The Graveyard
October 16, 2005

As we get closer to Halloween, I'll share a couple more spooky stories with you. Given that tonight is more or less the half-way point, I thought I'd start out with one of the spooky, but slightly less ghost-infested stories.

My first year in college, I was going to my voice and diction class (I started out as a drama major, go figure) and talking to one of the kids in my class. It was probably about this time of year, weather barely turning cool -- it's Texas, remember -- and she tells me about this place near where she grew up -- maybe half an hour or so away from school. The kids called it witch mountain or ghost mountain or something. She told me that it was this awesome old, old graveyard out in Duncanville. It's one of those perfect old graveyards, way out in the country, trees all around.

And, she says, she doesn't know about haunted, but the satanists "own" this graveyard.

My interest is now beyond piqued. "Let's go out there after class," I enthuse. She's a little less sure about that, but I finally talk her into it.

As we're driving out there, she tells me that there's only one road that goes up to witch mountain. And there's a gate on that road. And every evening, there's two cops in a patrol car stationed at the gate. They'll open up the gate if you absolutely insist on going up there, she says, but they also warn you that if you break down even ten feet inside that gated area, they won't go in there to help you. No one goes in there after dark unless they're part of it or stupid.

Now, personally, I wondered why the cops didn't just start taking everyone who wanted up there after dusk in for questioning on the vandalism at the graveyard, but whatever.

She tells me about all sorts of horror stories about this graveyard. Mostly the standard types of scary stories -- these satan worshippers kill people there, hold all sorts of scary rituals. They're so bad even the cops are scared of them.

So, when we get into Duncanville and out into the hinterlands, sure enough, I see the gates open on the side of this road. They're the basic kinda triangular metal tube gates that often block off parking lots at univesities and high schools. Stephanie (the girl from my class) is now visibly nervous. It's maybe noon on a Thursday and she's actually already scared to be driving up to this cemetary.

We get to the cemetary and park just across the little street. There's an open field on the side of the street where we park, all blowing prairie grass. The cemetary is bounded by trees on two sides. The other two sides, near the road (the road makes a right turn here), are bounded by an old-fashioned wrought iron fence. There's a great big wrought iron archway and gate at the entrance to the graveyard and a large expanse of grass in the front before you get to the modern graves. There's maybe four or five rows of modern graves before we start getting into folks who died in the 40s, 30s, 20s and a whole bunch from the 1800s. The cemetary is maybe about 75 yards long and about half that wide. As we walk closer to the entrance I can see why they didn't even bother to bound the north end and the east end with a fence. There's a dropoff there. A little kid might say there's a cliff on those two sides, but really, it's not quite high enough or steep enough to truly be called a cliff. Nonetheless, I can't imagine too many people would want to make that climb.

The leaves had already fallen on many of the trees, leaving some at the top level looking dead and barren -- while some whose roots were deeper and a little further down the incline still with a full "head" of green "hair."

The weirdest thing that I noticed as we approached the front gate is that some of the trees appeared to be wearing decorations. I couldn't quite see what they were but it wasn't some kid's lost kite.

The gate to the cemetary was open and I noticed a set of heavy chains and a really heavy duty lock that was used to lock the place up. All shiny new, they really stood out againt the black matte and rust of the wrought iron fencing. There was a sign just outside the cemetary listing the hours it was open. It closed at five p.m. Now that seemed really weird to me. Why would you close a cemetary that early? Most of the ones I knew of were open until at least nine or ten p.m.

We walked in across the "front yard" of the cemetary -- all that blank expanse of grass just waiting to be filled with more graves. We walked quickly past the modern graves, but I admit, I got creeped out almost immediately. In addition to the multiple modern gravestones that had been broken, there was a grave that had been dug up.

Now this was not a freshly dug grave. This was not something where the coffin had just been buried. No, there were bits of flower arrangements, bits of plastic wreath frames, and a vase or two sticking out of the dirt. Also, a freshly dug grave doesn't generally stand about three feet higher than the ground level.

And there's generally not a hole big enough for a human to actually disappear into left there.

Despite my very overactive curiosity, I was seriously creeped out by that grave. I walked quickly past it after a very cursory look and went on to look at the old graves instead.

On the way to the back of the graveyard, I could see where someone had tossed plastic wreaths out into the trees, leaving them trapped there. I'd thought it was some kind of weird frisbee before.

I was fascinated by the old graves and appalled by the vandalism. But I'd really seen nothing that said satanists used this place.

Except for the dug up grave.

Oh and the really weird thing ... you know that wind whistling through the trees that you hear in horror movies? I always assumed that this was some goofy sound that Hollywood had made up and was just a stupid contrivance to signal that something scary was going to hapen.

I heard it repeatedly that day. Now if that's not enough to get an overactive imagination running wild.

Well, as we were leaving, I got seriously creeped out going across that expanse of lawn. I kept imagining someone reaching up through the ground and grabbing my feet.

Silliness right?

Tomorrow I'll tell you want happened a couple of years later, as I was telling one of my friends about my trip to witch mountain.

Posted by Red Monkey at October 16, 2005 7:18 PM | Storytelling: She was, of course, supposed to be sleeping. | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


OldGuy said:

Excellent story, reminds me of the beginning of The Dark Half by Stephen King.

So you think the Satanists took the body or it got out on it's own and walked away ?

October 17, 2005 8:08 AM


lonnie said:

You reminded me of an old poem of mine:

I want to be
witches knees and elbows:
roots just barely visible
enough above ground
to stumble into a child's
imagination forever.
I want to be
the breeze in the aspens,
barely loud enough
to waken the leaves
but not quiet the birds.
I want to be
the loneliness
in the center
of a Chinese pine seed,
dropped from some kid's pocket
in the Colorado Sand Dunes,
and have everyone wondering
how it is I came to be there.

October 17, 2005 12:05 PM


shyloh said:

A great story. It really kept my attention.

You have an awesome blog here. Very tasteful.

October 17, 2005 1:11 PM


scribeswindow said:

This is going to sound like a stupid question, but are people from the satanic cult buried there themselves, or have they just "taken over" and existing graveyard?

October 19, 2005 11:12 PM


Red Monkey said:

scribeswindow -
I don't think it's a stupid question at all. But, you know, it never even occurred to me to ask about that. I do know that the 1992 FBI report on satannic cult activity claimed that they found no evidence of long term multi-generational cults ... that would seem to indicate that most of the cults were probably not more than 20-30 years in duration at the most. But that still doesn't answer whether any of these folks had relatives buried there. I don't know.

Good question!

Red Monkey

October 19, 2005 11:20 PM
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