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Roadside Art Online: Vistas

5K JPG of face

Marilyn J. Brackney contributes this information on the Columbus marker:

I live in Columbus, Indiana and have passed by the stone head pictured on your Vistas page many times on the way to my mother's house. There is an article in our local newspaper today about the history of the head. I thought you might find some of the information interesting. I checked out your page again, because I was hoping the photo showed the entire head. It is almost totally gone now.

It seems that a local fellow named Don Norton built the head to draw attention to his property so people wouldn't drive into his yard! He also built a door that leads to nowhere. This portal is in a stone wall that braces the large hill on Highway 46 east of town. There's a cemetery on top of the hill!

The head used to have long white fangs, and when you came upon it at night, the eyes sort of glowed (or maybe we all just imagined they did). The head is almost gone now. Some people think it was hit by cars, but I think it was destroyed by vandals or perhaps people who thought it was satanic. Norton's house is just a few yards away from the head, and it sports a weathervane with a witch on top.

Unfortunately, Marilyn reports the face is now completely gone. But she sent along this older photo, by Matt Hughes of Nashville, Ind., showing how it used to be.

Thanks, and a big tip o' the hat. Meanwhile, you can visit a dinosaur made out of trash on Marilyn's home page:

Lisa Thompson added this story about the face: "I was looking through your page and I saw it... the face that was located on the corner of a house my parents very briefly thought about trading our house for. Someone had driven by and hit it ... cracked it in half. It wasn't there for a while and a couple of years ago they tried to replace it. Needless to say it isn't the same as the old one, but the kids today won't know the difference.

"The interesting thing is the significance it had in my life. Everytime we drove past it when I was a kid my brother and I had to chant ooooooh boogie man ooooooh oooooh boogie man so it wouldn't get us in our sleep. I still have that nightmare once in a while. It's beetie eyes seem to follow you as you turned the corner.... How awesome!"

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