I know I’ve told you all the inspiration for The Devil Within came from the Go to Church or the Devil Will You Get You sign. But growing up in the South I was surrounded by a lot of folklore and crazy roadside attractions.
One day when my sister was in college, she brought her then-boyfriend, now-husband down to visit. We told my parents we were going to go buy fro-yo, but instead Kelsey took us toward Prattville. She had heard about this man who lived out in the country who had covered is whole yard with crosses and signs. People flocked from all over to see these crosses.
We drove north from Montgomery for about thirty minutes until we found The Cross Garden. Not only did this man have crosses littering his yard, the hills across from his house, but he also had signs proclaiming things like Hell is Hot Hot Hot.
The story we had been told was that this man had a dream and Jesus came to him and told him to repent or something terrible would happen to his family. He laughed it off. A few weeks later, his wife and children were killed in a car wreck on the interstate. Amidst the handmade crosses in his yard was a wrecked car. Supposedly he had the wrecking company bring the car there so he could always be reminded of his mistake. He made his yard and surrounding land a tribute to Jesus and the hell that awaits sinners on judgement day.
I often thought about The Cross Garden and how horrible it would be to lose your family. It’s funny, because thanks to the power of Google I now know the car accident never really happened. The owner of the Cross Garden wanted people to see the power of God and to be saved before they burned for eternity in Hell. Don’t you just love the South?
Read more about the Cross Garden and the owner, the late W.C. Rice.