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Â Â Â Â With more than a little trepidation, I drove cautiously along the winding road, the darkness concealing a plethora of hazards that would assail the unwary or lackadaisical driver. Shadows flowed across the landscape, melting away with the glare of headlights emanating from my battered and more than slightly used car.
Â Â Â Â I had waited until nearly midnight before leaving my house, taking along with me all the basic paranormal investigation tools that I had purchased recently, along with a healthy appetite for some adventure on a Friday night. I had chosen to go alone, perhaps to prove bravery to myself? In any case the die was cast and any thoughts entertained about turning back were quickly dashed.
Â Â Â Â Coming in sight, illuminated by the headlights slicing through the warm summer mist, tombstones appeared on the right hand side of the road, ONLY A few feet away from the worn grey asphalt. Slowing down, not worried about any other traffic behind me on such an isolated, remote backcountry road, I remembered the description of the cemetery I was looking for that I had researched online and this particular graveyard did not match at all. Indecision started to creep into my psyche. â??Should I just go back home? It might not even be out here.â?? I had driven this far, the decision to carry on with the mission won the vote.
Â Â Â Â Driving another five miles or thereabouts, I came passed a couple of houses and beyond that I was greeted by a curving ridge with steep sides that extended for nearly a mile or two. There were no trees atop the ridge though there they were plentiful in the valleys on either side. AT the center of the ridge was a small church located at a bend in the road and immediately to the northwest there was a cemetery that wrapped itself around the bend and extended nearly one hundred yard to the east. The church grounds possessed a small security light which gave some clear views of the area augmented by the accompanying moonlight. I slowed, then stopped the car on the side of the road directly across from the church to the west, for some reason I did not want my car to be so close to the cemetery. I inventoried my gear, digital camera, EMF meter, digital laser thermometer, flashlight, audio recorderâ?¦just the basics.
Â Â Â Â Peering in the gloom towards the collection of tombstones of all sizes and shapes, I exhaled heavily and steeled myself to carry out this task that I had undertaken. Now I have found in my many adventures that the mind is oneâ??s own worst enemy when one finds oneself in situations such as this. Imaginations tend to run amok and the Hollywood version of the ghost story somehow seems to bubble its way to the top of consciousness, shoving logic brutally aside. I managed to maintain a sense of rationale as I knew that there were no Hollywood ghosts hanging around this lonely stretch of ridge. Walking purposely towards the cemetery I found myself stopping at the edge to, for lack of a better term, â??test the waters.â?? My eyes scanned the site as a sniper deep in enemy territory, my ears also keen to my surroundings.
Â Â Â Â Nothing but dead silence.
Â Â Â Â Pun intended.
Â Â Â Â Not a thing stirred and I was quite amazed at how quiet and peaceful the site really was. Three houses, two a half mile to the south and one three quarters of a mile west along the ridge were the only witnesses to my adventure. They were as dark and silent as the cemetery itself. The half moon hanging in the midnight sky lent its dim light to the scene and shadows seemed to dance betwixt the markers at the far end of the graveyard, which was at the pinnacle of the ridge itself, sloping gently downwards to the road where on the other side the grade was far steeper. I noted that the graves ended within feet of the church on the northwest side, finding that rather unusual. With a sigh I took my first steps into the hallowed earth.
Â Â Â Â Nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary, but what exactly is ordinary about being alone in a graveyard located far enough from civilization that the stars in the night sky seemed to blend together in a mass of dim light? Turning on my audio recorder and placing it on a rail next to the steps leading up to the cemetery, I produced, then began to take readings with my EMF meter, pointing the sensor this way and that in a controlled pattern.
Â Â Â Â Nothing.
Â Â Â Â Noting the nothingness from the meter, I had only ventured in a fraction of the way into the tiny necropolis, being very careful to respectfully not step on the graves themselves, imagining how they were positioned under the soil. Words never escaped my lips as I was lost in thought, being as professional as I could possibly be.
Â Â Â Â A sound?
Â Â Â Â A whisper of a whisper to my ears, but something nonetheless.
Â Â Â Â Stopping immediately as a stone, my eyes and ears carefully scrutinized the area, seeking a quick answer for the unexplained noise.
Â Â Â Â Silence and stillness.
Â Â Â Â Shrugging, I shook off the thoughts that had started to race through my mind, seeking to replace calm logic with fright. â??Nahâ?? I heard myself say and started to make my way in the direction of the church, finding on particular ancient marker had caught my eye. The name carved simply but artfully read â??Jamesâ??â?¦but I could not make out the rest of the weathered stone. At that point I decided to start taking pictures with my camera, while preparing it I announced to anyone who might be listening, â??If it is alright with you folks Iâ??d like to take some pictures of you. The response was an overwhelming quiet. In a circular fashion I began taking my pictures, the plash seeming to erupt in the darkness. After the tenth or so I began to feel a certain unease of which I had no rational explanation for. It was as if there were eyes upon me, but nothing and not a soul could be found anywhere in my line of sight. It had started to get the better of me.
Â Â Â Â I made my way back to the concrete steps leading up to the cemetery, all the while scanning and listening as a twelve point buck on the opening day of deer season. Retrieving my audio recorder and inserting it into my front pocket of my jeans, I then began to snap a few more pictures. At that time I realized that I had forgotten to do a temperature scan with my laser thermometer. Putting the camera aside, I started taking temperature readings at the far west end of the cemetery, as far as the laser would read. Up the hill it went, tombstones, trees and ground revealing their temperatures to me, at an average of sixty two degrees Fahrenheit. I had nearly completed my sweep when the beam fell on the previously mentioned stone of â??Jamesâ??.
Â Â Â Â My jaw hit the ground.
Â Â Â Â Twenty seven degrees Fahrenheit.
Â Â Â Â That could not be correct, something must be wrong my brain immediately processed. I then began scanning the surrounding area, to which greeted me with a cheery and steady sixty two degree average, plus or minus a degree or two.
Â Â Â Â Back to James.
Â Â Â Â Twenty six god forsaken degrees.
Â Â Â Â Right then and there I felt a crawling of flesh and a chill that turned my blood to ice as if thrown into the icy Arctic Ocean. Something was happening that I could not explain and I was not about to stick around to find out exactly what it was. I hastily stowed my things, and without taking my eyes from the cemetery lest something follow me, I backpedaled all the way across the road until I reached my car, which mercifully started on the first try. Jamming the gearshift into drive, I spun around and headed back home with the horrible sensation that something was following me for nearly a mile down the road. Finally nearing the lights of town, I was able to relax, though before stepping in the door that night I said a few silent prayers to ensure that whatever might have followed me home was kept at bayâ?¦
Â Â Â Â Reviewing the data I collected revealed nothing out of the ordinary, no EVPâ??s or pictures of mists. All I had to take with me was the truly baffling temperature discrepancy on Jamesâ?? tombstone.
Â Â Â Â I have since revisited that particular graveyard several more times and one of my fellow paranormal investigators captured one of the most chilling EVPâ??s that I have ever heard, not to mention several other personal experiences.
Â Â Â Â But I have not been back aloneâ?¦