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Graveyard Tour: River Canard Graveyard

 

This is the first in a small series of stories telling of the events that happened as a group of kids decided to formally create a group to investigate all the paranormal history around our home town.

As a kid I grew up in the small historic town of Amherstburg. In high school a group of friends and I enjoyed researching the area and testing the truth of many of the local lore. It started in Grade 9 when we joined the Haunted house. We first checked out a very eerie Cursed tree. It was scary but exciting and very mind blowing that these things were actually out there. After the Tree we looking into a Satanic Alter stone and had a very frightening experience. During that time we all decided to actually make a group effort to research these areas and not just run off to check them out because we were drinking and decided it would be fun to do in the middle of the night. (the real motivation behind our 3am romp through a satanic forest)

The first thing we did is look around for known areas. We quickly were led to the Texas rd stories, and the Texas road Cemetery but after the fright we had by the bridge, we chose to start at the River Canard Graveyard.

We did a tour of the local graveyards. At this time our group was three guys including myself. (fresh with a license to drive) and a new girl from art class (as we were now in Grade 10 and the girl who was with us at the Texas road Bridge would not play with us anymore.) (She would come to our parties but would not go anywhere after dark with us)

The first graveyard we chose to investigate was at River Canard.

The new girl had a relative buried at the River Canard cemetery and wanted to go see if we could find the grave stone. (as she had never seen it) River Canard was an old settlement that consisted of a small river connecting two big swamps. At the one end was lake Erie and the other a swamp that ended very near Texas road.

Along the center of the river was a little old cement bridge. On one side of the river was a giant red brick church. On the other was a small run of houses and fields. Just opposite of the church and on the other side of the river is a little Cemetery. It is old and run down. Many years it was not properly cared for and mostly grown over with weeds. The River had small dirt roads running along both sides at the time. The side with the grave yard was extremely low and for many years the river would rise and wash over the road during the wet seasons. The cemetery was on very low ground and for many years the small community had discussed moving the graveyard to a better location, but it was too costly. It was very common for a coffin to rise out of the ground during the wet season. You could go there and see the cement slab sticking out of the ground and a large void under it filled with water and sometimes the floating corner of a rotted wood casket. (very nasty)

We stopped in during the day and looked around the graveyard. There were three unearthed coffins that I could see. (I know... I was looking for them... Kind of sick but it's one of those things you have to look at once you see it) They were not badly exposed, just the corner of their slabs were sticking out of the ground, One had a void you could see into, but it was too dark to see any detail.

We looked around and found the head stone of her relative. She took a rubbing of it (the first time I had ever seen it done and thought it was a great idea.) We decided to return later with the others to show them the unearthed coffins. Later that night we returned, it was later evening and the sky was beginning to darken. We still had plenty of light to read the stones but shadows were being casted everywhere. The graveyard at night was very scary looking. Although it is not well known it is probably one of the creepiest ones I have ever seen. It had an old rickety wrought iron fence that was rusted and broken surrounding it. It had large weeds and roots sticking out of the ground. (Along with coffins) The stones were old and weathered; many were broken and sat-up against the stump that they had broken from. It was a small graveyard of only about 50 or so graves with a large statue of a female angel in the middle. (basically the perfect horror film graveyard) It also had a lot of cats around because there were a lot of rats and snakes. (snakes and rats would come out from under the stone slabs. Often snakes would nest in the coffin cavity in the ground) It was very creepy and it scared us all.

After leaving the cemetery we were all creeped out and decided to go into the city for the evening to catch a movie. We had fun downtown and watch a movie the Palace. (Popular move spot of the time downtown Windsor) During the movie we occasionally talked about how creepy the grave yard was in River Canard. After the movie it was late, almost midnight, and it was starting to rain (not a heavy storm but a good constant rain). On the way home we continued to talk about the grave yard and decided to test our courage. We were going to return to the grave yard and see if we could see any ghosts in the night.

When we arrived it had been raining for a while. It was dark out but no lighting or heavy winds just a dark rainy night. We parked the car and all got out and walked to the entrance of the grave yard. The ground was soft and full of puddles. We looked around but could not see far. The rain was heavy enough to limit our vision to see only about about 40 feet. We walked in a little further and could see the Statue of the angel. It was very intense vision. The angel was shrouded in rain and water had brought out the grain in the cement making it look like marble. The rain poured off its raised hands and ran down its face. It looked as if it was crying. What a sight! The air smelled of clay mud and the ground was quickly becoming saturated with water. The roots looked like snakes and the rain washed out most of the local sounds. It was hard to hear each other from any distance.

We started to move around looking to see what we could see. As I took steps in the mud I could hear a slopping sound. At first I thought it was my foot in the mud, but after a little while I realized the sound was not consistent with my footsteps. The slopping sound got louder and started to make little pops. I was without a flashlight so I moved to one of my friends that had one and brought him back to the area I was at. We quickly looked around the ground and could see that the area was inches deep in water. The sound was coming from little air bubble burping out of the ground. Further in, we could hear the water trickling into the open graves. It sounded like a garden hose running water into a bucket. As we moved around the old graveyard the burping and trickling got louder. Then as we approached the grave with the largest gap in its cement slab, the sound got quiet and a loud bump echoed out from within the void. It was the coffin floating to the top and bumping into the cement top. Then dirty water started to pour back out of the void and wash back along the low ground. We moved away from the area as we did not want to step in water that was washing through a rotted corpse.

As we moved around the area became deeper in water and we realized that the graveyard was in a natural run off path from the farm field behind the graveyard to the river across the street. We all gathered in front of the angel statue. We had enough looking around in the rain. Just as we were ready to leave, we spotted some movement back towards the open grave. We thought it was someone else out there with us. I thought perhaps a neighbour looking to see who would be out in the graveyard at this time in the rain? Or a caretaker... (I heard the place had one but never saw any evidence of him if he existed.)

We panned the area with the flashlight and could not see anything. Then as we were talking and ready to leave again the flashlight passed by a grave by random movement of the holder's hand and we saw a dark figure hunched over the open grave. Two of us saw it and when we signaled the flashlight holder to return light to the grave it was gone. We searched the area for the figure but no trace. Just as we were about to give up the flashlight came to rest on the cavity of the open grave and we all seen a very old face looking out of the void. It was only there for a few seconds but we all could see it. It was the kind of thing that rattled the breath from your chest. We were all terrified but continued to look around even though we all decided that it was a good time to leave. (quickly)

We moved out to the front but returned the light to the grave often on the way out. Even as we got in the car we shone the light out the car window at the grave. We all were looking to see the figure again. As the light searched the area we could not see anything. After a few minutes we all left.

Since then the grave yard has undergone many improvements. The whole stretch of road along the low side of the river has been built up, and a drainage point made to the east that moves the drainage from the fields through the grave yard to the east field on the other side.

The River Canard community has restored the graveyard and cleaned it up. The church funded the reburial of several graves and has since removed the old wrought iron fence and the weathered angel statue. It is still a small graveyard but it is clean looking. I have not returned to is since that night but I do drive by it often. I always will remember that night when I pass by that place.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, old_dude, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

PunkysMama (4 stories) (62 posts)
 
1 year ago (2016-05-09)
Hello Old_Dude,

Your imagery is wonderful. I really enjoy reading your stories. I think I might start checking out some of the local haunts and tours offered around town. *If I am brave enough* 😆

I couldn't imagine being around graves that had "come loose" so to speak. I wonder if spirits would be affected by their remains becoming unearthed; their burial and final resting place disturbed... Could explain your mysterious figure over the unearthed grave.

Very scary. 😨 Great Read!
RiverCanardCanoe (1 posts)
 
6 years ago (2011-09-18)
Hi there,

I am organizing a ghost/graveyard tour here and wanted to get in touch with old dude - he seems to know a lot about the history here, please contact
Rivercanardcanoe [at] live.ca
Thanks
old_dude (16 stories) (105 posts)
+1
6 years ago (2011-09-07)
That thought is going to stick with me awhile... That stuff was bad enough to step in.
old_dude (16 stories) (105 posts)
+1
6 years ago (2011-09-07)
Ahhh! I never thought about it... I hope that area does not get thier water supply from the river. I think it is most likley from lake erie (A bigger source river)

The place is a lot better now... Still gags me thinking about it. 😭
quixoticqt (5 stories) (104 posts)
 
6 years ago (2011-09-07)
AAAHHHH!
Mud on your boots... I don't own any boots to go out in the mud with. I'm glad you can go out for me, write it down and make me feel as if I'm there with you.
😆 never heard of corpse juice before. That makes my drinking water not taste as good as before I read the story.

Qt
Nighthingale23 (60 posts)
 
6 years ago (2011-09-03)
Rotting corpse water... (and I just ate my midnight lunch *barf*) haha. Thank you soo much for sharing these uver-awesome creepy stories with us!, your description of the place just gave me the heeve jeebes, the angel statue sounds so morbidly beautiful, I envy you to have seen such a sight!. I'm glad the cementary got restored, I'd be pissed if I was burried there floating in water and with rats and snakes as my roomates eww... Anyways I do hope to read more from you, makes me wish I would've stayed in my old spooky little town back then.

Blessings!.

[at] javelina Hey send some my way please, if you don't mind mam'!, I've came back from a long brake on this site and I've missed so much it seems lol.
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
 
6 years ago (2011-09-03)
The home where I babysat was called the Knickerbocker Mansion. I know, it seems you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a Knickerbocker Mansion or Hotel, huh?
This was supposedly the first solid structure built in that town. And this was only as far back as the Gold Rush days in California. That's where I'm from originally. The place was sold sometime in the mid 80s, and is now a Bed and Breakfast. But I don't see how. That place was the darkest house I've ever had to spend time in.
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
 
6 years ago (2011-09-02)
When you're ready, I can steer you to some real gems. There are the funny ones, scary ones, tragedy, etc. But then there are some that are so good, you wonder why they haven't been picked up by a publisher. I have a couple of favorites that I've gone back to read 3 or 4 times.

Jav
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
 
6 years ago (2011-09-02)
I have already written about the restaurant, and that ended up a two parter... I probably could have done it in one, but I felt I was under the gun. My best friend from home had called the day before and informed me that some ghost hunting group was going to film there and that it was supposed to air on TV sometime later this year (STILL HAVEN'T SEEN IT) and I wanted to get the jump on them. I didn't want to end up writing some Johnny come lately story and look like I was trying to catch their wave.
It's OK, but I want to do better on this next one.
You can read it if you like. It's on my profile page.

Jav
old_dude (16 stories) (105 posts)
+1
6 years ago (2011-09-02)
believe it or not I have not read any of the stories here yet. Other than the few on Texas road that I commented on before writing here.

I hope that doesn't sound rude or that I am not participating with the spirit of the site.

I want to get my stuff out first, then I will dive into the experiences of others. (I've had a few nightmares reliving my stuff, who knows how other people's experiences will do to me) lol.
old_dude (16 stories) (105 posts)
+1
6 years ago (2011-09-02)
I'd love to read that story Jav.
I have a love for old buildings.
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
 
6 years ago (2011-09-02)
Hello back old_dude!
The reason it was so funny to me is because I can relate to it. I worked for my mother in a haunted restaurant and and babysat at the oldest, most historic house in town, which was also haunted. The restaurant was fun. The house... Not so much. And after a while I couldn't get any of my sisters (I have 6 of them) or friends to go with me, no matter how much I offered to pay them. They would last the one time and no more. It wasn't so funny back then, but when I think of it now I can't help but laugh. So naturally when I read that it just cracked me up! Of course, the way you worded it was dead on!

I still have to write that story...

Jav 😆 😆
old_dude (16 stories) (105 posts)
 
6 years ago (2011-09-02)
Hi Jav,

Our group was constantly changing. We had several people that hung out with us for a couple of times and then we would have something scary happen and they would get freaked out and leave the group.

Over the couple of years that we were in high school, more people heard about our events and joined the group. By the end of High school we had about 4 consistent people and 2 others that tried desperately to participate even though they were scared white most of the time.

It got to be funny after awhile. The worst was not even a paranormal experience. We had an exchange student from South Africa, who lived a very sheltered life without Television. It was his first week in Canada and he had the misfortune to fall into our group. Not thinking, we invited him out to the re-mastered release of Aliens the movie, being shown in the theaters. He was jumping and screaming and hiding behind the seats within the first 10mins of the film. We made it to the middle of the film before we were all thrown out. (I felt bad after, not knowing at the time he was not use to theaters. But I did have a headache for the rest of the night from laughing so hard)

We had a good group of kids that we partied with. (we were a bunch of country bumpkins without much to do) So we got into a lot of trouble and had a lot of adventures.
cosmogal926 (9 stories) (1223 posts)
 
6 years ago (2011-08-30)
old_dude, Thanks for another great story. I could not get over the horrible condition of the cemetery. I am so glad that they fixed it up. I had goosebumps through most of your story. I can't figure out what creeped me out more. The dark figure leaning over the grave, the really old face looking out from the void, or the sound of the casket hitting the cement. 😨
taz890 (12 stories) (1380 posts)
 
6 years ago (2011-08-29)
old-dude!
Again wonderful post, great detail and interesting too
Have to say I hate those angel statues have one in the cemertary where most people I have known that have passed are buried, and the thing just freaks me out!
Anyway looking forward to the next one as per normal
Please keep them coming
Carl
Moongrim (2 stories) (871 posts)
 
6 years ago (2011-08-29)
That certainly was a sendup.

I understand that in Lousiana, the folks got tired of such happening in their own graveyards, and instead chose to go with above ground crypts.
PrettyInPain (3 stories) (153 posts)
 
6 years ago (2011-08-29)
LouSlips,

Hah, thanks for the yummy visual. Cats and snakes eating rats that eat rotting bodies. I sure hope the cats were feral and not someone's pet. Otherwise, they may have been left wondering why their kitty had nasty rat-rot breath. It kind of sheds a whole new light on why some pets get bad breath. 😜

Anyway, lunch time!

PiP 😉 😆
LouSlips (10 stories) (979 posts)
+1
6 years ago (2011-08-29)
old-dude,
As others mentioned, another great account. Also, as mentioned, I am glad the town has taken up caring for the cemetery. The snakes were there for the same reason the cats were... The rats. And there is only one reason rats infest anywhere...food.
You all are fortunate that none contracted anything serious from your exposure to this area. Rats feeding on rotting corpses... Glad I did not live downstream. Maybe the Lake Erie fires weren't such a bad thing afterall.

Lou
DARKNESS (3 stories) (2022 posts)
 
6 years ago (2011-08-29)
Another awesome story old_dude that sounds bloody freaky mate, like something right out of a movie truly awesome writing skills you have.

Thank you for another beauty!

Dan
Morticia1 (6 stories) (159 posts)
 
6 years ago (2011-08-28)
Again another well written post old dude! I again felt like I was right there with you guys.

Thankyou for sharing 😊
Mountaineer (4 stories) (176 posts)
+1
6 years ago (2011-08-28)
It's sad that the graveyard was allowed to fall into such disrepair in the first place, and I'm glad that the townspeople cared enough to restore it to good condition. The Victorian-era cemetaries of the Americas are known for being garden-like in terms of landscaping, while European graveyards of the time were functional places where corpses were allowed to decompose before having the bones dug up and moved to ossuaries. That graveyard must have been really scary, especially during bad weather and at night. I would not have set foot in there, the coward I am.
zzsgranny (18 stories) (3312 posts) mod
+1
6 years ago (2011-08-28)
old_dude: What can I say?...I really think you should publish this stuff! 😆...Thank you for the spooky read, as always it made my day ❤

Astral Master: Please note the category of the story in the heading at the top of the page 😊

This comment from Astral_Master is hidden due to low rating. Show comment

TerriLewis123 (1 stories) (93 posts)
 
6 years ago (2011-08-28)
Hello Old Dude, Thank you for sharing. I really like your stories, especially the lore of Texas Road. (It's on my favorites list). Isn't ghost hunting exciting?! I'm glad that you are still enjoying the spooky side of life. 😊
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
 
6 years ago (2011-08-28)
I have to add that your description of the statue of the Angel was breathtaking...
Of course having that followed by the old face sticking up out of the cavity of an old grave just made my day! 😲

Jav
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
 
6 years ago (2011-08-28)
old_dude,
Here we go again with the "Holy crapoly old dude"!
I'm giving this one a 10 on the Creep-O-Meter, for the descriptions alone. I'm not going to be able to get those visions out of my head for a good while, I can promise you that. Like this one, "as we did not want to step in water that was washing through a rotted corpse." YIKES! That is going to stick with me for a very long while sir. I don't even want to think about "the dark figure hunched over the open grave"! This whole experience is a study in creepiness, tenfold. And I loved every word of it!
But what really gets me is that this was the first one you guys visited. Which means, after all that, you went ahead and kept on going to graveyards.
Another well written, soon to be classic from old dude. Thank you for sharing these with us sir, they are truly appreciated.

Jav

I do love the part about the girl from your last adventure having decided not to play with you guys outside after dark any longer. That's priceless!
PrettyInPain (3 stories) (153 posts)
 
6 years ago (2011-08-28)
We are all incredibly lucky that you are kind enough to publish your experiences. You certainly have a way with words. There is just something about an unkempt graveyard that is bone-chilling (I've been to a couple) in and of itself, but during a wet season- that certainly takes it to a whole new level. The water-filled grave with the coffin bumping against the cement was crazy! I'm glad you and your friends didn't accidently step in the corpse-rot water! Eep!

Thanks a million for sharing your sharing your story. I enjoyed it very much. 😁

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