The rural deep-South is a place of legend, particularly for those with an interest in the things that go bump in the night. It seems that the ancient woods and swamps are infested with spirits from a past life. One such place is a little secluded cemetery in northern Mississippi called "Old Salem". It lies a good 10 miles out of town, far back in the woods with the only path leading to it being a one lane gravel road with huge, tangled trees encompassing both sides. Over the years legends have cropped up, some involving shadow men darting through the cemetery, to black masses and demonic spirits.
In the summer of 2011 myself and a group of friends went to the Old Salem cemetery. It was around 3 am when we entered the cemetery gates. The air was warm and seemingly calm, and above us shone billions of bright stars. Were it not for the ominous feeling associated with "Old Salem" it would have been a perfect and peaceful summer night. We were not very far into the graveyard when we heard a noise in the distance that, at first, sounded like coyotes but we quickly realized it actually sounded like children laughing. The volume of the noise began to slightly increase and was followed by the sound of a woman screaming. The sounds were not coming from the cemetery itself but rather from the areas surrounding it. The dark trees echoed with the cries of children and some unknown lady. Being an amateur group armed only with a single flashlight, it was inevitable that our courage would fail us. We departed the cemetery quickly.
Since then we have furthered our knowledge of the paranormal and created an arsenal of equipment needed for hunting spirits. After several investigations elsewhere, we returned to "Old Salem". This time sporting a video camera, audio recorders and EMF meters. We steeled ourselves for what could be waiting beyond the gates and entered, prepared for anything. As we ventured to the center of the graveyard our EMF readings began to spike, especially near a iron-fenced area with an obelisk that had been knocked over and dragged. While we did not see anything with our own eyes, our equipment caught every investigators dream. On the audio recorders several undiscernable EVPs are captured but the most incredible being a voice hiss my name. Our camera captured what appears to be a hooded man standing in the distance between some headstones, watching us as we moved about the cemetery. The video camera captures an arm seemingly reach out between the same headstones where the hooded figure was standing. This investigation was enough to completely convince me that the area was haunted and it at first caused me to refrain from returning for quite some time.
While it is small, "Old Salem" is one of the greater hot-spots of paranormal activity in north Mississippi. Just the simple isolation of the area is enough to cause ones hair to stand on end. However far I venture, its eerie gates, surrounded by dark ominous trees, always call me back. The thrill of the unknown, waiting amongst the dead.