Just in time for Halloween, I just found out an interesting little story about our farm. It seems that we have not one, but two pre-Civil War burial grounds on the property. Reportedly there are 24 plots there, circa 1824. A descendent of the buried contacted us asking permission to find one of the cemeteries in order to locate the head stones. When I first heard this, I initially thought, “Sure, what harm would it do? What could happen?”
And then I remembered EVERY SCARY MOVIE EVER and thought, “Oh, hell no.” I’ve seen the movie Poltergeist (through the fingers over my eyes). Bad things happen when you mess with graveyards. I am a huge scardy cat. I barely tolerate a ghost story. I generally don’t do scary movies. I don’t do movies with devils, gore, children being terrorized and don’t even get me started on slasher movies, which 9 times out of 10 feature a scantily clad young woman being brutalized. Nope. And what is with this fascination with zombies? Zombies are the new vampires, I guess. I don’t get it.
Several years ago, we went on a wonderful trip to Ireland. The Irish know their ghosts. Tales abound over there about “the banshee.” One can just feel ghosts are everywhere. We were traveling with my brother and his family, plus a niece and had the good fortune to stay in the famous Ashford Castle in County Mayo for one night. After dinner our waiter asked if we would like a ghost tour of the castle. As I shook my head no, the rest of the table all chimed in, “yes!” Not wanting to be alone in my room in a haunted castle, I agreed to go.
Our charming waiter took us up back stairways and hidden rooms. At one point, he notified us that the hallway we were entering was colder than the rest of the house and this indicated that there was paranormal activity there. The group of us huddled together like a well-dressed scrum as the waiter showed us secret doors and creepy portraits, including one of a young girl, all dressed in white, who died young. He said she still walks the halls at night. “You will know her by a white wisp in the air,” he said. We continued on the tour and I snapped photos of this and that, staying in the middle of the scrum, lest a banshee reach out and grab me.
That night, of course I did not sleep at all. I listened to the sounds of the 800 year-old building, hoping my husband’s snoring would scare away any ghostly little girls. I had to pee, but dared not attempt the journey to the bathroom alone. When my husband got up to use the loo around 2 a.m., I leaped out of bed to join him, sticking to his back like a shadow, scaring him in the process. I made him wait for me before he went back to bed. No telling what dangers may lurk on the long walk from the toilet to the bed.
Morning finally came and the eleven of us were bleary eyed as we shuffled onto our little bus. (It seems no one else slept either). As I took my perch in the front of the bus, I opened my phone and started scanning photos of the day before. When I came to the photos of the ghost tour the night before, my heart skipped a beat. It seems that when I snapped a pic of the chilly “paranormal” hallway, I may have captured that ghostly little girl in the form of a “white wisp in the air.” I passed the photo around to see if everyone else saw the same thing I saw. One by one, everyone stared at the photo in a chilly silence, remembering the ghost tales of the night before. "Holy crap ... what the ...?" someone mumbled. I knew it was not just me. The little girl ghost harmed no one, but I think she was there, hovering over our scrum. It still gives me the creeps to think about it.
A couple of the nieces that were on that Ireland trip were overnight on our farm the day we received the letter about the hidden cemeteries. It unnerved them so much that they were both up all night, fretting about bumping into a wayward ghost on their way to the bathroom (What can I say? We have small bladders in my family). In the morning we all agreed that we should just let the cemeteries sit undisturbed. Why tempt the spirits?
I think about those 24 people when I walk the property now. I do believe in spirits, ghosts, etc. I believe that some spirits get stuck between this world and the next. But I don’t want to bump into one on our farm, in my house or anywhere else. And I certainly don’t want to piss any of them off by moving their resting places around.
Sleep well, you pre-Civil War folks. Stay where you are, please. Right. There.
Hope you like what we’ve done with the place.