Ross's Corners (alternate spellings: Ross' Corners, Ross' Corner)
Origin: scenario Edge of Darkness (?)
In the Mythos
1880s - 1920s: Ross's Corners is a small, rural hamlet, home to fewer than 40 residents, mostly farmers. It is located roughly two miles northwest of Arkham along the main road between Salem and Bolton just north of Aylesbury Pike, bounded to the north and the east by the Miskatonic River; Boone Road continues north across the river through farmland before turning west where it runs down to a dirt path leading to an isolated handful of small shacks and rough farms set off the path and into the woods up Redgrave Hill. The traditional farming economy of the town has long been in decline with much of the population leaving for Arkham and other neighboring towns and cities, and by the 1920s Ross's Corners consists mainly of a number of family farms, a church, and the Ross's Corners General Store, which also serves as the Post Office and gas station under the proprietorship of "Ma" Peters and a large and simple but well-meaning boy named Chumley, who operates the gas pumps for Ma Peters and provide other basic service for cars, such as washing windows. A bus running daily between Arkham and Worcester stops at the General store, and a truck from a nearby dairy picks up milk from a depot attached to the general store on weekdays.
The rural, Yankee townsfolk are generally reticent and stand-offish with strangers, and were especially so in the spring of 1882 when a group of strangers moved into a local farmhouse they claimed to be using as a "hunting lodge" until one of them got killed and another went stark shrieking mad, and again in the summer of 1928 when another group of strangers showed up in the same farmhouse, followed by a couple mysterious disappearances and other strange events. That farmhouse had long had a reputation for being "haunted", a reputation which grew especially evil after the events of 1882, followed by occasional disappearances associated with the woods and fields surrounding the house, sightings of ghostly apparitions, visits from the Beast of Ross's Corners (a local variation on Sasquatch, said to eat the hearts of its victims), and reports of strange lights in the skies and other bad omens, before that reputation escalated into local legend after the inexplicable events of 1928 as one of the county's most haunted places, with a number of peculiar investigations being launched into the Legend of Redgrave Hill Farmhouse in the decades since.
1980s - Present: Ross's Corners is still a small, rural area a few miles west of Arkham, where it serves as a sort of "bedroom community" for young and generally single people working in the city. The town had been in a long decline until it had virtually vanished by mid-century, but in the 1960s a small amount of land in the middle of Ross's Corners was purchased by investors and by the 1980s developed for a small apartment complex, a convenience store/gas station, a new brick church building, a small police station, a volunteer fire department, and a few modern homes, a partly empty two-story complex housing a couple small offices and shops, and in the surrounding area some restored and renovated old turn-of-the-century farmhouses. Several attempts since the 1940s have been made to renovate the infamous "haunted" Redgrave Hill Farmhouse, but none of the renovations were ever completed and the house has remained largely uninhabited for over a hundred years; most recently, the house was the subject of an infamous televised investigation by the Massachusetts Paranormal Investigation Ghost-hunting Society in cooperation with Carnacki Institute on their long-running Ghost Finders: International television program. The episode caused quite a stir for the area, partly because of the sudden buzz of activity surrounding its production, partly because of the international publicity, partly because of the bizarre experiences and evidence caught on video, but mostly for the program's offensive portrayal of Ross's Corners as a "sleepy, Mayberry-like village" full of ignorant, rustic yokels and hayseeds....
Heresies and Controversies
Associated Mythos Elements
- TO DO
Ross's Corners General Store, 1920s
The Ross's Corners General Store, also known as "Ma's General Store", also serves as the Post Office and gas station under the proprietorship of "Ma" Peters and a large and simple but well-meaning boy named Chumley, who operates the gas pumps for Ma Peters and provide other basic service for cars, such as washing windows. A bus running daily between Arkham and Worcester stops at the General store, and a truck from a nearby dairy picks up milk from a depot attached to the general store on weekdays.
First Congregational Church, 1920s
A small, wooden, one-room Protestant church with a tall white steeple of a sort commonly seen in small-town Massachusetts.
The Old Washington Farm, 1880s-present
A local "haunted house" in the Redgrave Hill woods off Boone Road, an area which has enjoyed a sinister reputation locally for as long as anyone could remember. See the scenario "Edge of Darkness" for information about this farmhouse, as used by the "Dark Brotherhood" cult. The house was built in the 1800s by a Bradley Washington, who settled the farm and moved his wife there for a few years until she suddenly fell ill, with the family vanishing overnight, apparently for the city, where the farmer put the home up for collateral to cover the expenses of his wife's illness; the house soon afterward was purchased by a Rupert Merriweather, who never moved in, leaving the home weirdly abandoned.
Beast of Ross' Corners
Reputed to be a giant, hairy, Bigfoot-type creature which stalks the forests north of the Miskatonic river by night and eats the hearts of its victims; sightings of the monster go back before the colonial era, with local native tribes describing the Beast as a sort of shy nature spirit that is angered by disrespect and encroachment on its territory; the creature didn't begin to get its more evil and deadly reputation until the late 1800s or early 1900s. (See the scenario "Edge of Darkness" for more details on the beginnings of the more violent version of the Beast's legend.)
Boone Road runs through Ross' Corners, continuing north across the river through farmland before turning west, where it runs down to a dirt path leading into the woods up Redgrave Hill past an isolated handful of small shacks and rough farms set off the path. Most of the shacks and houses stood abandoned since the 1920s up into the 1950s to the early 1970s, when the area attracted a handful of small families embracing a "back to basics", survivalist, homesteading ethos, retreating to the shacks on camping or hunting trips on holidays and weekends between working in neighboring Arkham and Worcester, digging and stocking bomb shelters, and in some cases running small, basic, and usually short-lived farms with apple orchards, a few livestock, and modest vegetable gardens.
- scenario: Edge of Darkness