As previously promised, I am posting another series of incidents that occurred at my church's cemetery. The cemetery is located across the highway from the church and up the hill from a river bottom swamp. I will relate the first experiences that occurred at the cemetery and then add in what happened a few years later. I have some photographs that I'll try to post when I figure out how to work this new scanner printer thing next to my computer. I'm an historical archaeologist, not a technological wizard.
The first incident that occurred was when I was 18 years old. At the time, the church cemetery was surrounded by a chain-link fence with hedges and trees grown up in it. I did a service project that removed the fence on two sides and cleared out all of the brush and cut down three oak trees at the entrance gate so that their roots would not destroy any more graves. I was in charge of the project that lasted three separate weekends and nothing strange happened... Until the pictures were developed. On a few pictures there were white round objects and white squiggly lines in the air around the project or up towards the sky above. From what I've read, they would be classified as orbs, but I'll let you decide once I get the pictures up.
In the following years, I attended many funerals and laid my best friend to rest with no incidents. I also never heard anyone report anything ever happening there either. Then came 3 summers ago. My buddy and I decided to clean up an overgrown corner where some idiot decided to plant two giant azalea bushes on a family section along with a camellia. It grew over everything so bad that when we finally cleared it, we found 8 graves that the church forgot and 6 more undocumented sunken depressions. While we had bad outbreaks from all of the poison ivy, nothing major happened. We would work until it was too dark to see and then go home. After 5 days of hacking, digging, and re-leveling the dirt, we finally had everything looking presentable. I took photos on my Iphone near dark on the last day to show the church how much better the place looked. Nothing paranormal happened or appeared on the photos. I thought I had a couple of orbs/streaks, but quickly debunked them as flying bugs when I swallowed one a few minutes later.
Fast forward one more year. I was 25, I'm 27 now. My buddy and I decided to take over cemetery maintenance to save the church money. We spent three days before Easter getting the place presentable for when most families come out to put out flowers. We trimmed the bushes, roses, and other plants, cut the grass, ran weed-eaters for a total of 15 hours, dug out plot borders and some sunken graves that had concrete tops with grass growing over them, etc. We even found one headstone of a guy had been turned upside down and re-buried. We righted it and found out he was one dude killed in a family feud of the kind we have (St. Helena and Tangipahoa Parishes used to be the murder capitol of the U.S. From 1875-1930, all family feuds). Turns out that the feud was still hot enough to desecrate the homemade concrete headstone. My buddy freaked out that we dug up a bone in the process, but I quickly pointed out that it was an oyster shell and was common to have that thrown on top of burial plots instead of the white gravel some families use today.
Nothing happened that Spring from the Easter cutting. All the families were happy that we made the cemetery presentable and uncovered things buried or lost for decades. We also started a mystery by finding 8 new unknown and unmarked graves, which will forever be a mystery. The church records that the cemetery was always a church cemetery, yet some graves predate the founding of the church by over 20 years. It was in this older part, only about 15 graves, that things happened one afternoon in May of that year.
I was a bit late showing up for cutting and my buddy arrived earlier than I. When I showed up, he was unhooking his lawn mower and was surprised that I wasn't sweaty. I told him I just got in and he was even more surprised. He said that there was a man walking around in the cemetery when he pulled up and he assumed that it was me starting early and that I was parked somewhere back around the swamp or something. I have no idea who or what he saw because I arrived barely a minute after him and no one was there. We brushed it off and got to work. We cut grass for a few hours until dark. Then I had my experience.
My buddy was hooking his mower back on the trailer. It was dark enough that I finally decided to stop weed-eating because I could barely see the grass. It was the last legal shooting light of the day. I was in the old section by a row of a family I'm related to. I felt a bit uneasy, but hey, its getting dark and its a freaking cemetery! I killed my weed-eater and took a step to head out and I heard another step just to the side of me. Nobody was there. I took another and heard it again. I thought it was just my hearing shot by the weed-eater and went walking. I made it about four more steps when I heard it again. It was the running pitter patter of smaller feet on a shorter stride trying to keep up. I could hear the grass crunching from the steps. The air felt electrified and I heard the buzzing in my ears that sounded exactly just like it did the couple of times I've been electrocuted. Then I heard laughter and feet running beside me while I was motionless. The hair on my neck stood at attention and is the only time that's ever happened. I made sure to get the heck out of Dodge, threw my weed-eater in the back of my truck, left out while waving goodbye to my buddy. It seems that we both had some experiences that day.
There were more events that happened in my house that night, but I'm going to write another story since this one is a bit long. I also just had an experience yesterday at work, which motivated me to go ahead and get a few of these older stories down on this website.