The area known as Devil’s Kitchen in Tallapoosa, Georgia, was thought to be named for “The Devil’s Water,” or moonshine that was made in the creek valley. There are alleged stories of Satanic worship and witchcraft that have taken place in this area that also add to the legend behind the name, though nothing of that nature has ever been proven. The area is about one mile off of U.S. Highway 78 on Old Ridgeway Road. The actual “kitchen” is a beautiful, secluded area. There is a winding creek that falls away into the deep canopy of oak trees, and as you follow it down, the creek then runs into a small canyon of sorts. This is where the moonshine was made. Many bootleggers tried their luck in this area, and the revenuers caught every one of them.
Key’s Castle, as it is known, was a grape vineyard in the late 1800s. It has always been an area of spooks and ghosts, according to legend. This home is a large mansion off to the left side of the road before you make it to Walker Creek—the source that feeds the Devil’s Kitchen.
Many hayrides and ghost stories have been given and told about this area, and many articles have been posted on paranormal Websites that know nothing of the area and its real history. The other stories tell a tale of a woman who was killed because she was a crime witness—this is untrue. The real story of Devil’s Kitchen is more of a tragedy.
The legend of the ghosts at Devil’s Kitchen started in 1962. A woman named Mary Moore Newman was taken to an area just behind Key’s Castle and was strangled because of an affair that wasn’t going as planned. Two men watched Mary as she left to go to the store for groceries, and they entered her home to await her return. Upon her return, the men forced her into their car and drove her to the Kitchen where they strangled her to death. They then took her body to a well, near Friendship Church, in Muscadine, Alabama, where she was later found by the game warden in 1963. He had been stalking poachers who were in the area and smelled the decay as he walked by the well. Around her body were deer heads that had been placed there by the poachers.
The legend says that you can hear her screams for help in the woods around the area of the Kitchen.
A few years after the Mary Newman murder, teenagers were playing a prank on a buddy. They left him at Walker Creek Bridge, where he later stumbled into the creek and drowned—or did he? It is said that you can see his figure awaiting the return of his friends who abandoned him that night.
Then, in the mid-1980s, there was a large flood in the area. A mother and her two children rounded the curve, not knowing that the water was raging over the bridge. Her car was swept downstream. The mother managed to get the children out of the car and placed them atop the roof. She went for help. When she returned, her two children had been swept away, far down to the depths of the Kitchen.
The Kitchen has been filled with death and mystery for years—enough to make you wonder if there is more to it than just a name. Sinister as it sounds, the Devil’s Kitchen has been a den for death and mystery, tales and legend, and still is today.
Written by — Scott McClure Lead Investigator, West Central Georgia Investigators of Paranormal Activity
OLD RIDGEWAY ROAD
1 MILE OFF OF U.S. HIGHWAY 78