The Corpsewood Manor is a Road Trip with a Terrifying Story
Corpsewood Manor isn’t the name of a haunted house attraction, though some claim ghosts are there.
Like other true crime stories, Corpsewood Manor’s legend includes eccentric men and rumors of wild parties with drugs and occult practices.
In this story, though, those men are the tragic victims of a heinous crime shortly after building a new house. What happened there, and what’s left of it?
Let’s find out!
About Corpsewood Manor
Corpsewood Manor was the home of Dr. Charles Scudder and his life partner, Joseph Odom. The two lived in Chicago but got tired of city life. After much searching, they found the perfect place and moved in 1976.
Upon arrival, they noticed the skeletal trees surrounding the property. Odom christened it Corpsewood Manor. In part, their story got attention because this name seemed to foreshadow the horror to come.
Scudder and Odom built their home together using only hand tools. They lived in a camper while they laid 45,000 bricks and put in a garden and vineyard. They also added some outbuildings and a chicken coop.
Murder at Corpsewood Manor
Local hunters, such as Avery Brock, frequently asked to use their land. Brock thought the couple’s lifestyle was lavish because of all the parties and wrongly assumed they were rich.
Brock told his friend Tony West about some “queer devil worshippers” who had money to steal. Those two, along with West’s nephew and his friend, showed up at the home of Scudder and Odom.
There, everyone partied and enjoyed homemade wine. After a time, Brock retrieved a rifle from his car and shot Odom four times, killing the two mastiffs next. Then, they tied up Scudder and demanded to know where the money was as they ransacked the house. In the end, West shot Scudder in the head, and the murderers fled.
Driving Scudder’s Jeep, Brock and West took off, killing a navy deputy to steal his car outside Vicksburg, Missouri. They stayed on the lam as authorities began a manhunt bean after discovering the horrific crime scene.
West’s nephew and his friend came forward early on. They hadn’t had a part in the murders and were cooperative, so prosecutors never charged them. Brock and West were sentenced to life in prison and have been denied parole multiple times.
Where Is Corpsewood Manor?
Corpsewood Manor is in Summerville, Georgia, located in the northwestern corner of the state in Chattooga County. The Chattahoochee Forest surrounds the area.
Can You Visit Corpsewood Manor?
Yes and no. It’s on private property. The ruins are overgrown, and the two remaining pillars are down. The current owner sometimes permits people to explore the land, but only if they first obtain consent. No information is available about how to obtain permission.
Pro Tip: On the hunt for more spooky places to explore in Georgia? Check out these Haunted Places in Georgia: Perfect Road Trip Destinations.
Is There a Book About the Murders?
The Corpsewood Manor Murders in North Georgia by Amy Petulla chronicles the murders and related events. The author was a trial attorney for over 20 years and currently owns a ghost tour company. In her book, Petulla also describes the trials, local lore, and alleged haunting of the property.
Law enforcement officials gave her 50 exclusive photos to use.
One image depicts a self-portrait Scudder painted months before his death. He painted himself tied up and with obvious bullet holes.
Best Hikes Near Corpsewood Manor
Marble Mine Trail to Upper Lake Loop
There aren’t any trails close to the ruins, but you can access several nice ones from the James “Sloppy” Floyd State Park about 30 minutes away.
One trail is the Marble Mine Trail to Upper Lake Loop. It’s 2.5 miles and easy, though the first part is at an incline. The trail is all dirt, and it has a river and lake. Some hikers noted that it can be challenging to follow this trail.
This trail is part of the state park, which has a $5 parking fee.
Pinhoti South Trail
The Pinhoti State Trail is a picturesque 3.7-mile dirt trail of moderate difficulty. Hikers recommend traveling the trail counter-clockwise to avoid a very steep incline. This trail also connects to others to permit a longer walk. Dogs are allowed if they’re on a leash.
There is a $5 fee for parking at the state park.
Pro Tip: Looking for more places to hike on your adventure? Check out these 5 Best Hiking Apps for Finding Trails.
Best Camping Near Corpsewood Manor
James H. “Sloppy” Floyd State Park
“Sloppy’s” State Park sprawls over 561 acres and has two lakes. Located in the Chattahoochee National Forest, the park offers excellent fishing and entertainment. There might even be signage explaining how there came to be a Congressional representative named Sloppy, but we’re not making any promises.
The park has a small campground with 24 tent, trailer, and RV sites. In addition, there are backcountry sites, cottages, and picnic shelter camping. All of the RV sites have full hook-ups, plus ample facilities, including laundry and hot showers.
Given the range of campsites, rates range from $30 to $185. It’s open year-round, and pets are welcome.
Is a Corpsewood Manor Road Trip Worth It?
If the history of Corpsewood Manor is what most calls you there, you’ll get a lot more from reading Petulla’s book. There’s so little to see of the ruins, plus it could be challenging to obtain permission to walk the site.
If checking out the fishing and hiking of the Chattahoochee National Forest is more your speed, we’re sure Sloppy will welcome you.
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