk around but I would NOT allow that. So we drove deeper down the street and passed a man on a bicycle leaving the village and staring at us. We kept driving (kinda fast) and saw through the trees some creepy like big wooden sculptures. There was no bus but one of the guys in the car with me pointed out where it usually was. There was, however, a small truck with the windows broken. As we got to the dead end of the road i was expecting to see something bizarre or atleast feel some weird vibes but there were just a few shotgun shacks and really nothing much about them. So we sped out of there and before we could see our exit two cars came up and were passing us... probably residents. So we fled.
    We decided to go back and try getting out of the car. When we got there and parked at the church we saw one of the cars parked a little down the road, facing us, and with his lights off. We decided to stay in the car and as we turned it back on, the car turned his lights on and started driving towards us. (Where he was parked was just woods... no house or anything so he must've been watching us)
    But I was expecting to see more odd activity, some shrunken heads maybe, or colorful symbols. I almost even wanted to be chased out by machete-weilding locals. But no... I'd like to go back in the daytime though. I'd like to see the art better.
    -anisa

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  19. Anisa, what a pretty name. Why couldn't my mom have thought of one like yours? Anyway, I can't believe how brave some of y'all are. Go to the Village and GET OUT of your car? Are you nuts? What were you thinking? Let me tell ya, if strangers came creeping around my house after 11 pm, I'd be out in my yard with the shotgun asking them what they thought they were doing. Wouldn't you? You're not only brave and crazy, you're lucky.

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  20. Caitlin6:59 PM

    This was pretty great.



    I live in Memphis, so I don't see why you removed the road name. Just about every Memphian knows what road it's on, and you can look it up other places.
    :)

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  21. caitlin7:01 PM

    Oh, and this is pretty intresting.

    Sorry if the previous comment sounded rude.


    It was helpful.

    You're a good writer, and I want to hear more.

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  22. I wonder what happened to my comment to you, Caitlin? Hmph. You didn't sound rude at all. I know the address can be found on the web in lots of other places, but that doesn't make me responsible for the people who go there. And thanks for the compliment.

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  23. Anonymous5:02 AM

    AH so some where too discuss this place on the netz! Anyways I will share my story on this since I went too the village the other night. After reading this column(by chance), I asked some old people at my work that grew up in the Mound, hearing them always talk about the old days, and yes all of them living in a all black community all their lives, made them all deeply religious. So when I mentioned Voodoo Village one them almost had a heart attack at the very word. A deeply religious man this fellow is and he basically told me the work of the devil and witchcraft goes on there and it is a very evil place where many have died. Then he basically said if I ever mentioned the place again, he would leave my sight. Sooo I played it off saying I was sorry, but was more interested in the place even more.. so I just went lol. I went all the way down Shelby trying to find this place, you see the Mary Angela sign has been torn down from the street, so in order to find it, I just made every turn after at first, I went down the whole street into a dead end of rail roads and a road scary within it's self, junk and holes every where, and I saw a big building ahead and thought I was on the right track. So I went down this long dirt road jamming the latest Hans Zimmer Dark Knight Joker theme and came into a dead end. I will continue in another post keke

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  24. Anonymous5:24 AM

    Going down this road, I was nervous even though my music was loud and I guess it was my way with cooping with being in a place I have never been before, I also had my impact protection gloves on and 40 inch bat next to me, for giggles, you must understand I'm young, strong both mentally and physically and looking for an adventure without paying out of my ***. I go down all the way down this dirt road, next to me, is dirt and crops, I go all the way down this dirt road not knowing what to expect, then I come across the railroad track again and in to a dead end.. Was like hmm? So I turned around and go all the way back and I decide to take the next road I see, I see the next road and a light, and see something odd in the shadows, I couldn't quite pin point it, it looked like a fox or something, I stopped completely and just looked at it for about 5 minutes before turning into it.. it was two dogs having sex.. was another hmmm. So I go down that road a bit about a mile and nothing, and turn around and by that time, the dog on top was exhausted and they were making their way back. So I go a little further and oddly see a black cat.. was another hmmm. After seeing the cat I just turned my music off because I felt like something was going to happen, after encounter two such random things, in under 5 minutes, I was on my guard after this, for the rest of the night for that matter. So I'm going down the main road again and see a left turn with a big pole with only Shelby Drive on it and no road sign to identify, so I took the road. I pass a big lit church on the right and keep going down for about another minute and look at my right and see all these crosses and little house like objects and immediately I felt a kick in my stomach, and then their was this big bump in the road which also hit me with another lump in my stomach and I realized I was in the Village. I kept the same speed and kept driving through though and turned around in the cove and drove out. After that I thought.. was that it?! >

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  25. Anonymous5:55 AM

    So me being the ego maniac that I am, decided their has to be more than this?! It was only like two houses side by side with stuff, everything else was just regular houses, though very small and poor ones. Maybe I was just on the wrong cove? EH? Maybe on the back end? I don't know, but I'm going in the day time to find out, and get the real entrance if their is one, but back to what happen. So I park my big truck at the church get out, do my usually stretching and warm ups, in case their was to be any physical contact, I had no intent on running away from anything. Then, I heard some of the noises I can't really explain coming from the two weird houses in the back of the forest. I immediately froze to listen and try to make out all the sounds and couldn't. All I could recognize was a constant owl humming, it was like the owl was telling the other animals and whatever else is out there someone was coming, that someone being me. The others sounded like a horse of some sort, but wasn't a horse, like something was getting strangled or at war.. I can't explain it in words, all I know is, it made me want to go and find out just what exactly was going on, even though from the sounds of what was being made, I knew my bat probably wasn't going to last long. I also wondered, since they were so loud, why no one was up?! Maybe the locals are use to it? I start to walk down the street, I had made up my mind to jump the fence on the first big backyard like playground you see, but before I get close to it, their was a little dog by one of the little houses and he started throwing a fit, so it being 2:30 in the morning on a Sunday, I decided to go back, because I wanted to get in without causing the least bit disturbance, the dog ruined that. So I went back into my truck and went down the road again, now after you go pass both of the weird houses on the right, you will see a big opening of open field, I drove into that and got out, and started walking to the side of the place and just looked around in awe for about 30 minutes or so, strange crosses and sculptures mixed in with a couple of rugged vehicles, kind of took away from some things, when I got close to the road again, the dog started barking again so I got back in my vehicle. Drove back up to the church and before I got there saw another area before the house which lead down into the place, where the big crosses are, so I decide to pull in there. I sat in my vehicle waited for the dog to stop barking, it cooled down and then I got out as quietly as I could started to walk toward the old fence, which anyone could have got through, and the dog started barking again.. So I got back in my truck and tried to get out.. yeah for about 5 minutes I was stuck in the sand that slopped down, now I didn't panic or anything, I was actually overjoyed because it gave me a reason to go beat the dog, but I looked at the time and decided this isn't the time, I had to open the drivers door and push my big ram 1500 out in reverse. I was actually surprised at how I reacted when I heard my back tires get stuck, it was more of euphoria then the panic in which I experienced early, a rush if you will too, I realized I could have been stranded in such a artistic place. I learned something about myself I suppose, that I don't fear what I see, but I guess we all fear what we don't know? After this, I left. Hence my first.. kind of let down but ok visit, the sites and weird sounds made up for me not being able to get in, as well, I thought it was going to be a village full of stuff.. >

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  26. Anonymous6:01 AM

    I'm going back during the day time to scout the area in full, I want to get into it! Some how some way, without causing the least bit of a disturbance though, unless properly needed, I will deal it, but trying to be mannerly first about it. Something tells me I took a wrong way in.. this is what I hope anyways. Anyways, if you all read this and was a little let down like I was then sorry, but I will post more when I get in, and I'm going too. This place has me right now, it is like another world yet so small.. I think. The sounds, it is like everything there communicates with each other, from animals to trees to the things built. Until next time, great blog :)

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  27. Keke! This is awesome! I saw your first post pop into my mailbox and at the end, when you said you would finish in another post, I sat here and waited the whole time so I could see what happened. You are a brave guy. I was reading so fast, now I'm going to have to go back and read it all again, especially the part about your truck getting stuck. I was definitely not disappointed.

    I'm pretty sure there is only one way in and out of the Village, because it's a cove. If you look up the address on Mapquest, you can figure out where you were and get a satellite aerial view, too. You won't find that address here, but I know it's readily available in other places on the web. Thanks for posting. I hope you'll keep us updated, but be careful, okay? We don't want your posts to become evidence in a missing person's case, or worse. :-(

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  28. Anonymous6:54 AM

    I looked for this place on Mapquest and couldn't find anything, me being the Mississippian(Miss.State student as well) I am, only going to Memphrika for work. I didn't know what I should have looked for satellite wise but I do now.

    Anyways, I will have another post up on this, as long as your site doesn't go down, will include all the things I did, like this. I hope and pray their will be no more random stuff or omens. When I saw that black cat.. was kind of like, "oooooh here it goes!" I still can't get over the sounds of the place though, like your in a haunted movie, the closses I can describe it to you, although it was more intense and eerie. If you have ever been to Universal Studios, they have this haunted ride(Sucked btw) and while you are waiting in line, the speakers in the bushes playing haunted forest sounds, if you know what I'm talking about, time those by two in loudness and ten in wtf is that I'm ready to run away. I'm glad I went by myself, my only friend I can think of that wouldn't have ran if he was with me is at LSU.

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  29. Anonymous11:43 PM

    I see this was written over a year ago, but I wanted to add my two cents:
    About five friends and I went to the village tonight. It's definitely still there, crosses and all. We went in two different vehicles. My vehicle went down the cove first (I was not driving! Just observing as much as I could from the back seat.) There is a house directly across the street from the gate into the voodoo part of the area, and an old man was sitting on his front porch there. We kept driving down the street, and there were at least three people in front of their houses at the end of the cove. We quickly turned around (while my driver friend debated talking to the men!! no way would we let him get out or roll down the window in this part of town) and went back to the church where the second vehicle was parked. Those guys went down the cove, but when they reached the end of the cove the men had made their way into the middle of the street. I guess people still frequent this area semi-often, because they definitely were not confused why we were there.
    The gate was closed so all I could see was the crosses in the yard--and there were SO MANY! I never expected to see that many, and I've read a lot about this before going.
    I plan on going back in the daytime to see if the sun will let me see some more beyond the gate. :)
    Lauren

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  30. Thanks for sharing your experience, Lauren. You're right; this post is old, and I closed this blog more than a year ago, but there's so much interest in Voodoo Village that it still gets scores of visits every day. I'm surprised there's not a parade in and out of that place. If they charged admission and promised not to hurt anyone they would probably be millionaires. That would take all the fun out of it though, wouldn't it? What's the point of going, if not for the thrill of being scared?

    I still haven't been there. I guess it will take someone dragging me before I get around to it.

    If anyone knows the significance of the crosses, would you let me know?

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  31. Anonymous6:57 PM

    I went to voodoo village last night, i never had heard of it before and my friends wanted to go so me thinking it was an urban legend i was on board. Bad idea!! i am so freaked out now i keep looking up information about voodoo village. It was like 3:30 in the morning. We got to the church at the beginning of the road and there was a car parked with his lights just waiting there. We thought this was wierd but then the wierder and the scariest moment of my life was about to happen. One guy jumped out of the back of the car and motioned us to come through holding what looked like a big knife in his hand, may i reming you its 3:30 am and these guys were just waiting at this creepy church. So we drove on through and looked behind us and three other guys jumped out of the car and got into a school bus and we reversed the hell out of there and left right as they were moving the bus. F that place man its seriously scary and surreal

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  32. You should have paid them for a thrill like that! Totally decent of them, wasn't it? Not everyone gets such an experience.

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  33. Anonymous7:25 PM

    Haha, the Village folk are just some regular descendants of a few slightly eccentric (for Memphis, anyway), superstitious country folk! I've lived here all of my life, I've had the pleasure of meeting many "Voodoo Village" residents, and none of them as far as I can tell is a Voodoo shaman, or axe murderer, or anything in between. I've purchased some wonderful weed out there on occasion as well!! haha They are just getting tired of stupid suburban kids coming and waking them up at 3:30 in the morning! Leave 'em be, folks?

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  34. They ARE surrounded by woods that everyone is afraid to go into. That's all I'm going to say about that, and you can read between the lines. Let's not ruin it for them.

    I've often wanted to go over there and say, "Look. It's Halloween. You know they're coming. Why not charge admission?" They'd probably make enough moulah in one night to live off for three months. After all these years of being awakened at 3 a.m., they deserve to get something good out of it.

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  35. When I came home this morning, I had an email from someone who wanted to share his experience at the village last night. I don't know why he sent it email instead of putting it in comments...are the comments not working again? I never know, and no one tells me. If y'all try to comment and they don't work, would you please send me an email with "Blog Comments Don't Work" or something similar in the subject line? I'd really appreciate it. The writer seems to have confused me with a previous commenter (whose comments seem to have been deleted, and I wish she had not done that. They were some of the best ones here. Damn.) who mentioned a rabbit running across the road. Anyway, here's that email:


    Hi my name is (redacted) and I just now saw your post on Voodoo Village. I literally just got home from checking it out around 9pm and googled it. I found your story. When me and my friends went down the street, I saw a rabbit, just like you did, darting across the road. When we got back to the church at the end of the road, we thought we'd go down the street again since we had seen nothing previously. As I was staring intently at the human cages and weird statues, we passed a gate and a man was standing right there in the dark. Of course, we hauled our butts out of there. As we turned around in the cove, we saw him starting up his car. The past couple of times my friends have gone down there the man has followed them in his car. The school bus you say that blocks the road is actually the man in the truck. This was also determined by my friends seeing it. Just thought I'd let you know (:

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  36. Thanks for the update. I did know about the guy in the truck. I've heard before that it's a tow truck. Was it?

    Human cages? That's a new one to me. I did not see those when I was there. Can you describe them for us?

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  37. OOPS. My mistake. I think the emailer was female. I'm always daunted by what fabulous names women have now...and wishing my mother had been more avant garde.

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  38. Anonymous1:55 AM

    I've been wanting to go there for awhile. I went yesterday night though i cant really say that it was eventfull we went there at about 10PM. We had a little trouble finding the village when we did we drove into the cove i was expecting people to come running out with knifes and i thought the way would be blocked so i kept a close eye on that exit to make sure there wouldnt be a vehicle that blocks us. As we got to the church my friend slowed and went to park i asked him if we could keep going. He said i was scared we laughed and he decided to listen to me and kept driving. As we turned around there was a extremely loud bang. Not like one from a gun it was way louder i nearly crapped my self when i heard it. As we neared the gate i looked into the window and saw someone standing at their porch like they were watching leave or something it was kinda creepy. When we exited out i sighed in relief and told my friend im not going there again.
    `Jonah

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  39. Anonymous8:59 AM

    The name of this place is The Saint Paul Spiritual Temple in Memphis, TN. It was founded by Washington "Doc" Harris who lived with his family there for over 50 years. I wrote a book that featured a history of the Temple and drew from my 20 year friendship with Doc Harris. After Hurricane Katrina many spiritual churches in New Orleans were destroyed. The Temple is in the same tradition as those churches and is all the more important because the others have been lost. The city of Memphis and the local media there should be ashamed of what they have done to a place that should be on the National Register of Historic Places.

    By refusing to give up the misrepresentation of the Temple as Voodoo Village, the Memphis media has squandered one of the most important landmarks in the city. In the interest of setting the record straight I am posting the section of my book that talks about the Saint Paul Spiritual Temple. Please join in a sincere effort to celebrate the accomplishments of the Harris family and their remarkable life's work. Thank you.

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    1. Anonymous9:41 AM

      I agree 100%. .Bright colors and religious art is somehow "creepy" and these people MUST be doing "creepy" things when Voodoo has far, far less blood on its hands than Christianity. I understand though I guess. If someone didn't know about Jesus and walked into a Catholic church that has a man nailed to two blocks of wood at the center they would def be creeped out to! Lol they could be advertising and making a lot of money on tours but they haven't sold out for the dollars yet. Amazing.

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  40. Anonymous3:17 AM

    I had a very strange experience at Voodoo Village a few years ago. I'm generally not one to spy on or try to interrupt anyone's spiritual workings, but a friend was in from out of town, and had expressed interest in Memphis' strange "attractions". So around 2PM on a gray winter's day, 3 friends and I got in my car and made our way towards the village. As we approached the road, at first I started to chicken out, so we just kept driving. Evetually, my friends talked me into it, and we proceeded. Towards the end of the road, there was a small, dilapidated shotgun-style cabin. An old man was sitting on the porch. I don't know why we didn't turn back then, because he was watching us very closely and I didn't feel right about being on his turf. Everyone was telling me to just stop the car and let them get out and look around. So I stopped the car. They all got out and walked towards the gated village, admiring the brightly-color altars, etc. I kept watching the man on his porch, kind of gauging his energy. He eventually got up and went inside the cabin. At that point, I did not want to be the only one in the car, so I got out. I was just shuffling around the gravel path, being really quite and keeping an eye out for danger, when right there on the road in front of the village I see a freshly dead black puppy. I just stood there for a second, kind of in shock, and then bolted over to my friends who were still walking the perimeter of the gated fence. At this point, the guy was back on his porch and looking agitated. I insisted we leave, without even mentioning the dead dog, and pulled everyone back into the car. I have no idea what happens at this spiritual sight, but I know I want nothing to do with it. I am never going back.

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  41. Anonymous8:19 PM

    I had a similar experience, I was with some friends and we drove in there and it was about midnight and in the middle of the road we saw a bonfire so we drive up closer andy realized that there were dogs being burned alive. Right then I was freaking out because there were three hooded people walking up to the fire with knives so we floor it backwards out of the cove and I'm never going back!!!

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    1. Anonymous9:44 AM

      Liar liar. The only thing on fire is your pants!

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  42. Sorry, but I'm having a bit of trouble believing this one. Burning animals alive is not part of Voodoo ritual, and they don't wear hoods unless they're the kind we all wear from Old Navy or some such. Sounds like you've been watching too many Satanic movies, pal. I'm sure they'll appreciate it if you never go back. Sheesh.

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  43. Anonymous9:35 PM

    It existed and many of us as teenagers went there on dares and for the Saturday night thrill.High school-1976, several times, near Coro Lake off Hwy 61.Favorite story was a local bad boy- Joe Wiggins-a friend, got drunk, and spent the night there. Inhabitants were more afraid of Joe, as they knew he had to be crazy to be there.Much better than the haunted cemetary off Hwy 51. Never saw anything there, but VV had the people,the decorations, and the lifestyle.

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  44. Anonymous7:27 PM

    http://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/the-temple/Content?oid=3222599

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  45. Anonymous7:30 PM

    Local Memphis channel 3 is doing a story on VV tonight. Oct 29 2012.

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  46. Anonymous12:14 PM

    It was 1967, drove my Father's Plymouth Fury to Voodoo Village, it could have been a scene from 1940's horror movie...bonfires, altars, ? shrunken skulls, chicken, feathers, crosses, etc. It was quiet and very still, we did not see any people,of course Gary didn't as he was in the floorboard. Continuing to the end of the short road, and turned around in the cove (no bricks were thrown at us). Been back 2 times when visiting, once during church and people came out with some dead chickens and recently 11/2012, there were several dilapidated shacks and 3 livable house and we turned around and the last house a tall woman with a turban on her head was standing at the screen door...Fascinating. Evelyn

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  47. Anonymous9:27 AM

    Its very important you don't wave your shotgun at people that are walking around your neighborhood, Southern Writer! Tisk tisk. Thats dangerous for them and you! What if they happen to have a carry permit such as myself, think you are going to shoot them, and shoot you first? Be careful! So funny you told us about your trip then told us not to go and get to see it too! Lol my father and aunt went about 40 years ago and both swear their old car started to mess up and when they were trying to get it running, a bunch of people started down the road to them. One guy was carrying a crowbar and the others were carrying other objects they couldn't see too well. Naturally they were scared to death. The car started and they sped down the road out of there, and towards the people. They jumped out of the way, of course...but the funny thing is, years later they were talking about it and wondered if those other things they were carrying were other car tools, because they were going to help them, not kill them! Lol they said they were glad they didn't have to stick around to find out though! My own experience was not nearly as dramatic. Voodoo is actually very peaceful, and there are no sacrifices or murders. It is a religion though, and people shouldn't drive around gawking, all "freaked out" at their "creepy" PLACES OF WORSHIP. If one is acting like that, I would understand their anger and unwelcoming demeanor. I encourage people to read up about it. Educate yourselves. thevoodoosociety.com is a good one. Better yet, drive to New Orleans and speak with the Voodoo Queen, or any of the very nice practitioners who would be more than happy to give you an ACCURATE idea of their amazing religion.

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