In 1997 I moved back into the house I had lived in as a teenager on the Hudson-Marlboro border. My parents were going through a divorce at the time and the house was for sale. For insurance purposes I was asked to live there until it sold. The plot of land the house was on once belonged to the Goodale Family whose old homestead still stood a few miles away, and had been used mainly as farm land. I remember finding old rotted out metal buckets in the woods behind the house and also seeing ancient wagon trails indented in the ground that were now almost hidden by the blueberry bushes.
To give you a little history of the land, the Goodale House was built in the 1600s and is touted as the area's oldest house. It was also a stop on the Underground Railroad. It is a clapboard saltbox with diamond shaped panes of glass in the windows. There is a family that still occupies the home and lives as the Goodales once did; without electricity and other modern conveniences. The family were also the subject of a book called "Hawaii," written by James Mitchener. About a mile from this house is the Goodale Cemetery. It is a perfectly square plot of land surrounded by fieldstone walls and shaded by old oaks and maples. It seem like a very odd place for a cemetery to be but obviously the land had been developed around it during the 200+ years it was used as a burial ground for several generations of the Goodale family.
One evening in the late summer of 1997, myself and my boyfriend at the time decided to go for a walk after dinner. As it was approaching Fall, the evenings had grown much more suitable for such outdoor activities. It was approaching dusk but still light enough to see. We were walking towards the cemetery like we had done many evenings before when all of the sudden there appeared to be something that looked like fire (that is the only way I can describe it) moving through the cemetery. It moved behind the tree and then it was in front of headstones. Then back behind them. We both stopped dead in our tracks. My boyfriend actually put his arm out to keep me from going further. We both looked at each. I said, "what the heck was that?" He said he didn't know.
Rather than run in the other direction, which in hindsight would have been the best thing to do, we ran to the cemetery. We looked around the old headstones and there was nothing we could see that would cause that fire-like glow. We stood back in the spot where we had first seen it and waited for a car to go by. There was no reflection that even closely resembled that. I was convinced that what we had seen was not of this world. My boyfriend remained skeptical.
We returned to the house to grab a camera and went back to the cemetery. I asked out loud for permission to take some pictures. I did not feel any negativity and began snapping away. I then said "thank you" out loud and started walking home. I took a picture of my boyfriend during the walk home to finish up the film and then brought the pictures the next day to be developed. I swung by after work to pick them up, all the while feeling like I was coming down with something.
There in the photos were zigzagging lights in fluorescent pinks and greens. None of which were visible at the time. What was most shocking was in the photo of my boyfriend there were little red lights behind him that resembled flames. All that was back there behind him were woods. I drove by that area afterwards and there was nothing that the flash could have reflected off of. Nothing at all.
That night I was getting ready for bed when I kept thinking I was seeing things out of the corner of my eye. It looked almost like a tree branch or like a dark lightening bolt (if anyone else has experienced this I would love to hear). The air started to get heavy and oppressive. I have never felt anything like this before. I was starting to feel like I was having difficulty breathing in the house. Finally I fell asleep.
I awoke at 5am to the worst pain I have ever felt. My kidneys felt like they were swollen and were pressing against my ribs. It was excruciating. I woke my boyfriend up crying and he took me to the hospital. I ended up with a severe kidney infection. They gave me antibiotics through an IV and sent me home. I still was feeling very uneasy in the house. I was starting to think that I had ticked off whatever it was we saw at the cemetery and it followed us home. By all accounts the antibiotics should have worked.
In a few more days I found myself in even more pain and went to my regular doctor. She prescribed more antibiotics. The heaviness in the house seem to persist. One evening I heard something that sounded like a board game falling from the top shelf of the closet. Upon inspection nothing had fallen.
I was growing weaker and weaker. Despite the pictures from the cemetery my boyfriend believed we had caught "something" on film but he was not convinced it was paranormal. I could no longer stand to be in the bedroom as I was feeling "preyed upon..." I started sleeping on the couch in the living room where the air was less oppressive. My boyfriend did not feel any of this.
Finally I went back to the doctors. I was getting gradually worse. The Dr. Sent me to the hospital were I received antibiotics intravenously for three days. Upon returning home I knew that what ever was there was gone. I started to get better. I had lost 11 lbs within a few days. This could all be coincidence but I will say that I have never been into a cemetery to take pictures since.
After that incident, I posted the photos online. I got a few responses about the fluorescent zigzagging lights, but no one could answer for sure what the little red lights behind my boyfriend were. I was told that the fluorescent lights were actually phosphorous escaping from the bones of the deceased, and when the flash from the camera hit them, it caused them to glow.
I never passed that cemetery again without a feeling of apprehension. I believe whatever we saw is still there; watching, waiting. Thanks for reading. I have included a link to some info on the house and the grounds for anyone interested. There's a picture of the old Goodale House, too.
Note from the webmaster: the author of this story couldn't unfortunately find the pictures mentioned on this story.