Since I was little, I have heard stories about a haunting at my church. The older ladies always said that, when going down the stairs to the basement, they have heard what sounded like little girls laughing and playing. By the time I was ten, I was starting to have my own experiences and I became fascinated by the paranormal. I would hear knocks and bangs, have doors slam behind me, the usual stuff. Some of it I could explain, but other things were just plain creepy.
I decided to find out, once and for all, who this spirit was and why it was there. The cemetery beside my church offered the best answers. There I discovered the grave of a ten year old girl named Minnie B Moore who died in the early 1900's. Her mother had died two years previously, and her father joined them both about 15 years later. I could never find their records, but I always assumed that, because of the brief time between the deaths of Minnie and her mother, they must have been sick. Having a name to go by, I went in search of the entity. I would lead "ghost hunts" with my youth group, taking them to the places that were most active. This brought us closer together, and gave us a new understanding of God and death.
I have always confided in my mother, so it was only natural that I told her about my experiences. She didn't believe me at first, not until Minnie decided to prove my claims. One Christmas mama was working on the tree in the fellowship hall. She had her back to a hallway that leads to the sanctuary, and was busy putting the lights on, when she heard someone call "mama" in a small, sing-song voice. She thought it was me playing a trick on her, and she told me to get back to choir practice. The fourth time she heard the call she turned and stormed into the hallway to chase me down. The problem was I wasn't there. She could clearly hear me singing in the sanctuary. She, I, and the choir were the only souls in the church at that time, and no one had left choir practice. Needless to say, mama believed me after that.
Another amazing incident happened one Easter, but I am not so sure that Minnie was behind it. I and my cousins were in the graveyard playing with some other kids and having a good time. My cousin Adam leaned against a gravestone, and it fell over. We tried to set it back up, but five young boys and two girls couldn't do the job. We went inside to tell the adults what had happened, and two men went to take a look. They came back in telling us they couldn't find it, so we accompanied them back to the site. I remember walking up to the grave with the whole group behind me. I was turned to them as I came up to it pointing and saying "it's right...there..." The word 'there' came out in a small voice for, as I turned my head to face the stone, I realized that it was already upright on its base. The cemetery is on an incline of a hill and cannot be seen from the road. Everyone was inside when it fell, and we had only been gone for about five minutes. How in the world could this heavy gravestone have righted itself?!
The most recent and compelling incident involves one of our recent ghost hunts. We sat in a back hallway of the basement with a single candle lit and I had my recorder running to see if we could capture any unheard answers to our questions. I remember feeling watched, and I and my one friend were constantly looking into one particularly dark corner. When I listened back to the recording, I understood why that corner was so intriguing. Though it was faint, once I heard it the first time, it was unmistakable. We had captured Minnie's voice on the recording, and it sounded like she was saying my name! Upon listening even closer, I realized that the voice was coming from that exact same corner that I and my friend couldn't stop staring at.
I don't know why Minnie still hangs around. Maybe she is looking for her mother or waiting for her father. Perhaps she just has a close tie to my childhood church or maybe to the children. Whatever the reason she's here, I hope that she is at peace, or will be one day. Until I can find a way to help her move on, I am at least glad that my church has its own little angel to guard and protect its sacred grounds.