The Legend of Menges Mills
How It All Began
Over 200 years ago, a German man and his son traveled across the ocean from Europe to America in search of a better life. He had almost no money to his name, and there existed only two things that he treasured more than anything in the world – his son Menges, and a beautiful old clock. When he heard of land in Pennsylvania, he took his few belongings, his son, and his beautiful clock and prepared to travel on King’s Road, a road notorious for thieves and pirates who would often capture, kill, or enslave weary travelers.
While they traveled on King’s Road, a cloaked stranger appeared from the rows of corn. Unsheathing a sword from beneath his cape, he demanded Menges and his father stop the wagon. But Menges’s father was a strong man, and he wrestled the sword from the pirate and hacked off the pirate’s hand. The pirate stumbled back and, gasped these words: “One night when the clock strikes 8:00, you shall meet a grisly fate,” pointing to Menges’s father with the bleeding stump at the end of his arm. Then, he stumbled away in the cornfield, vanishing amidst the tall rows of corn.
Menges and his father sped down King’s Road away from the terrible incident with the pirate’s bloody dismembered hand in the wagon. They buried it on the new land they purchased, and, placing the horrible incident behind them, built a mill. To remember his days in Germany, the miller placed the large, looming clock in the mill. And, every night, when the clock struck 8:00, they would sound a whistle marking the end of the day.
One night, like every other night, the clock struck 8:00 and the chime sounded Donggg, donggg… Only this night at the sound of the chime, the air stirred outside, the mill door creaked open, and a cloaked shadow filled the doorway.
At first, the miller did not recognize the silhouette, but he was filled with immediate dread when the figure stepped in the dim light of the mill lantern.
“This night when the clock chimes 8:00, you shall meet a grisly fate,” snarled the shadowy figure. He lifted his arm to reveal he had no hand, but only a bloody stump at the end of his wrist.
The miller told Menges to run far away. Menges obeyed, and he ran and ran, while the clock chimed eight times. Donggg, donggg, donggg, and in the distance, he heard his father’s terrified screams and the sounds of the saw blade.
Menges hid among the tall corn stalks and stayed there the entire night. In the morning, he found his father’s mangled and dismembered body, torn in pieces. Every piece of his body was tossed across the mill floor except for one hand. And, in fresh blood, the mill floor read: “8:00.”
The years passed. Menges married and had children of his own. With a new home, a wife, and a successful milling business, Menges tried to leave the deep, dark secret of his father’s death behind him. Every night at 8:00, the clock would chime and the whistle would blow to mark the end of another day. But, until the long hand on the clock passed 8:00, he was in a spirit of terrified unrest.
On the day his twin sons, Hans and Christian were born, Menges, overcome with joy at the sight of his strapping boys, almost completely forgot his fear. But, when he heard his clock chime, he realized they had been born at exactly 8:00 pm. And Menges was reminded, on this most joyous of days, of the curse.
Years later, Menges blew his whistle to end a long day at the mill, and his sons, who were now grown men, prepared for home. The clock began to strike 8:00. Donggg, donggg, donggg,… The sky swirled a strange scarlet red and out of the rows of corn stepped a dark, cloaked figure.
“This night when the clock chimes 8:00, you shall meet a grisly fate,” the stranger gestured at Menges. Menges and his bewildered sons hurriedly mounted their horses. Donggg.. donggg… But, Menges’s horse was spooked by the stranger and took off with the miller’s foot caught in the saddle, dragging Menges into the darkness. The next morning, the horse returned to the mill, dragging Menges mangled body, whole, except for one hand. In fresh blood, across horse’s flank, read: “8:00.”
Filled with rage and seeking revenge, the sons searched for the stranger. But they could not find him in the endless cornfields.
So, they kept a vigil at the mill, waiting for the clock to strike 8:00 p.m. again, and their visitor to return. Hans, a miller himself, waited by the saw mill. And, Christian, who had grown to be a fine preacher, hid just inside the mill door. One night when the clock struck 8:00, the mill door flew open with the sound of the first chime. Dongggg… and, there in the doorway, towered the silhouette of the pirate.
“This night, when the clock chimes eight, you shall meet a grisly fate,” he pointed to Hans with the stump of his arm. But, from behind the door, Christian let out a blood curdling scream and lunged toward the pirate.
The two men fought, but in the end, Christian grabbed the handle of the pirate’s sword, unsheathed it, and with all his might, hacked off the pirate’s head. It rolled across the mill floor, and the pirate collapsed to the ground. When they knew he was dead, the two brothers carried his body deep into the cornfield and buried the pirate along with his decapitated head.
All was still and, the next day, the men returned to their work. In the evening, Hans was working in the mill and Christian was preparing his dinner in his house across the road when at 8:00, the clock began to chime.
Behind Hans, a shadowy figure pulled the cord to the mill whistle, and the high sound pierced the crisp autumn air.
Across the road, Christian listened for the last and final chime. Donggg… donggg… But, after the eighth chime, he noticed the sound of the mill saw had continued. Just then, something hit the window, shattering the glass, and a human head rolled across the floor of Christian’s home. The severed head belonged to his brother. Christian’s face turned ghostly pale as he grabbed his pistol and ran out into the road toward the mill. The ghost of the pirate, dripping in blood, met him in the street.
Although Christian aimed the pistol and shot several times, the ghost continued to move toward him.
Several townspeople, hearing the shots, ran out to see what all the commotion was about. When they arrived, the road was clear, the mill door swung loosely on its hinges, and only the sound of the mill saw could be heard. Inside the mill, they found the headless bodies of the miller and the preacher, each minus one hand. The mill saw was running, but the old clock had mysteriously stopped at exactly 8:00.
Due to the terrible circumstances surrounding their deaths, the mill was abandoned and the clock forgotten. After that night, it never worked again and so it hasn’t chimed for over 100 years. It remains frozen, only seconds from 8:00, its silence attracting more ghosts and demons than its tolling ever did. Among those roaming haunts, wander the accursed souls of the pirate’s victims. And somewhere among the cornrows, the pirate waits for the clock to chime 8:00 again. Sometimes, the piercing high pitched whistle can be heard above the sound of the wind, calling the dead spirits of the miller and his sons to the Haunted Mill.
Come to the Haunted Mill… if you dare. But, when night falls, listen for the sound of the mill whistle, and beware. It has been known to conjure up the dead! You’ve been warned!