Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What lies behind The Village

In 2004, writer-director M. Night Shyamalan, a native of Philadelphia, released The Village. The film features red-cloaked humanoids that dwell in a forest outside a small village (hence the clever name). However, not very many people realize that there are, indeed, stories about the woods where it was filmed.

The woods in question are, in fact, the Devil's Woods, along Cossart Road near Chadd's Ford. The Devil's Woods are home to the infamous "skull tree" of Pennsylvania lore. The story goes that the Cult House (a large structure in the forest) was once the home of the wealthy DuPonts. In true urban legend fashion, the woods are host to all sorts of Satanic ritual, animal sacrifice, and the infamous black SUVs that chase the curious away.

The woods are also reputed to be home to monstrous, inbred creatures, the products of some of the rituals that took place there. Although doubtless an urban legend with little if any truth, it is interesting nonetheless - The Village was based on at least quasi-fact, or what passes for fact in the minds of many.

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