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The Spirits of Goodale Cemetery


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.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Jennifer40, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

TwistedWispersNeko (3 stories) (90 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-06)
Well, the fact that it left kind of makes me wonder if it was un-happy about the pictures, then again, it could have been curious as to who you were, and why you were looking for it. I don't know what it could have been, since I've never seen anything like it.
Tonith (1136 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-14)
I looked at the link about the town and houses and they are beautiful victorian buildings. The Goodale home is in a wonderful setting and looks to be more of a log cabin type building.Don't know all the scientific reasons for what happens in a very old cemetary but it can explain some of what you saw. As far as getting sick don't know if it had anything to do with the paranormal but you did seem to feel there was something in the house with you. I don't think you can just dismiss that part. Great story and I hope one day you find those pictures and post them. I would be very interested in seeing them.
Jennifer40 (20 stories) (202 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-14)
Hi Allie,
Thanks for your reply to my story. I am actually taking comfort in the fact that these two events (my getting sick and the experience in the cemetery) were most likely coincidental. Although I still believe that something did follow us home that night, it's comforting to know that whatever it was may have just been curious to who we were and what we were doing there. That cemetery is a very lonely place. The last descendents died out long ago so it does not get many visitors. Thanks for reading and for your input.

Jennifer ❤
AllieRN (1 stories) (26 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-14)
I enjoyed your story very much. I found it very well written and interesting. However, as a medical professional I don't believe anything paranormal caused your illness. Kidney infections can make you very ill. I think that you probably weren't given the right antibiotic for your infection initially and this is why your condition worsened. Each antibiotic is specific to certain bacteria classes.
mustang (5 stories) (749 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-13)
Hi Jennifer40. That sounds like one CRAZY evening you and your boyfriend had. I do wonder what was in those woods and would absolutely LOVE to see those pics if you ever come across them. I would not rule out coincidence to the spirit and the illness because like FRAWIN and WB said he would not leave on his on accord. You were also very respectful to the spirits so why would 'IT' want to hurt you? Who knows for sure. Sometimes when we get really sick it CAN and WILL make us think and feel completely dillusional. Not saying this happened in your case but in a lot of cases this happens, especially that oppressive feeling. I enjoyed your story. How interesting about the house and the cemetary.

Jennifer40 (20 stories) (202 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-13)
Hi All,
Thanks for reading and for your comments. It may very well be that my getting ill at the same time as those events was coincidence. I associate the two because of the timing and I'm not one to get that sick usually. I really don't know what was in the house or how I knew it was gone before I got home from the hospital, but it was something. Maybe a disgruntled spirit? I don't know, but again I will not rule out coincidence as I really don't know. Thank you all for reading and offering your input. I love this about this site.

Jennifer ❤
KimSouthO (27 stories) (1960 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-13)
That is a very intiguing story. As pointed out though, I wonder what caused 'it' to leave. Generally speaking this would not be the likely case.

Thank you for sharing your story with us,
God Bless!
whitebuffalo (guest)
14 years ago (2008-03-13)
The most interesting aspect of this story for me, Jennifer40, is that when you returned home from the hospital, whatever oppressive feelings that were there when you left, were now gone. That is a bit curious, because, like FRAWIN said, it would not be likely that something that could cause such a severe reaction would move on, on it's own. I would think that once it realized that it could affect you in that way, it would have remained and waited for your return.
Perhaps you already have the answer to the lights in the cemetery. You wrote 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..." That is very possible as the cemetery is quite old.
It would be interesting to check out the photo's, should you come across them again. Especially to compare the lights within the cemetery to the lights about your boyfriend.
Thank you.
FRAWIN (guest)
14 years ago (2008-03-13)
Hi Jenniffer. That was a very interesting story. I truly enjoy reading stories that are as well written as this one is. I would think that it was a coincidence that you got sick after taking those pictures. You were respectful to the spirits and I would think that an entity that is powerful enough to give you a kidney infection wouldn't leave on it own accord. Thank you for sharing this experience with us. Take Care.

killingkilgore (3 stories) (35 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-12)
It's terrifying to think some sort of spirit can actually effect you like that. So glad to hear that you got better! I do hope you find your pictures. I'd love to see them. Thanks for the story.
Jennifer40 (20 stories) (202 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-12)
Hi all,
Thanks for reading. I searched high and low for those pictures and did not find them. It would have been neat to get everyone's thoughts on them. If I find them I will post them. Over the weekend I spoke to a friend of mine who grew up in the same neighborhood. We got on the subject of this cemetery and he told me that when he was a teenager he'd be riding home on his bike late at night after his dishwashing job and his hair would be standing on end as he passed that cemetery. He always felt something there was just wrong.

Thanks again for reading.
Jennifer ❤
TheUnknown (1 stories) (192 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-12)
The red ligths migth be some harmful spirits(sorry to the spirits who saw me typing) and those fluorescent ligths migth be spirits with a bad past, its wise to be sorry to the dead. 1 more question, when did you took a photo shoot at the cemetery? Please tell me.
ChrisB (6 stories) (1515 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-12)
Hi Jenniffer. Glad to meet you 😁.Well I would say that something had fallowed you home and chose you to be it "victim".It might have been some evil spirit or something. The entity must have had a lot of power causing you so much pain. I wonder who the ghost was. If you do find the pictures please post them. I hope to hear from you soon and take care
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
14 years ago (2008-03-12)
Thanks for another very interesting story Jennifer. I checked out the photo of the estate and I must say I found it "promising" 😊. Seriously, I very much doubt I could spend a single night there.
I loved the way you described the surrounding scenery as well as the estate and the cemetery. Great story! I hope you'll be able to find the photos you took that day. It would be interesting to see those sparks and flames.

Thanks again, Tammy 😊

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