Fuller Park originally featured an old petting zoo owned and run by Mr. and Mrs. Fuller, Mr. Fuller being at that time, a Southern Baptist Minister and Philanthropist.
He also practiced as a family physician and veterinarian, from what I know of what has been told of him by older people, in the area.
Thus, there existed the old monkey cages, old-timey wrought-iron-girdered fences, etc., which, of course, attracts young people to it.
One of the reasons that people (in the distant past) have made this place an Icon of Athens legend over the past hundred or so years is because it was rumored that Mrs. Fuller had a miscarriage and committed suicide.
She has even been called a witch for it, no doubt by God-Fearing members of the Church.
As to whether that is actually historical fact, I have never known, or spoken to any older person that claimed that this was true & some of my mother's older relatives actually knew some of their descendants.
However, as far back as when I first moved here as a kid, I can remember of it being spoken of, especially around this time of year, obviously.
Throughout the years, it has become one of the most visited places (esp. just before and after midnight) over the past 50 years or so.
During the outlandish and overblown eighties, there was a cult (whether satanic or not is unknown, but rumored as such) that was apparently into things like witchcraft and the like who practiced sacrificial rites with animals of all kinds (chickens, dogs, cats, pigs, goats, etc.) and were sometimes left at the site (and others around Athens - under Monkey bridge, for one) for people to discover.
Also, their graves were desecrated & the actual bodies of the Fullers themselves were exhumed and relocated to an old cemetery of which I can't remember the name of, however.
Another hot spot of misdeed just east of Athens off of Hwy 175 is Beck's Chapel.
By: Some Guy Named Tim
This message has been edited by Hawk_The_Slayer on Nov 19, 2006 9:44 PM
I know of an old church off 175 between Athens and Eustace... but, I don't think it's called Becks. I been in there several times for photo shoots, research, and other things. nothing crazy there. NOW THE OLD HOSPITAL IN ATHENS!! that is another story all together, Me and my friends use to break in the old hospital years ago. Scary shit! the place has been weathered and corroded over the years..... why, it's still around... I have NO idea. I've actually got footage of us walking through the hospital from 7 years ago! I've always wanted to put that footage on my computer and analyze it for orbs and such..
This message has been edited by Hawk_The_Slayer on Nov 20, 2006 2:55 PM
I worked at the old Henderson County Memorial Hospital in the early 1970's. For some reason, the bottom floor of the hospital always gave me the creeps. I would never go downstairs at night alone. Can't put my finger on what was wrong, but something was definately wrong!
I still live in Athens, just to the west of the Country Club. I have been down Monkey Road, over Thunder Bridge and out to Fuller Park. Only thing that ever happened to me was lots and lots of parkin and sparkin..lol
newish athens res (no login)
May 16 2007, 2:18 AM
it sounds like monkeys when you drive over it because it is made of old, (now) moving wood that was LOUD like thunder and the trees around move and sound "skreetchy"...or so they say. There's a railroad underneath it as well which could account for some of the "thunder" noise. I think that it has now been rebuilt (or modified/closed off) 2 times since I went (it was about to fall down, i am amazed they still let people drive on that thing)... I only know this because I pass it on my way to work in the mornings and noticed cones, etc.
elder dodge doesn't follow you around with jeeps. i was there on a scavenger hunt late at night, walking all over that lot, and not even a cop came to question us. even when people started opening the hoods of cars. such a trusting little town...haha. i can't think of another town where you can walk around and open the hoods of cars for sale on a lot and not be arrested/questioned.
oh and the spanish trace inn is now "america's best value" or something like that. very cheesy.
i hope you find some interesting info, though...those stone things are strange, but i hardly believe the tunnel thing. companies would have to know about tunnels like that before building/digging/erecting/whatever their business is on different sites in town, and, if they do exist the companies that i have experience with do not know about those things, or if they do, they don't worry about it.
Dawn (no login)
Why Old Hospital is still there
July 22 2007, 5:46 PM
The old hospital is still there because it contains a lot of asbestos. The powers that be have decided that it would be too costly to remove it so they let it sit and rot.
Born and raised in Athens (no login)
Raised in Athens
February 24 2008, 9:45 PM
My husband and I are from Athens. Of course we grew up with the stories of Fullers Park and the tunnels under the city. I thinks it awesome that other people are talking about the old stories, it takes me back to the good old days. Have any of you ever been in the tunnels? I would love to go down there! I'm not afraid of "satan worshipors", just the rumored booby traps I've heard were down there. If some does make it down there take some pics so the rest of us can see what's going. Hopefully some one will make a documentory of this old urban legend and make lots of money. But that's just my opion...
March 4 2009, 1:49 AM
I have heard of Fuller Park both in tales in my family and when we moved to Athens a couple of years ago. My family was from the Athens area. In fact some of them still live in the area. LOL I moved there a couple of years ago. I started hearing about the tunnels and the hauntings and such. It was just recently I learned the name of the place. I would love to go out and see it.. Can you give me directions on how to find it? I would really appreciate it. I would like to talk to people that have gone out there and what they have seen.
Re: monkey/thunder bridge
August 20 2010, 10:01 AM
see thats alot of everyones problem they havent lived in athens for a long period of time. yall dont know half of the stuff that goes on around there mainly withinthe police department. my uncle is a well known man in this town that just so happends to be in law enforcement and has been since i was about 6 years old.on the other hand i also have family that are into the whole drug thing and comin from both sides of the fince i can tell some thing about ur lil town that would blow ur minds. they r all dirty and there are unsolved murders that they know who did it but nobody will say anyhing.til this day i believe the the cops killed my uncle ricky cause his wife was cheating on him with the sheriffs son. when my mom took my cuz back 2 his house he started screaming and sayin that there was blood everywhere. he said he say the cops kill his dad in the house and he didnt want 2 go in. he was really young at the time and so was his lil sister. directly after he was killed both his wife and the cop left town and a few other ppl that was known to hang out with them. me personaly i do believe that there is something 2 the whole witchcraft thing...maybe not the bad craft that everyone thinks but i think that if piss the ppl off then it will come back 2 bite u in the ass.ive been to fullers park on halloween in 1998 when i was 19 years old. there is a since of death, danger, hurt, anger, and betrail...its just so errie there and whatever happend there was bad. for the park 2 still be there doesnt make since. nobody has livedthere since wat the 1900s.we got lost there and ended up in this open field where there were about 20 ppl in black suits in a circle around a fire...we didnt stay long enough to find out wat they were doin we just got the hell out of there. SO if uve lived there all ur life then u would have a place to talk but seeing how uve only been there a while u have no place to say anything about something u know nothing about
Beth (no login)
Hospital - and thoughts on other "sites"
April 24 2011, 6:25 PM
I lived in Athens most of my youth until graduating high school in the mid-80's. That old hospital was just a hospital. I visited a friend who was a patient when it was operational. No big story there. It was just an old, small hospital that was probably on the level with any other old, small-town hospital facility operating at that time.
I heard they're not tearing it down because it will cost tons of money to remediate the asbestos problem - makes it terribly expensive to do anything but let it sit. Don't know that for sure, but that sounds reasonable.
I just thought -- I'm sure if the hospital had been abandoned for 10 years when you were in high school, it would look spooky and make you think there has to be a story. It would be interesting, but I just don't think that's the case. That's simply what buildings look like when they've been abandoned for a long period of time. Most of the time something like that is abandoned it is because of money and legal problems, not paranormal activity. =)
As for Fuller Park, you have to separate what people have been doing out there since the rumors began and what might have been there to begin with. Since I was in junior high, anyone who had a sincere interest in the occult might be inclined to do their weird stuff out there just because of the legend. That doesn't mean it was seriously haunted to begin with. Plus, people would go out there on a lark, to drink beer or party, or just be mischievous. I can think of at least 10 people I went to high school with who would have thought it would be hysterical to go out there and spray a pentagram or spooky symbols on a tree just to be creepy, but they have ABSOLUTELY no serious, organized connection with any pagan ritual ideology--wicca, satanism, whatever. They were just silly kids partying and acting goofy.
In fact, I think there may have been an organized "haunted walk" through Fuller Park that was sort of like a crude haunted house that was operated during Halloween a year or two. Sponsored by someone real, like the Kiwanas or something. Don't know that for sure, but I seem to recall something like that.
Mostly, it was just a mysterious, decrepit place for partying (or even not partying) teens to have an adventure because it was a bit scary at night. But so is any thick wooded place or abandoned old house or building, particularly when a legend has grown up around it.
Fun research project, but don't fall into the trap of trying to hard to believe.
* Caveat -- I do recall that an acquaintance of mine at the time had a harrowing experience of being date raped out there one night. That, though, had to do with being at the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people, and not the witchery of Fuller Park.
One angle I would look at is whether there was KKK activity in the country and nearby counties in the 20's- 40's. I'd bet you could find some interesting stuff along those lines if you looked hard enough. But devil worshipers? I'd check and re-check my sources on that stuff. Lots of people want it to be true because it's kind of "thrilling" to think so, but I doubt there's much more to it than a rumor that's taken on a life of its own.
Just me (no login)
Virgina Fuller's death
September 10 2012, 9:01 PM
Mrs. Fuller died Dec 14, 1933 (not in 1938). Her death certificate shows she died due to complications from a hysterectomy, toxemia, cause of death is listed as abdominal malignancy. Anyone can see a copy of it at familysearch.org, search for Virginia McClelland Fuller, be sure to add Athens, Texas.
In my research, I have not found evidence that the bodies were exhumed and moved to another location, but I'm still digging. Her death certificate shows she is buried at "Fuller Ranch".
As kid i was around 13 my folks rented a house on the little side street that was right behind thunder bridge no less that maybe 3oo feet. theres monkeys no devils just an old timbered bridge that made lots of noise as cars passed under.. we played all over that thing. also the old road .theres no monkeys no ghost i know because i used to travel it many times day or night. wonder if the old v=bridge is still there? lol