district 12.

As we were looking for directions to South Mountains State Park in Connelly Springs, NC…we came across a place named “District 12 — Hunger Games Film” on the ever so popular driving map WAZE. Needless to say our curiosity struck, and we went to check it out. Having only seen the first movie I know nothing really of the Hunger Games movies, but we took Exit 119 off Interstate 40 and arrived minutes after in the old Henry River Mill Village.

It is here that homes have turned into abandonment and signs are posted and visible all around stating NO TRESPASSING and DO NOT ENTER.

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Because of this, we observed the scenes of Henry River Road from a safe and discrete spot inside the car.

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The old Mill town was completely dependent on it’s inhabitants in the 1900’s as it thrived on creating jobs in making yarn. Once the economy started declining and the need for yarn decreased, however, the town was finally left completely abandoned in the year 1973. Through random google searches on the area, I’ve read countless articles and blogs about the old town being “haunted” and accounts of “old mill worker ghosts” being seen or heard especially during the night time hours. Apparently the old town is owned by a man, Mr. Shepherd, who seems to take as much care of the space as he can, with trying to keep trespassers and vandalism out…hence all the signs and barriers. The land is now for sale and Mr. Shepherd has hopes that it can one day be useful again.

Here’s some of the articles:
http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/abandoned-henry-river-mill-village
https://www.romanticasheville.com/hunger_games.htm

As we drove along the main street and observed the houses that were once someone’s home and are now rotting pieces of property, I didn’t feel anything eerie or get any weird “presence” vibes as some people account to have felt when here. The one thing I did feel was a sense of sadness as a once self-sufficient place is now collecting dust. Of course, I find the beauty in it as I am a fan of the old.

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As we made our way back to I-40 and continued the drive home I thought, maybe this town isn’t so dead after all — as it sees plenty of camera happy tourists now…?

I’m interested to see what happens with the sale of the Old River Mill Town and what the future holds for it.

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