[Hide Ads]
 

D E M O N 'S   A L L E Y

Where a faint light shines alone, dwells a Demon I have known --Edwin Arlington Robinson

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley, West Milford, New Jersey

explored & photographed by: Shady

[Clinton Road]   [Demon's Alley]   [Stone Living Room]   [Route 23 Pole Art]

 

Somewhere in the leafy, green-shadowed woods of West Milford, a lonely, narrow road weaves through an infamous abandoned neighborhood. Lined with crumbling old houses and haunted by urban legend, it is known as Demon's Alley- a cluster of creepy old abodes that has sat, deathly-silent and mysteriously vacant, for about as far back as anyone can remember...

In recent years, two separate, massive arson fires have consumed two of the larger of the Demon's houses; after hearing about the second fire last summer, we set out to try to get some pics of the legendary suburb's remaining "residences" before it was too late. Once upon a time, this uncanny community was known as New City Village. The now-defunct neighborhood- located along winding New City Road, between Germantown Road and Route 23- is now owned by the Newark Watershed Commission. There is no official record as to why the entire block was left completely abandoned.

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Police patrols of the road were increased dramatically right after the second fire (which is when we were there on our West Milford trip); although driving down the still-public road is legal, stopping, parking, and /or trespassing along the road and property is not, and they have been known to prosecute. This made it really tricky to get photos. We decided that the Scoobs would cruise the road in the Shady Lady, keeping an eye out, while I traversed Demon's Alley on foot. They let me out at the corner, where I could just catch a few glimpses of the spooky structures down the lane ahead of me. As they pulled off and disappeared around the bend, I began to walk, and soon found myself approaching the charred remains of the recent infernos.

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

At 4:40 a.m, on November 4, 2000, flames licked at the night sky as a fire set by unknown vandals rapidly engulfed one of the biggest Demon's houses, demolishing it completely. Then, in July of 2002, a second mysterious fire was deliberately set at another house, destroying it as well. Nothing remained of the two structures but sooty foundations heaped with blackened wood and plaster (above). At the site of the most recent fire, the tall brick chimney remained standing stark amongst the ashy ruins. Couldn't help thinking how it is really sad that some people are actually so puerile, as to find recreation in some of the most Beavis-And-Butthead-esque of hobbies, and thereby ruin some really cool stuff for everybody else.

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

The Demon's houses that did remain standing sat quietly ominous along the road, fully surrounded by really thick, really dark woods. As I shot some pics of the next house along the lane- a mossy-green clapboard with an unusually shaped, intricate roof which was draped with shroud-like tatters of tarp- I was thinking about the creepy legends that have been passed down about Demon's Alley for generations. Although as with all urban legends, there are several different variations and elaborations, the most-often repeated story generally goes something like this: a seemingly normal man moved into the neighborhood, and soon after, odd "pranks" and strange events began to plague the small community. Unbeknownst to his neighbors, the man was supposed to be the leader of some sort of evil cult, which had a large following of members...

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Legend says that the man eventually lured all of his neighbors to his home, presumably under the guise of a "neighborhood meeting", perhaps in order to address the recent rash of events. Once all of the unsuspecting families had been led down into his basement for the meeting, cult members emerged from their hiding places to massacre the whole neighborhood in a frenzied ritual of violence. Although there are many "Satanic" symbols and messages scrawled throughout the Demon's houses and outbuildings, there are no records to substantiate the claims of cultists or mass murders.

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

As I moved on to the next house- a smaller, white-and-green shingled home with a tiny porch- I pondered the strangeness of the ghost-suburb. Every once in awhile, I'd see the Shady Lady pass by out on the road, so I knew the guys were out there- but for the most part, I was on my own, which really added to the eeriness. To this day no official records exist to explain why the community was abandoned, which only clouds the mystery. Why would an entire neighborhood full of people just disappear, leaving everything behind? Rusty swing sets and moldering old toys still litter yards, and houses are still filled with furniture, clothing, personal effects, and all the kinds of things you think that people would stop to gather up, before moving away?

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

That's part of what makes this infamous abandoned community so bizarre- one abandoned house, left filled with belongings, is odd, but somewhat understandable. An entire neighborhood of such houses, however- well... that's just weird. As fascinated as I was by Demon's Alley, I knew I couldn't linger, so I kept moving. The next place was set back in a shaded field bordered by gloomy forest. As I shot some pics, I couldn't help thinking about another weird thing- the way that all of the boards over the windows have had shades with pull-cords painted onto them; most likely they did it to make the houses look less vacant from a distance. Still, it does make a very odd sight.

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

Demon's Alley

At this point, I'd reached the end of New City Road, and the last Demon's house- a rather sinister-looking structure with grimy dark-green shingles and a sagging front porch. The front door was lying across the porch, and literally looked as if it had been busted off of it's hinges from the inside. I poked my head into an opening in a boarded-up doorway and shot a few pics, but it was so dark inside the place that getting a decent shot was not real easy. While circling around the property, waiting for my friends to come back around so I could make my getaway, I found a dilapidated shed filled with stacks of doors at the end of the weed-choked driveway... interesting, considering the busted front door. I went back up onto the porch and looked back up the road, where I could see the other houses here and there in the distance, and I noticed how completely silent the area was... I didn't hear any birds chirping, or insects buzzing- one of those general eerie-silence-type things. It began to seem like quite awhile had passed since I'd last seen the Scoobs, and I was just starting to get a bit... nervous... when I saw the familiar metallic-black shine of the Lady glinting down the road. Guess I wasn't destined to be a permanent resident, luckily for me!

I'm glad I managed to get these pictures, but I do wish I'd been able to get more. During the short time I spent on Demon's Alley, I saw a number of patrol cars pass by, and had to duck behind trees and bushes more than once... I'm surprised I got anything at all. But, it was really cool to see it up close, and to get some good shots of it along the way, so it was worth all the trouble. The place is totally infamous, and it's easy to see why- definitely one of the creepiest and most unique places I've ever explored.

To see actual video footage of the 2000 fire, as well as additional photos and information, click here. Anyone who may have any information regarding the Demon's Alley fires may contact the West Milford Police (973-728-2800) or Fire Marshal (973-728-2840). All information will be  kept confidential.

BACK TO CLINTON ROAD     CONTINUE ON TO STONE LIVING ROOM

 

Do you have any background information or stories to tell about this abandoned site?

 

Want to purchase one of these, or any of my other photos...?

O W N   A   P I E C E   O F   L O S T   H I S T O R Y:


All of my pics are available for purchase as high-quality prints on Kodak glossy paper, in 5x7 or 8x10 size; framing is available. Click here to order!

 

 

Lost Destinations is a trademark of Brainchild Graphics. Copyright 2003 Brainchild Media. All rights reserved. All materials on this site are protected by US copyright law & may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without prior written permission. Disclaimer