The subject is a student at USC who grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. I wanted to know if there were any local tales or folklore she knew of while growing up, so one night in my dorm I interviewed her for the project.
Subject: “Okay, the graffiti house, right, is this house, this little structure, near the sewage behind a giant hill in a children’s park. Do you remember this, when we went to the park?”
Interviewer: “Yeah, I remember the park, but you didn’t show us a house.”
Subject: “Yeah I should’ve shown you guys the house, cause it’s super creepy. And you like walk down these stairs through this little bamboo forest and then you come to this house with a shit ton — sorry, a lot of graffiti. And, um, stories say that at midnight, the graffiti, they come off the walls.
Interviewer: “How does that work, what does it look like?”
Subject: “I’m not sure I’ve never seen it for myself, but I hear the shapes and art and words they all just come off the walls. And turn the people that come in there into graffiti.”
Interviewer: “That’s terrifying.”
Subject: “Especially when you’re a kid, cuz like everyone talked about this place and everyone was so afraid of going in cuz they thought they’d become, you know, graffiti.”
Interviewer: “And who’d wanna become graffiti?”
While this may seem like a small childhood fable, the location has a long history. According to Charleston’s local paper, The Post and Courier, “The mound was Battery Capron, an American army ammunition store and mortar battery constructed in 1898 for $175,000. The earth and reinforced concrete structure was part of the Endicott System of seacoast defense. It was active from the outset of the Spanish-American War through much of World War II, according to news reports. In 1947, Battery Capron became the property of the state before officially being handed over to the island in 1975.”
The area clearly holds a lot of history dating back hundreds of years ago, so it comes as no surprise that the children in the surrounding area would create horror stories for their own amusement. The city is looking into refurbishing the area and turning it into a recreation zone.