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The Abandoned Pike House – Where the Terrible Truth is Nailed to the Wall

There are those rare moments in life that can just completely change your entire outlook on the way the world works, and in finding the Pike House of San Marcos, we discovered one of those moments. We will never, ever forget that place. First of all, let us tell you what we originally heard about the place. We’d been told that in San Marcos there was a huge, haunted abandoned building near a place with the creepy name of Purgatory Creek. People said that it was originally an insane asylum that had sat empty for some time, haunted and deserted, until the Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike) fraternity bought the place and turned it into a frat house back in the 60's.

They say that at some point during one of the fraternity hazing periods, a pledge or pledges were killed during the ritual. The story goes that the brothers had the pledges write down the events of that night in their pledge books, then burn them and then nail them to a wall.

The place is supposed to have sat abandoned since then––even more haunted than before. Now it is said that if you are brave enough to venture inside the very dark, very spooky old place, you might still find the burned books nailed to the wall, bloody handprints and splatters on the walls, crime scene tape, and Polaroid photos inside.

When I first heard the stories I was intrigued because it was such a very cool, creepy tale. But I must admit, a big part of me tended to be extremely skeptical about the possibilities of it being true. I guess after all these years of seeking out these kinds of places, I have been disappointed so many times by people's lies or exaggerations or just plain bullshit about such places, that I had become kinda jaded. So my first impulse was to think that all of the legends of the Pike House might just be a crock. But I had some really good directions to it, and had been told it was still standing as of very recently, so I thought it would be worth adding to the list to check out. I was fairly sure I'd find a building there, but whether or not it was actually abandoned, or had been an old frat house or hospital, I wasn't sure. And I really did not expect to find any burned books or bloody handprints, that's for sure.

Things started looking good when we got to San Marcos and stopped at a gas station to ask for directions to a street. The clerk at the station knew exactly what we were talking about when we mentioned the “Pike House” and he confirmed that it was still there and was, indeed, a SPOOKY place. He said he used to live in the neighborhood, and drew us a map right to the place. So we found it with ease.

We was talking and in mid-sentence when we rounded a curve in the road and we saw the place. We went silent, our jaws dropped, and our eyes flew wide open. We couldn't believe it! The place was incredible, even from a distance––huge, decrepit, creepy. It sat back from the road, looming above a huge green expanse of lawn. We circled around it once or twice in the car to scope it out, then decided to park along one of the streets and walk back to it on foot. It was right in the middle of a very nice suburban neighborhood. We found a place to park just around the corner (a really neat little park called Wonder World [http://www.wonderworldpark.com] which had an anti-gravity house, fault line cave, observation tower, etc) and we parked there.

The road we walked back on took us directly to the back area of the house, which we checked out a bit from the road and then we kept on walking around to the front. We wandered all around the front of the house in a complete circle as we shot photos, until we eventually found ourselves at the back of the house again.

There were “No Trespassing” signs posted around the place, but in the time that we were there we saw many of the neighborhood people cut across the lawn during their afternoon strolls, and even ride their bicycles around the grounds. Nobody seemed to be bothered by us checking the place out, in fact we got several friendly smiles and waves from the neighbors who were out tending their lawns or playing with their kids. As we circled around the house we noticed that one of the boards had been torn off of a window and lay propped against the wall beside it. The window stood wide open like an invitation. There was just no way on Earth we could resist, so in we went.

This place was DARK––very, very dark, and very creepy. The room we entered into was some kind of bar. We went through a doorway on the left, and found ourselves in a big, dim room with a collapsing ceiling. First thing I notice was the fraternity crest on one wall, and the faded Pi Kappa Alpha symbols on another. It WAS a frat house! We were pretty excited to find that part of the legend to be true. We spent awhile wandering through the place carefully. It wasn't easy because it was super-dark in there, and as we went from room to room my excitement grew. Lo and behold, we saw many faded smears and handprints (could be considered bloody looking we supposed) on the walls! There were also coils of yellow caution tape strewn around in several different rooms. We got more and more thrilled with every step as we found these things. Slowly, all the pieces of the legend were coming together in front of our eyes! We began to realize how jaded and cynical we had become as far as the possibility of these places being exaggerated, and discovering this one felt almost magical and reminded us of why we love doing this in the first place. But the best was yet to come.

In a kitchenette we found the words “I'm Sorry” scrawled below a skull, and in an adjoining room, the wall was decorated with splatters and smeared handprints accompanied by the message “Help Me.” Then, in a hallway we discovered a Ouija board hand-drawn on a built-in shelf! This place just kept getting better and better. We saw more caution tape and smeared handprints on the stairwell, and we considered going upstairs to explore the upper levels, but thought better of the idea because of the state of the ceiling in most of the rooms, which were seriously collapsing.

So we exited the house and went backside out into the stifling heat. We planned to head around to the front to get some photos there, but we had no idea what we were about to stumble onto. We were still pretty giddy and exhilarated from our jaunt into the place when we ducked under the porch to check out the space underneath. We turned around a corner and were stopped dead by what we saw. There, under the porch, was what looked like part of the basement (we could see a door leading back into the place) and great googly moogly––there were the BURNED PLEDGE BOOKS nailed to a wooden beam! We nearly fainted when we saw them, we just couldn't believe it. Our hearts started pounding and our hands were shaking like mad. We couldn't really believe that they actually existed! You could tell they had been there for a very long time. It was really cold under the porch, and the hairs on the back of our necks were on end. There was such a strange, creepy vibe under there. We just stood there staring in awe at the books for a few more minutes, soaking them in before emerging back at into the sunlight.

We didn't find the rumored Polaroids, but finding the crazy old place, the caution tape, the handprints and blood smears, and even the pledge books themselves––well, it was more than we'd ever expected. And we even found out that the place was used as a hospital in the past, too (albeit not a mental hospital, but a hospital nonetheless). It totally gave me a rush like the very first time we ever went into an abandoned place, and reminded us of how many genuine mysteries still exist to be uncovered out there. This has to be one of our very favorite places that we have ever explored, hands (bloody ones) down.

Weird Texas


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