Sam Burnham, Curator
In Floyd County, just north of Rome you'll find (with a little direction and some luck) an old dirt road cut off from the world by a simple metal gate. Signs at the gate communicate that the road is closed to automobile traffic, that the road is an entrance to the Berry College Wildlife Management Area, that permits and permission are required for seasonal hunting, that hunters must check in at the GDNR station, and some generalized messaging to let you know that if you come out there acting a fool that you'll probably going to jail. It is typical of the many such entrances to Berry WMA properties throughout norther Floyd County but this one is still a bit different.
I don't remember how old I was the first time I heard someone telling me of the horrors and frights that were somehow ubiquitous along the "CC Road." There was the apparently indisputable truth that you crossed three bridges going out and only two coming back (or 5 out and 4 back, depending on who was telling the story.) There was always some ghost sighting or other supernatural phenomenon that this group or that couple experienced. There was the ruins of an old church and cemetery that had been adopted and defaced by a band of Satanists (roving bands of Satanists form the spine of many spooky stories in the area) who used the property for all manners of frightening and unspeakable rituals and ceremonies.
To people in northwest Georgia, these stories were as big as coastal Georgia's Altamaha-ha. This was on the same level as Atlantis, Bigfoot, The Loch Ness Monster, or Irving's Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The legends inspired the Georgia-based band Southgang song The Legend of CC Road which appeared on their 1992 album Group Therapy. What made it even more real and foreboding is that it is right in our own backyards. You'd hear where John or Sally had ventured out with older siblings or friends. They'd made it to the old church, seen the inverted crosses, heard chilling screams or voices. and, most notably, somehow crossed fewer bridges coming back out than they had going in.
Because there just isn't much that can be scarier than a disappearing bridge.
I have to admit that my skepticism is a recent development. When I was a kid, this was one of the most thrilling things to hear about. "What did you see? Was it really like they say?" I never went down the CCC Road before Berry (wisely) gated it off to cut back on the shenanigans. In fact, the first time I went down the road was in broad daylight and I don't recall noticing any bridges other than the one at the gate. That could explain why I'm more intrigued by the disappearing "C" in the name than I am the reports of a disappearing bridge. It leaves me wondering which word in Civilian Conservation Corps, who is credited with building the road, is being omitted.
Regarding the church, I have no idea if the church of legend still stands. Currently the only church I know of in that area is the old Mountain Springs Church, the last remnant of the community of the same name. Small communities used to dot the landscape that has since been absorbed by the Berry Wildlife Management Area. Occasionally a church may remain, perhaps a few weathered headstones in a neglected cemetery - Mountain Springs, Freemantown, Sand Springs - mostly just memories survive to the present day.
In the remaining churches periodic meetings may still be held. A sign at the gate advised a meeting being held at Mountain Springs Church at 4 and the gate closing at 6. In other words, feel free to attend the service but don't expect to get out if you are using the open gate as an opportunity for running amok in the dark. You'll return to find yourself locked in the with legends. Sweet dreams.
While I am skeptical about many of the stories and I despise vandalism of any kind, I'm thankful for these tales. We don't have enough mystery and intrigue in our days. Everything has to be logical, explainable, provable. In simpler times we could dream, fear, be wary of what may be lurking out an old dirt road nearby.
I think there may be more to this story in general. I may need to look into this...
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire