Trail of Terror

The Trail of Terror cuts through a peculiar parcel of land. Most folks are familiar with the area’s moniker Amsel Farm, so named for the former deed holder after horrible tragedies occurred on the property in the early 20th century.

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Long before the Amsel family arrived, local folklore about strange happenings were abundant. One French explorer who made his way across the acres wrote in his journal about several encounters with a strange woman who was constantly surrounded by a flock of crows. Early settlers experienced glowing orbs that floated above the land, sometimes entering their cabins, and stories of strange objects falling from the sky were passed around the village.

Ball Lightning

There were, of course, the two separate and inexplicable squirrel stampedes that happened in 1822 and 1845, when thousands of squirrels traveled through the area, eating all crops in their path. One farmer reported killing more than 200 squirrels in three days, noting the creatures could be scooped up in the hand, like a ladle dipping into a pot of soup.

For decades, reports of missing persons have been connected to the property, and locals tell of strange lights and sounds coming from the cornfields. Some even purport to have seen dark hunched figures walking between rows of stalks.

Numerous photographs of light orbs – said to be manifestations of ghosts – have been taken on the property and shared, along with reports of ghostly sightings of farmer Amsel and his family. In response, a local paranormal team began researching the stories and conducted an on-site probe. It didn’t end well…

With all the strange goings on, it’s no surprise the deed to the land in question has changed hands numerous times over the centuries – often at fire-sale prices, unusual for such a prized property. To get to the bottom of some of the most sinister legends, television show Midwest Mysteries conducted their own investigation in late 2022.

After no real answers could be determined, the land was sold once again. New and current owner, farmer Charles Roswell, was initially skeptical when told by neighbors about the land’s reputation. “I don’t believe in that stuff,” he told another farmer.

But things may have changed…

Recently, Roswell discovered what could best be described as ‘crop circles’ cut into his cornfield. He’d been in the unadulterated corn just the day before and has no explanation for how the cut shapes could have shown up overnight. Since, there’s been other strangeness: floating lights, weird noises, unsettled livestock. Roswell said he won’t sell the land. At least, not yet.

Crop Circles

To learn more about Roswell and his farm, visit WCPX-13 News.