The Graveyard, Continued
October 17, 2005

This is a continuation of yesterday's post, The Graveyard.

A few years after my trip out to witch mountain, I'm still kind of fussing at myself for getting worked up enough that I kept imagining hands trying to grab my feet from below ... and not even a cheesy imagining zombies reaching up from their grave -- I kept imagining it from the "clean" area at the front of the cemetary. The area that hadn't yet been used for graves. What a weird little imagination I have.

So, again, near Halloween, I'm talking with some friends and I share the story of going to witch mountain.

Candice goes absolutely as white as possible. I'm talking no blood left in her face at all.

"You went WHERE?"

"Some witch mountain place out near Duncanville. It's way out in the country. It's this funky graveyard."

She just blinks at me and doesn't say anything for a minute, so I continue telling the story that I wrote here yesterday.

"You were damn lucky to get out of there," Candice says.

"What do you mean? It was the middle of the afternoon."

"Promise me you won't ever, ever go out there again."

"What is the deal?"

As it turns out, Candice's folks were highly religious and expected her to be as well. As part of her teenage rebellion stage, she did what every teenager does - went as far opposite her folks as she could think of. She joined up with ... you guessed it, a satanic cult. The very cult that used that graveyard I'd visited.

According to Candice (whose name and details I've changed here for her protection), the things that my classmate had told me about the graveyard were just the tip of the iceberg.

First, the cult did rule the graveyard after five. They'd show up (I didn't ask if they drove and made the cops let them in) at the graveyard, practice some random vandalism and then ...

... then they'd crawl into their tunnel system for the real rituals.

Evidently the most recently dug up grave was always the entrance to their tunnel system.

And, evidently, that weird thought I kept getting about having a hand reach up for me was not so weird after all. Or, depending on your point of view, it was even weirder than it had been before. The tunnel system honeycombed that whole front area.

Then Candice tells all the stuff this group was into.

Now, here's the deal before I go any further. It is a known fact that there are satanic cult groups all over the U.S. (and other countries, to be honest). Many of these groups are completely harmless and only "play" at being evil. That is, they get together and read the Satanic Bible and hold their masses that are a perversion of the Catholic mass and that's all there is to them. Other than offending a lot of people, they don't really do any harm.

Then you have groups of teenagers who get together and do things they think that satanists would do and at the same time, try to scare the crap out of each other. This often involves heavy drinking or sometimes drugs. These groups are mostly harmless.

Then there are groups that take things a step further. They look up old books, they attempt to follow old patterns from mostly forgotten ancient cults. They generally find at least a few victims to terrorize. They may go as far as to sacrifice animals. (Some Santeria practioners, for example, will do this to chickens and perhaps goats.) Those groups can get more than a little frightening just on a personal safety level.

Then there are groups who do worse things.

The group Candice had been involved in was one of those.

Now, again, there are two types of these nasty groups. One type simply stages scenes. They'll go to elaborate lengths to make new initiates believe that they have supernatural powers -- perhaps by breaking a thick marble gravestone into pieces. There are also groups that appear to actually be able to do things they shouldn't be able to do. The problem is, most of the time you can't tell the difference between these two groups. They're both dangerous.

I can't tell you if Candice's group was one that was simply staging events or if some of the folks involved could really do some things they shouldn't be able to do. I wasn't there and no one was running scientific equipment to try to verify any of the events. So, you'll have to make up your own mind.

Evidently this group had built a series of tunnels under the "blank" part of the graveyard up near the gate. The tunnels were actually a maze. Some of the tunnels led to deadfall traps. Others took a funny turn and dumped you out on the dropoff -- and if you weren't careful, you'd end up in the river below pretty easily.

Some members of the group stayed in the tunnels during the day. They were supposed to guard the ... well, for lack of a better word ... the secret hideout from anyone not in the group as well as from the newer members who might be trying to discover secrets they shouldn't.

Candice told of bonfires in the fields (and I accidently typo'd that as bonefires which is a much scarier image). She told me about the time one of the head guys in the group slaughtered a German Shepherd as part of some insane ritual.

She also told me that I was damn lucky, broad daylight or not, to have made it out of there without any confrontation at all. Evidently they'd leave a large group of people alone during the day, but groups of two were fair game to attack ... either a mundane fight or scare or actually try to drag you down into the tunnels.

She claimed they'd killed more than one person.

Now that's a lot of hearsay. I don't know how much of it was true, but I do know that Candice was honestly scared out of her gourd. She stopped a couple of times and had to mutter to herself that they wouldn't hurt her now. That they couldn't know if she revealed some of their secrets.

The fact that I announced I wanted to go back there to check all of this out terrified her beyond words.

Then she told me about some of the supernatural things she'd seen: simple levitations, curses, the standard scary stuff.

But then, stumbling and almost stuttering her husband told us about finding a severed goat's head in the middle of the living room, floating. Obviously still shaken, he told of how Candice had freaked when they came home and discovered it. Oh, sure, he freaked too. No one likes to see a floating goat head in their living room.

Candice said it was a sign that they had found her and had not forgotten her. It was a sign that they were coming for her. She was practically hysterical. The head fell to the floor and her husband called the police. The police recognized it for a cult calling card and said they'd keep an eye out. No one mentioned the floating part, though. Who would believe that?

In fact, over the years, they've called her repeatedly, left other pleasant calling cards. She did finally escape them ... but it took moving to Saudi Arabia for a few years before the group finally quit contacting her.

I never did get back out to that graveyard. I still want to.

And I'm curious now. Duncanville was starting to really build up in that area. Candice told me when she first joined that cult, you couldn't see anything but trees or prairie grass anywhere around. But when I saw the place, there were some condos within sight of the graveyard and signs out along the road claiming that more would be coming soon. Not that they'd even broken ground yet, but still .... If this group was really such bad news, how would they react to a residential development? Would they wreak so much havoc the developers abandon their plans? Or would they be forced to leave their secret hidey-tunnels and find a new graveyard in a more isolated area?

I don't know. But I'm still awfully curious about it.

And I never did actually promise Candice that I wouldn't go back.

Posted by Red Monkey at October 17, 2005 6:00 PM | Storytelling: She was, of course, supposed to be sleeping. | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |

 

Andy Ternay said:

So which of the two evils is greater... corporatism or satanism? Perhaps the corporate overlords recognized kindred spirits and recruited the satanists to run their work gangs of illegal aliens.

I'm sorry, even as a practicing Wiccan who has now seen some compelling evidence for the existence of magic, I am very skeptical. It would take ages to dig out a tunnel system like that. Especially to create an underground chamber large enough for rituals that would not collapse. Of course it would need ventilation for the smoke from the ritual too... Last I checked, satanists still have to pay mortgages or rent so the guys in the tunnel during the day must have been unemployed, right?

Sorry Ender. I don't doubt that Candace believed it, nor that she experienced some terrifying and dangerous things but one of the ways cults control their followers is to create a sense that they are much more powerful than they actually are.

The floating goat head thing though... that's pfs (pretty f*cking spooky).

October 18, 2005 5:57 AM

 

red monkey said:

Actually, the area is riddled with natural caves. They simply tapped into some of the existing caves.

The rest of the tunnels -- yes, they took a long time to dig out. They dug from the cave system up into the graveyard and they did use timber supports.

I'm not sure what they purported to perform from inside the cave system. Don't know if they used rituals with fires in there -- Candice didn't want to talk about that.

Also, the people who stayed there during the day were not the same every day. They had a rotation -- exactly for the reason that they also had day jobs.

I believe in the tunnel system. Never sure if I believe in the extreme details of the story, like the sacrifices. The rest all seems plausible to me.

October 18, 2005 10:25 AM

 

thordora said:

I always go to the places I shouldn't as well...plus I really believe that things cannot have a hold over you unless you let them...

I'd like to know how to do the goat head trick...I could use that...

October 18, 2005 2:43 PM

 

Croaker said:

Very cool story, almost to good to believe. hidden tunnels sounds like something out of BTVS

October 19, 2005 9:35 AM

 

scribeswindow said:

Your story sounds like it has the makings of the next "Blair Witch project"....

October 19, 2005 11:05 PM

 

adam said:

just have a couple questions if anybody could help me?

i recently noticed at one of the cemetery's where i live had some damage done to a mother mary statue, the statuewas knocked over and spraypainted a gold cross on her chest, glued clear marbles to her eye's and put water and crackers on her chest. also a marble was placed on the statue stand along with 1 got colored dot on each side of the stand.
also around the statue on several other monuments were neatly painted white crosses on them and some had white solid dots painted on them. also a white cross with a white dot was on several monuments.

anybody that could give me an idea what this means would be greatly appreciated.
thanks.

May 23, 2007 1:16 PM
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