Cinton, Indiana is a quiet little town. Every little town has a lover's lane of sorts. Since the mid 1800s, Crow Hill was Cinton's meeting place for young lovers and old lovers who wanted to reminisce.
The large hilltop was scattered with rows of bushes for privacy. On the east side of the hill...a steep cliff cascaded down to a large pond. The pond was built in 1930 by a man who owned the property.
On many nights, couples could see the moon in the sky and the moon's reflection in the pond. An old tale was....if a girl gazed at the moon in the sky while a boy gazed at the moon in the pond...their deepest wishes for each other would come true.
There was also a tale of tragedy. A boy named Marlin Smith murdered his girlfriend by the cliff back in 1952. She was found mutilated and strangled by her own hair. He was found drowned in the pond with her nose in his mouth. The local Sheriff determined Marlin had gone crazy and killed her. Blond hair strands were death gripped in his hands....along with the obvious nose connection.
Twenty years later, in 1972...it was a spring night and the moon was big and bright. Billy Zims and Tessa Holess decided to have their third date on Crow Hill. He was 17 and she was 16 years old. A handsome couple with Billy being the football team's star quarterback and Tessa being the prettiest cheerleader.
They arrived in Billy's white 69 Mustang with the Beatles,"Let It Be" blaring on the radio. Billy had managed to get an older friend of his to buy them two fifths of Boonnesfarm apple wine. The couple sat in the car and kissed a few times. Tessa was getting a little tipsy and a little nervous. She didn't want to wind up pregnant like her older sister.
Tessa had plans for college and a career in the media industry. She giggled as she pulled the door handle and jumped out. Billy shouted,"Hey...hey, come on Tessa." She laughed and ran towards the east side of the hill. Billy took a swig of wine...screwed the cap on and got out of the car.
He stumbled a little but made his way to her. Tessa was standing very close to the edge of the cliff. Billy took her gently by the arm to pull her back. Tessa looked up and then down, saying,"Moons....there are two moons."
Billy moaned,"Yeah...yeah." Tessa punched him in the arm and said,"Such a Romeo," Billy grinned wide and said,"OK....my sweet and wonderful young lady...let us gaze at the moons and make our wishes."
He could even see the mischievous smile on her face in the moonlight as she said,"Oh yes my prince...but I...oh I wish to break the rules." She went on,"You gaze at the moon in the sky and I shall gaze at the moon in the pond."
She stepped up for a long kiss. After the smack of parting lips....Billy chuckled,"Anything you want." Tessa stepped behind him quickly...jumped on his back and locked her legs around his waist. He laughed and said,"What are you doing?"
She hugged his neck tight and said,"Step up so I can see the pond. Billy took three short steps and was about a foot from the edge of the cliff. She commanded that he only look at the moon in the sky. Billy did as she told him and cocked his head back.
She looked over his shoulder and giggled. Suddenly...Tessa squealed,"Oh god...a snake in the water." She shivered and said,"I hate those things." A snake swam across the center of the moon's reflection. Tessa hugged Billy tighter and said,"I hope there aren't any of those up here."
She giggled again and said,"Billy...Billy?" He just kept glaring at the big moon. Tessa eased herself down from his back...she took a step to his left side and with a little anger in her voice....she said louder,"Billy...Billy Zims..you're scaring me."
Billy continued glaring at the moon. Tessa watched the wine bottle drop from his fingers. It tumbled and rolled over the cliff. She heard glass break and little splashes in the pond. She took a slow step back and said in a firm tone,"Billy...this is not funny...take me home, take me home right now!"
Billy didn't flinch. He did nothing. He was like a statue. Billy's mouth began to move. He was whispering something. Tessa screamed in a cry,"Billy...damn you...stop this!" His whispers became louder and louder. Tessa backed away further as she finally heard him say over and over,"Serpent moon...serpent moon."
He began to growl out,"Serpent moon....serpent moon!" She put her hands over her mouth and cried,"Oh my god,' as he turned his head to look at her. Even in the moonlight....she could see an emptiness, a dark and cold emptiness. He raised his forearm to his mouth and bit deep into it. He tore the flesh away as blood spurted out towards her and on him.
Tessa screamed and ran towards Billy's white car. She knew the gravel road that the car was parked on was the quickest visual path away from Billy. She was running hard and was almost past the car when he tackled her. She screamed with a shrill as they hit the ground. Billy was clawing and biting her as he growled like a mad dog. Her screams were muffled by the gravel as he held her head down and ripped at her neck with his teeth.
His forehead dipped in the growing puddle of warm blood. Tessa's terror was soon over. Billy bit and gnawed at her flesh. With every swallow he would cry at the moon. It was as if he would regain sanity for a second and then returned to his feast.
Billy didn't see the Copperhead snake slithering through Tessa's blood. It slithered next to her head...half coiled...lunged and bit Billy in the neck. Billy cried out...grabbed the snake and bit it in half. He tossed the remains high. The tail half rolled in the road and the head half of the snake landed on the hood of his car.
Billy continued biting at Tessa's flesh but soon felt his neck swelling. His growls turned into hisses of fighting for air. He glared at the moon with tears in his eyes. He looked down at what he had done. His last forced out crying words,"Oh god..Tessa."
The Sheriff was called the next morning by a frantic woman. Her sons were riding their bikes up on Crow Hill and found the bodies. Billy was the Sheriff's best friend's son. His best friend was the coroner. Deputies secured the entire hill and let no one pass.
The story was later released that wild dogs killed Tessa and Billy tried to save her. Billy was said to have bled to death from his severe arm wound. The snake was never mentioned and the boys who found the bodies were convinced that the half snake on the hood of the car was just a part of an intestine.
The Sheriff thought that the truth was...Billy and Tessa were making out....the snake bit Billy and drove him mad. That was the only thing that could explain Tessa's flesh in Billy's stomach.
I know this is a very hard story to believe...but...if you're ever passing through Cinton, Indiana and decide to visit Crow Hill...go ahead...wish on the moons. Just in case the Sheriff was dead wrong.....you may want to stick to the rules.