Places of Denbrook: Murdock Wind

murdock-wind

Here the concentration of houses in the southern suburbs of Denbrook thins to larger lots and houses at the end of long dirt drives and hidden behind ancient stands of trees. Originally this area was called  Murder Wind—this because of seven corpses discovered in 1742 by a farmer, in a copse of trees near the edge of his property. The Wind portion of the street name is less sinister, so named because of the way the road winds through the hills.

In 1953 the street name was subtly changed by a developer who thought it might be more difficult to sell houses on a street named Murder than a street named Murdock. They showed up one day and without fanfare replaced the signs, hoping that no one would notice or that no one would care. There were a few complaints by long-time residents who were perversely proud of the streets strange heritage, but the developer was a contributor to the mayor’s reelection fund so nothing came of it.

Those who frequently use Murdock road report seeing spectral figures standing at the roadside or gliding across the street, usually in early morning or late at night. Skeptics point to the peculiar geography that includes some warm artesian springs and a breeze that pushes off the Hopkins River and up through the hills so that clouds of mist can be seen scudding over and through the hills. These skeptics suggest that these sightings of strange apparitions are most likely mist formations.

 

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