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Down On The Graveyard

 

For anyone who has followed my stories, you might remember me mentioning an old graveyard on the farm I live on.  Recently, I paid a visit in order to clean up some of the graves, record the names, dates, and any genealogically valuable information, and to take some pictures of the cemetery.  The graves range from 1861-1927, and the cemetery has been very poorly maintained for many years.  I go down to clear out vines and wipe off any dirt from the stones.

After recording all the text from the seven graves present, the sun had just set, and the lighting seemed perfect for pictures of headstones.  I managed to take several good, and chilling pictures, but they were all normal.  After I had taken about seven pictures, however, my camera began to misbehave.  I would spend ten-thirty seconds focusing on the perfect shot, and, after taking the picture, it would come out blurry and unfocused.  I have never had any sort of trouble like this with my camera before, and I was, at first, merely frustrated that my perfect lighting was fading away and that I was getting few good pictures.  Next, the picture showing on the screen would seem to "lag," and failed to move smoothly with my movements, jumping around and refusing to get a good focus even on the screen.  Finally, the screen would simply black out for minutes at a time and then randomly turn back on, still unfocused.  At this point, a chill ran down my back and I decided to bid adieu to my sleeping neighbors and go home.  

After getting back home, I thoroughly checked my camera.  The batteries were not dead, but were in fact new, and fully charged.  So I ruled this out as a cause.  My mother suggested that the light level might have something to do with it, but there was still plenty of light when the photos were taken and I have taken good pictures in the middle of the night with the same camera, so it wouldn't have posed a problem anyway.  I was left with no explanation, and what I can't explain, I put on this site so it may be interpreted by others.

Important to note is that the cemetery holds two men who would have been of reasonable service age at the end of the Civil War.  One died in 1864, before the war ended, and the other died early in 1907.  I have searched Civil War soldier databases for records of these men in service of either side of the war (though it would have been more likely that they were confederates), and have come up empty.  These databases almost certainly don't have every man that served in the Civil War recorded, however, so it is still a possibility that they served.  Also buried there is a mother who died while giving birth to her daughter, who died just over two months later.  They are buried side by side. 

I plan to make a return trip to the cemetery later in the year, when the chiggers and mosquitos (which got me worse than any ghost did), are gone, and try taking more pictures to see if the phenomenon happens again.  I'd also like to try to capture some EVP there, but I need to buy a good recorder first.  

If anyone has a scientific explanation for what I experienced, I would be happy to hear it.

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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, Mountaineer, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

geetha50 (15 stories) (984 posts)
 
2012-10-09 (2 years ago)
There is a computer lecturer at my college who always said, "Computers have no compassion or consideration for humans. They will crash for no other reason but to be a royal pain in the behind. Remember, save often to prevent loss of work!"

I think this applies to all technologies!

On the paranormal side, I think you might have disturbed a spirit there and it didn't like you taking pictures.
rookdygin (20 stories) (3070 posts)
 
2012-10-09 (2 years ago)
Jav,

No it really wasn't. But I had to look those up and the one I mentioned was an 'easy' reference.

Respectfully,

Rook
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
 
2012-10-09 (2 years ago)
See rook, that wasn't very hard, now was it?
Thank you brother,
Jav Happy
rookdygin (20 stories) (3070 posts)
+1
2012-10-09 (2 years ago)
Free sites via the Church...

Http://www.searchforancestors.com/mormongenealogy.html

Http://www.ancestorhunt.com/mormon_church_records.htm

Http://ancestry.org/lds-resources/

Some sites may require a 'member number' to go past a certain point but the majority of the sites are actually free.

Respectfully,

Rook
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
 
2012-10-09 (2 years ago)
[at] rook,
Whoops! Sorry about that. Forgot where I was. Laugh

Now, sure you can go to Ancestry.com and get stuff you could have gotten on your own for a lot less money... Or you do your own footwork in your spare time, and have fun finding things that the.com sites don't pick up on. But that's up to you. I mean, I've seen what those sites charge (yikes!)
Just a little dig at rook, that's all.

Jav Wink
rookdygin (20 stories) (3070 posts)
 
2012-10-09 (2 years ago)
Jav,

Thanks for 'calling' me out by my real name...LoL

Ancestory.com (sp?) can be a good place to start... It cost a little bit but if you have the full names of your parents and their parents... Plus place/time of birth you can find a lot of information fast... It then takes some fact checking to ensure it's your relatives you have 'found'.

Respectfully,

Rook
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
 
2012-10-09 (2 years ago)
Mountaineer,
I can't give you any advice on the photography end of things, you know more than me about that I'm sure. However, as for the genealogy and other places you may consider looking? I may have a few ideas. My daughter has a Masters in Library Sciences and one of her first projects was doing our family tree. I learned a bit from this that I wouldn't have known otherwise. For instance, and Garret can attest to this one, The Church of Latter Days Saints has the most extensive records you'll find anywhere. Doesn't matter the that person was not a member, they were meticulous in their recording as well. Births, deaths, baptisms, military service, etc. And you do quite often find other interesting facts thrown in as well. We found out about a Silver Serving Set my great, great, great grandmother received for her silver anniversary, of which there still are surviving pieces with different relatives. Copies of your photos would be welcome by them, as they are one of the number one sources for information in the field.
Also, Universities, especially those that have been around for many years, will have other gems you can discover if you know where to look. The land you live on would be recorded in the Agriculture Dept. The information they have doesn't always have to do solely with land use either. All very interesting. It's all in the time you want to put toward it, that's all.
Good Luck!

Jav
DARKNESS (3 stories) (2010 posts)
 
2012-10-08 (2 years ago)
Mountaineer: Interesting accounts, is it possible the electrically charged air from the lightning you were experiencing that evening play a part to the technical issues you experienced with your camera? I think I have heard issues like this before.
I like the fact that you have taken time to record the data from the graveyard and have helped clean and preserve it. I'm sure they would be greatly appreciative of this! Thanks for sharing.

Dan
phenonw (1 stories) (25 posts)
 
2012-10-08 (2 years ago)
Dear Mountaineer;
I think your story is Very interesting. I too am waiting for the second visit and maybe photos.
Try Avon Bug Repelent, (comes in spray or lotion) it does a Great job on the mosquotos, chiggers, & ticks. You can apply it directly to your skin without putting the poison DEET onto your skin & into your system. Use the Deet only on the outside of your clothing.
zzsgranny (17 stories) (3046 posts) mod
+2
2012-10-08 (2 years ago)
Mountaineer: On your return trip, I suggest you take a different type of camera to use in conjunction with your digital, like a disposeable 35mm...Also, it may seem like a small thing, but did you happen to ask permission of those who may be present to take photos of the headstones?...I can't say for sure whether any spirits were messing with your equipment, but it's been my experience that if permission isn't asked for, it's not permitted Laugh , and they will do what they can to foil your efforts...

I would definately consider AndiiFL's suggestion, also...

Thank you for posting, and I'll be keeeping an eye out for updates Love
AndiiFL (4 stories) (8 posts)
+1
2012-10-08 (2 years ago)
If it was late in the day as you say, the lighting very likely played into this situation.

These days our cameras are point and shoot automated. If you have auto focus settings on, it is very likely the camera was working for optimal settings at normal lighting and it just wasn't getting satisfaction.

If your camera allows it, set it on dim light or night shots and you may find a difference. Many cameras have settings for cloudy days or less than optimal lighting situations.

You are a very good person for documenting those graves. Geniology people REALLY appreciate that kind of thing. We have dozens of small family plots here in Florida and people do the same thing. Your efforts are valiant. Thank you.
beautifuleden (2 stories) (66 posts)
 
2012-10-08 (2 years ago)
Hi Mountaineer, I have read all your accounts and added them to my favorites... I love the way you write, no grammar mistakes at all, and very interesting stories! Please keep posting xxx Happy
Mountaineer (4 stories) (176 posts)
+1
2012-10-06 (2 years ago)
You know Miz, there may be something to what you are saying. For the most part, the photos I took of the entire graveyard are of decent quality. It was when I started to take pictures of individual headstones that I began to experience problems. I've never heard of that superstition before, and it is an interesting concept. Tomorrow the temperature is supposed to drop 20 degrees, so I'll go out to the cemetery with my camera and try to get the same phenomenon. I might also upload some of the pictures I took the first time in the next few days.
RileyAnne (2 posts)
 
2012-10-06 (2 years ago)
From what I know, spirits manifest off technology so that they may make themselves more noticeable. I don't know if this could be a valid explanation but it is what I would be believing. Smile
lsandhu (2 stories) (347 posts)
 
2012-10-05 (2 years ago)
Alas, I lack the technical savvy to be of any real assistance, although in my experience electronics can do some mightily odd things without any aid from the spirit world. I guess the real test will be trying again and seeing if the same thing happens under the same conditions. It's good that you show such an interest in and respect for this old graveyard and I commend you for that. Best of luck and do let us know how your next attempt goes. Chiggers are horrible, by the way. The best remedy I found was painting over the "bites" with nail polish. Apparently, they burrow in there and are still alive. The nail polish cuts off the oxygen and kills them.
MizMiMi02 (guest)
+1
2012-10-05 (2 years ago)
I have always found this type of phenomena vry interesting. From a very early age, my grandmother always told me never to take photos of headstones. A general photo of a graveyard with no visible information of it's occupant is fine, but never the name or date of the resident.
She believed that it trapped the spirit inside the photo and renders them unable to cross over. Now I don't really know for a fact that it's true, but I have always been afraid to do so.
Maybe whomever it was, wanted it's privacy and didn't appreciate you trying to photograph it with your new fangled machine. Laugh In any event, I would be curious to see if you have the same results on a second trip, or if the elusive spirits decide to be photogenic. Let us know what you discover.

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